Masters in Historical Studies

Nalanda University

Program Description

Masters in Historical Studies

Nalanda University

The School of Historical studies

The School of Historical Studies (SHS) is a dynamic community of faculty members and graduate students, engaged in a systematic and rigorous enquiry into some of the fundamental questions that concern historical experiences within and beyond Asia. The five thrusts of the School, Archaeology, Asian Interconnections, Art History, Global History and Economic History, are built on the foundation of ancient Nalanda, chiefly its role as a conduit of India's vibrant intellectual, religious and economic linkages with the world, and the aim of the School Of Historical Studies is to open new frontiers of knowledge on interconnections between history, memory and time in Asian and non-Asian cultural, historical and philosophical contexts is also inspired and sustained by the glorious scholastic legacy of ancient Nalanda.

Students in the School of Historical Studies will gain an incisive knowledge of comparative and trans-regional history as well as global history, and develop a thorough understanding of methodological and theoretical issues, critical for multidisciplinary historical research. The overriding aim of SHS is to equip students with the required skill and capability to carry out original and innovative research based on archaeological findings, archival sources in classical and modern languages and field research.

The School of Historical Studies encourages collaborative research with students and faculty from affiliated universities and institutions, study abroad experience, and training in an Indian and/or a foreign language. Students are expected to pursue interdisciplinary research, choose courses relevant to their research interests in other disciplines/schools and study a classical and modern language to enhance their research skills.

Focus areas

The thrust areas of the School are:

  • Asian connections
  • Archaeology
  • Art history
  • Global history
  • Economic history

Master’s Programme

The School Of Historical Studies currently offers an internationally competitive M.A. programme, and will soon develop a Ph.D. programme, focused on global and comparative history. All Master’s students are required to obtain a minimum of 48 credits spread over 4 semesters. The curriculum comprises a mix of core and elective courses. The first two semesters cover core courses, elective courses and one basic Language course; while third and fourth semesters emphasize more on infusing research skills in the master’s students by stressing more on specialized elective courses, advance language courses and thesis components. Each student may choose from an array of languages being offered at the School, viz. Sanskrit, Pali, Korean and Chinese. The research focus of the School is well supported by supervised readings, dissertation writing and field works.

The School believes that interdisciplinary studies enhances the educational experience and allows the student to challenge one’s own beliefs through learning not only different ‘facts’ of information from different disciplines but crucially, different methodologies and ways of thinking. Many courses of the SHS and the School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions (SBS) are cross listed with each other.

Career Opportunities

In addition to teaching, research and academic careers Nalanda Students are finding employment in corporate and government sectors ,media and journalism, diplomacy, international organizations and museums.


The School has established connections for collaborative research links with institutions around the world. Some of the major ones are:

  • Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre,
  • Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore)
  • Chulalongkorn University (Thailand)
  • Peking University (China) Archaeological Survey of India (ASI, India) European Consortium for Asian Field Study (ECAF, France) International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS, Netherlands)

Courses at the School

Core Courses

  • Imagining Asia
  • Research Methodologies
  • Critical Readings in Historical Studies


  • Exploring Indo-Persian Histories
  • History and Philology in Pre-modernity
  • Evolution of Islamic Thought: Concepts, Peoples, Spaces
  • Intellectual Histories of India in Early Modernity
  • Publics and Patrimonies: Heritage, History, and Memory in the Global Worlds of South Asia
  • Topics in East Asian Religions and Thought
  • Understanding Sufism
  • Visualizing South Asia: Sites and Mediums
  • Rivers of Monsoon Asia: Natural Environment, Society and Economy along the Ganga and Irrawaddy
  • South Asian Buddhism(s)
  • Cultural Exchanges between Pre-modern South and Southeast Asia: From ‘Greater India’ to the ‘Sanskrit Cosmopolis’ (and Beyond)
  • Buddhism in Global Contemporary Art, from West to East
  • Introduction to Visual Culture in Colonial India
  • Pre-modern Korean History
  • The Indian Ocean Interconnections: Movements of People, Goods and Ideas across East Africa and the Indonesian Archipelago

