School of Historical Studies

Drawing from the rich historical legacy of ancient Nalanda, the School of Historical Studies (SHS) marked the inception of academic activities in the new Nalanda University.

School of Historical Studies is a dynamic community of faculty members and graduate students, engaged in a systematic and rigorous enquiry into some of the fundamental issues that concern the field of historical studies. Inspired by the glorious scholastic tradition of ancient Nalanda, SHS rests on a multidisciplinary approach, aimed at opening new frontiers of knowledge and experience in Asian contexts and beyond.

SHS carries a deep interest in Asian and global history, cultural history, history of civilisational linkages, environmental history, visual history, maritime and economic histories, international relations, social and religious histories. The School carries a strong component in archaeology across the semesters. The academic framework of the School resonates with the tradition of ancient Nalanda which served as a conduit of India’s vibrant intellectual linkages with the world.

Faculty in the School of Historical Studies carry a multidisciplinary background and research profile – premodern and modern history of India and Asia, social and religious history, art history, international relations, marine history, economic history, Buddhism and philosophy, Archaeology and Anthropology thus uniquely poised to mentor students in multiple fields of research and teaching from a comparative as well as cross-disciplinary approach. Soon the school will offer Archaeology as an independent master program. The School prides itself on collegiality, critical scholarship, and the rich intellectual productivity. The faculty member contributes to nation capacity building and policy making programmes. The school faculty members also coordinating the Center for Bay of Bengal Studies (CBS).

The school is committed to cutting edge research that begins with its faculty members. One of the salient features of the School is its pedagogical focus around critical thinking, leading to the creation of experiential learning, through rigorous enquiry and debate.

The School offers Master’s and PhD programs. It trains students in the core methodologies of the discipline, along with the practices of writing History across long temporal frameworks. During the course of the MA program students are required to study from a curriculum constituting Core and Elective courses, and a mandatory research-based dissertation component in the final semester. They are encouraged to consult with all faculty members in the School and across the university in general, to enhance their skills of collaborative learning and research.

Students in the SHS gain an incisive understanding of Indian and trans-regional history, along with archaeology. They also acquire knowledge and skills of reading and writing through a rigorous engagement in methodological and theoretical perspectives critical for multidisciplinary historical research.

SHS seeks to equip students with the required skill and capability to carry out innovative research based on archaeological findings, archival sources in classical and modern languages, and field based research.

SHS also offers quality short term programs in online mode – on ancient Nalanda, Bay of Bengal, Indo-Persian Heritage – aimed at addressing a larger community of interested audience, who are professionals as well as non-professionals interested in various themes of history and heritage.


The School has established connections and collaborative research links with institutions around the world. Some of these 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)
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