Summer Classical Tibetan Language Study

Summer Classical Tibetan Courses

The classical Tibetan summer program is offered on three levels: beginning, intermediate, and advanced. The level of intensity of the summer Tibetan programs is high and the courses require considerable time and effort in order to meet requirements and academic expectations. However, students who successfully complete the summer program will be well on their way towards a high degree of proficiency in classical Tibetan.

Please note that, on each day of classes for your Summer Program course, the same live masterclass is delivered at two different time slots. At RYI these two schedules for the same course are called ‘Sections’. You can choose from either Section 1 (S1) or Section 2 (S2) based on your time preferences. To find out the class times for each Section of your course, please refer to the syllabus.


Beginning Classical Tibetan

This intensive Classical Tibetan course is designed for beginning students with no prior knowledge of classical Tibetan. The program provides a thorough grounding in the basics of classical Tibetan, including a complete introduction to classical Tibetan grammar. As such the course provides a strong foundation for reading various types of Buddhist literature in Tibetan.

The course begins with an extensive overview of the grammar after which students begin to read a variety of texts, including philosophical treatises and practice texts. Students are lead through the texts in a detailed and gradual manner, so that even complete beginners are able to understand their meaning while building a basic vocabulary and gaining familiarity with the practical application of the grammar.

Syllabus and schedule/course structure.

Intermediate Classical Tibetan Online Summer Program

This summer intensive is offered for intermediate-level students with two semesters of prior study of classical Tibetan. The course assumes familiarity with the fundamentals of Tibetan grammar, including the eight cases and their associated particles, common grammatical structures and verb tenses, along with knowledge of Buddhist terms and vocabulary.

Syllabus and schedule/course structure.

Advanced Classical Tibetan Reading Seminar

This summer intensive is offered for advanced-level students with a minimum of two years of prior study of Classical Tibetan. The course also assumes familiarity with the basic outline of Buddhist history and the general principles and debates of Buddhist philosophy. This course is designed primarily for those already enrolled in graduate degree programs, although BA students with the requisite background will be considered. Students read texts with a scholar who is an expert in the topic at hand, so as to advance their knowledge of both the language and the philosophical, doctrinal, or historical issues under study.

Syllabus and schedule/course structure.

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Orientation sessions start from 9 June to 11 June 2021, and classes run from 14 June to 5 August 2021. This year the Summer Program will be offered online.

Early Applications close May 23. Late applications are accepted between May 24 – May 30, however a late application fee of 10% applies. No applications will be accepted after May 30. 


The course is accredited at the Centre for Buddhist Studies as follows:

  • For beginning-level Classical Tibetan:
    • Introduction to Classical Tibetan I (3 credits, equivalent to TLAN 101) and Classical Tibetan II (3 credits, equivalent to TLAN 102)
  • For Intermediate Classical Tibetan: Classical Tibetan III (TLAN 201) and IV (TLAN 202) (6 credits total)
  • For Advanced Classical Tibetan Reading Seminar: For MA-level study: RTIB 501: Advanced Readings I – Tibetan (6 credits). For BA-level study, TLAN 315 Advanced Classical Tibetan (equivalent to TLAN 301 and TLAN 302; 6 credits total). 

Admission Criteria

All applications for the Classical Tibetan courses are subject to approval by the Centre for Buddhist Studies.

Students applying to the Intermediate and Advanced programs must present documentation of prior Classical Tibetan studies at a university or from a similarly recognized program.

For more information, please refer to the Eligibility Requirements and Admissions Process for the summer program.

Fee Request

In accordance with University guidelines, RYI course fees are determined by each student's home base and nationality. A three-tier system is in effect which covers (i) Nepali students, (ii) SAARC students and (iii) other international students. Please select below to find out the fees structure for your particular circumstances.

You will find the Tuition Fee List for all programs, including the Summer Program, linked on the right hand side of this page (at the end of the page if you are on a mobile device) under the heading "Tuition Fee List."