Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies (International Program)

Ph.D. (Buddhist Studies) is an international program offered in Chinese and English medium. It is a 54-credit program with the minimum duration of 6 semesters and the maximum duration of 6 academic years. The basic philosophy of the doctoral degree in Buddhist Studies rests on the premise that graduates of the program will serve humanity in their useful employment as ethically upright professionals in the academic field or Buddhist-based welfare organizations and benevolent societies. The minimal entry qualification is a M.A. degree in any discipline (preferably with background knowledge or concentrations or experience in Buddhadharma studies or work).

Those who are interested in the program may download the curriculum or program details attached below and/or email us for further inquiries.

Rationale of the Programme

This world is economically and technologically driven. In the increasingly materialistic world, there is a growing realization of the need and demand to strike for a balance in spiritual and physical growth. In this scientifically and information-driven world, conventional religious teachings, religious dogma and blind faith no longer command the level of attention and respect as in the past if they do not tie in with the latest in scientific development and findings. Buddhism, the only religion in the world that has withstood the challenges of science time and time again, has gained popularity and faith worldwide in solving human conflicts of both internal and external nature. The appeal of Buddhism keeps rising globally and there follows an ever-increasing demand for properly trained Buddhists to help transmit the teachings in the right way. There is an apparent shortage of Buddhist institutions of learning and trained professionals to match this growing demand.

Thailand is one of the few countries in the world where there are Buddhist universities established solely to train Buddhist professionals among the monks, nuns and laity, to promote Buddhist teachings and offer degrees in Buddhist studies. International Buddhist College is just about the only one existing Buddhist College in Thailand that offers graduate and post-graduate programs in Buddhist Studies in two languages, English and Chinese language, the two languages spoken by more than 75% of the world population. The choice of the two international languages for teaching and communicating teachings of Buddha at IBC is significant in that IBC aims to extend the peace-embracing Buddhist teachings and philosophy to the biggest possible proportion of the world population, for it operates on the motto, ‘For the Good of the Many’, the very reason Buddha commenced and tirelessly expounded his teachings for forty-five years until his Parinirvana.

In their drive to cure the world’s ills, Buddhist organizations continue to grow and expand. These include Buddhist institutions of learning, welfare and benevolent organizations, in addition to the growing number of nunneries and monasteries established worldwide. These institutions need the service of Buddhist-trained and educated professionals in management and other levels. Academic institutions, in particular, need more doctoral graduates to fill in the professional, teaching, managerial and planning posts. IBC therefore proposes to run and operate the doctoral program in Buddhist Studies to produce the right professionals to meet this demand in the market.

Philosophy of the Programme

The basic philosophy of the doctoral degree in Buddhist Studies rests on the premise that graduates of the program will serve humanity in their useful employment as ethically upright professionals in the academic field or Buddhist-based welfare organizations and benevolent society or as Buddhist missionaries.

They should be able to :

  • Instruct students at the Bachelor’s level, Master’s level, as well as the Doctor’s level in Buddhist studies of all major traditions.
  • Conduct research in Buddhist studies and related fields;
  • Be effective missionaries in the increasingly complex and demanding world.
  • Be ambassadors of world peace wherever they serve.

Admission Requirements

  1. Educational qualification: Holders of Master’s degree or equivalent, with good academic records
    (GPA of 3.50 or higher);
  2. Academic background: Academic background in Buddhist Studies or other
    related fields is not absolutely essential but is an asset. Similarly, some
    working knowledge of Buddhist scriptural or text languages such as Pali,
    Sanskrit, Chinese or Japanese helps.
  3. Language requirement: Proficiency in the English language as indicated by
    a TOEFL score of at least 550 or equivalent score of an acceptable test is
    required for those who intend to take the program in English. An
    equivalent proficiency in Chinese language is essential for those intending
    to do the program in Chinese. Graduate Studies Committee for the Ph.D.
    Program may consider and waive this requirement for applicants who
    graduated from tertiary institutions where the teaching medium is either
    English or Chinese.
  4. Applicants will be called for interviews and to sit for entrance qualifying
  5. Candidates who do not meet all the above requirements in some
    exceptional circumstances (such as candidates with extensive work or
    research experience in related areas) will also be considered by the
    Graduate Studies Committee for the Ph.D. Program.

Required Application Documents

  1. A completed application form.
  2. A copy of the official transcript of the applicant’s previous university studies.
  3. A photocopy of identification document such as a passport.
  4. Two recommendation letters from the two referees who are unrelated to one another, or any persons who are able to evaluate the candidate’s academic and professional performance.
  5. Two passport size photographs taken not more than six months prior to application.
  6. All applicants of the Ph.D. Program in Buddhist Studies are required to submit an outline of their area of research interest that they would like to develop and pursue as a Ph.D. thesis research project.

All the documents mentioned above should be mailed to the address below. You can also email them first.

International Buddhist College (Sadao Campus)
88, Mu 2, Thung Mo Subdistrict,
Khuan Sato, Amphoe Sadao,
Songkhla 90240, Thailand

Application and other forms may be downloaded from the site

Application Deadline

Applications are received all year round but the selection is made twice a year for admission at the first (August) or second (January) semester of each academic year. For those who intend to begin the program in the August or January semester, the deadlines for receiving the application are 31st May and 31st October respectively.

Interview and Entrance Qualifying Examination

Applicants who have satisfied the basic requirements will be called for interview and may be requested to sit for entrance qualifying examination. The interview will be conducted in English or Chinese language by a minimum of three faculty members.

The selection process will be conducted two times a year for the intakes in the first and second semesters of the academic year that begin in August and January respectively.