Online Learning: Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to start taking online classes for credit towards a BA degree at Rangjung Yeshe Institute?

Yes, if you first apply to the BA and are accepted and you complete an online course for-credit, you can use the credits earned toward your BA degree at Rangjung Yeshe Institute’s Centre for Buddhist Studies. The full BA is not online, so in order to earn a BA at RYI/CBS, you will need to do most of your study on campus in Nepal. 

Are online students expected to hand in assignments?

Quizzes and homework assignments are required only if you are studying for-credit, although we recommend that Interactive students participate fully in order to get the most out of their online study experience. Self-study students will not have their assignments graded.  

Is a local rate taken into account for Westerners working in Kathmandu?

We do not offer a “local” tuition rate for Westerners studying through online learning who live and work in Kathmandu.

Is there a rate for local people?

Our online courses are designed for those who cannot study here in Nepal, so we do not provide a local rate for our online learning courses. We encourage local people who live in Kathmandu or Nepal, or one of the SAARC countries to come to study at the institute in person. Contact the administration to learn about our rates for on-campus study.

What is Moodle?

Moodle is an e-learning environment or “Learning Management System” (LMS). It is where you will login to take your online course. You will be able to interact with all the course materials (video, lectures, PDF files, quizzes, exams, homework assignments, and discussion forums) through this environment, offering you a dynamic way to study from your desk or the nearest coffee shop.

What are the computer system requirements for taking an online course through RYI/CBS?

Moodle works well for the following browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Mozilla Firefox. We recommend ensuring that your browser version is up-to-date. 

Moodle supports iOS and Android and should work well on most phones and tablets. 

What are the different formats for the Classical Tibetan Online Learning Courses?

All three formats feature video and audio lectures, visual lectures, PDF handout materials, and external links to Tibetan language learning materials.

For Credit:InteractiveSelf-Study
Moderated by an experienced Tibetan instructorModerated by an experienced Tibetan instructorUn-moderated
Enrollment any time from September 15 – March 15Enrollment any time from September 15 – March 15Year-round enrollment
Feedback from the moderator includes answering questions, grading homework, and grading examsFeedback from the moderator includes answering questions, grading homework, and grading examsNA
Course earns 3 university-level academic credits (equivalent to 6 ECTS credits)NANA
What are the different formats for the Buddhist Studies Online Learning Courses?

Currently we offer the full-semester Buddhist Studies Online Learning courses in the Self-Study, Interactive, and For-credit formats. These formats feature video and audio lectures in English and Tibetan, visual lectures in English, and English language transcripts of the lectures. For the Interactive and For-credit formats, a moderator is available to answer questions in the discussion forum and to provide a weekly Q&A session. For-credit students take quizzes, write reflection papers, and take exams.  

Is there a specified length of time to complete a course?

The Interactive and For-credit courses are offered as one-semester courses with a 14-week schedule to follow for completing reflections, quizzes, exams, and homework assignments. You will have access to the course for a total of 12 months, so that you can review material after you’ve completed the course.  

The Self-Study courses offer the same course material, which can be completed at your own pace over the period of 12 months that the course is open to you. 

With the Self-Study courses, does the student receive a certificate upon completion?

RYI offers a certificate to show the completed study of a Self-Study course. 

Can I make a payment by bank wire transfer, as I am not registered with PayPal?

Yes, you can, although banks charge fees for wire transfers. To keep the cost down for students, we recommend PayPal. It is easy to register with PayPal and you can link your bank account, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express card to your PayPal account and use it to pay online at a number of online vendors. You can sign up for PayPal here.

Why is a High School transcript necessary to register a for-credit course? Can’t I just submit my graduate transcript?

If you apply to the BA or the MA Prep program and are accepted and then you later complete an online course for-credit, you can use the OL credits earned toward your BA degree or your MA Prep requirements. In this case, RYI/CBS will already have your high school transcript—a requirement for enrollment at Kathmandu University. In addition, if you are enrolled at another university, you may be able to use the credits you earn online at RYI/CBS toward your degree at your home school, if your university allows that. Students who wish to be virtual visiting students in this way also need to submit a high school transcript, per KU’s requirement. KU is the accrediting institution for RYI/CBS coursework.

What is the time commitment for online study?

The time commitment per week for classical Tibetan online study is estimated in the table below.

