Courses in Buddhist Studies
In accordance with Master Sheng Yen’s wish to encourage the study and practice of Chinese Buddhism, the first year of the bachelor’s degree program in Buddhist studies focus on laying strong foundations with courses dealing with the monastic community, history, and teachings of the Chinese Buddhist tradition. In their second year, students’ courses begin to explore Buddhism’s roots in India. In their third and fourth years, students are exposed to the different Buddhist traditions that have emerged out of Buddhism’s contact with various cultures throughout its history. Beginning in their third year, students start taking courses in the three great Mahāyāna doctrinal systems as well as commence their study of Sanskrit. In addition to taking reading courses in Sanskrit, students in their fourth year may choose to begin the study of Tibetan or Pali as well.
In addition to their training in Buddhist studies, students are required to take general education courses (通識課程) including modern and classical Chinese, English, Japanese, informatics, research methodology, or the law. The Buddhist Studies undergraduate program’s general education courses also feature three unique courses in Dharma Drum’s vision of Protection of the Spiritual Environment (心靈環保), advanced courses in Buddhist informatics (digital humanities), and training in missionary work (弘化).