Institute of Buddhist Studies Gains Initial Accreditation

M. Editor  |  March 2, 2020

The Institute of Buddhist Studies is pleased to announce that it has been granted Initial Accreditation by the WASC Senior Commission of Universities and Colleges (WSCUC) for a period of six years. In the Commission Action Letter, the Commission commended “the entire IBS community for taking seriously the recommendations from” the first accreditation visit, and the “extensive work that IBS undertook in preparing for and supporting this accreditation review.”

Incorporated in 1966, IBS is one of the oldest institutions of Buddhist higher education in North America, and offers several graduate degree and certificate programs. These programs prepare students for careers in Buddhist ministry and chaplaincy as well as further graduate study. With roots in the Japanese Buddhist tradition, IBS offers tracks of study in Jōdo Shinshū, Sōtō Zen, and Theravada Buddhism as well as specializations in ministry, chaplaincy, psychology and, in partnership with the Graduate Theological Union, inter-religious studies.

The accreditation process benefited IBS greatly through a rigorous self-study and review process with feedback from a team of higher education professionals. According to Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto, President, “The entire accreditation process represents an important chapter in the history of IBS, which is now ready to venture toward new horizons of scholarship, ministerial education and engagement in the broader religious world.”

Since IBS’s incorporation as a graduate school and Buddhist seminary, regional accreditation has been an aspiration. This goal was made possible by the collaborative effort of IBS’s faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees.

“We’ve been expanding our programs and diversifying our student body for decades,” said Dean Scott Mitchell. “Accreditation will allow us to continue that growth, attracting a wider range of students, and offer more programs in the years to come while continuing to support our core programs and meet the needs of our existing students.”

The visiting team report and WSCUC Action Letter from the review of Institute of Buddhist Studies are available on the WSCUC website at

IBS will be hosting a celebratory reception on Thursday May 21. Please contact our offices for further information.

About Institute of Buddhist Studies

The Institute of Buddhist Studies is a leading American Buddhist graduate school and seminary that provides graduate-level education across the full breadth of the Buddhist tradition, with specialized training in academic studies of Buddhism, Buddhist chaplaincy, and Jōdo Shinshū Buddhist ministry. In addition to numerous graduate degree and certificate programs, IBS produces excellent and innovative scholarship, and fosters engaged and inclusive community through conferences, symposia, and other events of interest for scholars and practitioners alike.

For more information, please visit

Scott A. Mitchell, Accreditation Liaison Officer and
Dean of Students and Faculty Affairs

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