Teaching and research are the primary activities of the Mahavihara. Presently, the Mahavihara offers a one-year certificate course in Pali and two-year diploma courses in Pali and B.A Hons courses in Pali. At the Post Graduate table M.A in Pali, Ancient History Culture and Archaeology, Philosophy, Buddhist Studies, Sanskrit, Hindi, English, Tibetan Studies and Buddhism and Language.
Future courses on Vipassana and Buddhist Studies (Applied Buddhism), a one year research methodology course, language courses in Thai, Singhalese, Mongolian, Burmese, Vietnamese, and Cambodian, based on demand, and a course pertaining to Buddhism in light of modern science. There are also plans to start computer courses and courses related with Cultural Tourism related with Buddhist sites.
The Mahavihara organizes national and international seminars, conferences and workshops with themes pertaining to Buddhism, and history and culture of India. Seminars are also occasionally organized in collaboration with other institutes. The Bhikkhu Jagadish Kashyap Memorial Lecture is organised annually in the memory of founder Director Ven. Kashyap.
Every year, the institute celebrates Buddha Purnima day in May, Abhidhamma day in October at the time of Pavarna, Sports day in October, Foundation day in November and Water festival and Xuanzang Memorial Day. In February month, Students also have the opportunity to participate in an annual educational tour.
Nalanda Mahavihara confers the degree of Vidya-Varidhi honoris causa to eminent scholars and social workers who have devoted their lives to the cause of Pali or Buddhist studies and culture. The first convocation was held to honour Prince Vongsavong of Laos.
Ancient Nalanda had a rich heritage of attracting scholars from Southeast Asian countries. Efforts are now being made to revive this tradition. Applications are welcome from serious scholars interested in pursuing independent or collaborative research.