Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University or MCU (Thai: มหาวิทยาลัย มหาจุฬาลงกรณราชวิทยาลัย; RTGS: Maha Chulalongkon Ratcha Witthayalai) is one of two public Buddhist universities in Thailand. It is located at Wat Mahathat Yuwarajarangsarit Rajaworamahavihara in Bangkok.
Founded in 1887 by King Chulalongkorn with the purpose of establishing a major higher education institute for Buddhist monks, novices and laypeople with emphasis on Buddhist Studies as its main subjects. The university began offering classes in 1889. It adopted its current name in 1896.
By bills passed in 1997, both of Thailand's Buddhist universities, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University and Mahamakut Buddhist University, became public universities.
Colleges and faculties
Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University is organized into several academic units: Faculty of Buddhist Studies, Faculty of Education, Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Social Sciences, International Programme, and Graduate school.
Altogether the faculties offers 26 undergraduate programs, 10 master's programs, two doctoral programs, and other academic training. Two of its master's programs, Buddhist Studies and Philosophy, are internationally oriented and conducted in English. MCU additionally offers a PhD in Buddhist Studies (in English).
A new, larger Main Campus has been recently been built in Wangnoi, Ayutthaya Province, just north of Bangkok. Classes have begun at the new location.
In addition to the main campus, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University has extension campuses in the following provinces:
- Nong Khai
- Nakhon Si Thammarat
- Chiang Mai
- Khon Kaen
- Nakhon Ratchasima
- Ubon Ratchathani
- Nakhon Pathom
- Nakhon Phanom
- Nakhon Sawan
The university hosts the Secretariat for the International Association of Buddhist Universities and is often one of the main organizers for the United Nations Day of Vesak Celebrations.