Ngagyur Nyingma College
Institute of Advanced Buddhist Studies

Course of Studies and Certificates

Monks in the classroomUpon the successful passing of the entrance examination, monks can join the 'Shedra'. The Ngagyur Nyingma College offers a nine-year course of study, which includes the Vinaya (Buddhist discipline), philosophy, logic, psychology, debate, Tibetan literature, Buddhist history and tantras.

The course of study has four main levels:

  1. Vinaya (discipline)
  2. Abhidharma (metaphysics)
  3. Sutra (discourses)
  4. Sacred Mantrayana

The nine year curriculum covers all three vehicles of Tibetan Buddhism: Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana. Besides these, the monks at the Institute participate in all the major Drubchens held in the main monastery, Ngedon Gatsal Ling.

  • The courses are divided into two categories, core and supplementary subjects. In order to pass an examination, students have to obtain atleast 40% marks in core and 33% in supplementary subjects. The passing results are graded into three divisions. Marks obtained above 60% are categorized as first division, above 50% as second, and the rest as third division.
  • The first three years' course primarily focuses on Vinaya, the monastic discipline. There are Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Levels on Vinaya teachings. After the successful completion of these three levels, monks are awarded with a certificate of 'Rabjampa on Vinaya'
  • The next two years' course mainly focuses on Abhidharma, Metaphysics. There are Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Levels on Abhidharma. After the successful completion of these three levels, monks are awarded with a certificate of 'Rabjampa on Abhidharma'.
  • The next two years' course mainly focuses on Sutra, Discourses. There are Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Levels on Sutras. After the successful completion of these three levels, monks are awarded with a certificate of 'Rabjampa on Sutras'.
  • The next two years' course mainly focuses on Mantrayana. There are Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced Levels on Mantrayana. After the successful completion of these three levels, monks are awarded with a certificate of 'Rabjampa on Sutra and Mantra'.
  • After completing all the nine levels successfully, one can take up three years of research and specialization on any one of the subjects mentioned above. One with outstanding knowledge and accomplishment is then awarded with the title of Khenpo (abbot).
  • After the completing all these, one should then wholeheartedly devotes to practicing and spreading the Buddha's teachings under the guidance of the head of the Min-drolling monastery and Ngagyur Nyingma College.

The term begins on the first day of the fourth lunar month and ends in the last week of the eleventh lunar month. An intensive study schedule is followed, with annual examinations at the end of each term.