Doctoral Program Buddhist Studies

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Frequently Asked Questions

What certificates do I need to prove my proficiency in English (or German)?
If you have a TOEFL or IELTS certificate (or, for German: Goethe Institut / DSH / TestDaF Certificate), please submit it. If you do not have such a certificate, we will see your proficiency in English (or German) from your application. Moreover, we might conduct an interview via Zoom. If you have received a (BA/MA) degree in a course that was offered in English or German you do not need another certificate of your language ability. (Please note that if you choose to write your application and dissertation in German you still need to have a certain proficiency in English, because we usually use English in the courses and activities especially designed for our program.)

How do I prove my proficiency in the "Buddhist source language"?
Which language(s) you will need depends on your planned dissertation project. If you have any document certifying your knowledge, please upload it. If you do not have such a document, please write somewhere in your application which language(s) you know, where you learned them and how long, and how good your language skills are.

My former degrees are in disciplines that are not related to Buddhist studies (for example architecture). Can I still apply for a scholarship or to join the Buddhist Studies program in general?
In order to start a PhD in our program, you must have academic experience in a field related to Buddhist studies. Unless you have a university degree in Buddhist studies, study of religion, (Asian) cultural studies / history / philosophy (including Buddhism) or something similar, you cannot join the program. A general cultural background, or personal or monastic experience alone are not sufficient.

Do you offer funding of the doctoral studies, such as a scholarship or a job?
Unfortunately we cannot offer jobs, except in extremely rare cases. As to scholarships: We have been able to offer regular scholarships (two scholarships per year) in the framework of the "Graduate School Scholarship Program" (GSSP) from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). (This program is only open to people with a non-German nationality.) Usually the application period is from mid- or late July to mid- or late October, and the scholarships start some time in the following year. Occasionally, there might be a year in between without such a call for applications. We also cannot be sure about the future because we regularly have to apply for this scholarship program from the DAAD before we can offer scholarships.
We have a list with other scholarship options (scholarship organizations), which we send to people whom we have accepted as doctoral students in our program.

If I receive a scholarship, when will the doctorate / the scholarship start?
This depends on
- how much time our and the DAAD's selection process takes,
- how long the official LMU admission process and the time for you to receive your visa (if you need one) take,
- and when will be a convenient time for you to start.
If all goes very quickly, the earliest time for you to start is usually April, and, as a rule, you should start in October at the latest. Any time in between is also possible.
The start of your doctorate also depends on whether you will be attending a preliminary intensive German language course offered by the DAAD. The DAAD usually offers these courses from April to September (6 months), from June to September (4 months), or in August and September (2 months). In this case, the start of your doctorate would be October.

The people whom I indicated as referees have not received a request for a reference from you or the application portal. What shall I do?
If you are not applying for a scholarship: The referees will not receive an automatic email. In many cases we will not need references. If we need a reference, we will contact your referees directly.
If you are applying for a scholarship: Once you have filled in the information about these professors (referees) and saved it, they will receive an email from the application portal asking them to write a report about you and to upload it onto the portal by the date indicated in the call for applications file (usually about one week after the deadline for the application). (Please make sure that you send them the outline of your dissertation project early enough.) If they do not receive an automatic email, please get in touch with us in case there is a technical problem.