Buddhist Studies


Effective 1 June 2018 through 31 May 2019

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

18 Credit Hours

This program is offered by the College of Arts & Sciences/Religious Studies Department. It is available at the St. Louis home campus and at the Cha-Am campus.

The Buddhist studies certificate program of study explores the complex social reality of Buddhism in Asia today. Students study at Webster's campus in Cha-Am, Thailand and investigate firsthand the many ways in which contemporary Buddhists engage their changing social world -- through grassroots activism, as well as through art, ritual, philosophy, institutional reform and political debate. Classroom discussions, field excursions, guest lectures and opportunities for meditation practice are built into the curriculum.

For information on general requirements for the certificate, see Certificate Program Policies and Procedures.

The U.S. Department of Education defines Gainful Employment program criteria and data requirements. View this program's Gainful Employment Disclosures at http://www.webster.edu/consumers/gainful-employment/undergraduate/buddhist-studies/gedt.html to see important information about the education debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attended this program.

Special Requirements

Completion of the certificate requires a minimum of 16 weeks residence and 9 credit hours of coursework at the Hua Hin/Cha-am campus. The remainder of the 18 credit hours may be completed (in whole or part) at Hua Hin/Cha-am, St. Louis, or any other Webster campus that offers appropriate courses.

Required Courses

The 18 credit hours required for this certificate include the following:

Core Courses

  • RELG 2075 Introduction to Buddhism (3 hours)
  • ANTH 2000 Issues in Contemporary Anthropology: Thai Ways - The Culture, Politics and Economy of Thailand (3 hours)

At least one course (3 credit hours) from each of the following groups:

Group 1: Socially Engaged Buddhism

  • RELG 2420 Religion and Culture: Buddhism East and West (3 hours)
  • RELG 2430 Environments and Religion: Buddhist Eco-Activism (3 hours)
  • RELG 2440 Religion and Social Action: Engaged Buddhism (3 hours)
  • RELG 2440 Religion and Social Action: Engaged Buddhism in Asia (3 hours)
  • RELG 2440 Religion and Social Action: Engaged Buddhism in Thailand (3 hours)

Group 2: Buddhism and Society

  • RELG 2400 Religion and the Arts: Buddhist Arts (3 hours)
  • RELG 2430 Environments and Religion: Buddhism and Ecology (3 hours)
  • RELG 2500 Gender, Culture, and Religion: Women in Buddhism (3 hours)
  • RELG 3030 Topics in Religion and Society: The Thai Temple/Monastery (3 hours)
  • RELG 3030 Topics in Religion and Society (with Buddhist topic) (3 hours)

Electives (at least 6 credit hours):

Electives can be chosen from any course designated as part of the Buddhist studies certificate program, including courses listed above and the following:

  • RELG 2030 Contemporary Topics (with Buddhist topic) (3 hours)
  • RELG 2405 Buddhism in Film (3 hours)
  • RELG 3070 Topics in Religion and Psychology: Meditation and Healing (3 hours)
  • RELG 3120 Buddhism (3 hours)
  • RELG 3600 Field Experience in Religion (1-6 hours)
  • RELG 3605 International Field Experience in Religion (1-6 hours)
  • RELG 4400 Spiritual Paths and Classics (3 hours)
  • RELG 4550 Advanced Study in Religion (3 hours)
  • RELG 4610 Reading Course: Advanced, Directed Readings, Research Project, or Meditation Practicum (1-6 hours)

NOTE: Topics courses within the Department of Religious Studies must have a formally listed Buddhist focus in order to count towards the certificate.