Kagyu College - Curriculum and Degree Certificates

The first four years

Main subjects:

  • Bodhisattvacharyavatara (Shantideva)
  • Jewel Ornament of Liberation (Gampopa)
  • Gongchig (“the same intention”, Jigten Sumgön)
  • Pramana (“logic or reasoning”). In the first and second year basic Pramana subjects from various masters are taught as an additional subject. In the third year Pramana is a main subject, the text taught is the Pramanavarttika (Dharmakirti).
  • Mulamadhyamakakarika (Nagarjuna)
  • Madhyamakavatara (Chandrakirti)
  • Catuhsataka (Aryadeva) and other works by Dharmakirti and by Bhavaviveka.

Additional subjects:

  • History of the Kagyu lineages and of the Drikung Kagyu lineage
  • English language
  • Tibetan grammar

At the end of the four years, the students will receive a certificate for the study of Madhyamika Philosophy.

The following three years

Main subjects:

  • Gongchig (“the same intention”, Jigten Sumgön)
  • Prajanapramita (“perfection of wisdom”): The five treatises of Maitreya (1. Abhisamayalamkara, 2. Mahaynasutralamkara, 3. Dharmadharmtavibhanga, 4. Madhyantavibhanga, 5. Anuttaratantrasastra)

Additional subjects:

  • Poetry
  • English
  • Tibetan grammar

At the end of the three years, students will be awarded the degree of Tencho or Shastri.

The final two years

Main subjects:

  • Vinaya (“monastic codes of conduct”): Vinayasutra (Gunaprabha) and Pratimoksasutra
  • Sets of Tantric teachings: “The Three Cycles of Light-rays” (‘od zer skor gsum) by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal

At the end of the two years, students will be awarded the degree of Lopon or Acharya. Postgraduate studies on the various branches of Buddhist philosophy will earn the title of Khenpo.


It is mandatory to take both biannual and annual examinations. If the particular student does not appear or fails at any of the two examinations, the concerned student has to repeat the same class.

To be eligible for the examinations one must not miss the main course lecture more than 12 times before the biannual and annual examination respectively, unless and until the concerned student has important official work or a serious health problem.

The Examination Board Committee (EBC) will notify the schedule of examination one month prior to the examination. The EBC has to ensure the examination questionnaire’s high confidentiality. In the event of leakage during printing, the EBC must produce a new questionnaire.

While entering the examination hall students are not allowed to carry any sorts of books or texts with them. If someone found guilty of doing some sort of malpractice than he/she may be expelled from the examination or will get 10 marks deducted from the particular subjects as a punishment.

Failing in two consecutive examinations will deprive one from continuing his studies in the Shedra.


Vacation Policy

There is a two months fixed summer vacation starting from 10th day of the 4th month of the Tibetan calendar until the 10th day of the 6th month. According to the western calendar the vacation is around May and June. Students have to arrive back on time after finishing the summer vacation.