The Three Most-Often-Asked Questions by Prospective Students

General Questions Frequently Asked by Prospective Students

Q.   What financial assistance is available to help me pay for my education at Maitripa College?

A.  Maitripa College is committed to keeping our programs accessible to every student who wishes to study here. To that end tuition is a fraction of the cost of comparable graduate programs in the United States. Additionally, we make every effort to consider the financial concerns of each student, and to support their progress through a commitment to flexible payment options and scholarship opportunities.  You can find more information here.  Please note that U.S. Federal Student Loans are not available to fund your education at the college and we do not offer a student loan program. 

Q.  How does Maitripa College not being accredited affect me?

A.  We encourage you to speak with us about the significance of accreditation to your educational plans, as the importance of it may vary by individual. In general, areas in which you may notice it include Federal loan funding, which is not available to students at non-accredited schools, transfer credits (whether or not another school awards credit for coursework is within that school’s discretion), and recognition of the degree by another school in connection with a PhD program.

That being said, the training received here has been an asset for MA students seeking admission to PhD programs, even if the credit for coursework did not map over to the other school’s program.  In addition, in practice, our MDiv students and alumni have been recognized as holding valid academic credentials when applying for Clinical Pastoral Education programs and employment as Chaplains, in Oregon, California, and New York to date.  Additionally, the Association of Professional Chaplains has recently recognized Maitripa College’s MDiv degree as the educational theological equivalency of an accredited degree, which means that our graduates’ degree is fully recognized by the only national professional organization that grants Board Certification for chaplains.

Q.  Do I need to know or learn Tibetan?

A.  During the course of your education here, you’ll learn some classical Tibetan language whether you want to or not!  Our classical Tibetan professor, Bill Magee, makes the point that pursuing the study of Tibetan is itself a spiritual practice. Some instructors will weave together Tibetan and English to skillfully convey the meaning of assigned texts. In addition, some guest instructors teach in Tibetan with English translation. Formal study of Tibetan, in courses offered by the college, is currently required for those in our MA program. Given the value of studying Tibetan, this requirement may be extended to our MDiv program students in the future.

Q.  Can I audit, i.e. pay tuition, but not complete the assignments and forgo a grade?

A.  To keep the standard of excellence and the classroom experience rich for all students, we require that everyone comes to class and is prepared to the best of their ability. Because our classes are small and personalized, your opinions, curiosities, challenges, and insights contribute to enrich the course. We’ve observed in the past that students who choose an audit option tend not to be as committed to the full classroom experience. For these reasons, Maitripa College currently does not have an Audit enrollment option.

Q.  Do I have to be accepted to the degree program in order to take a course?

A. No. If a degree program is not feasible, people are encouraged to enroll as Continuing Education (CE) students at the college.  The CE Program which is designed for those unable to enroll in a degree program but who still want to improve their knowledge of Buddhist philosophy, language, and history, or to obtain skills to enhance their professional life, or for personal spiritual formation.  More information the CE Program can be found here.

Q. Can I apply my CE credits to a degree if I decide that I want to become a full-time, degree program student?

CE credits accrued from successfully completed courses may be applied toward degree requirements, should the student gain admission to a degree program in the future. Currently, up to 24 credits may be internally transferred from CE into a degree program for courses taken within the five years prior to an offer of admissions to a degree program.

Q.  Does Maitripa College provide student housing?

A.  Maitripa College does not offer student housing at this time, so you will need to make housing arrangements on your own. We are happy to connect you with other students who may wish to share housing or if we are aware of a community member who is making housing available, but it will be up to you to evaluate the situation and make arrangements. 

Q.  Are there any courses offered online?

A.  Not at this time. The college has been granted degree-granting authority from the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s Office of Degree Authorization (“ODA”).  The ODA’s authorization does not include online programs at this time.