Buddhist Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The Group in Buddhist Studies offers a minor in Buddhist Studies. Students interested in majoring in Buddhist Studies should consider the East Asian Religion, Thought, and Culture major offered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

Declaring the Minor

To declare the minor, please visit 3409 Dwinelle Hall.

Visit Group Website

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process.
  2. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  3. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  4. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  5. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.
  6. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  7. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which you plan to graduate. If you cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, please see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
  8. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)


Language Requirement 1
Two semesters of a relevant Asian language: 2
Introductory Burmese
and Introductory Burmese
Elementary Chinese
and Elementary Chinese
Introduction to Literary Chinese
and Introduction to Literary Chinese
Elementary Japanese
and Elementary Japanese
Introductory Khmer
and Introductory Khmer
Elementary Korean
and Elementary Korean
Elementary Mongolian
and Elementary Mongolian
Elementary Sanskrit
and Elementary Sanskrit
Introduction to Thai
and Introduction to Thai
Elementary Tibetan
and Elementary Tibetan
Upper Division Core Requirement (5 courses) 3,4
Select three courses in Buddhist Studies
Introduction to the Study of Buddhism [4]
Introduction to the Study of Buddhism
Buddhist Thought in India [4]
Tibetan Buddhism [4]
Tibetan Buddhism
Buddhism and its Culture in Japan [4]
Buddhism in China [4]
Mongolian Buddhism [4]
Buddhism on the Silk Road [4]
Buddhism and the Environment [4]
Buddhism in Contemporary Society [4]
Buddhism in Contemporary Society
Zen Buddhism [4]
Pure Land Buddhism [4]
Tantric Traditions of Asia [4]
Readings in Chinese Buddhist Texts [4]
Introductory Readings in Kanbun [4]
The Origins and Development of Buddhist Art in South Asia [4]
Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism [4]
Death, Dreams, and Visions in Tibetan Buddhism
Topics in the Study of Buddhism [4]
Select two additional upper division elective courses from Buddhist Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures, South and Southeast Asian Studies, and History of Art courses 5,6

Students with previous language experience will be required to take a placement exam with department language coordinators.


This includes students with prior facility in a relevant Asian language. Such students have the choice of studying a further relevant Asian language on the introductory level, or of taking advanced language classes including seminars dedicated to reading Buddhist sources in the original. Admission to such advanced language classes and seminars is subject to the instructor’s approval and may include a placement exam in accordance with the standard policy employed for the language in question.


All courses require adviser approval.


BUDDSTD 50 or BUDDSTD C50 may be substituted for one of the five courses.


In addition to content courses this may include upper division courses in a relevant Asian language. Note that courses used to satisfy the language requirement do not count towards meeting the upper division course requirement.


EAP course(s) may be used to satisfy one of the electives; however, not all EAP courses will be approved for the minor. Please check with the adviser in advance.


Buddhist Studies

Faculty and Instructors

* Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.


Mark L. Blum, Professor. Buddhism, Japan, culture and society, modernization.
Research Profile

Jacob Dalton, Professor. Religion, ritual, Tibet, Buddhism, Tantra, Dunhuang.
Research Profile

Penelope Edwards, Associate Professor. Burma, Cambodia, nationalism, British and French colonialism, Chinese diaspora, memory.
Research Profile

* Robert P. Goldman, Professor. Literary theory, South and Southeast Asian studies, Sanskrit literature, Indian epic studies, and psychoanalytically oriented cultural studies.
Research Profile

Gregory Levine, Associate Professor. East Asian studies, history of art, Japanese art and architecture, histories of collecting, history of museums, Buddhist art and architecture, Buddhist visual culture.
Research Profile

Robert Sharf, Professor. East asian languages and cultures, medieval Chinese buddhism, Chan buddhism, Japanese buddhism, Zen buddhism, Tantric buddhism, buddhist art, ritual studies, methodological issues in the study of religion.
Research Profile

Alexander Von Rospatt, Professor. Ritual studies, Nepalese studies, Buddhist traditions of South Asia, doctrinal history, Newar Buddhism.
Research Profile

Affiliated Faculty

Brian Baumann, Lecturer. Mongolian language.
Research Profile

Osmund Bopearachchi, Adjunct Professor.

Sanjyot Mehendale, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies, Central Asia, Central Asian studies, archaeology and art history.
Research Profile

Jan Nattier

Emeritus Faculty

Patricia Berger, Professor Emeritus. China, buddhist art, East Asian studies, history of art, Asian architecture and art.
Research Profile

Padmanabh S. Jaini, Professor Emeritus.

Lewis Lancaster, Professor Emeritus. East asian languages and cultures, East Asian studies, east asian buddhism.
Research Profile

Eleanor Rosch, Professor Emeritus. Cognition, psychology, concepts, Eastern psychologies, psychologies of religion, cross cultural, causality.
Research Profile

Joanna Williams, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Group in Buddhist Studies

3413 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-3480

Fax: 510-642-6031


Visit Group Website

Group Chair

Alexander von Rospatt, PhD (Department of South and Southeast Asian Studies)

347B Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-1610


Student Services Adviser

Presi Diaz

3409 Dwinelle Hall


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