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Where to study and learn Buddhism? Here is a complete list of Buddhist study programs in the United States.

As interest in Buddhism continues to grow around the world, many people are choosing to deepen their understanding of this tradition through higher education. If you are considering learning Buddhism, one of the first things to examine is your motivation to pursue higher education in this field.

Is it to complete a Buddhist practice? Is it to have a career in academia? Most graduate programs in Buddhism are not a substitute for the faith and practice of Buddhism. Rather, they approach Buddhism from an analytical point of view: history, sociology, philology, philosophy, religious studies and cultural studies.

Where to study Buddhism The best schools are in

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There are a number of degree programs that encourage or support Buddhist practice and scholarship among students. These "practitioner-friendly" programs typically offer one of three options: the opportunity to earn a degree in Buddhist priestly training, courses in the practice of Buddhism that complement university studies, or emphasis on the study of Buddhism from a normative perspective.

Remember, however, that if you are interested in pursuing an academic career, institutions that offer these practice-integrated programs often do not have the same status as secular universities.

At most universities, professors of Buddhist studies tend to be far fewer in number than their Christian or Jewish counterparts. Therefore, very few programs can be considered comprehensive: most have strength in a particular geographic or cultural region (South Asia, Tibet, East Asia), a particular tradition (Ch'an/Zen, Theravada , Tibet) or a particular approach (philological, historical, apologetic).

While a comprehensive program may be optimal, many graduate students have also been successful in departments that have strength in an area of ​​specialization. In such smaller contexts, working closely with a faculty member whose interests coincide with yours can compensate for the more limited scope of the program.

Most Buddhist studies teachers are enrolled in a religious studies program or a regional studies program (East Asia, South Asia). Religious studies departments generally require courses and exams in other religious traditions as well as a good knowledge of the theoretical literature of the study of religion in general. In contrast, area studies programs place more emphasis on the study of Asian languages ​​(Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan) and the study of Buddhism in its various historical and cultural contexts.

The following Buddhist study programs are divided into several categories designed to help you choose the school best suited to your interests and goals. The professors whose names appear in parentheses are not specialists in the study of Buddhism per se, but because their expertise is closely related to Buddhism, they have taught or directed graduate students in the past.

Complete list of Buddhist study programs in the United States

study Buddhism

Practitioner-friendly institutions*.

  • CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF INTEGRAL STUDIES

1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 575-6100
Diplomas offered
  • Master in Philosophy and Asian Cultures
  • Master’s degree in East-West psychology
  • Master's degree in ecology, spirituality and religion
  • Master in Philosophy Cosmology and Consciousness
  • Doctorate in Asian Philosophies and Cultures
  • Doctorate in East-West Psychology
Faculty
Steven Goodman (Tibetan Buddhism)
Yi Wu (Chinese religions and Chinese Buddhism)
  • GRADUATE THEOLOGICAL UNION

2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 649-2400
Diplomas offered
  • Master in Buddhist Studies
  • Doctorate in Buddhist Studies

  • WESTERN UNIVERSITY

1409 Walnut Grove Avenue, Suite 1409
Rosemead, CA 80302-9926
(626) 571-8811
Diplomas offered
  • Master of Psychology (Buddhist Psychology Concentration)
  • Master's degree in Religious Studies (concentration in Comparative Religions or Buddhist Studies)
  • M.Div. in Buddhist chaplaincy
  • Doctorate in Religious Studies (concentration in Comparative Religions or Buddhist Studies)
Faculty
Francis Cook (East Asian Buddhism)
Wang Yao (Tibetan Buddhism)

  • INSTITUTE OF BUDDHIST STUDIES

2140, avenue Durant
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 809-1444
Diplomas offered
  • Certificate in Buddhism and Contemporary Psychology
  • Certificate in Buddhist Chaplaincy
  • Certificate in Theravada Buddhist Studies
  • Master in Buddhist Studies (with Higher Theological Union)
  • M.Div. in Buddhist Studies
Faculty
Dennis Hirota (Japanese Buddhism)
Daijaku Kinst (Soto Zen Buddhism, Buddhist Chaplaincy)
Richard Payne (Esoteric Buddhism)
Kenneth Tanaka (Chinese Buddhism)

