One-year Special MA Degree Programme

Academic requirements

Applicants who apply for one-year MA programme (12 months) at SSBU will be expected to hold an one-year MA in Buddhist Studies or an MA in other disciplines.

Language requirements

Applicants are expected to have a good knowledge of Pali and English. For English language entry requirements, applicants are expected to have 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill for IELTS or 60-78 overall with a minimum of 25 in writing, 23 in reading and 20 in each of the other skills for TOEFL, or any other equivalent.


Structure of one-year MA programme

Students on a one-year MA programme must complete a total of 180 credits, made up of a combination of compulsory courses, optional courses and a dissertation.


Compulsory courses

The one-year MA programme consists of three compulsory courses:

Pali Language and Literature (40 credits)

Theravada Buddhist Meditation (20 credits)

Independent Research (20 credits)

In addition, students must complete a compulsory dissertation (60 credits).


Optional courses

In addition, students are required to take up to 40 credits from a list of courses which may typically include:

  • Vinaya Texts (Not running 2018-19)
  • Sutta Studies
  • Abhidhamma Studies
  • Buddhist Philosophy
  • Buddhism and Society
  • Buddhist Ethics
  • Buddhist History
  • Abhidhamma in Theravada World (Not running 2018-19)
  • Buddhism in Myanmar
  • Buddhism in Thailand
  • Anthropology and Material Culture of the Shan


How to apply

Application procedure

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


Supporting documents

  • An essay (1,500 words) on a topic which is related to areas of study offered at SSBU. See the list of courses mentioned above for areas of study offered at SSBU.
  • A personal statement, which clearly explains why you wish to take our programme, and outlines your relevant background experience.
  • A copy of Degree Certificate or Dhammacariya Certificate (with officially certified English translation).
  • A copy of Academic Transcript (with officially certified English translation) (No transcript needed for Dhammacariya Degree holder).
  • IELTS or TOEFL English Language certificate. (6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each skill for IELTS or 60-78 overall with a minimum of 25 in writing, 23 in reading and 20 in each of the other skills for TOEFL, or any other equivalent.)
  • A recommendation letter from the abbot/abbess of current residing monastery/nunnery or the head of previous university/college.
  • Certificate of Health.
  • A copy of ID card (for locals) or passport (for foreigners).


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Our application deadline is the 14th February 2018.


Entrance examination and interview

Shortlisted candidates will be invited (by email) to sit an entrance (written) examination and an interview in March 2018.

The entrance examination will consist of two components, testing the level of Pali and general knowledge of Buddhism, and last 2 hours.



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 and final examination 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


Important Note

  1. Your application must be complete — including supporting documents — and submitted before the deadline, i.e. Wednesday 14 February 2018. Late applications cannot be accepted.
  2. There are two choices to submit your application documents:
  • Email completed application forms with all documents to
  • Mail completed application forms with all documents to the following address:


Admission Office,

Shan State Buddhist University (SSBU),

Phaya Phyu Quarter, Pannabodhi Street,

Taunggyi, Shan State, Myanmar.

  1. Application with incomplete application form, documents and uncertified certificates will not be processed.
  2. We will let you know by email whether or not your application is successful.