Language Courses

  • Introduction to Sanskrit I
  • Introduction to Sanskrit II
  • Intermediate Sanskrit I
  • Introductory Korean
  • Pali


Pankaj Mohan: {Dean}

Pankaj Mohan studied East Asian languages, history and cultures, initially at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and subsequently at Peking University, Beijing, Seoul National University, Seoul and the Australian National University, Canberra where he received his Ph.D. degree in East Asian history. He taught Korean language, Classical Chinese and various courses in Korean and East Asian history at the Australian National University, the University of Sydney and the University of Copenhagen between 1991 and 2009. In July 2009 he was appointed Professor and Dean of the Faculty of International Korean Studies, the Academy of Korean Studies, South Korea, and he held this position until January 2015 when he moved to Nalanda University.

Aditya Malik: {Professor }

Aditya Malik was trained in philosophy, archaeology, history, social anthropology and religious studies at St. Stephen's College (Delhi), Deccan College (Pune) and the South Asia Institute of the University of Heidelberg (Germany) from where he received his Ph.D. in the History of Religions, and Habilitation (professorial degree) in Modern Indian Studies. He has been a Senior Fellow of the German Research Council (Heidelberg); Visiting Faculty, Institute for Advanced Study, Hebrew University (Jerusalem); Visiting Professor, Cluster Innovative Centre, University of Delhi; Fellow, Max-Weber-Centre for Advanced Social Science Research (Erfurt/Germany); Deputy Director, New Zealand South Asia Centre (NZSAC); Associate Director, New Zealand India Research Institute (NZIRI); and Head of Religious Studies at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Sraman Mukherjee: {Assistant Professor}

Sraman Mukherjee completed his Ph.D. from the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta and the University of Calcutta. Trained as a historian of colonial and early post-colonial South Asia, his work explores the politics of heritage looking at modern biographies of sites, objects, monuments, and disciplinary and institutional histories of archaeology and museums. Sraman has held post-doctoral research positions at the International Institute of Asian Studies (Leiden), in the Department of Art History and the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis), and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV, Leiden), and a full term teaching position at the Presidency University (Kolkata).

Kashshaf Ghani: {Assistant Professor}

Kashshaf Ghani received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Calcutta. His dissertation explored Sufi rituals and devotional practices in South Asia across Sufi orders, connecting it to areas beyond South Asia. His fields of interest include Sufism, Islam in South Asia and Muslim societies with a focus on pre-modern India (1000-1800). He has held research positions at the Asiatic Society, Kolkata; the University of Sorbonne-Nouvelle, Paris, and at the Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin.

Samuel Wright:{ Assistant Professor}

Samuel Wright received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. His research combines intellectual, political, literary, social, and linguistic contexts with the study of history in early modern India (15th to 18th centuries). His publications span the domains of social, political, literary, and intellectual history.

Ranu Roychoudhuri: {Assistant Professor}

Ranu Roychoudhuri received her graduate training and PhD (2015) at the University of Chicago. She is a historian of photography and specializes in the documentary genre. Her doctoral research focused on aesthetic conventions and sociocultural consequences of mass-circulated photographs in twentieth-century India. Her areas of research and teaching interest include media archaeology, art market, film history, contemporary art, and history of photography.

Murari Kumar Jha {Assistant Professor}

Murari Jha received training in historical research at Leiden University, the Netherlands (2006–2013) and also at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (1999–2006). He has a PhD from the Institute of History, Leiden University and another PhD from the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. In the Netherlands, Murari learnt the Dutch language and did research based on the Dutch East India Company’s (VOC) records in the National Archives, The Hague. His study in the Netherlands was supported by the prestigious ENCOMPASS programme funded by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) and during his PhD, he received the highly competitive fellowship –AIO (Assistent in Opleiding)– from LUF (Leiden University Fund). From Leiden Murari moved to Singapore where he worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at History Department, NUS

Christine Vial Kayser {Visiting Assistant Professor}

Christine Vial Kayser studied Art history at University of Paris-Sorbonne, and subsequently qualified as museum curator from Institut National du Patrimoine in Paris. After several years as museum curator, she attended Goldsmiths college in London, earning an Mres and then a PhD from Paris-Sorbonne in contemporary art history. Coming from a Western background, she focuses on Asian art, which she examines from a comparative perspective, with a special interest on the spiritual, and the phenomenological.

