Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University or MCU (Thai: มหาวิทยาลัยมหาจุฬาลงกรณราชวิทยาลัย; rtgs: Maha Chulalongkon Ratcha Witthayalai) is one of two public Buddhist universities in Thailand. It is at Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit in Bangkok.
Founded in 1887 by King Chulalongkorn with the purpose of establishing a major higher education institute for Buddhist monks, novices, and laypersons with an emphasis on Buddhist studies as its main subject. 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 offer 26 undergraduate programs, ten 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:
- Chiang Mai
- Khon Kaen
- Nong Khai
- Nakhon Phanom
- Nakhon Pathom
- Nakhon Ratchasima
- Nakhon Sawan
- Nakhon Si Thammarat
- Ubon Ratchathani
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.