OL TLAN 102: Classical Tibetan II

In Classical Tibetan II, students will continue with an introduction to the classical Tibetan language and its grammar, and gain more experience and confidence reading and understanding classical Tibetan texts. After completing this course, successful students will be able to approach Tibetan texts by themselves with confidence.

Students will use their knowledge of basic Tibetan grammar and vocabulary to move into the world of Tibetan literature in a guided way. The focus of the course is on learning by doing, so the primary means of instruction is through guided readings of Tibetan classics such as The Jewel Ornament of Liberation (དྭགས་པོ་ཐར་རྒྱན་) and Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva (རྒྱལ་སྲས་ལག་ལེན་). Students will also read the highly regarded Mahāyāna Heart Sutra as part of the course. Students are guided through these texts sentence-by-sentence in recorded visual lectures. The readings in the lectures are interspersed with explanations of the grammar found there, which sometimes includes aspects of grammar as explained in the traditional Tibetan style. The course also focuses on the expansion of students’ vocabulary.

The prerequisite for this course is either to have completed RYI's "Introduction to Classical Tibetan” online course, or to have a comparable level of knowledge (i.e. a semester of classical Tibetan study).

Students taking this course on either an Interactive or For-credit basis should expect between six to nine hours of course work per week, and the course will take one semester to complete. Students in the Self-Study course have up to twelve months to complete the material and proceed at their own pace. Course material is presented as video and visual lectures given by Joost Palenstijn in English and also includes web-based resources for study and practice such as vocabulary guides, quizzes, and PDF handouts.

The self-study format, where students work at their own pace, is available to begin year-round. Students in the Interactive or For-credit formats progress through the online course materials together with guidance and instruction from a moderator, and must begin the class at certain designated times, usually in September and January. Those who study in the For-credit format will receive three academic credits upon successful completion of the course. Please see the descriptions below for explanations of the available course formats.

Students will navigate the course material via Moodle, an open source e-learning environment, and will occasionally access 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.


TLAN 101: Classical Tibetan I

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