  • NAROPA UNIVERSITY

2130 Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, CO 80302-9926
(303) 444-0202
Diplomas offered
  • Master in Religious Studies
  • Master's degree in religious studies in Sanskrit and/or Tibetan language
  • Master's degree in Contemplative Psychotherapy and Buddhist Psychology
  • Master in Contemplative Education
  • M.Div. in Buddhist Studies
Faculty
Gaylon Ferguson (Buddhist Studies)
Archarya Lama Tenpa Gyaltsen (Tibetan Buddhism)
Amelia Hall (Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhism)
Sarah Harding (Tibetan Buddhism)
Joanna Macy (Buddhism and science)
Judith Simmer-Brown (Indo-Tibetan/American)
Karen Kissel Wegela (Buddhist Psychology)
Elaine Yuen (Tibetan Buddhism)

  • MAITRIPA COLLEGE

1119 Market Street Southeast
Portland, Oregon 97214
(503) 235-2477
Diplomas offered
  • Master in Buddhist Studies
  • M.Div. in Buddhist Studies
Faculty
Leigh Miller (Tibetan Buddhism)
Dan Rubin (Buddhism and psychology)

  • BUDDHIST UNIVERSITY OF THE REALM OF DHARMA

4951 Bodhi Way
Ukiah, CA 95482
(707) 621-7000
Diplomas offered
  • Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts
  • Master of Arts Program in Buddhist Classics

Most complete programs

  • HARVARD UNIVERSITY

Committee for the Study of Religion
Barker Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 495-5781
Diplomas offered
  • M.Div. in Buddhist Studies (Harvard Divinity School)
  • M.T.S. in Buddhist Studies (Harvard Divinity School)
  • Doctorate in Religion (Concentrations in Buddhist Studies, East Asian Religions, and South Asian Religions)
Faculty
Ryuichi Abé (Japanese Buddhism)
Charles Hallisey (South and Southeast Asia/Theravada)
Janet Gyatso (Tibetan and South Asian Buddhism)
Anne Monius (South Asian religions)
Parimal Patil (South Asian Philosophies and Religions)
James Robson (Chinese Buddhism)
Leonard van der Kuijp (Indo-Tibetan History and Literature)

  • INDIAN UNIVERSITY

Department of Religious Studies
Sycamore Hall, room 230
Bloomington, IN 47405
(812) 855-3531
Diplomas offered
  • Master in Religious Studies
  • Doctorate in Religious Studies (concentrations in Buddhist Studies, Chinese Thought, South Asian Religion)
Faculty
Heather Blair (East Asian Buddhism and Japanese Buddhism)
Michael Ing (Chinese Thought)
Rebecca Manring (South Asian Religions and Asian Languages ​​and Literatures)
Richard Nance (Indo-Tibetan Buddhism)

  • UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

The Divinity School
1025 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
(312) 702-8200
Diplomas offered
  • Master in Religious Studies
  • Doctorate in Religious Studies
Faculty
Daniel Arnold (South Asian languages ​​and civilizations)
Steven Collins (Theravada Buddhism)
Paul Copp (Chinese Religion and Thought, East Asian Languages ​​and Civilizations)
Mathew Kapstein (Tibetan Buddhism)
James Ketelaar (East Asian Languages ​​and Civilization)

  • UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII AT MANOA

Department of Religion
Sakamaki Hall A311
2530, rue Dole
Honolulu, HI 96822
(808) 956-8299
Diploma offered
  • Master in Religion
Faculty
Helen Baroni (Japanese Buddhism and Buddhism in America)
Ramdas Lamb (Indian Religions)
Michael Mohr (Japanese Religions and East Asian Buddhism)
Lee Siegel (Indian Religions)

  • UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Department of Asian Languages ​​and Culture
Desktop 6111
202, rue Thayer Sud, suite 202
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Diplomas offered
  • PhD in Asian Languages ​​and Cultures (Concentration in Buddhist Studies)
Faculty
Juhn Ahn (East Asian Buddhism)
Benjamin Brose (Chinese Buddhism)
Donald Lopez (Tibetan Buddhism)

  • UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

Department of Religious Studies
323 Gibson Hall
1540 Jefferson Park Avenue
PO Box 400126
Charlottesville, VA 22904
(434) 924-6706
Diplomas offered
  • Master in Religious Studies
  • PhD in Religious Studies (Concentrations of East Asian Buddhism, Indio-Tibetan or Sino-Tibetan Buddhism, and Theravada Buddhism in the History of Religions)
Faculty
John Campbell (South Asian and Himalayan religions)
David Germano (Tibetan Buddhism)
Sonam Kachru (Buddhist Philosophy and Religion in South Asia)
John Nemec (South Asian Religions)
Kurtis Schaeffer (Indian and Tibetan Buddhism)
Strong institutions in East Asian Buddhist studies

  • PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

Department of Religion
1879 Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544
(609) 258-4520
Diploma offered
  • Doctorate in Religion (concentration in Asian religions)
Faculty
Jonathan Gold (Indian and Tibetan Buddhism)
Jacqueline Stone (Japanese Buddhism)
Stephen Teiser (Chinese Buddhism)

  • STANFORD UNIVERSITY

Department of Religious Studies
450 Serra Mall
Building 70
Stanford, CA 94305-2165
(650) 723-2538
Diploma offered
  • Doctorate in Religious Studies (concentration in Buddhist Studies)
  • Faculty
Paul Harrison (Mahayana Buddhist History and Literature)
John Kieschnick (Chinese Buddhism)
Mark Lewis (Chinese religions)

  • UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Department of East Asian Studies
102 Learning Services Building
1512 E First Street
Tucson, AZ 85721
(520) 621-7505
Diplomas offered
  • Master in Chinese Studies
  • MA in East Asian Studies
  • MA in Japanese Studies
  • PhD in Chinese Studies
  • PhD in Japanese Studies
Faculty
Alison Jameson (East Asian Buddhism)
Takashi Miuri (East Asian Buddhism)
Jiang Wu (Chinese Buddhism)

  • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT LOS ANGELES

Department of Asian Languages ​​and Cultures
290 Royce Hall
Box 951540
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1540
(310) 206-8235
Diploma offered
  • PhD in Asian Languages ​​and Cultures (Concentration in Buddhist Studies)
Faculty
William Bodiford (Japanese Buddhism)
Robert Buswell (Chinese and Korean Buddhism)
Natasha Heller (Chinese religions and Chinese Buddhism)
Stephanie Jamison (Asian Religions)
Gregory Schopen (South Asian Religions and South Asian Buddhism)

  • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT SANTA BARBARA

Department of Religious Studies
Zip code 3130
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
(805) 893-3578
Diploma offered
  • Doctorate in Religious Studies (concentrations in Buddhist Studies, East Asian Religions, and South Asian Religions)
Faculty
José Cabezón (Tibetan Buddhism)
Barbara Holdrege (South Asian Religions)
Dominic Steavu-Balint (Chinese religions and Chinese Buddhism)
David White (South Asian Religions)
Mayfair Yang (East Asian Religions)

  • UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Department of Religious Studies
C.P. 36, College Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 898-7453
Diploma offered
  • Doctorate in Religious Studies (concentrations in Asian Religions and Buddhist Studies)
Faculty
Daud Ali (South Asian Religions)
Paul Goldin (Chinese Thought)
Victor Mair (Chinese Buddhism)
Justin McDaniel (Indian Buddhism and Southeast Asian Buddhist)
Deven Patel (Indian philosophy and religions)

  • YALE UNIVERSITY

Department of Religious Studies
Box 208287
New Haven, CT 06520
(203) 432-0828
Diploma offered
  • Doctorate in Religion (concentration in Asian religions)
Faculty
Phyllis Granoff (Indian Buddhism)
Eric Greene (Chinese Buddhism)
Andrew Quintman (Himalayan and Tibetan Buddhism)
Stanley Weinstein (Chinese and Japanese Buddhism)

