The Master of Arts program in Buddhist Studies takes an academic approach to Buddhist traditions, Buddhist ethics, and Buddhist philosophical perspectives. This independent program is unique in Germany and has an excellent international reputation. Universität Hamburg's Buddhist Studies program focuses on the intellectual history of Buddhism and manuscript cultures in the Buddhist tradition.
It also provides an opportunity to specialize in one of five regions: India, Tibet, China, Japan, or Thailand. The language of instruction depends upon the region of focus, with courses on India, Tibet, and Thailand taught in English and courses on China and Japan in English and German. The program places special emphasis on cultivating skills in the language of the region in question. This program does not treat Buddhism as an isolated phenomenon. It looks at Buddhism as it has been shaped by a region's particular culture, society, and intellectual and religious history. In addition to various topics in the field of Buddhism, Buddhist Studies focuses on questions of methodology and approaches to the discipline. Students who do not have any international experience are required to spend a semester abroad. The specialist library for Buddhist studies contains an outstanding collection of seminal work, attracting researchers in the field to Hamburg.