Master of Arts (MA) in Translation, Textual Interpretation, and Philology

In light of the current situation around the world and in Nepal, and in order to ensure the best possible conditions for students and staff to remain safe and healthy, RYI will offer all of its fall 2020 classes online.

More details regarding the fall semester will be provided in the next few weeks as we determine the modalities for online learning.

We would like to thank all of you for your understanding and wish everyone a healthy and happy summer. We look forward to seeing you all online in the fall, and hope to be able to reconvene classes in person in Boudha when the situation allows it.

Registration is now open for fall semester programs, you can register by hitting the "Apply Now" button below.


The MA program is a 2-year (4 semester/60 credit) program that combines graduate-level philosophy and translation seminars in which students work with primary source literature and the languages of the Buddhist tradition. The aim of the program is to introduce students to the methods and skills involved in translation, textual interpretation, and philology and to develop their ability to undertake independent translation projects and translation research within the field of Buddhist Studies. During the first year of the program each student is assigned a Thesis Supervisor who works with the student to help select and define a thesis project, generally consisting of an annotated translation with introduction. Students are expected to have an excellent command of Classical Tibetan and some experience with Sanskrit and spoken Tibetan before entering the program. Course work in the first year includes Buddhist philosophical and textual study with scholars of the Tibetan traditional scholastic tradition, translation workshops that allow students to develop their work within a productive and informed environment of mutual critique, and course work in translation and philological method. In these methodology seminars, students develop an understanding of the global history of translation and translation theory and they experiment with an array of distinct approaches to the practical tasks of the translator. In this way the courses introduce students to the field of Translation Studies while making use of specific case studies to analyze translation methods of particular relevance to the translation of Buddhist texts. They also develop the ability of the students to engage in critical scholarship and research in the field of Translation Studies.

For a detailed description of the program, please download the MA Course Description.

Application and Admission

Entrance into the MA program in Translation, Textual Interpretation, and Philology requires at least three years of Classical Tibetan, one year of Sanskrit, one year of Colloquial Tibetan, and 12 credits of Buddhist Studies coursework. An excellent level of proficiency in English writing and composition is also required. Interested applicants who lack some of the required prerequisites may do preparatory work in our MA Preparatory program to ready themselves for admission to the MA. Interested applicants with all other prerequisites but with only two years of Classical Tibetan study may take a placement exam to qualify for the program. Such applicants should apply directly to the MA program and arrangements will be made for the placement exam if the applicant's other qualifications warrant consideration for admission. To apply to the MA program, applicants should visit the Admissions Section of this website. Please note that only a limited number of students can be admitted to the program each year, and the requirements listed above are the minimum required for application. Admission is competitive and meeting the requirements does not guarantee admission: admission is based on an evaluation of the overall application package.

For more information, please refer to the Eligibility Requirements and Admissions Process for the MA in Translation, Textual Interpretation, and Philology program.