Degree Programs

Application deadlines for all three degree programs are:

  • Fall Priority Deadline — February 1st*
  • Fall Final Deadline — June 1st
  • Spring Priority Deadline — October 1st
  • Spring Final Deadline — December 1st

* Students are encouraged to apply before the February 1st deadline to receive consideration for some institutional grants.

Download applications for:


Master of Arts, Buddhist Studies Concentration (GTU common-MA)

The GTU common-MA program in Buddhist studies is academic in nature. Applicants to this program should have a demonstrated ability to complete work at the graduate level, an interest in the academic, historical or philosophical study of Buddhism, and a clear sense of how their degree will support their personal or professional goals. Admission requirements include:

  1. A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (completed prior to matriculation).
  2. A completed application form and an academic statement of purpose. This is not a personal biography, but a statement of goals, study interests, and reasons the GTU and IBS are an appropriate place for the proposed program of study. This statement should be approximately one page in length.
  3. Three academic letters of recommendation. Choose people who can speak knowledgeably and articulately about your academic and intellectual potential and will write specific letters. Academic references are difference from general character references.
  4. Two official transcripts from each undergraduate and graduate school. Applicants are expected to have a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) for the bachelor’s degree.
  5. Satisfactory completion of two undergraduate courses in Buddhism, eastern religions, or eastern philosophy; and one undergraduate course in comparative or world religions.
  6. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores or Test of English as a Foreign Language scores sent directly to the GTU. (The GTU’s institution code is 4336).
  7. A non-refundable application fee of $40. The fee should be sent in a check payable on a U.S. bank, or by means of an international postal money order, or using a credit card through the online application.

Application materials should be sent directly to the GTU. For more information, please consult the GTU website and catalog, or contact the GTU Director of Admissions.


Master of Buddhist Studies

  1. A Bachelor’s degree (BA) or its equivalent from an accredited college or university; or evidence of having completed equivalent studies under a different educational system.
  2. Satisfactory completion of two undergraduate courses in Buddhism, eastern religions, or eastern philosophy; and one undergraduate course in comparative or world religions.
  3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from within the last five years. GRE Verbal scores should be at least 150. (TOEFL score may be substituted.)
  4. Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s ability to do graduate-level work and familiarity with Buddhist thought and/or practice.
  5. A statement of purpose describing the applicant’s reason for pursuing graduate study at IBS and what goal they wish to accomplish through the MBS program.
  6. A non-refundable $40 application fee, payable to Institute of Buddhist Studies.
  7. A complete application and personal information form (download application).

Application materials should sent directly to:
Institute of Buddhist Studies Admissions
2140 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704


Master of Divinity

  1. A Bachelor’s degree (BA) or its equivalent from an accredited college or university; or evidence of having completed equivalent studies under a different educational system.
  2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from within the last five years. GRE Verbal scores should be at least 150.
  3. Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s ability to do graduate-level work and familiarity with Buddhist thought and/or practice.
  4. A statement of purpose describing the applicant’s reason for pursuing graduate study at IBS and what goal they wish to accomplish through the MDiv program.
  5. A non-refundable $40 application fee, payable to Institute of Buddhist Studies.
  6. A complete application and personal information form (download application).

Application materials should sent directly to:
Institute of Buddhist Studies Admissions
2140 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704


Certificate Programs

All IBS Certificate Programs may be taken as part of a degree program. For students admitted into or enrolled in a degree program, please contact the IBS Registrar’s office for the requisite form declaring your intent to complete a certificate program.

Students may wish to complete a certificate as a stand-alone program. Admission to a certificate program generally requires:

  1. An interview with the certificate program director
  2. Official transcripts of previous, relevant education
  3. Letters of recommendation
  4. A statement of purpose declaring the applicant’s reasons for entering and goals for completing their program
  5. $40 application fee (payable to IBS, payable to GTU for the Buddhist Chaplaincy program)

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact certificate program directors prior to applying to their program of choice. Please note that each program has slightly different admissions requirements.

Download application forms for: