Degree Requirements

Please note that many students complete the program in four rather than three years. For a complete four-year plan, please see your academic advisor.  Some courses are only offered alternate years; please consult your academic advisor. 

First year, fall


First year, spring


First year, summer

Nitartha Institute Shedra Option Only *** 

SUBTOTAL 3 (Nitartha Institute Shedra Option Only)

Second year, fall

SUBTOTAL 13 (14.5 - Field education)

Second year, spring

SUBTOTAL 12–13 (13.5–14.5 - Field Education)

Second year, summer


Third year, fall


Third year, spring

SUBTOTAL 11–12 (8–9 Nitartha Institute Shedra Option)

Total Credits: 72

*It is highly recommended that students complete the noncredit month long dathün requirement (REL650) by the winter break between the fall and spring semesters of their first year or, at the latest, during the summer following their first year.

** Students choosing the Nitartha Institute Shedra Option should complete the requirement of attending a monthlong Nitartha Institute program in the summer following their first year. This is integral to the sequence of the curriculum. This replaces three credits of electives in the final semester.

***Internship is an opportunity for students to apply, integrate, and reconsider specific practices of ministry or spiritual leadership in a “real-life” setting.  This contextual learning requirement may be met in one of two ways: 1) REL744 Master of Divinity Field Education I (1.5 credits) & REL 745 Master of Divinity Field Education II (1.5 credits); OR 2) REL747 Master of Divinity Clinical Pastoral Education (3.0 credits).  Although internship is commonly taken during the second year, students may also take it in the third or subsequent years. 

**** Students can take up to six of their elective credits in courses from other programs in The Graduate Collective that are designated as open to students outside their programs, with permission of the faculty member.

Religious Studies Electives

General Electives

Buddhism Electives

Contemplative Practice Electives

* These courses must be taken in sequence. The prerequisites for REL609W are Meditation Practicum I and II, as well as a Buddhist monthlong meditation intensive, two weeks of which must be completed before the class begins.