Chiang Mai University / CMU

Founded in 1964

Chiang Mai University (CMU) was established as the first institution of higher education in Northern Thailand, and as the first provincial university in the kingdom. CMU has earned a reputation as a veritable institution maintaining high academic standards. CMU is also an established member of the ASEAN University Network, paving its way forward to be an important Education Hub in the region. Locally CMU is acknowledged as the pre-eminent center for study in the Northern Thailand and nationally recognized as one of the top four universities and one of the nine “National Research Universities”. It is also worth noting that CMU is ranked in the top 100 universities in Asia at 92 by the “QS Asian Universities Ranking 2014”. These results demonstrate CMU’s academic and research strength, a necessary prerequisite for us to achieve our development goal of becoming a research-oriented “World Class University.” 

The Faculty of Social Sciences was one of the first three faculties of Chiang Mai University. Since then, it has expanded substantially in terms of its teaching, research, community services and other academic activities. At present, the faculty has 34 faculty members, approximately half of whom hold a doctorate degree. The faculty offers a wide range of more than 200 undergraduate and graduate courses under various programs with an annual enrollment of around 1,100 students; more than three-quarters of whom are undergraduates. Undergraduate students are required to complete at least 138 semester hours. In most of the programs, students are allowed to take courses in other disciplines outside the faculty as electives or minor subjects. Graduate students must complete at least 36-42 semester hours depending on the programs in which they are enrolled. More information.

The Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development was created in 1998 with an endowment from the Ford Foundation. It aims to act as a center for the development of social science in countries located in the Mekong sub-region. The main activities currently undertaken by RCSD include running of the international master's programme in Social Science and Sustainable Development, non-degree training programmes, research and setting of a data base project. In the year 2001, RCSD offers a Ph.D. programme in Social Science. RCSD programmes have drawn students not only from several Asian countries including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China and Japan, but also from western countries such as USA, Canada, Germany and Australia. The center has also become a focal point for networking and collaboration within international scholars in social science around the world. More information.


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  • Courses for NOHA students

    Semester 3/2018-20                                                1 August 2019 - 31 January 2020
    1. 3 modules                                                                          20 ECTS
    2. Internship                                                                          10 ECTS

    During their stay at Chiang Mai University, the NOHA students will be able to follow three of the elective courses. Additionally, in November-December NOHA students will be engaged in fieldwork assignments/internships organised by the university in partnership with a range of local humanitarian and/or development stakeholders.
    No. Name ECTS
    1. Social Science Theories 6.67
    2. Development Theories 6.67
    3. Land Relations in Southeast Asia 6.67
    4. Regionalization in Development 6.67
    5. Ethnic Minorities and Identity Politics 6.67
    6. Internship 10.0
    Please note that there may be changes in the modules presented above according to revisions made by the partner university to adjust the curriculum to the future academic calendars.

    Available internship options:
    Students could experience their internship working with NGOs in Thailand from the list below:
    1. The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP )
    Scope of interest: indigenous peoples’ rights/ sustainable resources management/ indigenous movement/human rights
    AIPP is a regional organization founded in 1988 by indigenous peoples’ movement. AIPP strengthens the solidarity, cooperation and capacities of indigenous peoples in Asia to promote and protect their rights, cultures and identities, and their sustainable resources management systems for their development and self-determination. AIPP promotes traditional knowledge, food security and biodiversity by having full control over their land, territories and resources. The goals of AIPP are : to attain full and effective participation of indigenous women and youth at all levels of decision making; to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other social movements towards achieving equality, peace, democracy and justice.
    For more information please follow this link:
    2. Bridging Educational Access to Migrants (BEAM)

