The graduate program in Buddhist Studies examines the Buddhist tradition in all of its diversity. George Bond works on Theravada Buddhism. He focuses on both classical Theravada thought as found in the Tipitaka and the contemporary interpretations of Theravada. He studies colonial and post-colonial interpretations of Theravada in Sri Lanka. Sarah Jacoby’s research focuses on Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. She studies Buddhist doctrine and ritual in practice, specializing in the Tibetan tradition of scriptural revelation, Tibetan biography and autobiography, the role of women and sexuality in Tibetan Buddhism, and Eastern Tibetan area studies.

Students in this program are expected to do significant work in an affiliated department, usually Anthropology, History, or Art History.

Resources at Northwestern are complemented by those at other institutions in the area. Students in this field have taken courses and seminars at the University of Chicago and at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Normally applicants should have a good reading knowledge of either Chinese, Sanskrit, or Tibetan before entering the program. Before completing the program, a student must pass exams in one of these classical languages and also, if working in Theravada, an exam in Pali. In addition one must pass exams in two modern languages. Other languages may be required after candidacy, depending on the focus of a student's research.

Core Faculty

  • Sarah Jacoby

Support Faculty

  • Mark McClish