Nalanda University


Nalanda is a word known across the world and for centuries. It stands for a university which attracted students and scholars from across Asia and even farther away. It was a centre of excellence not only for Buddhist studies and philosophy but for medicine and mathematics as well. After teaching thousands of students for centuries, Nalanda ceased its existence just as universities were opening up in Bologna, Paris and Oxford at the beginning of the second millennium CE. The shift of centres of knowledge from East to West was symbolic of the eventual transfer of power which followed within half a millennium.


There is now a perfect opportunity to recreate the hallowed universalism of Nalanda as a centre of knowledge. The second millennium CE ended with a tremendous resurgence of Asia after centuries of stagnation, division and decline. Asia is today synonymous with a dynamic entrepreneurial and innovative culture, based on knowledge and enterprise not forgetful of its past yet not afraid to face the future. Asian countries are coming together to forge a continent based on the foundations of peace and harmony. The decision of the East Asian Summit in 2007, at its meeting in Cebu, Philippines, to endorse the plan to re-establish the Nalanda University underscores the commitment to these values.

Our challenge is to match the excellence of Nalanda of the first millennium CE for the third millennium CE. A university of the third millennium has to be universalist in its outlook, open to currents of thought and practice from around the globe, and it has to respond to the needs of a world which has miles to travel before it can ensure peace and prosperity with equity and hope for all the people of the world.

Above all, Nalanda must be a centre of knowledge and a most excellent one. Its primary function must be to harness the best talents for the creation and dissemination of new knowledge as well as for the recovery and restoration of valuable old insights which have suffered unintended neglect. Nalanda has to be open to students from across the world chosen for their desire for and capacity to absorb knowledge in diverse fields. It must have once again, as it did before, the best scholars and researchers to create and recreate knowledge. It must afford them a vibrant living environment which will also be suitable for the nurture of the next generation – the children of those creating and recreating the centre of excellence. It must be adapted to the rhythm of Nature where it is located and enrich the lives of the people in the neighbourhood.

Nalanda will be new but it will aspire to be as good as its old self, if not better. Its name must reverberate across the world as a place where people go to seek as well as to add to the fund of knowledge and to go away from it disseminating its fruits everywhere. It must draw upon the best resources of Asia and indeed the world and repay manifold in the coinage of new and valuable insights on making the world better for all.

ADMISSIONS 2017-2018

Applications are invited for two-year residential post- graduate programmes in the following Schools of Nalanda University:

  • School of Historical Studies
  • School of Ecology and Environment Studies
  • School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy, and Comparative Religions

Nalanda University is an Initiative of the Government of India supported by East Asia Summit Countries; a revival university whose predecessor was the oldest university in the world. It is a designated Institution of National importance.

Be a part of this unique research intensive international University which offers:

  • An environment that is truly trans-cultural and trans-national
  • Inter-disciplinary and experiential learning
  • Truly distinguished international faculty
  • An opportunity to experience our historically and environmentally rich campus in Rajgir, Bihar, India. And to participate in the evolution and construction of an amazing net zero campus.

Last date for applications for the first round of admissions is Apr 1. 2017.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

View MA » View master programmes »


This school also offers:


Masters in Ecology and Environment Studies

Campus Full time July 2017 India Patna

The School embraces a broad range of academic pursuits from natural sciences to social sciences, in order to promote education and research on the interactions between the natural environment and human activities. Rooted in the tradition [+]

THE SCHOOL OF ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT STUDIES Rooted in the tradition of the ancient Nālandā University, the School aspires to develop knowledge on environmental issues that transcend constraints imposed by disciplinary boundaries. It promotes research and education on various environmental problems at local, regional and global levels. The unique environmental challenges of Asia are recognized by the School, and studies relevant to the region are emphasized. Diverse perspectives are used to analyse contemporary environmental concerns in order to develop meaningful solutions. The thrust areas of the School are: Human Ecology, Water, Food and Agriculture, Biodiversity, Disasters, Climate Change and Energy Studies. The School currently offers a two-year Masters’ programme and is planning to launch a Doctoral programme in 2017. Life on campus encourages a paradigm of lived philosophy melding with taught philosophy. The Masters Programme The course is designed for international students from diverse backgrounds, including social sciences, natural sciences, humanities and engineering. All Master’s students are required to obtain a minimum of 48 credits spread over 4 semesters, with a summer internship during the vacation between the first and second years. The curriculum comprises a mix of core and elective courses. The first two semesters provide breadth of knowledge, through multi-disciplinary courses, to cover core concepts around key environmental dimensions. These include earth sciences, ecology, economics and social dimensions of environment, along with introductory research methods, during the first semester. Sustainable Development and Environmental Laws and Policies are the two interdisciplinary core courses in the second semester, along with introductory elective courses in the thrust areas of the School. The last two semesters provide depth of knowledge and build capability for independent research. A range of major and minor elective courses, reflecting expertise and specialized interests of the faculty, is on offer during the third semester while the fourth semester is wholly dedicated to an individual dissertation. There are multiple options for methodology courses and opportunities for undertaking independent studies. The School promotes a nuanced understanding of real world problems. Field work is emphasized through visits, assignments and projects in and around the campus. Students spend 8-10 weeks at the end of first year (during summer break) to intern at institutions of their choice. The dissertation is an opportunity to conceptualize, plan and implement a small research topic. The course is, therefore, uniquely designed with an orientation to research. Nālandā Graduates Graduates of Nālandā University are not only conversant with contemporary environmental issues but are also capable of addressing these through a unique interdisciplinary approach, problem-solving attitude and lateral thinking. They are generally suitable for research (towards higher university degree, consulting projects, policy advocacy), active community engagement (grassroots programmes of government, non-profit or for-profit entities), enterprises (corporate expansions, start-ups), administration (government policy and programme), action (journalism, communication, community mobilization) etc. Collaborations The School has established connections for collaborative research links with institutions around the world. Some of the major ones are: School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University (USA) Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA) Borlaug Institute of South Asia, BISA (India) Eckerd College, (USA) Global Alliance of Disaster Research Institutes (GADRI), Kyoto (Japan) University of Missouri, (USA) [-]

