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Ashoka Scholars Programme in English

Students who take up an Advanced English Major will spend a year exploring their discipline in greater depth. As part of the programme, they will pursue a Capstone Thesis Project of their interest under the guidance of a faculty advisor. We consider the Advanced Major not an add-on, but a crucial capstone to the English@Ashoka experience. This is the year in which the students move from being students to members of a teaching and scholarly community. 

  • Opportunities

    As part of the programme, the ASP scholars will have the opportunity to:

    • TA for a course and be mentored by an English professor in questions of pedagogy through the Teaching Practicum
    • Take 4000-level electives at the graduate level, alongside MA and PhD students.
    • Write a research thesis under the supervision of an advisor, which will expose them to conducting in-depth research work within the literary field. 

    All these experiences will be crucial preparation for any students planning to go on to do higher studies in English or any other discipline.

  • Requirements

    The ASP requires a student to take 8 courses across the course of the year. To complete their Advanced Major in English, 6 of these courses must be from the English department.

    That is, a student needs 32 credits in all to graduate with an ASP degree. While you receive 24 credits from the courses required by the English programme, you need to take courses (either from the English department or from other departments) worth 8 more credits to be able to graduate with an ASP degree. 

    The 24 credits required for an Advanced Major in English are distributed as follows:

    • An ASP will enroll for the graduate pro-seminar each semester. The proseminar aids in preparing your thesis in the Monsoon, and writing your dissertation in the Spring. The thesis will be a part of these courses. The proseminar is worth 8 credits.
    • An ASP is required to take 2 4000-level electives, 1 each in the Monsoon and Spring. That is, all ASP students are required to sign-up for at least 1 4000-level seminar over and above the Proseminar each semester.
    • The other 8 credits can either be fulfilled by the Teaching Practicum, which will allow them to TA for courses (limited to 1 course per semester); or they can be fulfilled by taking 2 other 4000-level graduate seminars.

    Note: 1000/2000/3000-level electives do not count as electives for the Advanced Major. They can be only taken over and above these 24 credits.

    The semesters for an ASP student will look like this:

    Monsoon Spring
    Graduate Proseminar Graduate Proseminar
    4000-level elective 4000-level elective
    Teaching Practicum/4000-level elective Teaching Practicum/4000-level elective
    Any 4-credit course of your choice Any 4-credit course of your choice

  • Why should you pursue the ASP in English?

    “The ASP program put me in a classroom where I was able to write a capstone thesis in the company of people passionate about what they do. The experience has been incredible. With its wonderful mentorship and strong emphasis on friendship and community, the program turned the classroom into a space of refuge, teaching us how to say what we want to say with rigour and conviction.” – Ailin Jain, ASP 2020


    “My fourth year with the English department helped develop my thinking in important and formative ways. The proseminar, easily the highlight of the program, introduced me to ways of engaging with different scholars of various temperaments. The capstone thesis was a great gateway to thinking about larger academic projects, and faculty guidance in this regard was extremely helpful. The thesis writing and presentation process also gave me a head start in understanding how to write for conference presentations. This experience has been especially useful in graduate school. The ASP program built a sense of scholarly community while providing the necessary training for me to flourish in higher education.” – Goutam Piduri, ASP 2018

More About Ashoka Scholars' Programme

All undergraduates graduating with Bachelor’s Degrees at the end of their third year, or who have completed by that time at least academic 92 credits of their degree programme, are eligible for admission into the Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Studies and Research programme, also known as the Ashoka Scholars Programme (ASP). Students who need to complete up to 8 credits of their undergraduate degree must do so within the first semester of the ASP. All students who fall into either of these categories must formally apply for admission to the ASP towards the end of the Spring semester of their third year. The exact date will be circulated by the OAA.

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