World Buddhist University (WBU)

Established through a Charter approved by the General Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhist in Australia in 1998, and duly incorporated in Thailand on 28 November 2543 (2000), the World Buddhist University began operations on December 9, 2000. Founded on the lines of the United Nations University as a consortium of Associated Institutions, the University Centre is located in Bangkok, Thailand. Its governing body, the WBU Council, consists of twenty-five internationally reputed, eminent Buddhist scholars from all continents of the world.

The Mission of the World Buddhist University stresses Buddhist scholarship and research promoting Buddhism, especially meditation and other spiritual practices, coordination among the three Buddhist traditions, networking with Associated Institutions and applying Buddhist teachings to major issues and problems.

The WBU preserves and promotes understanding of the past through Buddhist scriptures, emphasizes practice and full engagement in the present and welcomes the future through applications of Buddhism to current and future problems and issues. The major aim is to prepare many more people worldwide to use Buddhist teachings in their life and share these teachings with others.

Institution of External Degree Program

In pursuance of the World Buddhist University’s (WBU) council resolution of the fifth meeting at Khaoshiung, Taiwan in March 2004, the Statute on External Degree Programs was approved by the Council later in 2004. Accordingly, the University has instituted a program of education and external examinations to grant certificates, diplomas and degrees in Buddhist Studies to candidates who are either internal students of Associated Institutions or private students pursuing self-study.

This publication presents rules and regulations, the program design, courses of study and syllabi pertaining to a short-course certificate program, a postsecondary diploma in Buddhist Studies and two graduate degrees, a Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies (M.A.) requiring in-depth course study and a Master of Philosophy in Buddhist Studies (M..Phil.), based on intensive research. The certificate and diploma programs are class oriented and can be done at the WBU Centre or at other Associated Institutions who choose to offer these programs. The Master Degree programs are distance learning programs using the Internet and email and can be done through the WBU Centre, through an Associated Institution or as a private student anywhere in the world.

Overview of Programs

(1) A Certificate in Buddhist Studies is given to a student who participates in a short course of 15 to 20 hours. It is an introductory course open to anyone who wants to learn the basics of Buddhism and is usually given over a week or two week time period through direct classes. There is no requirement of previous Buddhist study or knowledge. It will be offered by the WBU starting in 2006. The WBU version or other versions may be available at Associated Institutions.

(2) A Diploma in Buddhist Studies is offered in cooperation with the WBU Associated Institution of Singapore, the Buddhist Research Society/Library, as a postsecondary Buddhist Studies Program, based on the syllabi of the Diploma Program of the Pali and Buddhist University of Sri Lanka, Colombo. This course is offered through direct classes and consists of three modules offered over a one year time period. This model is not offered at the WBU Centre at this time. It is available as a model to other Associated Institutions.

(3) Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies (M.A.) is awarded to students who successfully pass essay examinations in a prescribed number of courses covering all aspects of Buddhist doctrine, practices, philosophy, history, culture, supplemented by a period of spiritual development through meditation. The examinations are conducted by the University Centre in Bangkok, Thailand where the basic languages used are English and Thai. Based on negotiations with the WBU, an Associated Institution may translate the program and offer it in the language of its location. For other languages, the WBU will try to make arrangements on an individual basis that will enable international students to study in their own language. This will depend on the availability of advisors, examiners and study materials in that language. In addition, the WBU University Centre in Bangkok may schedule seminars, meetings with teachers and general discussion among students and progressively provide distant learning through a multi-media approach. In general, this requires a two year period of study.

(4) Master of Philosophy in Buddhist Studies (M. Phil.) is awarded with the assistance of the WBU Associated Institution in the USA, the International Academy of Buddhism of the University of the West, Los Angeles County, California. An applicant will register with the WBU and can begin their research after the approval of a research thesis or published or unpublished research treatise on any aspect of Buddhist Studies. Once approved, the research will be supervised and graded by the International Academy of Buddhism at the University of the West. In general, this requires a two year period of research and writing plus an oral defense of the research.

Eligibility and Basic Requirements

All programs are open to both lay and monastic candidates.

A Bachelors degree from a recognized University or an equivalent from a recognized College or Institution of Buddhist Studies is the minimum entry requirement for either Master’s degree.

Where such a degree is not in Buddhist Studies, a lay applicant may be required to establish through an examination or testimonial that he/she has some understanding of the basic doctrines and practices of Buddhism before proceeding to graduate studies in Buddhism.

Information literacy competency in the use of Internet resources will be an advantage.

A monastic applicant will be required to supplement the course work with materials and courses about his or her order, tradition or school.

Credit may be given to any graduate-level formal training obtained from a recognized University/College or Department of Buddhist Studies, provided that the ceremonial/ritual part of such training will not be considered.

Special Features and Advantages

Candidates joining any of these programs will benefit from the systematic study of Buddhism from a modern day perspective. For the Masters Degree programs, they can study from anywhere at anytime at each one’s chosen pace and customize the learning according to their own interests and needs.

The international network of Associated Institutions constituting the WBU may choose to provide in-class and guided instruction for internal students, resident in the respective countries.

A broad range of resources, both printed and electronic will need to be utilized by students. For the M. A. in Buddhist Studies, the University Centre in Bangkok will provide an advisor to each student, guidelines for the courses, some electronic and hard copy versions of materials for the courses and general guidance in distance learning. The students can access both Internet resources and on-line “streamed” courses such as those offered by the University of the West of California as well as other newly established on-line programs.

The two Masters Degree programs put major responsibility on private students to develop and organize their own learning process. The WBU Associated Institutions and the University Centre will provide advice, guidance and general direction at a relatively inexpensive cost to the student.


Diplomas issued for the two Master’s degrees shall be under the signature of the Chair of the Council, the Rector and the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and be authenticated by the official seal of the World Buddhist University. In the case of students presented by an Associated Institution, the name and location of the Institution shall be included in the diploma.

Welcome to WBU

With these introductory comments, we have the pleasure to invite you to consider the program of your choice and benefit from this special service which the World Buddhist University provides to the international Buddhist community through the initiative of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, the direct involvement of the WBU University Centre in Bangkok, Thailand and the network of the WBU Associated Institutions.

The Board for External Degrees/World Buddhist University
616 Benjasiri Park, Soi Sukumvit 24,
Sukumvit Road, Bangkok 10110 Thailand

For More Infomation in the USA -- Please Contact:

e-Mail - Ananda W. P. Guruge

Ananda W. P. Guruge - Chair,
World Buddhist University Council Dean of Academic Affairs and Director,
International Academy of Buddhism. University of the West, California, USA

Details About This Program:

World Buddhist University... Manual in PDF - Free Download


Download Manual Here


Ananda W. P. Guruge -
Chair, World Buddhist University Council Dean of Academic Affairs and Director, International Academy of Buddhism. University of the West, California, USA

Phan Wannamethee - Acting Rector World Buddhist University Bangkok, Thailand

Banjob Bannaruji - Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Chair of the Board for External Degrees World Buddhist University Bangkok, Thailand