KIBI - Karmapa International Buddhist Institute KIBI - Karmapa International Buddhist Institute

Academic course

Diploma in Buddhist Studies

For more than 20 years, the Karmapa International Buddhist Institute (KIBI) has provided exceptional programs in Buddhist Studies and related languages. Operating under Karmapa International Buddhist Society (KIBI) – a charitable society founded by His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje – KIBI offers an independent three-year diploma course in Buddhist Studies. Located in the capital of India, the country of Buddhism’s origin, KIBI is a rich resource for studying the profound scriptures and great treatises of Buddhism as preserved in the Kagyu tradition. Many former KIBI students are successful Buddhist scholars, actively working at major universities throughout the world. KIBI’s program uniquely combines traditional monastic education methods with a modern academic education.

The Diploma program includes courses in philosophy, history, religion, and languages. Each academic year consists of two semesters: a fall semester (September to December) and a spring semester (January to April). All courses are taught in English.

A unique program

The Diploma in Buddhist Studies provides a unique opportunity to study the profound Buddhist teachings, focusing on the Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. The three-year program covers a wide range of texts and topics, giving students a solid foundation in each of the main areas of Buddhist Studies. The program expands intellectual understanding as well as facilitating students’ spiritual practice and development. Under the close guidance of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa Thaye Dorje, the program has been designed to feature both traditional Buddhist learning as it has been transmitted for centuries in Tibetan monastic settings, and the modern academic approach to Buddhist Studies. This is further enhanced by intensive study of the scriptural languages Tibetan and Sanskrit to allow students to directly access original textual sources. K.I.B.I.’s faculty is comprised of a number of highly-trained monastic and lay teachers from a variety of backgrounds, who are renowned for their expertise.


Candidates with a 10+2 stage qualification, or an equivalent degree (High School Diploma), and certified proficiency in spoken and written English language are eligible to apply as full-time students. In individual cases, admission may be granted to applicants without the formal 10+2 stage qualification.

To apply for admission to the Diploma in Buddhist Studies program:

1. Download the Admission Form.
2. Complete the Admission Form and sign it.
3. Provide all additional documents listed in the Admission Form.
4. Scan and email the form and documents to
5. Once you have received confirmation that your documents are complete, mail the original documents to the following address:

Karmapa International Buddhist Institute
B19/20 Qutab Institutional Area
New Delhi – 110016

Once the email copy of your application is received, we will review your application. You may be requested to complete a Skype interview as part of the review process. Once the review is complete, we send you an email to confirm your admission.

Course Overview

The Diploma in Buddhist Studies program is comprised of the following four main subject areas:

• Language
• History/ Culture/ Research Context
• Religion
• Philosophy

To be awarded the Diploma, six semesters (each consisting of six individual courses) must be completed. Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of the classes and pass an individual examination in each subject. Failed examinations may be repeated once. Assessment of the student’s performance is based on a maximum of 100 points per course, comprised of 35 points for Internal Marks (assignments, presentations etc.), 15 points for Teacher’s Assessment and 50 points for the end-of-term Final Examinations. The minimum passing mark for each course is a score of 40.

Course Outline: Introduction

Languages: All Degree and Diploma students are required to complete six semesters of Tibetan language. This includes instruction in both classical and modern spoken Tibetan. In addition, students are required to take two semesters of English Academic Writing, Hindi and Sanskrit. Students begin Tibetan in their first semester.

History/Culture/Research Context: Students study the history and practice of Buddhism in both India and Tibet in courses taught by Khenpos and university professors. “History Buddhism in India” and “History of Buddhism in Tibet” are taught in alternate years, and first and second-year students take these courses together, beginning with whichever of the two classes is offered in their first year. In the third year, students take two seminars, one surveying the field of Tibetan and Buddhist Studies from a critical academic perspective; and one specialized seminar (the topic will change from year to year).

Religion: Students study Gampopa’s Jewel Ornament of Liberation (Dwagspotharrgyan) for a total of four semesters. This important text, which combines Atīśa’s Kadampa tradition with the Mahāmudrā tradition of Marpa, serves as the platform from which students are led on an in-depth analysis of the Buddhist path and practice. In the final year, students study Chapters 1-8 of Śāntideva’sBodhicaryāvatāra (chos ‘jug). These courses are taught by a combination of Khenpos and university professors.

Philosophy: Over the three-year program, students study foundational concepts in Buddhist philosophy through an in-depth examination of the system of the Four Siddhāntas (the Tibetan doxographical approach to the Indian Buddhist philosophical schools). Additionally, they study the principles of Buddhist Philosophy over the course of two years, based on Mipham Rinpoche’s influential text Gateway to Knowledge. In the third year, students undertake a detailed study of dependent origination (pratītyasamutpāda). The textual basis for the course is the famous Rice Seedling Sūtra (Śālistambhasūtra), which elucidates the twelve links of dependent origination in great detail.

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