OL TLAN 101: Introduction to Classical Tibetan

Introduction to Classical Tibetan covers the principal topics of classical Tibetan grammar using handbook material as well as text passages from classical Tibetan Buddhist literature. Although the topic of grammar is central, students are also introduced to the basic vocabulary of classical Tibetan philosophy. This course can serve as a springboard for students to begin to delve into Tibetan texts on their own, and as a foundation for more serious students to continue with confidence into more advanced language instruction. In the self-study format, this course is a good refresher for those who have had some instruction in Tibetan language previously and wish to solidify foundations.

Prerequisite for this course is comfort with reading and writing the Tibetan Alphabet. RYI offers a short course in the Tibetan Alphabet to prepare students to study this classical Tibetan online course.

As this is a beginner-level course, students can expect between five to eight hours of study per week. This course takes one semester to complete. Course material is presented as video and visual lectures given by Constance Kassor in English and includes PDF handouts and web-based resources for study and practice.

The self-study format, where students work at their own pace, is available year-round. Students in the interactive format progress through the online course materials together with guidance and instruction from a moderator. Those who study in the for-credit format will receive three academic credits upon successful completion of the course. Please see descriptions below for explanations of the available course formats.

Students will navigate the course material via Moodle, an open source e-learning environment, and other online environments. Internet access is a requirement for studying this course. Students will have access to this course in Moodle for one year from their date of registration.

Price: $108

Students can register for this self-study course anytime and begin studying immediately.

Resources for this course format include video and audio lectures, visual lectures, PDF handout materials, and external links to Tibetan language learning materials.

Once registration is complete, students will have access to this course for one year.


  • Un-moderated
  • Year-round enrollment