Yes, DRBU is accredited by the WASC Senior Commission of Universities and Colleges (WSCUC). WSCUC is the accreditation commission for universities in California and is the same accreditor for schools like Stanford and UC Berkeley. See further information about accreditation.

Yes. DRBU issues F-20s for student visas for our BA, MA, and translation certificate programs. For more information see our page on international applicants

Generally, we do not waive the English test score requirement. Our programs are reading and discussion based, so academic readiness in English is very important. However, if you have significant evidence of your English ability (such as attending a school with English instruction), we may be able to waive this requirement. Please contact the admissions office to discuss your situation.

The BA and MA applications both require two letters of recommendation. One is ideally from a teacher who knows you in an academic context, and the second can be from anyone who knows you well (no direct family members). If you do not have any recent academic teachers, consider someone who taught you in another context, such as a spiritual, art, sports, or religious teacher. If that is not possible, we can grant permission to accept a recommendation from an employer or someone who has worked with you in a supervisory role. Please contact the admissions office to discuss your situation and we will find a solution. We do not want this part of the application to be a barrier to any of our applicants.

Yes. Our financial aid is need-based, and offered in the form of work study and university grants. Currently, we do not ask our students to take out loans to finance their education, and thus far, all of our students have graduated debt-free. We do not want finances to be a barrier for any students sincerely interested in attending DRBU. Please contact us to discuss your situation in more detail.

All application materials, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, may be submitted through Common App or the DRBU application portal. We understand certain items take more time to arrive. We welcome you to submit such parts of the application separately. However, your application will not be reviewed until we have received all required materials. You may send additional application materials to:

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
Dharma Realm Buddhist University
1991 Virtue Way, Ukiah, California, 95482

DRBU has resumed in-person classes. The parameters of on-campus life depend on how the COVID pandemic is progressing. We will be following established guidelines on good health protocols. This will likely mean masking, testing, and appropriate social distancing in order to keep our community healthy and safe.

We do offer the option for admitted students to defer their enrollment for one year. We do not offer a spring-start option, and our curriculum is sequential, so it is not possible to defer only one semester.

Yes, prospective students and their families are welcome to schedule a visit to campus. For more information see our page on visiting campus. To set up a visit, contact us at

No, our degree programs are based on-campus in Ukiah, CA. We do offer drop-in classes online through DRBU Extension.

Our BA in Liberal Arts focuses on the wisdom traditions of Buddhism, China, India, and the West. Our MA focuses on Buddhist Classical texts. Both programs incorporate classical language learning in either Classical Chinese or Sanskrit. We invite you to explore our curriculum (BA | MA) in more detail.

BA in Liberal Arts

We are now accepting applications for Fall 2024. We offer three deadlines:

Early Action – Nov. 15, 2023
Regular Decision – Jan. 15, 2024
Rolling Admission – Ongoing until the incoming cohort is full.

In regards to transferring, the situation at DRBU is unique. Our curriculum is sequential and all required. For example, you take three semesters of Chinese Classics, beginning with the study of early texts such as the Daodejing and moving forward in time from there. The same is true in Indian Classics, Buddhist Classics, Western Classics, and so on. Due to this, it’s not possible to start mid-way with transfer credits. All students enter as freshman and are expected to complete all four years of the program. We welcome students with previous college experience. It is not uncommon for students to apply to DRBU after having already completed one or more years at another college or university. 

One of the things that makes DRBU a unique place to study is the diversity of our student body, including diversity in age and life experience. Students in our BA program may range in age from 18-60s. Many come here after being out of school for years. Our model of education is suitable for a mature student of any age who is interested in investing in their own growth and learning.

Please contact us and we can find a solution to your specific problem. For quick reference, here is DRBU’s page on the Common App. You are also welcome to apply through DRBU’s application portal

Our approach to liberal arts education trains students to develop their potential across all dimensions of life. This includes cultivating flexibility, versatility, open-mindedness, ethical sensibility, and working across cultures. In our constantly changing society, the ability to adapt to change opens one up to a larger world. Our students can carry their foundational DRBU education forward into a multitude of careers and pathways to leadership. Generally speaking, popular careers fields for Liberal Arts graduates include education, law, medicine, business, communications, software development, social services, and arts.

As a small community, DRBU provides excellent opportunities for mentoring from our faculty and staff that can help support a diversity of post-graduation opportunities. As of spring 2021, 38% of our BA students have gone on to graduate school.

We welcome you to explore our alumni spotlights to see profiles of recent graduates.

MA in Buddhist Classics

We are now accepting applications for Fall 2024. We offer two deadlines:

Regular Decision – Jan. 15, 2024
Rolling Admission – Ongoing until the incoming cohort is full.

There are no specific prerequisites for applying to the MA program other than completion of a BA degree. We have had students with backgrounds in humanities, arts, health, science, math, and many other fields join the MA program. No formal background in Buddhism is required.

Explore our student profiles to get to know some of our current students.

Yes. We’ve had multiple students with MA or PhDs from other institutions enroll in our MA program.

While the MA in Buddhist Classics can provide a grounding for students who wish to pursue graduate or doctoral work in Asian Studies, Classics, Buddhist studies, or similar degrees, that is not its only, or even primary, intent. Many students choose to join the program for their own enrichment or spiritual development. For others, it can further professional development, enhance almost any career, or simply enlarge their world view stimulated through an immersion in the Buddhist way of life. The program allows individuals to reach personal understanding of both the teachings in Buddhist texts and the contemplative exercises that can inspire personal growth and professional innovation. By the end of the program, students should be able to explain and discuss Buddhist practices, methods, and concepts in a “language” that is integrated with the cultural and intellectual thought-ways of the West and the larger modern world.

We welcome you to explore our alumni spotlight to see profiles of recent graduates.

Translation Certificate Program

We are now accepting applications for Fall 2024. Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. We will continue to accept applications until the incoming cohort is full. 

The deadline for international students is February 15, 2024. After this date, international applications are considered on a space-available basis.

Currently the Graduate Certificate Program focuses on translation from Classical Chinese.

While it is preferred that students have experience with Classical Chinese, they are not required to be proficient in Classical Chinese in order to be admitted to the Translation Certificate program. However, students should have proficiency in English and ideally a second language.

Each semester students have the opportunity to work on translating a different text. In the past, students have worked on translating portions of the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Vimalakirti Sutra, the Mahāyāna Vaipulya Dhāraṇī Sūtra, and poems by Master Hanshan.

People who are interested in the translation of Buddhist texts as a spiritual practice, and the integration of spiritual practices and academic study.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

We’re happy to answer any other questions you may have.