    Scope of interest: Education for migrants/ capacity building for migrants
    The Beam Education Foundation was founded in 2009 to assist Burmese migrant students seeking higher level college preparation courses and advanced vocational skills training. BEAM aims to improve economic opportunities for migrant workers through capacity building, support social mobilization of migrant workers through educational access. Through cultural exchanges and programs. BEAM attempts to broaden student horizons and promote understanding of the diverse individuals and communities of Mekong region. It also helps Burmese migrants prepare for the time when they can assume leadership roles inside Burma.
    For more information please follow this link:
    3. Chiang Khong conservation group (Rak Chiang Khong – Niwat Roykaew)
    Scope of interest:  local natural resources /  conservation and restoration of community life in Mae-khong region/ encourage the participation of local people/ Mekong river system
    Rak Chiang Khong is environmental groups in Chiang khong district, Chiang rai province. It aims to protect local natural resources, conserve and revitalize local livelihood in Mae khong basin, and promote local participation.  Rak Chiang Khong has lodged a protest against reefs blasting in the Mekong river, and called for suspension of the Xaiyaburi dam’s construction. Recently, MeKong school is set up by Rak Chieng Khong, villagers and different stakeholders to provide learning space of ecology, culture and environment of Mekong River. Under “Field of Learning” concept, Mekong School provides knowledge on Mekong River history, local cultures and academic researches on Mekong. For more information please follow this link.
    4. Child's Dream
    Scope of interest: disadvantaged youth in the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries
    Child’s dream is established in 2003 as charitable, non-profit organization supported by Swiss Association and Thai Foundation. Its mandate covers basic education, higher education and health. Child’s dream geographic scope includes Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand. The vision is empowered people responsibly shaping their communities. The mission is improving health and education for sustainable development.  Child’s dream designs, implements, and partners to support interventions for children and young adults. It addresses current and future needs in Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand related to:
    Basic or essential health
    Relevant and quality education
    Responsible leaders and qualified specialists
    Values of peace and justice
    Environmental sustainabilityFor more information please follow this link.
    5. ENLAWTHAI Foundation (EnLAW)
    Scope of interest: environmental law/ resource conflict
    ENLAWTHAI Foundation (EnLAW) has been founded as a result of consensus reached among NGOs working on the environment, energy, human rights and development. EnLAW was thus founded in 2001 with a mission to monitor and enhance enforcement of positive laws and to advocate change of the existing law to provide better protection for individuals and communities in their exercising their legal environmental rights in accordance to principles regarding social and sustainable development. For more information please follow this link.
    6. Hug Project
    Scope of interest: Children trafficking, child protection
    The Hug Project exist to prevent, protect, and restore children from human trafficking, exploitation, and abuse. It provides extracurricular programs in the hope of establishing deep relationships with local children and their families. This is done in order to help create a safe network for children within the community. The HUG project supports local and international law enforcement in fact finding for cases pertaining to child pornography, sexual abuse, and human trafficking. It seeks to enhance investigation mechanisms for the purpose of aiding victims, and seeing their perpetrators incarcerated. The HUG project seeks to restore children who have been trafficked and abused through weekly one on one counselling, group therapy sessions, and enriching educational experiences. We wish to empower them to have a sense of value and purpose, and use this to impact others in society in a positive manner. We also provide different training to staff working with children in order to best serve and help them to understand the dynamics of children who victims of sexual abuse or trafficking. For more information please follow this link.
    7. Kachin Women Association of Thailand (KWAT), in Chiang Mai
    Scope of interest:  ethic women, education based advocacy, human rights
    The Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand (KWAT) was formed in September 1999 in an effort to help alleviate the suffering of Kachin people both in Burma and those who have fled the country as refugees. KWAT delivers a number of programmes across a broad spectrum of areas that affect women and the wider Kachin community. Among its work are efforts to promote female participation in politics and in peace and reconciliation processes, and this includes training and empowerment of Kachin women in Burma and in exile. For more information please follow this link.
    8. MAP Foundation
    Scope of interest: migrant workers’ right/ advocacy/human rights
    Map Foundation is a grassroots Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that seeks to empower migrant communities from Burma living and working in Thailand. The Mission of MAP strives to ensure that migrant activities can create and access information and services, and eliminate exploitation of workers. It focuses on increasing spaces for migrant participation in advocacy and policy making as well as creates space for migrant women to exercise their rights and fulfil their potential. MAP attempts to promote the rights of migrant workers to form their own associations or unions and eliminate all forms of discrimination.
    For more information please follow this link:
    9. Mae Tao Clinic
    Scope of interest: Refugees displaced persons and migrants from Myanmar and health issues
    The Mae Tao Clinic (MTC) is a health service provider and training centre, established to contribute and promote accessible quality health care among displaced Burmese and ethnic people along the Thai-Burma border. In addition to the comprehensive services provided at its onsite facilities, MTC also promotes general health through partnerships with other community based organisations. It works together to implement and advocate for social and legal services, as well as access to education for people living along the border. For more information please follow this link.
    10. Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN)
    Scope of interest: child /refugees /trafficking /stateless
    Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN) was set up on 28 March 1999 by a group of Shan women active in Thailand, inside Shan State and along the Thai- Burma border seeking to address the needs of Shan women. In fact, before the formation of SWAN, Shan women in various locations had already been active in a number of projects to assist women. This Shan women's network would also be able to coordinate with other women's organizations from Burma, as well as GOs and NGOs working with women locally, nationally and internationally.  SWAN commits to work for gender equality and justice for Shan women in the struggle for social and political change in Burma through community-based actions, research and advocacy. For more information please follow this link.
  • Download CMU third semester manual 2023

