The field of East Asian religions encompasses Indian, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese varieties of Buddhism in their historical and cultural contexts.
Training emphasizes research in primary sources and requires reading knowledge of the languages relevant to the area of specialization, which may include Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Japanese and Tibetan. Students are encouraged to design their own course of study, to explore different academic disciplines, and to undertake independent research.
The department’s program works closely with the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies, which provides library and study facilities, research support and extracurricular activities. The department enjoys a close collaborative relationship with the University of California, Berkeley, in the study of Asian religions.