NOTE:  PLANS FOR 2023 SUMMER TIBETAN ARE UNDERWAY. Information for summer 2023 for both credit and non-credit seeking students will be posted on this website when available – please watch for announcements!

The Classical Tibetan Summer Intensive 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 online through our Classical Tibetan Language Program for Oregon students, and as non-credit audit enrollment for those outside of Oregon. Classes are synchronous, and participation mandatory, so time zone compatibility is important to consider.

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 strictly required, but it is quite 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: 

Hackett, Paul. 2019. Learning Classical Tibetan. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion. (required)
Perdue, Daniel. 1992. Debate in Tibetan Buddhism. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion. (optional but recommended)
Wilson, Joe. 1998. Translating Buddhism from Tibetan. Ithaca, NY: Snow Lion. (required)

Registered students will be asked to purchase these texts or obtain them from libraries. All other materials will be supplied digitally. 

Course Dates and Schedule

To come when available for 2023


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 course. 

Graduate credit hours and a grade are awarded to Oregon students. Maitripa College is not approved to award credit/grades to non-Oregon students, 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.


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.

  • Degree Program Students: $421/credit hour, or $1,684
  • Continuing Education Students and Auditors: $421/credit hour, or $1,684
  • 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 Program (MA or MDiv) Students: Scholarship assistance may be available for current Maitripa College degree students. Please contact to request and submit applications.
  • Payment plans are available by request for all.

Tuition and fees must be paid in full by the first day of the term unless you have a prearranged payment plan in place with the Registrar (


Maitripa College will waive some of our fees associated with access to on-site resources that will not typically be available for summer students in a fully online course. We will not charge student services and facility fees. Library services on-site are available by appointment with the librarian and in accordance with public health mandates and guidelines. Librarian support for distance education students is available upon request to

Our standard tuition and fees policies are detailed here for more information:   

For summer 2022, Maitripa College will charge technology, library, and registration fees to all students accepted to the program. 

Degree Student Fees: $65 ($28 technology fee + $25 registration fee + $12 library fee)
Continuing Education/Auditing Fees: $50 ($28 technology fee + $10 registration fee + $12 library fee)

Tuition Refund for Classical Tibetan Summer Intensive

Amount of Refund (as follows) for withdrawal from the course for any reason:

Prior to 1st day of class | 100% of tuition refunded
Week 1 | 87.5% of tuition refunded
Week 2 | 75% of tuition refunded
Week 3 | 62.5% of tuition refunded
Week 4 | 50% of tuition refunded
No refund will be issued after the 4th week of the semester.

Zoom Desktop Client Requirements

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