Certificate in Buddhist Studies

The Certificate in Buddhist Studies introduces students both to the history of the Buddhist tradition as well as the academic field of Buddhist Studies. This program is intended for those seeking a systematic introduction to the Buddhist tradition, especially lay Buddhist leaders and ministers or priests seeking continuing education opportunities. Curriculum includes courses on Buddhist history, practice, ethics, and modern expressions. This low-residency program is designed to be completed in one year, either in residence or fully online.

The certificate is overseen by the program advisor, Dr. Nancy Lin. 

For students who are not currently enrolled in a degree program, the admissions requirements for this program are:

  1. Evidence (transcripts) of relevant prior study or coursework such as previous Buddhist Studies courses or a Bachelor’s degree (B.A.).
  2. Two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s ability to do graduate-level work, familiarity with Buddhist thought and/or practice, and relevant prior study or experience.
  3. Statement of purpose (approximately 300-500 words) that includes (a) your reasons for pursuing graduate studies at IBS; (b) your specific academic interests and how they fit with the faculty and courses at IBS; (c) your personal or professional goals and how you see this certificate supporting them; (d) how your relevant academic background or prior experience prepares you for your proposed course of study at IBS.
  4. Non-refundable application fee: $15

Students admitted to a degree program who want to complete a concurrent certificate must petition for admittance into a certificate program. Please contact the Registrar for the applicable form.

Start your online application today!

Program requirements

Students must complete a total of four, 3-unit courses over the year-long program and an exit interview with the program advisor.

Required course:

  • Introduction to Buddhism and Buddhist Studies
  • Plus three electives chosen in consultation with program advisor