Useful info

  • Studying in Chiang Mai

  • Academic calendar

    The University academic year is divided into two 18-week semesters, and, for some courses, an eight-week summer session. 

    First semester - August to November
    Second semester - January to April 
    Summer session - mid-May to mid-July

    The exchange semester for NOHA students takes place between August and November.
  • Accommodation

    University accommodation:
    The International Hostel, meant for short and longer term visitors, has 86 standard rooms and two suites. All of the rooms and suites are fully furnished and air-conditioned.
    Standard Room: single room: Baht 500 ; double room: Baht 600 per night incl. breakfast
    Family Suite: Baht 1,500 per night incl. breakfast
    VIP Suite: Baht 1,800 per night incl. breakfast
    Private accommodation:
    Students could find various category of dormitory, apartment, room for rent located near university from website. The room rate is different depending on the location, options, and affordability. However, students could consult our staff for more information. 
  • Living costs

    Students should foresee the following when calculating living cost:
    • Renting accommodation
    • Electricity and water bills
    • Food and drinks (daily)
    • Travel & Transportation 
    • Personal needs
    • Health (students should have health insurance) 
    A monthly budget including rent should be about 20,000-25,000 baht for a comfortable life style in Chiang Mai, 15,000-20,000 baht is also reasonable, it is just students have to be sensible for their living cost.
    For more information please follow this link.
  • Library facilities

    In order to facilitate teaching, research and academic activities, the Faculty has strengthened its library facilities. The Faculty library has collections of approximately 43,000 textbooks, around 13,000 of which are in English. The collections also include more than 300 Thai and international current periodicals. All library holdings are cataloged electronically on a system that is accessible to users in all other libraries on campus and is linked to a variety of remote databases.
    The faculty has a computer center with four computer rooms and more than 70 terminals for use by students. Its computing facilities are connected to the University's central computing facility and can support research on an extensive scale. All students are eligible to use the computing facilities, which also offer access to the Internet.
    Beside Faculty library, University library also provides various resources such as books, audio-visual, electronic databases, e-thesis, e-research, etc. Students could access catalog of book, journals, newspapers from library website.
    More information.
  • Visas

    Students should contact Thai Embassy in their countries. RCSD will provide documents and information regarding the visa process. If students have any problems, we will give them advice.
  • Useful links


Chiang Mai University / CMU

Faculty of Social Sciences
239, Huay Kaew Road, Muang District, Chiang Mai Thailand, 50200
Phone: +66 5394 3511 | Fax: +66 5322 2763

Regional Center For Social Science And Sustainable Development
Phone: +66 53 943595 | Fax: +66-5389-3279

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Last updated: 8 February 2023

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