  • CORNELL UNIVERSITY

Department of Asian Studies
350 Rockefeller Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
(607) 255-5095
Diplomas offered
  • MA in Asian Studies
  • PhD in Asian literature, religion and culture
Faculty
Anne Blackburn (South Asian Religions and Buddhism)
Bronwen Bledsoe (Nepalese Buddhism and South Asian religions)
Daniel Boucher (Chinese religions, Chinese Buddhism, Indian Buddhism)
David Holmberg (Sherpa Buddhism)
Andrew Willford (Southeast Asian Religions)

Strong institutions in Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies

  • HARVARD UNIVERSITY

See list below
Most complete programs

  • UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

See list below
Most complete programs

  • UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

See list below
Most complete programs

  • WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

Department of Asian Languages ​​and Literatures
225 Gowen Hall
Box 353521
Seattle, WA 98195-3521
(206) 543-4996
Diplomas offered
  • Master in Buddhist Studies
  • Doctorate in Buddhist Studies
Faculty
Collett Cox (Indian Buddhism)
Tim Lenz (Ancient Indian Buddhism)
Richard Salomon (Ancient Indian Buddhism)

Strong Institutions in Southeast Asian Buddhist Studies

  • HARVARD UNIVERSITY

See list below
Most complete programs

  • UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

See list below
Most complete programs

Other programs worth mentioning

  • COLOMBIAN UNIVERSITY

Department of Religion
80, avenue Claremont
Room 103 MC 9610
New York, NY 10027
(212) 851-4122
Diplomas offered
  • Master in Religion
  • Doctorate in Religion (Concentrations in Buddhism, East Asian Religions, and South Asian Religions)
Faculty
Michael Como (East Asian Buddhism)
Bernard Faure (Japanese Buddhism)
Max Moerman (Japanese Religions)
Robert Thurman (Tibetan Buddhism)
Zhaohua Yang (Chinese Buddhism)

  • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY

Department of East Asian Languages ​​and Cultures
3413 Dwinelle
Berkeley, CA 94720-2230
(510) 642-3480
Diploma offered
  • PhD in East Asian Languages ​​and Cultures
Faculty
Mark Blum (Japanese Buddhism)
Jacob Dalton (Tibetan Buddhism and Southeast Asian Buddhism)
Robert Sharf (Chinese Buddhism)

  • UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

Department of Asian Studies
The College of Liberal Arts
The University of Texas at Austin
116 Inner Campus Drive Stop G6000
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 471-5811
Diplomas offered
  • Master's degree in Asian cultures and languages
  • Doctorate in Asian Languages ​​and Cultures
Faculty
Joel Brereton (Asian religions)
Oliver Freiberger (Indian Buddhism)
Jishnu Shankar (South Asian Religions)

  • RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Department of Religious Studies
School of Arts and Sciences
70 Lipman Drive
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8525
(848) 932-9640
Diplomas offered
  • Master of Religious Studies (Concentration in Buddhist Studies)
Faculty
Edward Bryant (Indian Religions)
Tao Jiang (Chinese Buddhism)
Christian Lammerts (Theravada and Southeast Asian Buddhism)

  • FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

Department of Religion
641 University Way
C.P. 306151520
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1520
(850) 644-1020
Diplomas offered
  • Master's degree in Religious Studies (concentration in Buddhist studies - in the field of history of religions)
  • Doctorate in Religious Studies (concentration in Buddhist studies in the field of history of religions)
Faculty
Kristina Buhrman (Japanese religions and esoteric Buddhism)
Bryan Cuevas (Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhism and Asian religions)
Kathleen Erndl (South Asian Religions)
Jimmy Yu (Chinese Buddhism and Chinese religions)

Do you want to study Buddhism in Paris? no problem, watch this video from the Youtube channel: IEB (Institute of Buddhist Studies)

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