Masters in Historical Studies

Campus Full time July 2017 India Delhi

The School of Historical Studies (SHS) is a dynamic community of faculty members and graduate students. SHS engages in a programme of rigorous enquiry into fundamental questions that address historical experiences within and beyond Asia. The [+]

School of Historical studies The School of Historical Studies is a dynamic community of faculty members and graduate students. The School pursues an open-ended yet rigorous, scientific enquiry into fundamental questions that concern the historical imagination. The School is dedicated to reframing and rethinking the interconnections between time, memory, and history in Asian and non-Asian contexts. Faculty in the School of Historical Studies understand historical studies to encompass all questions critical to human understanding. These questions include how humans make or made sense of the past, how historical understanding of the past can transform the present, and the various ways in which the present is constituted or constructed by the past. Faculty members combine a rich variety of methodologies and disciplinary backgrounds to bear on their research and teaching of history including anthropology, sociology, archaeology, religious studies, philosophy, economic history, political science, philology, visual studies, and art history. Students in the School develop critical understandings of global histories, cultural-political histories, economic histories, intellectual histories, oral and visual histories, art histories, and religious histories. The School of Historical Studies is committed to undertaking and fostering research that begins with the categories and concepts of historical agents and critically engages with putative, universal categories of human experience. Masters Programme The Masters programme will entail 2 history courses, language courses and supervised thesis spread over two semesters. The programme in Archeology will include training in laboratory work ,study for epigraphy and field research. The Art History programme will include the study of cross-cultural influences and adaptation ,comparative analysis of Asian and European arts and the architectural traditions of various regions and Religions. Focus areas in the School of Historical Studies include Asian connections, archaeology, art history, global history and economic history Nalanda Graduates. In addition to teaching ,research and academic careers Nalanda Students are finding employment in corporate and government sectors ,media and journalism, diplomacy, international organizations and museums. Collaborations The School has established connections for collaborative research links with institutions around the world. Some of the major ones are: Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore) Chulalongkorn University (Thailand) Peking University (China) Archaeological Survey of India (ASI, India) European Consortium for Asian Field Study (ECAF, France) International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS, Netherlands) [-]


Masters in Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions

Campus Full time July 2017 India Delhi

The School fosters critical thinking and explore the wider cultural and historical context of Buddhism in individual regions of Asia. [+]

The School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions This School gives special emphasis to the study of Buddhist ideas and values in relation to other philosophical and religious traditions. The wider social-historical-cultural contexts of the development of Buddhist traditions is examined through an innovative and interdisciplinary curriculum. The School fosters critical thinking and explore the wider cultural and historical context of Buddhism in individual regions of Asia. The dynamics of the spread of Buddhist ideas, art, literature; archaeology of key Buddhist sites across Asia; the study of primary texts, inscriptions, and art forms; the comparison of and interactions between various religious and philosophical traditions of Asia; and the theory and methods of the study of religious and philosophical traditions are some of the focus areas of the School. The modern manifestations of Buddhism and its contemporary relevance are also key areas that are examined at the school. The skills imparted to students extend from rigorous reading of literary and philosophical texts to archeological training. Masters Programme: Students are required to complete a course work of 48 credits (12 credits per semester) and submit a thesis towards the fulfillment of a Master’s degree. Six of these course credits are for thesis-specific courses taken with the student’s primary advisor. All students are required to take a survey course during the first semester of coursework; and a methodology course during their third semester. The MA thesis has to be approved by an appropriate faculty committee. The School has a strong language component for faculty and students, in at least, one of the Classical Buddhist languages (Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Tibetan) or another source language (e.g. Prakrit for Jainism, Japanese or Korean for Japanese or Korean Buddhism). This enables students to read original Buddhist and other religious texts and develop the skills necessary to do qualified Post Graduate research work. MA students are therefore required to have reading knowledge of at least one classical language, such as Sanskrit, Pali, classical Chinese, or Tibetan. Ph.D. students must have advanced knowledge of the relevant classical language and should employ it the writing of dissertation. Nalanda graduates In addition to teaching, research and academic careers Nalanda Students are finding employment in corporate and government sectors ,media and journalism, diplomacy, international organizations ,law, social work, the ministry, environmental protection, human rights, communication, business, race relations, and applied ethics. [-]


Nalanda University

Address 803116 Nekpur, India
Phone + 91- 611- 2255330