MA in Buddhist Studies

MA in Buddhist Studies

2 years

The School of Arts provides a Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies at Kathmandu University – Centre for Buddhist Studies (KU-CBS), which is located at Rangjung Yeshe Institute (RYI), Boudhanath, Kathmandu. The program has a yearly enrollment capacity of 10 students

The MA program at Kathmandu University – Centre for Buddhist Studies is a 2-year (4 semesters, 60 credits) program that combines graduate level seminars with extensive research in original primary source literature and languages. The aim of the program is to introduce students to the methods and skills involved in mature academic research and to develop their ability to undertake independent research projects within the field of Buddhist Studies. At the beginning of the program, each student is assigned a Thesis Supervisor who works with the student on developing the thesis proposal and the thesis itself.

During the first year of study the emphasis is on developing the necessary competence in classical Tibetan and Sanskrit to conduct research in Buddhist primary literature as well as gaining familiarity with the methodological approaches to academic Buddhist studies. In the language classes, students study extensively classical Buddhist literature from the Sanskrit and Tibetan traditions, which provides them with the ability to read complex philosophical material in these primary source languages.In research seminars, also offered during the first year of study, issues of method in academic research of religion and Buddhism are discussed. These courses introduce the historical development of the study of religion and enable the graduate student to engage in critical scholarship and research.In the second year, the focus is turned toward the practical application of the skills acquired during the first year of study, culminating in the writing of the MA thesis. Working with an experienced thesis supervisor, the student formulates a thesis project and spends the first semester studying the necessary historical, literary, and philosophical background materials before spending the second semester on the writing of the thesis itself, likewise guided by the thesis supervisor. 

Application and Admission

To be admitted to the MA Program, a student should have a Baccalaureate degree from an accredited academic institution containing:

  • Four courses (12 credits) in Asian Religion or Buddhist Studies.
  •  Two courses (6 credits) in Classical Tibetan and/or Sanskrit.

Meeting the minimum entrance requirements does not automatically guarantee admission. All qualified applications are subject to final approval by the Graduate Committee at CBS. Applicants holding an appropriate degree without all required elements may still qualify to enter the MA program by completing preparatory course work as prescribed by the Graduate Committee at CBS.