Basic Program Onsite

Teachings at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute

WHAT IT IS: The Basic Program of Buddhist Studies is an FPMT in-depth study program of nine important texts in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Lama Tzong Khapa. The full-time residential Basic Program at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute takes place over a period of two-years, with classes Monday-Friday, nine months a year.

Eight of the nine modules are accredited. For more information.

FOR WHO: As the Basic Program is an in-depth program of study and practice, applicants should have already acquired some familiarity with the study and practice of Tibetan Buddhism through attending introductory and foundational level courses and study programs such as Discovering Buddhism and the Foundation of Buddhist Thought.

As the main language of the program is English, applicants must also have an acceptable level of spoken and written English. Applicants are not required to possess a university degree.

BY WHOM: The nine modules of the Basic Program will be taught by a staff of qualified Western and Tibetan teachers. The first subject, Stages of the Path, will be taught by Kyabje Dagri Rinpoche, a highly respected lama who is close to His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kyabje Zopa Rinpoche, and has been teaching in the FPMT centers for many years. Several modules will be taught by Geshe Tenzin Tenphel, a Tibetan lharam geshe (the highest degree conferred by the Tibetan monastic university system) who has been resident teacher at the Institute since 1998. Gavin Kilty and Glen Svensson, both of whom are experienced Western scholars and practitioners, will teach the remaining modules.

WHERE: Classes, tutorials, meditation sessions, and retreats take place at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute.

WHEN: The eight accredited modules plus the Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra (a one-month summer intensive in 2013) take place over a period of two years (23 January 2012 to 13 December 2013). A one-month lam-rim retreat will take place in the first year of the program. The remaining two months of retreat can either be done at the end of the program, or in one-month blocks at any time after completing the study of Stages of the Path.

Basic Program Yearly Schedule

OUTCOME: Students who complete the academic, meditation, and project  components in relation to the nine modules, pass the final comprehensive exam, and do three months of lam-rim retreat qualify for the FPMT Basic Program Completion Certificate and can become In-depth Buddhism FPMT registered teachers.

The Basic Program is an excellent preparation for the next seven-year Masters Program in Buddhist Studies scheduled to begin at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in January 2014.

LANGUAGE: The language of instruction is English. Classes with Tibetan masters are translated from Tibetan into English.


  • €1,800.00 for each of the two years. This fee covers eight of the nine modules of the Basic Program.
  • The ninth module, Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra, will be taught as a one-month residential summer intensive at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in 2013. Tuition fees are yet to be determined.
  • A three-month on-line review for the Basic Program final comprehensive exam will take place from mid-January to mid-April 2014. Tuition fees are yet to be determined.
  • The tuition fee for the one-month lam-rim retreat to be held from May 28th to June 22nd, 2012 at Lama Tzong Khapa Institute is included in the annual fee for full-time students. Students can engage in the remaining two months of lam-rim retreat when and where they choose (the cost of these retreats is not included in the tuition fees).


  • Applications for the entire two-year can be submitted from 15th December 2010 to 30th November 2011.
  • Applications for individual modules remain open until approximately one month before the start of the module.

If you have questions, please write to the Education Coordinator: