Institut für Indologie und Tibetologie



Institute of Indology and Tibetan Studies


The field of Indian studies addresses the cultural and historical development of southern Asia from the beginnings of human history into the contemporary age. It adapts a primarily literary and linguistic approach, applying philological and historical methods to the cultural study of the written sources of southern Asia. Sanskrit, the traditional language of India, is taught in a regular two-semester introductory course. When necessary, students can also study the central Indian languages (Pāli, Ardhamāgadhī, Gāndhārī). The contemporary languages of India—Hindi, Urdu and Kannada—are part of the regular offerings, as well. Bengali, Tamil and Telugu are also taught when necessary. At the Institute in Munich there is a cooperation in research and teaching with Tibetology, with the Academy project Buddhist Manuscripts from Gandhāra as well as with the Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies.


There is a long tradition of scholarship on Tibet. Only in the 1960s, however, did it become established as an independent discipline afforded the recognition of having designated professorships. This was clearly related to political developments in Tibet starting in the 1950s and leading up to the uprising in Lhasa in 1959. As a result, numerous scholars of Buddhism fled to India and even further into the West. Up to that point, Tibet had served as something of a myth; now the forced encounter with a world which had been previously quite insulated transformed outside perceptions of the “snow land” and created a new foundation for the academic study of the religious and literary tradition of the Buddhist culture within Tibet and the wider Himalayan regions.

Tibetan studies encompasses research on the religious and cultural history of Tibet from its beginnings into the present. The field is based on the study of Tibet’s traditional written language, for which an introductory course (two semesters) is offered on a regular basis. Furthermore, students should become familiar with the colloquial language of Tibet, ideally while studying abroad in Tibet, India, or Nepal. Given the focus within Tibetan studies on Buddhism, it is recommended that students also learn an additional literary language of Buddhism (Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Japanese, or Mongolian).


More information about a doctorate at the Institute for Indology and Tibetan Studies:


MA Religion and Philosophy in Asia

International applicants will find basic information, including the admission requirements, here.


Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Institute for Indology and Tibetan Studies
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
80539 München


Ludwigstr. 31
80539 München

phone +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 2353
fax +49 (0) 89 / 2180 - 5827