Graduate Program

Title

Graduate Program

The Master of Arts program in Buddhist Classics provides an understanding and appreciation of Buddhism through close reading and careful analysis of its primary sources: sūtras/suttas, abhidharma and śāstras, and śīla texts. It is designed to expose students to key ideas and issues of the Buddhist philosophical tradition as conveyed through its rich and diverse collected works.

The integrated curriculum consists of six core seminars spread out over a two-year course of study focusing on major and minor works that cover the wide range of genres, styles, practices, and forms that make up the Buddhist experience. This core is complemented by five courses on hermeneutics, comparative and Buddhist, which examine methods and theories of interpretation, and a language study component based on the idea that grasping the meaning of a text is enhanced by reading it in its original language.

Buddhist texts are primarily spiritual documents, and the spirit alone can fathom them. —Edward Conze (1904 – 1979)

The MA program in Buddhist Classics approaches the texts in the spirit of their original aim—as a body of teachings whose primary function is both intellectual and soteriological—providing both the theory and practice conducive to awakening, liberation, and an end to suffering [duḥkha]. . . read more

Who pursues an MA in Buddhist Classics?  While the MA in Buddhist classics can provide a grounding for students who wish to pursue graduate or doctoral work in Asian Studies, classics, Buddhist studies or similar degrees, that is not its only, or even primary, intent. Many students choose to join the program for their own enrichment or spiritual development. For others, it can further professional development, enhance almost any career, or simply enlarge their world view stimulated through an immersion in the Buddhist way of life. The program allows individuals to reach personal understanding of both the teachings in Buddhist texts and the contemplative exercises that can inspire personal growth and professional innovation. By the end of the program, students should be able to explain and discuss Buddhist practices, methods, and concepts in a “language” that is integrated with the cultural and intellectual thought-ways of the West and the larger modern world.

Notice to Prospective Degree Program Students
This institution is provisionally approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to offer degree programs. To continue to offer this degree program, this institution must meet the following requirements: (1) Become institutionally accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, with the scope of the accreditation covering at least one degree program. (2) Achieve accreditation candidacy [1] or pre-accreditation, as defined in regulations, by 2017, and full accreditation by 2020.

If this institution stops pursuing accreditation, it must: (1) Stop all enrollment in its degree programs, and (2) Provide a teach-out to finish the educational program or provide a refund. An institution that fails to comply with accreditation requirements by the required dates shall have its approval to offer degree programs automatically suspended


[1] DRBU has been recognized as a Candidate for Accreditation by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA, 94501, 510.748.9001. This status is a preliminary affiliation with the Commission awarded for a maximum period of five years. Candidacy is an indication that the institution is progressing toward Accreditation. Candidacy is not Accreditation and does not assure eventual Accreditation.