Buddhist Studies is a unique interdisciplinary program offering an undergraduate major, honours, and postgraduate programs of study, integrating language and non-language units of study within the School of Languages and Cultures. This program familiarises students with the dynamic nature of Buddhist philosophical, textual, meditative, artistic, and ritual traditions in Asia, as well as the ways that Buddhism has engaged with Western influences and globalisation trends in modernity. Students in the program gain in-depth knowledge of the historical, social, cultural and political contexts within which Buddhist traditions emerged and continue to develop. Students learn to appreciate the ways that Buddhist teachings and practices have changed over time and across cultures, and are also trained in the critical perspectives and methodologies essential for carrying out research in the discipline.
Non-language-based units of study devoted to Buddhist Studies are taught in English and include selected units cross-listed with other programs. Language-based units of study at undergraduate level are offered in Sanskrit, Pali, and Chinese. Sanskrit may also be taken as a major in the Department of Indian Subcontinental Studies. Students may also enrol in introductory and second-year units in the Pali language (when offered), an important language for Buddhist literature.
Students considering Buddhist Studies as a major are encouraged to take at least one of the relevant Asian languages that may be counted toward the major (Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean), as this enables sophisticated engagement with primary textual sources (such as Buddhist philosophical and meditative treatises) as well as facilitating direct engagement with contemporary Buddhist communities in Asia and in Asian diasporas around the world.
Buddhist Studies may also be undertaken through the Diploma of Arts by students who are enrolled in a degree other than the BA at the University of Sydney or any degree at another University, or have completed a prior degree.
Buddhist Studies also has an active post-graduate program, supervising postgraduate research degrees in a number of subject areas within the discipline.
The Buddhist Studies program receives substantial financial support from the University Buddhist Education Foundation, which funds a Visiting Professorship in Buddhist Studies, a Pali prize, funding for library resources, and a fixed-term lectureship in Buddhist Studies; and from the Dhammakaya Foundation, which funds a fixed-term lectureship in Buddhist Studies. The program also receive funding from the Khyentse Foundation for a student prize, the Khyentse Foundation Award for Excellence in Buddhist Studies. (See [[/scholarship/index.shtml||Prizes and Scholarships).