Academic Programs

Department of Religious Studies

Master of Arts in Religious Studies

masters_religiousstudiesThe Master of Arts in Religious Studies is a two-year, full-time degree program that allows students to gain a critical appreciation and understanding of different facets of religion. More specifically, it seeks to extend a student’s background in Buddhism and Buddhist Studies, with an emphasis on practical applications in the contemporary world.

UWest offers three optional concentrations in its master’s degree program.  First, students may specialize in Buddhist Texts & Translation. This concentration equips students with the canonical language skills and methodological approaches to translate and interpret key Buddhist texts. Second, a student may choose the concentration in Mindfulness, Meditation, & Mind.  In this emphasis, students explore and investigate the Buddhist foundations of spiritual cultivation within the broader context of contemplative practice.  Third, students can select the concentration in Engaged Buddhism.  This emphasis develops and promotes a humanistic and socially aware understanding of the world based on Buddhist wisdom and values.

Students who choose not to select a concentration may develop, in close consultation with a faculty advisor, a course of study of their own design tailored to their own interests and needs.  Students may create an emphasis in comparative religions, Chinese religions, South Asian religions, Buddhism and psychology, Buddhism and contemporary culture, Buddhist theology and ministry, or an area central to their particular interests.