PhD Degree Programme


  1. Application Requirements

Shan State Buddhist University (SSBU) offers PhD programmes in a variety of disciplines within the field of Buddhist Studies. Prospective students may consult the faculty website for a detailed description of our main research areas. Applicants are advised to contact their potential supervisor by email before submitting their applications.


  1. PhD Programme


2.1. Areas of Research

At present, the main areas of research are:

  • Prof. Dr. Khammai Dhammasami: Tipiṭaka Studies, Buddhist Education
  • Dr Pyi Phyo Kyaw: Abhidhamma, Theravada Meditation, Buddhist Ethics, Burmese Buddhism
  • Dr Anuja P. Ajotikar: Sanskrit & Prakrit Grammar, Computational Linguistics
  • Dr Aleix Ruiz Falqués: Pali Traditional Grammar and Scholasticism, Pali Philology
  • Dr Susan Conway: Anthropology, Shan Studies

 Proposals related to other fields are also welcome. 


2.2. 1st Year Training (MPhil)

The 1st year of PhD is an MPhil course. The student will be trained in research skills, language skills (if needed). At the end of the first year the student will submit an MPhil dissertation that may be the groundwork for his PhD dissertation, although that is not compulsory.  First year PhD students will participate in the PhD seminars and are expected to present their work.


2.3. After First Year

Once the topic for the PhD has been decided, the student will pursue his or her research during three or four years in close collaboration with the supervisor (and co-supervisor if needed).

PhD candidates are strongly advised to attend the different weekly seminars and workshops organised by the faculty and visiting scholars. PhD candidates are expected to contribute to the seminars by presenting the results of their own research.


3. Entry Requirements

3.1. Academic Requirements

Applicants who apply for the PhD at SSBU will be expected to hold an MA or MPhil degree in Religious Studies, Buddhist Studies, Pali or equivalent.

3.2. Language Requirements

Applicants are expected to have a good knowledge of Pali and English. Depending on the area of research, further language training may be required.


4. How to apply

4.1. Application procedure

Applicants must complete an application form, and submit it along with supporting documents to SSBU by email or post.


4.2. Supporting Documents

  • Original transcript scores from Undergraduate Degree and Master’s Degree.
  • IELTS or TOEFL English Language certificate. Minimum score: 6.0 for IELTS, 60-78 for TOEFL.
  • A dissertation research proposal (maximum of 2000 words).
  • A personal statement, which clearly explains why you wish to take our programme and outlines your relevant background experience.
  • A sample of written work (aprox. 3000 words). The sample of written work can include any piece of academic writing completed by the applicant (for instance: one chapter of the applicant’s MA dissertation).
  • Two academic references from your most recent place of study or your Masters tutors/lecturers. If you have been out of education for three years, we can consider references from an earlier time or from your current place of work. Please note that you are advised to source referees who can provide relevant recommendations to the research programme you are applying for.
  • Certificate of Health.
  • A copy of ID card (for locals) or passport (for foreigners).


4.3. Entry Points

Please note that PhD programme at SSBU will offer two entry points, i.e. May and January.


4.4. Fees

For clergy, courses, accommodation and food are free of charge.

For laypeople, courses and food are free of charge. Accommodation should be arranged by yourself. 

Only registration fees are charged.


You can also expect to pay for:

  1. Personal expenses
  2. Library fee and fine
  3. Photocopies and printings
  4. Travel costs for field trip and study tour
  5. Graduation costs


Contact us


Full address: Admission Office, Shan State Buddhist University (SSBU), Phaya Phyu Quarter, Pannabodhi Street, Taunggyi, Shan State, Myanmar.