 Self-StudyInteractiveFor-Credit
3-credit courses: Introduction to Classical Tibetan I and Classical Tibetan IIApproximately two hours per week listening to the lectures. Study and review time will vary depending on one’s interest.Approximately two hours per week listening to the lectures and half an hour per week for taking the quizzes. Weekly homework assignments and study for the quizzes are expected to take five to seven hours per week, although study and review time will vary depending on one’s interest.Approximately two hours per week listening to the lectures and half an hour per week for taking the quizzes. Weekly homework assignments and study for the quizzes are expected to take five to seven hours per week, although study and review time will vary depending on one’s interest.   

The time commitment per week for the Buddhist Studies is estimated in the table below and depends on the number of credits for the course.

Self-StudyInteractiveFor-Credit
3 credit course: Mūlamadhyāmakakārikā I
Approximately two hours per week listening to the lectures. Study and review time will vary depending on one’s interest. Approximately two hours per week listening to the lectures and half an hour per week for taking the quizzes. Preparing for and writing reflection papers along with study for the quizzes and exams are expected to take six to eight hours per week, although study and review time will vary depending on one’s interest.Approximately two hours per week listening to the lectures and half an hour per week for taking the quizzes. Preparing for and writing reflection papers along with study for the quizzes and exams are expected to take six to eight hours per week, although study and review time will vary depending on one’s interest.
6-credit courses: 
Bodhicaryāvatāra I and II 
Approximately three hours per week listening to the lectures. Study and review time will vary depending on one’s interest. Approximately three hours per week listening to the lectures and an hour per week for taking the quizzes. Preparing for and writing reflection papers along with study for the quizzes and exams are expected to take ten to twelve hours per week, although study and review time will vary depending on one’s interest.Approximately three hours per week listening to the lectures and an hour per week for taking the quizzes. Preparing for and writing reflection papers along with study for the quizzes and exams are expected to take ten to twelve hours per week, although study and review time will vary depending on one’s interest. 
What is the schedule of classes?

For Interactive and For-Credit courses, you will find the course syllabus, which includes the weekly schedule, at the beginning of the course, before the Week 1 material. If you are taking the For-credit format, you will need to follow this schedule, and the same schedule is recommend for the Interactive students. If you are a Self-Study student, you get to set the pace, within the 12-month period of your access to the course. 

Will the teachings be sent out by e-mail, and will a registered person have access at all times?

When you sign up for the course, you will get an email with a password that gives you access to the course material in our Moodle platform. Once the email is sent this password is active and you have access to your course. From that time, you have access to the material online for one year for our semester-long courses, and four months for our short courses (The Tibetan Alphabet).

I see you offer a for-credit and a not-for-credit version of the moderated courses. Can you tell me what the credit is for? 

If you are enrolled as a BA student at the Kathmandu University Centre for Buddhist Studies at Rangjung Yeshe Institute you may use the credits from your online course toward a BA degree in Buddhist Studies from KU CBS, but note that most of your study will need to be done in Nepal. You can also use the credits earned to help meet the prerequisites of our MA Buddhist Studies and our MA Translation, Textual Interpretation and Philology programs, by taking them as part of your study in our MA Preparatory program. 

You may also be able to use your credits toward a degree from another University. You will need to contact your university’s registrar yourself to inquire about whether they will accept the credits from our online learning courses. 

What are the rules for withdrawing from a course?

You may withdraw from any interactive or for-credit course by the Monday following the first week of classes for a full refund. If you withdraw from the course after that, your course fee will not be refunded. No refunds will be offered for Self-Study courses. This withdrawal policy applies only to online learning asynchronous courses given through Moodle, and not to courses given online as part of RYI’s synchronous learning courses, or to any of the graduate or undergraduate programs, including the summer program.  

What course will I get credit for from Kathmandu University if I take an interactive for-credit course?

These online courses earn the following credits at Kathmandu University: 

Classical Tibetan Iearns credit for TLAN 101 (3 credits) 

Classical Tibetan II earns credit for TLAN 102 (3 credits) 

Bodhicaryāvatāra I earns credit for TSTD 101 (6 credits) 

Bodhicaryāvatāra II earns credit for TSTD 102 (6 credits) 

Mūlamadhyamakakārikā I earns credit for TSTD 103 (3 credits) 

Mūlamadhyamakakārikā II earns credit for TSTD 203 (3 credits) (to be offered Spring semester 2024) 

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