Since 1979, this program has become recognized for the academic excellence of its comparative approach to both the theory and practice of Buddhism. The program weaves together the diverse resources of Bodh Gaya, a unique pilgrimage center in northern India, home to more than 40 Buddhist temples within a largely Hindi and Muslim community. Each temple offers a gateway for students to explore a particular culture and region where Buddhism manifests around the world, including Tibet, Sri Lanka, Burma, Japan, Bhutan, and others.
Through comparative study, the program examines each of the three major Buddhist traditions and their historical development: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana. Students live in a Burmese Vihar, or monastery, where our highly qualified team of faculty and on-site staff, led by Director Robert Pryor, provide an engaging and supportive environment. In addition, the program includes group travel to Varanasi and New Delhi, as well as a month-long Independent Study Project at the end of the semester that includes the opportunity to travel to a Buddhist community in India or neighboring countries.
Students interested in applying to this program must complete two separate processes:
Apply directly to the program. Visit the program website directly for application instructions and deadlines. Please note that program application deadlines are often earlier than Princeton approval deadlines.
Complete the Princeton approval process. You may download the course approval form and instructions from your GPS application. Click “apply now” on this brochure to access these items. Check GPS for Princeton’s approval deadline.