The Central University for Tibetan Studies (CUTS; Tibetan: ཝ་ཎ་མཐོ་སློབ, Wylie: wa Na mtho slob), originally called Central Institute of Higher Tibetan Studies (CIHTS), is a university institute founded in Sarnath, Varanasi, India, in 1967, as an autonomous organisation under Union Ministry of Culture. The CIHTS was founded by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru in consultation with Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai of Lama, with the aim of educating Tibetan youths in exile and Himalayan border students as well as with the aim of retranslating into Sanskrit and translating into Hindi and other modern Indian languages lost Indo-Buddhist Sanskrit texts that now exist only in Tibetan.
Originally it functioned as a special constituent wing of Sampurnanand Sanskrit University, Varanasi. In the early 1970s the Government of India reviewed the progress of the institute and decided to accord it a status of an autonomous body under the Department of Culture, Ministry of Education, Government of India in 1977 with 100% financial support from the Indian government.
The institute steadily progressed and the Indian government declared it a Deemed University on 5 April 1988. Formerly headed by the like of Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Prof. Samdong Rinpoche (former Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administrations), and Prof. Ngawang Samten, also a former alumnus, the institute is headed by Prof. Lobsang Norbu Shastri. Assisted by faculty members, with the goal of achieving excellence in the fields of Tibetology and Buddhology. The university attracts a large number of students from many regions of the Himalayan family, with students coming from Kinnaur, Lahaul, Spiti, Ladakh, Monpas from Arunachal. Students from Nepal consist of students, from Sherpas, Lamas and many more from the bordering regions of Mustang and Dolpo. Other than these, students also come from Bhutan and Mongolia.
The university also offers courses in Tibetan medicine (Sowa Rigpa), Astrology and Fine Arts.
On 14 January 2009 the institute was officially declared as a university and the inauguration was made by the XIV Dalai Lama. Now the name of the university is Central University of Tibetan Studies.