Buddhist Studies , one of several areas of concentration within Religious Studies, was founded by members of the UCSB faculty in 2004. It provides both undergraduates and graduate students with the possibility of focusing their studies on one of the world's great religions. While housed within Religious Studies, the Buddhist Studies program is interdisciplinary and cross cultural in its orientation, drawing from faculty expertise in anthropology, area studies, cultural studies, global studies, linguistics, and of course religious studies. The program also emphasizes the study of Buddhism across cultures, covering most of Asia — from Sri Lanka to Mongolia, and from India to Japan. The program maintains a close affiliated with the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies. Buddhist languages taught at UCSB include:
Buddhist Studies at UCSB also stresses the importance of understanding Buddhism's historical and contemporary interactions with other religions, including Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Shamanism, Shinto, and Daoism. This comparative and global element of the program is supported by faculty strength in Religious Studies, one of the most academically diverse departments in country.