In response to COVID-19, the Maitripa College Classical Tibetan Language 2021 Summer Program has been updated and moved online.  Please see below and contact if you have any questions or concerns. 

UPDATE: The summer course is currently full. To be placed on the admissions wait list, contact

 Summer 2021 Classical Tibetan Language Online Course Offerings 

Taught by Professor Bill Magee (of Maitripa College and the UMA Institute), this is a foundational introductory course for all those wishing to translate or to engage in research on a scholarly level. 

Maitripa College will continue to offer graduate school credit hours through our Classical Tibetan language program. The course this summer will be slightly reduced from our usual the intensive model in order to accommodate online distance learning needs. Enrollment in summer 2021 is open for both credit and non-credit seeking students.


Course Description 

The goal of this eight-week summer course will be gaining the ability to pronounce and read Tibetan sentences. Specifically, we will read and debate in Tibetan the early chapters of Pur-bu-jok’s Collected Topics. This text introduces logical reasoning within a framework of Dharmakīrti’s Commentary on Dignāga’s Compendium of Valid Cognition and the Buddhist Sūtra School system of tenets.

In the first half of the course we will quickly learn the phonetics of Tibetan as well as Joe Wilson’s presentations of verbs and grammar. In the second half of the course students will memorize definitions, divisions, and so forth while learning to debate the first topic, colors. Magee’s Digital Debate Assistant ( is a useful tool for understanding and practicing Tibetan debate procedures. Debate texts are chosen as a language learning methodology, proven to help develop one’s grasp of grammar, pronunciation, and speaking in complete sentences in Tibetan.

Due to the limitations of interactive on-line classes and the desire to offer an excellent learning experience to all participants, this course will have a limited enrollment and may fill to capacity quickly. 


William Magee, PhD, is not only a warm, generous, humorous, and encouraging teacher, he is also a supremely knowledgeable scholar of Tibetan language and philosophy. He has designed and honed a method for teaching students classical Tibetan – from beginners to competent translators – empowering them to derive both precision and meaning in their reading of Tibetan texts, be it for personal practice, linguistic and philosophic studies, or Buddhological research. Dr. Magee completed his PhD from the University of Virginia, and has sustained decades-long collaboration with his former mentor, Jeffrey Hopkins, with whom he runs the UMA Institute for Tibetan Studies. In 2020, Bill founded The Dharma Farm, creating ongoing opportunities for advanced Tibetan Buddhist Studies and Translation with leading scholars. Bill has taught at the University of Virginia, Dharma Drum (Taiwan), and multiple monasteries before coming to Maitripa College. Students consistently finish Bill’s summer course amazed at having learned far more than they imagined possible, enriched for a lifetime of friendship and newfound access to Tibetan and Buddhist thought, practice, and textual heritage. >more


No prior knowledge of Tibetan language is required, but it is helpful to have some prior experience. Admission to the course is offered based on application to the course and permission of the instructor.

Required Texts

Required texts for this course are:  Joe Wilson’s Translating Buddhism from Tibetan (1998), Paul Hackett’s Learning Classical Tibetan (2019), Paul Hackett’s Tibetan Verb Lexicon (2019), and Daniel Perdue’s Debate in Tibetan Buddhism (1992). Registered students will be asked to purchase these texts (all available through Snow Lion Publications). All other materials will be supplied digitally. 

Course Dates and Schedule

The course, TIB108, lasts from June 8 – July 30, 2021.
June 8 – July 2:  Focus – Pronunciation, Introduction to Grammar  
July 6 – July 30: Focus – Debate, the Collected Topics 


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday,
9:00-11:00am Pacific Daylight Time (UTC/GMT -7:00) 

Credit Hours

The eight-week course, TIB108, is a four-credit hour course. 

Graduate credit hours and a grade is awarded to those paying tuition and resident within Oregon. Maitripa College cannot award credit to those living out-of-state, but opens online courses to those who wish to participate through the enrollment status of “Auditor”. Auditors do not receive a transcript.

>Please see full policies related to credit, tuition, and fees here.


Graduate Credit Tuition (In-state students): $390/credit hour 
Continuing Education Auditors, Non-credit Tuition: sliding scale

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. Five tuition options exist for summer term:

  • For-credit students in Oregon: Tuition is $390/credit hour, or $1,560
  • For ordained monastics: Ordained monastics are invited to apply with no application fee, and may be eligible for tuition waiver, pending available scholarship funds for summer term.
  • For admitted degree (MA or MDiv) students: Scholarship assistance may be available for current Maitripa College degree students. Please contact to request and submit applications.
  • For non-credit students: Tuition is $390/credit hour. For the 2021 Summer Classical Tibetan Language Intensive, we are offering a sliding scale for our Continuing Education and Auditing (out of state) students, ranging from 50% – 150% of our standard tuition. Tuition offered at 100% contributes (along with donors and fundraising) to meeting our actual costs for offering incredible education as a non-profit, dharma-driven institution. Offerings above 100% tuition base will be entirely allocated to our scholarship funds and/or offsetting another participant’s need at this time to make a reduced tuition payment. Please contact to arrange your enrollment tuition.

Sliding Scale:
  50% = $780
  75% = $1,170
100% = $1,560
125% = $1,950 covers tuition + 25% scholarship donation
150% = $2,340 covers tuition + 50% scholarship donation

  • For everyone: Payment plans are available by request for all. Tuition and fees must be paid in full by June 7, 2021, unless you have a prearranged payment plan in place with the Registrar (


This summer only, Maitripa College will waive some of our fees associated with access to on-site resources that are currently not available for online students while our campus is closed.  We will not charge library, student services, and facility fees. Our standard tuition and fees policies are detailed here for more information:   

For summer 2021, Maitripa College will charge technology and registration fees to all students accepted to the program. 

Degree Student Fees: $28 technology fee + $25 registration fee 
Continuing Education/Non-Credit Student Fees: $28 technology fee + $10 registration fee 

Zoom Desktop Client Requirements

PC, Mac, or Linux with stable internet connection, speakers, microphone, and webcam.