Doctoral Program Buddhist Studies

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The interfaculty PhD program in Buddhist Studies at the LMU is aimed at postgraduates from the fields of cultural studies, religious studies and social sciences. In interdepartmental and research-oriented courses, the philological, religious studies and cultural studies expertise of the participating disciplines (Indology and Tibetology, Japanology, Philosophy of Religion, Study of Religion and Sinology) are brought together in a structured degree course. This, together with intensive mentoring and evaluation by a team of supervisors, should ensure an increase in the quality of the PhD and a high level of academic qualification.

For more detailed information please see the Guidelines of the PhD Program in Buddhist Studies (pdf format, 454 KB).

We usually use English in our program, but a part of the (non-mandatory/supplementary) courses are taught in German. LMU requires doctoral students to reach A1 level during the first year of their doctoral studies. We recommend to study German up to a more advanced level, but whether or not you really need advanced knowledge of German mainly depends on your dissertation project.

The PhD program's brochure (from 2012) can be downloaded here.

Structure of the degree

The PhD program in Buddhist Studies is designed to take three to four years. On the basis of the Promotionsordnung der LMU für die Fakultäten 09, 10, 11, 12 und 13 (2016) (pdf format, 124 KB) - the doctoral degree regulations of the LMU - the program concludes with the internationally recognized academic degree of a “Doctor of Philosophy” (Doctor philosophiae, Dr. phil., PhD). The following list gives an example of curricular activities broken down by the academic year.

First year

  • Research seminar
  • Colloquia
  • Transferable skills workshops
  • Supplementary courses and language courses

Second year

  • Colloquia
  • Active participation in an international conference/workshop
  • Tranferable skills workshop(s)
  • Teaching practice
  • Supplementary courses (if applicable)

Third year

  • Colloquia
  • Active or passive participation in an international conference/workshop

The precise course of the studies as well as the scope and the nature of the supplementary courses and language courses are regulated by work plans and timetables (so-called “target agreements”). During the course of their studies the doctoral students meet with their team of supervisors every six months. In these meetings timetables are drawn up and discussed, work reports and draft chapters are handed in and feedback is given on them.