Eligibility Requirements

Certificate Course in Buddhist Studies

Applicants must have a higher secondary school transcript (through grade 12) with a minimum score of second division/45 percent.  Applicants whose native language is not English and who do not have a Bachelor degree from a university in an English-speaking country must submit a English proficiency certificate of either a TOEFL score of at least 550, a score of 80 on the iBT, CEF/CERF/GeR level in English is B2 or higher, or IELTS score of at least 6.0 and no score lower than 5.0 on any one band.

BA Program

Applicants must have a higher secondary school transcript (through grade 12) with a minimum score of second division/45 percent.  Applicants whose native language is not English and who do not have a Bachelor degree from a university in an English-speaking country must submit a English proficiency certificate of either a TOEFL score of at least 550, a score of 80 on the iBT, CEF/CERF/GeR level in English is B2 or higher, or IELTS score of at least 6.0 and no score lower than 5.0 on any one band.

Non-Degree Program

Non-Degree program applicants normally are expected to have completed high school (through grade 12) with a minimum score of second division/45 percent. Applicants whose native language is not English and who do not have a BA degree from a university in an English-speaking country must have a TOEFL score of at least 550, a score of 80 on the iBT, CEF/CERF/GeR level in English is B2 or higher, or IELTS score of at least 6.0 and no score lower than 5.0 on any one band. The one exception is for applicants who wish to take only courses taught by our lopons and khenpos (TSTD classes). In this case, an international test of English language proficiency is not required, although applicants must have sufficient English (or Tibetan) to understand the translator (English) or the lopon or khenpo (Tibetan).

MA Preparatory Program

Applicants must have a higher secondary school transcript (through grade 12) with a minimum score of second division/45 percent and a Bachelor's degree  from an accredited institution with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 on a four point scale.

Applicants whose native language is not English and who do not have a Bachelor degree from a university in an English-speaking country must have a TOEFL score of at least 575, a score of 90 on the iBT, CEF/CERF/GeR level in English is C1 or higher, or IELTS score of at least 6.5 and no score lower than 6.0 on any one band.

MA Program in Buddhist Studies

Applicants must have a higher secondary school transcript (through grade 12) with a minimum score of second division/45 percent and a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 on a four point scale. Prospective students must have at least six credits of either classical Tibetan or Sanskrit, and twelve credits of Religious Studies course work. If an applicant does not have the proper course prerequisites, a year of study as an MA preparatory student may be undertaken at CBS in order to acquire the prerequisites to enter the MA program.

Applicants whose native language is not English and who do not have a Bachelor degree from a university in an English-speaking country must have a TOEFL score of at least 600, a score of 100 on the iBT, CEF/CERF/GeR level in English is C1 or higher, or IELTS score of at least 7.0 and no score lower than 6.0 on any one band.

MA in Translation, Textual Interpretation, and Philology

Applicants must have a higher secondary school transcript (through grade 12) with a minimum score of second division/45 percent and a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale. Prospective students must have at least eighteen credits of classical Tibetan, six credits of Sanskrit, six credits of colloquial Tibetan, and twelve credits of Buddhist Studies course work. An excellent level of proficiency in English writing and composition is also required for admission to this program.

Applicants whose native language is not English and who do not have a Bachelor degree from a university in an English-speaking country must have a TOEFL score of at least 600, a score of 100 on the iBT, CEF/CERF/GeR level in English is C1 or higher, or IELTS score of at least 7.0 and no score lower than 6.0 on any one band.

After initial evaluation of the application, applicants will be asked to submit a sample translation and may be asked to take a Sanskrit placement exam if their study of Sanskrit is not sufficiently recent.

Translator Training Program

Translator Training Program applicants must have a higher secondary school transcript (through grade 12) with a minimum score of second division/45 percent and have taken at least one year (two semesters, or the equivalent) of both classical Tibetan and colloquial Tibetan. Applicants will also be asked to take a written exam in classical Tibetan and both a written and oral exam in colloquial Tibetan. Since the program is taught in English and Tibetan and students will be translating into English, applicants must also speak university-level English so that they are able to understand lectures, participate in class discussions, and translate fluently into English.

Summer Program

  • Summer applicants are expected to have completed high school (through grade 12).
  • Applicants must have a good command of English, sufficient for university-level study.
  • Non-native English speakers must submit proof of English language proficiency, such as an international standard English test (IELTS, TOEFL, iBT, CEFR, etc.), a letter from an employer or professor, or a letter describing your experience with the English language, particularly with respect to understanding spoken lectures.
  • The Buddhist Studies Summer course also requires that students write papers of good academic quality: students applying to this program should indicate their ability to write academic papers in English.
  • For Advanced Colloquial Tibetan: applicants should be able to at least partially understand a Lopon or Khenpo teaching a Buddhist text in Tibetan.
  • Students applying for intermediate and advanced language courses must present documentation of prior studies at a university or from a similarly recognized program. E.g. students applying for Intermediate Tibetan must show proof of having studied Beginning Tibetan.

Study Abroad Students

Study abroad applicants should be currently enrolled in a Bachelor or Master program at their home universities and should have completed at least their first year of studies. Applicants must also speak university-level English so that they are able to understand lectures, participate in class discussions, and write papers of good academic quality.

Study abroad applicants must have a higher secondary school transcript (through grade 12) with a minimum score of second division/45 percent and current university transcript.

Research Affiliation

Affiliated researchers must have at least a Master degree and must be researching a topic that fits with CBS's mission as an academic institution, supporting study of and research in the Buddhist tradition, particularly the Indo-Tibetan Buddhism tradition.

PhD Program

Prospective PhD students should have a Masters Degree MA, MSc or MPhil in a related discipline with a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.00 out of 4.0 or an equivalent of 65 percent marks. Candidates must have completed a minimum of 7 years of university education after high school. Research and work experience in the relevant field, and experience of field research, data analysis, and scientific writing will be an advantage. Candidates should have strong oral and written English language skills. Their proposed dissertation research should be consonant with the research goals of CBS.

Online Learning

Our online courses are designed for anyone to study at any time. In the self-study, self-study plus, and interactive formats, there are no academic requirements. Prospective students must have a good command of the English language in order to understand the lectures or participate in forum discussions.

Our for-credit courses require a higher secondary school transcript (through grade 12) with a minimum score of second division/45 percent to register for credits through Kathmandu University. If one does not wish to join RYI's BA program, one can take the credits through RYI and Kathmandu University and submit them to an academic institution of one's choosing. Students must also comprehend and write in English at a university-level so they are able to understand the online lectures, participate in forum discussions, and, for certain courses, write reflection papers of good academic quality.