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Graduate Program

Graduate Work in Buddhist Studies

Graduate work in Buddhist Studies at Florida State University begins with the M.A. degree, which provides interdisciplinary training in the study of religion and in the historical and anthropological study of Buddhism under the rubric of the Department of Religion’s History and Ethnography of Religions track. Students in the M.A. program may choose to specialize in Tibetan, Chinese or Japanese Buddhism and will pursue advanced research in the social and cultural histories, rituals, practices, literatures, and philosophies relevant to these Buddhist traditions. Students may choose to continue toward the Ph.D. degree here at FSU or elsewhere.

Program Overview

The FSU Buddhist Studies Program is specifically designed for students who intend to become scholars and teachers at the university level. The program, which cooperates closely with the Departments of Modern Languages and Linguistics , Asian Studies, and Art History, emphasizes the academic study of Buddhism across a broad spectrum of historical, doctrinal, and cultural formations.

Language study is essential for advanced research in Buddhist Studies. All students in the Buddhist Studies program are thus required to gain facility in the primary Asian languages relevant to their area of specialization. These languages include Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese. The specific combination of Asian languages required for students in the graduate program will depend on their research focus. Students will be required to develop precision skills in primary language research and close text-critical reading.

In addition to linguistic and philological competence, students in the program are expected to acquire a sophisticated understanding of the social and historical contexts of Buddhism through extended ethnographic and archival research abroad in a relevant Asian country.