Summer Program Buddhist Studies

8 Week Intensive from June 7 – August 3, 2023

The Buddhist Studies summer course is a rigorous introduction to the traditional and academic study of the Buddhist tradition. Students complete the equivalent of two semester’s of coursework over the span of 8 weeks, establishing a foundation of knowledge that prepares them for further, more in-depth study of Buddhist history, philosophy and meditation. 

Visit our admissions page for application details and program-specific dates

Buddhist Studies I (TSTD 120) 6 Credits

Great news, RYI’s Summer Buddhist Studies course returns to Boudhanath for Summer 2023!

The past three Buddhist Studies summer courses have been online, and while those courses were excellent, with wonderful teachers and smart, dedicated students, there’s something special about studying the Buddhist tradition in a place where the tradition itself is so vibrantly alive.

The Buddhist Studies summer course fully immerses students into the theory and practice of Buddhism. In the unique settings of a Buddhist monastery and a traditional retreat center, students are introduced to both classical and modern Buddhist scholarship and meditation training. The course offers students first-hand experience of many key aspects of Buddhist training which are otherwise rarely accessible to lay students.

For the first six weeks, classes are held on the RYI campus, inside the Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastic complex in Boudhanath, a few minutes walk away from the great stupa. While studying on RYI’s campus, students receive daily philosophy teachings from a monastic professor, attend a daily meditation class taught by a lama, and take an introduction to Buddhist history and philosophy class from a western instructor. Learning about the tradition from the inside and from the outside teaches student different ways of contemplating and understanding the teachings of the Buddha and their application in our lives. 

After six weeks of study in Boudha, students move to the Asura Cave retreat complex in Pharping for a  two-week retreat at the end of the course. This precious retreat time allows students to integrate their learning so it becomes part of their own experience.  

Class Structure:

Classes run Monday through Friday, for 3.5 hours each day, featuring three daily classes. Two of the classes are taught by Tibetan Khenpos, Lopons, or Lamas and translated into English. In these classes, students study in the traditional way, receiving in-depth explanations of the texts being studied, as well as word-by-word commentaries from the Tibetan teachers. The third class is taught by a western instructor and approaches the topic from a broader perspective that includes consideration of other Buddhist traditions and examines the historical context in which Buddhist philosophical issues and debates have arisen. Students should be prepared to spend at least two hours each day outside of class time for readings, homework and study. 

Students complete the equivalent of two semester’s of coursework over the span of 8 weeks, establishing a foundation of knowledge that prepares them for further, more in-depth study of Buddhist history, philosophy and meditation. The course is taught by traditional Tibetan monastic scholars and western academic scholars. 

Class Materials:

The primary texts used for the Buddhist Studies summer intensive are a translation of the Thirty Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva, a meditation text selected by the lama teaching the class, and other English-language Buddhist Studies materials that include handouts, articles, and video recordings. The texts will be available for purchase in the RYI office.

To make use of the online resources included with the course it’s best to have access to a PC, Mac or Linux computer capable of running Microsoft Teams, which you can download free of charge. However, Teams will also run on smartphones (iOS or Android).

Accreditation:

In addition to satisfactory grades, students must maintain an attendance rate of 80% throughout the course in order to pass. The level of intensity of the program is high and the students are expected to invest considerable time and effort in order to meet class requirements and academic expectations. Students who complete the course receive academic credit at the Centre for Buddhist Studies for TSTD 120 Buddhist Studies Summer Program I (6 credits total).

These courses may also be taken on a non-credit basis.

Summer Program Academic Calendar

  • June 7 Orientation 
  • June 12 Classes begin  
  • July 6-9 Midterm break  
  • July 21 Final exam
  • July 23 – August 3 Retreat at Asura Cave in Pharping  

Admission Criteria

As this course is taught at the introductory level, all interested students are encouraged to apply. A statement of interest will be required as part of the application process. All applications are subject to approval by the Centre for Buddhist Studies.

The Buddhist Studies course is popular and places may fill up quickly, so apply now to reserve your place.

For more information, please refer to the Eligibility Requirements and Admissions Process for the summer program

Accreditation

The course is awarded academic credit at the Centre for Buddhist Studies for TSTD 120 Buddhist Studies Summer Program I.

Fee Request

In accordance with University guidelines, RYI course fees are determined by each student’s home base and nationality. A three-tier system is in effect which covers (i) Nepali students, (ii) SAARC students and (iii) other international students. Please select below to find out the fees structure for your particular circumstances.

You will find the Tuition Fee List for all programs, including the Summer Program, linked on the right hand side of this page (at the end of the page if you are on a mobile device) under the heading “Tuition Fee List.”

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