Summer Sanskrit Language Study

RYI is happy to announce that students will have the choice of taking Sanskrit classes either online or in-person at its campus inside the monastic compound of Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastery. Choose between the convenience of your home or spend an exciting summer learning Sanskrit at RYI, a five-minute walk from the great stupa of Boudhanath in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Join us this summer to begin your Sanskrit language studies, or to build on what you’ve already learned. We offer two levels on campus and online this summer: Beginning and Intermediate. The summer Sanskrit courses are rigorous but students progress very quickly, completing the equivalent of two semester’s worth of coursework over the span of 8 weeks. At the conclusion of the course, students are well on their way towards attaining a high degree of proficiency in classical Sanskrit.

  • June 8 Online Orientation 
  • June 13 Classes begin  
  • July 8-11 Midterm break  
  • August 4 Final exams  

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

Class Structure:

Beginning and Intermediate Sanskrit have the same structure. Classes meet Monday through Friday for 2.5-3.5 hours per day and include a Master Grammar Class, a Traditional Class, a Review Class along with access to office hours for additional support. Please see each individual class schedule below. In order to progress students are expected to attend daily classes for the duration of the course. The level of intensity of the courses is high and students are expected to invest considerable time and effort in order to meet class requirements and academic expectations.

The Master Grammar classes (90 minutes per day, 5 days per week) comprise the largest portion of the course. In these Master classes, the teacher will introduce and explain grammar using Western and Sanskrit terminology according to Western pedagogical methods. The students’ progress will be assessed on an ongoing basis through homework assignments and quizzes.

The Traditional Sanskrit classes (60 minutes per day, 5 days per week) include reading and pronouncing Devanāgarī texts, reciting and chanting Sanskrit prose and poetry, and learning spoken Sanskrit. This class will be given by a local scholar who has learned Sanskrit as part of their own tradition.

The Review classes are lead by an experienced teaching assistant, who will provide additional practice for the Master Grammar class. The Beginning Sanskrit class will have three sixty-minute Review classes each week. The Intermediate Sanskrit class will have two sixty-minute Review classes each week.

Class Materials:

The course uses a Sanskrit primer prepared by the instructors. Additional handouts will be given as necessary, and there are numerous, pre-recorded videos that you can watch in our Teams classroom environment to help you prepare in advance for your daily classes and to review difficult points as often as needed.

Class Sections:

Students can choose from an on-campus section, an online section that runs concurrently with the on-campus section, and a separate online section for those in the Americas. The class times for the two sections are shown below.

To study this course online you will need access to a PC, Mac or Linux computer capable of running Microsoft Teams, which you can download free of charge.

Students on campus will still want to make use of the online resources included with the course, so 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) which is sufficient for on-campus students.


Beginning and Intermediate Sanskrit are university-level courses and can be taken for academic credit through Kathmandu University’s Centre for Buddhist Studies, earning 6 credits (12 ECTS). The course may also be taken on a non-credit basis. Expect to spend at least two to three hours outside of class each day for homework and study.

Beginning Sanskrit (SLAN 120) 6 Credits

This intensive Sanskrit course is designed to facilitate the rapid acquisition of basic Sanskrit vocabulary and grammar for beginning students with no prior knowledge of Sanskrit. This course will introduce the basics of Sanskrit grammar using both indigenous and Western pedagogical methods and terminology. By the end of the course, students will be able to work with original Sanskrit texts on their own.

This course also offers a traditional class that includes an introduction to the Devanāgarī script which students use in class for homework and quizzes. These classes also cover native pronunciation, basic conversational skills in Sanskrit language, and an introduction to and chanting of Sanskrit meters and verses (śloka). 

Students are lead through the texts in a detailed and gradual manner so that even complete beginners will be able to access their meaning while building a basic vocabulary and gaining familiarity with the intricacies of Sanskrit grammar.

Beginning Sanskrit Schedule:

Beginning Sanskrit, SLAN 120  Hours per week  Section 1  
(Nepal Time)   
Section 2  
(Nepal Time)  
Master Grammar Class   Five 1.5-hour classes per week Monday-Friday 
11:00 am-12:30 pm 
00:00 am-01:30 am 
Traditional Class  Five 1-hour classes per week Monday-Friday 
2:45 pm-3:45 pm 
8:15p – 9:15 pm 
Grammar Review Class (Optional) Three 1-hour classes per week   M-W-F 
4:00 pm-5:00 pm     
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm    
*Summer orientation includes several introductory lectures on the Devanagari alphabet. 

Intermediate Sanskrit (SLAN 220) 6 Credits

This intensive Sanskrit course is offered for intermediate-level students with two semesters of prior study of Sanskrit. It is designed to complete students’ study of grammar and increase students’ reading proficiency in Sanskrit. The first half of the course will be spent finishing the study of grammar. For the remaining portion of the course, students will prepare translations of assigned Sanskrit texts for discussion during class time. The choice of texts will include a variety of Sanskrit genres, including Buddhist Sanskrit texts (epics, dramas, philosophy, inspirational tales, etc.).

In addition, the traditional classes of this course will cover native pronunciation, conversational skills in Sanskrit language, and the chanting of Sanskrit meters and verses (śloka).

Intermediate Sanskrit Schedule:

Intermediate Sanskrit, SLAN 220   Hours per week  Section 1  
(Nepal Time)   
Section 2  
(Nepal Time)  
Master Grammar Class   Five 1.5-hour classes per week  Monday-Friday   
2:00-3:30 pm 
9:00p-10:30 pm 
Traditional Class  Five 45 min classes per week Monday-Friday  
4:00 –4:45p 
6:45 pm – 7:30 pm 
Grammar Review Class (Optional) Two one-hour classes per week T, Th   
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm        
T, Th  
7:45 pm – 8:45 pm  

Advanced Sanskrit (SLAN 320) 6 Credits


This course is offered for advanced-level students with a minimum of two years of prior study of Sanskrit. It focuses on reading both classical and Buddhist Sanskrit literature with the aim of improving students’ reading and research skills and developing their ability to independently read and translate Sanskrit texts. Students read texts with a scholar who is an expert in the topic at hand, to advance their knowledge of both the language and the philosophical, doctrinal, or historical issues under study.  

The course focuses on reading Sanskrit literature in the professor’s area of expertise or current research in order to improve students’ reading and research skills and continue the students’ focus on the independent reading of Sanskrit texts. The course will focus on the translation of both classical and Buddhist Sanskrit texts. To that end, the students will be expected to prepare and discuss the relevant Sanskrit texts during weekly meetings. 

SLAN 320 Course Schedule

The Advanced Sanskrit class schedule will be offered in one section that will be arranged to accommodate all of the students who sign up to the extent possible. Preference will be given to early applicants.

Admission Criteria

All applications for the Sanskrit programs are subject to approval by the Centre for Buddhist Studies.

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


The Beginning Sanskrit course is accredited at the Centre for Buddhist Studies for Sanskrit I and Sanskrit II (6 credits total).

The Intermediate Sanskrit course is accredited at the Centre for Buddhist Studies for Sanskrit III and Sanskrit IV (6 credits total).

The Advanced Sanskrit course is accredited at the Centre for Buddhist Studies for Sanskrit V and Sanskrit VI (6 credits total).

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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