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The Certificate in Buddhism and Contemporary Psychology is intended for two types of students: (1) IBS degree (MA, MBS, or MDIV) program students who wish to focus their studies on the intersection of Buddhist understandings of consciousness and contemporary psychology; and (2) students from outside the IBS, particularly ministers, lay and monastic teachers, therapists and chaplains, who wish to enhance their engagement with the tradition and their communities by obtaining a systematic graduate level education in Buddhist studies.

Students who complete this program will:

  • Engage Buddhist understandings of consciousness as a foundation for conversation with contemporary psychology and cognitive studies
  • Apply critical methodologies to the study of Buddhist texts and practices
  • Develop critical reasoning and writing skills through academic writing and reflection

The certificate is overseen by the Program Director, Dr. Richard K. Payne.

Students enrolled in a degree program must file an intent to enroll form with the IBS Registrar to be formally admitted to the program.

Formal application is required for non-degree program students. Students should review application materials and requirements on the IBS website. There is a $40 non-refundable application fee.


Program Requirements

Students must complete a total of six, 3-unit courses within three years to complete the certificate. (In-degree program students may complete the course requirements within the timeframe of their degree program; in-degree program students may substitute other courses for the Buddhist traditions sequence.)

Required courses include:

  • Buddhist traditions of South Asia (HRHS 1515)
  • Buddhist traditions of East Asia (HRHS 1518)

Plus two courses from the following:

  • Psychological Aspects of Buddhism I (HRPS 8320)
  • Psychological Aspects of Buddhism II (HRPS 3016)
  • Psychological Aspects of Buddhism III (HRPS 8322)

Recommended courses include:

  • Third course from Psychological Aspects sequence
  • Topics in Buddhism and Psychology
  • Other courses with Director’s approval