Enrollment Options

Choosing a Path: What are my options?

There are many ways to start your education at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Some students apply directly to a certificate or degree program; others begin by auditing a class or taking one for credit as a special student. And our stackable curriculum allows students to advance from a certificate to degree program seamlessly.

Degree and Certificate Program Students

Once you have reviewed the information here on our website or in the catalog, you may be ready to apply to a degree or certificate program. Visit the Apply Now page for instructions on how to apply for these programs.

Degree and certificate programs have specific application requirements that usually include transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose. Read more about the admissions process, and be sure to review the academic calendar for application deadlines and registration periods.



Other Enrollment Options

Non-Degree/Certificate Students


Some courses are open to enrollment by auditors. No grade is given to the auditor, nor is any record of attendance maintained by the Institute. Transcripts are not available for audited classes. Auditor status does not include library privileges or academic advising. Permission to audit a course is always at the discretion of the instructor. Whereas auditors can expect to work at the graduate level, attend all class sessions, and participate in discussion, the instructor’s first priority will always be to regular students. The auditor shall not expect to receive any guidance, feedback, or advising from the instructor.

To audit a class, complete the auditor registration form or contact our offices for more information.

Special Student

Students who do not wish to matriculate in a degree or certificate program may apply for status as a special student and take a class for credit.

Special student status is reserved either:

  1. for students preparing to enroll at IBS as a degree program student; or
  2. for students wishing to take classes for credit to transfer to another institution.

In either case, ordinarily a student can take no more than two courses as a special student.

Special students are expected to be able to work at the graduate level, and are required to fulfill all academic work expected of other students in the classes they take. They receive most privileges accorded to degree program students, with the exception of academic advising and library privileges. Special students must abide by the tuition and fee schedules and other academic policies contained in the catalog.

To apply for special student status, fill out the following form by clicking on the link below. Note that there is a $15 application fee, and you will need upload copies of your most recent transcripts (unofficial transcripts are okay). If you have questions or need assistance before applying, please contact our Registrar at htagawa@shin-ibs.edu.

To apply for special student status, complete the online application here.