Buddhism began in India some two and a half millennia ago. Since that time it has evolved through a number of transformations and has been transmitted to numerous cultures. Buddhism has had a great impact upon the lives of individuals and the development of societies, and it has made many contributions to various spheres of culture, for example to art, literature, philosophy and religion.
With one of the largest concentrations of scholars of Buddhist Studies in the United States, the Five Colleges provide an excellent environment in which to study Buddhism: collectively, we enable students to study most of the major Buddhist traditions. In addition to our many Junior Year Abroad and other extended study programs in Asia, our academic exchange program with the Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies in India offers a unique opportunity for our students to study with eminent Tibetan scholars.
The Five College Buddhist Certificate might be pursued in conjunction with a major in philosophy, religious studies, anthropology, Asian studies or another field to which Buddhist Studies is directly relevant. However, it might also be used to support studies in a very different field, such as law, one of the social sciences or studies in the arts or humanities. Students who enter this program will benefit from the structure it provides and from advising by program faculty members, enabling them to take full advantage of the resources offered in the Pioneer Valley beyond their individual colleges.