UWest was incorporated as “Hsi Lai University” in 1990 by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, and opened its doors in spring 1991. The university is a pioneering partnership between Chinese and American Buddhists to establish an American university integrating liberal arts traditions and Buddhist wisdom.
In the summer of 1996 the university moved to the City of Rosemead, where it has become an independent institution of higher learning based on the model of a U.S. university.
The current name, University of the West, was adopted in April 2004. For the past several decades, the school has provided a World Class liberal arts curriculum while also preparing Buddhists for leadership in the West. Our Digital Sanskrit Canon Project and the Center for the Study of Minority and Small Business have also been established to further this mission.
Today, while continuing to fill a need in the Buddhist community, UWest serves students from all walks of life with its range of programs in comparative religion, chaplaincy, business, psychology, English, and liberal arts.