Abhishek S. Amar: {Visiting Associate Professor}

Abhishek S. Amar specializes in the archaeological history of South Asian religions especially Buddhism and Hinduism. After completing his Ph.D. in History from SOAS, University of London, he received a fellowship from Kate Hamburger Kolleg at Ruhr University, Germany in 2009 to conduct research on inter-religious interactions in the early medieval India. Amar has co-edited Cross-Disciplinary Perspective on a Contested Buddhist Site: Bodhgaya Jataka (2012) and also published articles in leading scholarly journals and edited collections.


Can you send me more information about this program?

Full information about all the programs offered at Nalanda University can be found on the following url:

When is the application deadline for this program?

Aspirant candidates can apply for the programs offered at Nalanda University throughout the year. The University follows Rolling Admissions. We evaluate the Applications as they arrive, by shortlisting and interviewing the candidates at regular intervals. The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed from January 2017 onward. The candidates appearing in their final examination of their Bachelor’s degree in 2017 may also register for Admission. The seats are limited and are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Early applications help in securing the seat in the School and accommodation of choice. To avoid disappointment on these fronts it is advisable to apply for admissions at the earliest.

The last date for applications for the first round of admissions in the 2017 Academic year is Apr 1.

How much does this program cost?

The program costs

Fee Details Sem 1 Sem 2 Sem 3 Sem 4 Sem 1 Sem 2 Sem 3 Sem 4
Tuition Fees 28,000 INR 28,000 INR 28,000 INR 28,000 INR $470 $470 $470 $470
Admission Fees 6,000 INR NIL NIL NIL $100 NIL NIL NIL
Security Deposit (Refundable) 6,000 INR NIL NIL NIL $100 NIL NIL NIL
Total 40,000 INR 28,000 INR 28,000 INR 28,000 INR $670 $470 $470 $470

Meal and residence charges are extra.

For more information you can visit our website:

Can I pay for this program in installments?

Although the students are raised fees bill for the full semester, to be paid in lump sum, students may also make the payment of the fees in instalments provided they get approval from the competent authority.

Is this program available online?

All the programmes at Nalanda University are full time and residential in nature. The students have to live on Campus and the programmes are not offered online.

What is the duration of this program?

The duration of the Masters program is two years (full-time)

Where is the campus located?

Nalanda University is located in the ancient and historic city of Rajgir in the Northern state of Bihar, India.

What other funding options do you have for this program?

For full information on Scholarships and Aid check our website

What documents are required to apply to this program?

The following documents are required when applying for this program:

  • Matriculation Transcript /Higher Secondary transcript
  • Written scripts
  • Bachelor’s degree Academic Transcript.
  • Identity proof (Passport for foreign Students and Adhar Card for Indian Students).

What is the admission process for this program?

Please visit the web link:
to know about the process of admissions at Nalanda.

In what language is this program taught?

All programs at Nalanda University are taught in English.

Does the University assist in job placements of the graduating students?

The University has a specialized Career Resource Cell who would cater to the internship and placement needs of the students.

Whom should I contact if I still have a question?

If you are experiencing a technical problem with the application or have a general admissions query, please write to or you may talk to Manager of Admissions, Mr. Saurabh Choudhary at +91 7250891319
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated December 5, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
4 semesters
Full time
2,080 USD
India - Delhi, NCR-Delhi
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Aug. 2018
India - Delhi, NCR-Delhi
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info