M.A. (Buddhist Studies)

(This programme will be conducted in offline mode.)

Programme details for Academic year 2024-25

Commencement Date: 15th July 2024
Days: Monday to Saturday
Timing: between 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

The M.A. (Buddhist Studies) programme is designed specifically to facilitate exploration of the interdisciplinary nature of this field. While there is focus on building methodological and critical thinking skills through all the semesters, the course offers the opportunity to explore following areas through core and elective options: Theravada Buddhism, Philosophy, Language and Literature, Buddhism across Asia and Modern Buddhism. Students will be assessed throughout the semester and there will be a focus on developing research skills. A Skill Development course will be compulsory in each semester, in which students will learn either of the classical languages we teach – Pali, Sanskrit or Tibetan or some skills complimenting the study of Buddhism.

The programme draws on the unique and separate skill sets of our faculty to offer a broad spectrum of courses for the student to pursue their interest in Buddhist literature, history, philosophy, art and architecture, all of which are framed within the context of the transmission of Buddhism across Asia. Learning about Buddhist art and architectural heritage occurs on-site and focuses on skill development and methodological concerns.

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Key Information


1. B. A. in Buddhist Studies or Graduate in any other discipline with Diploma in Buddhist Studies OR Diploma in Buddhist Sanskrit : Language and Literature.

2. Students from disciplines other than Buddhist Studies must have cleared the Diploma in Buddhist Studies or Diploma in Buddhist Sanskrit: Language and Literature in order to qualify. Candidates with self-study of Buddhism will have to take an entrance exam.

3. Exceptional candidates with a score lower than 55% may be considered, based on an interview. In case selected, they have to undergo the entrance exam.

4. A score of minimum 40% is required in the entrance exam.



Teaching-learning occurs in a combination of lecture and seminar format. Students are encouraged to reflect and engage with the materials from diverse perspectives. Variety of innovative methods like, class discussions, role plays, article reviews, journal writing, are employed by the faculty members to assess the student throughout the semester. More stimulating assessment methods like open book exam, end term essays are also utilised during end term examination depending on the nature of the course.


Download Curriculum
Semester I Semester II
Theravada Buddhist Philosophy I Literary Sources for the Life of the Buddha
Introduction to Vinaya Literature Introduction to Sutta Literature
Archaeological Sources of Buddhist History Elective 1
Socially Engaged Buddhism Buddhist Narratives: Text and Images
Skill Development Course Rock Cut Architecture : Kanheri
Pali Elective 2 
Buddhist Sanskrit: Grammar &Comprehension Liberation in this life: Ambedkar’s model of Buddhism  as Social Action
Tibetan Language: Basic Theravada Buddhist Philosophy II
Workshop 1 & 2 Skill Development Course
  Buddhist Sanskrit: Grammar &Comprehension
  Tibetan Language: Basic
  Workshop 1 & 2
Semester III Semester IV
Critical Concepts in Religious Study Philosophical Debates in Buddhism
Ethics and Eschatology Dissertation
Elective 1 Elective 1
Buddhism across Cultures Iconography
Contributors and Thinkers Epigraphy
Introduction to Abhidhamma Workshop 1 & 2
Elective 2  
Buddhism and Gender  
Sacred Geography  
Buddhist Meditation: Pali Text and Practice  
Skill Development Course  
Pali Poetical Literature / Puggalapannati (M. A. Pali Sem. 3)  
Tibetan Grammar - Comprehension and translation (1st half of Intermediate level)  
Prakrit Language and Literature (Certificate course in Prakrit)  
Workshop 1 & 2  


The Centre for Buddhist Studies has led the field in innovative curriculum design that addresses the learning needs of students who can engage full time, as well as those who pursue their passion part-time, at their own pace. The faculty have diverse specialisations, which is reflected in the syllabus.

The MA (Buddhist Studies) programme offers the student a wide range of electives to choose from.These electives are framed in ways that explore dissemination of Buddhism into different cultures, development of philosophy and meditation traditions,  the large repository of art and architectural heritage while also addressing the political and social issues reflected in the process. There is emphasis on language study, which is included as a skill development component.

Recognising that Buddhism is a living tradition, eminent members of the Sangha are regularly invited to our campus. This gives students an opportunity for experiential learning. The institution has had the privilege of hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama four times. ven. Dhammadipa, a Buddhist monk from the Czech republic, has taught several key programmes on meditation texts as well as led retreats. Students get an experience of on site learning while exploring Buddhist art and architecture.

The K J Somaiya Institute of Dharma Studies has a library with over 30,000 books, which is an important resource.

In addition to the workshops that are an integral part of this programme, students can join for internships, attend seminars, or  field trips that are offered by the institution across the various disciplines. This creates opportunities of learning beyond the classroom and permits interaction with students pursuing different interests: this is a key feature of the learning experience on our campus.

The most unique aspect of our Centre is community engagement at our outreach project, Jetavan, in rural Maharashtra, which is available for students to visit and volunteer for engagement. The centre has been set up in collaboration with Godavari Biorefineries and Ven. Dhammadipa.

Programme Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the programme, a student will:

1. Have a good foundation in the methodology of religious studies, which emphasises diverse perspectives such as historical,           
    philosophical, textual, art-historical as well as those of economics and anthropology. 
2. Be equipped with tools to engage with a variety of texts, as well as art objects, inscriptions, customs and practices. 
3. An understanding of the complex web of influencers, such as trade and wealth creation, kingship, patronage and power that
    played a decisive role in the transmission of Buddhism.

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