Naropa University

Master of Arts in Religious Studies


2130 Arapahoe Avenue

Boulder, CO 80302

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Master of Arts in Religious Studies

Format: Campus

Program Description:

Naropa University’s Religious Studies master’s degree program is one of personal and intellectual transformation. As a Religious Studies graduate student, you will cultivate insights, knowledge, and meditative methods (such as mindfulness, yoga, and compassion practices) that will empower you to serve the inner and outer needs of the world, whether in the classroom, your community, through inter-religious dialog, or the larger society.

At Naropa, you can remain broadly focused in your studies by choosing a Contemplative Religions concentration, or you can specialize through the in-depth study of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism or Contemplative Judaism. We also offer a Master of Arts with Language, which allows you to add two years of Sanskrit and/or Tibetan language to your degree program.

Whatever path you choose, you will study the great masters and their works, ancient and modern, that are important to each tradition, while also delving into their profundities through contemplative methods.

The MA in Religious Studies allows students to focus on one of three concentrations. Learn more about each of the three choices below.

  • Contemplative Judaism Concentration
  • Contemplative Religions Concentration
  • Indo-Tibetan Buddhism Concentration


Contemplative Judaism Concentration

Contemplative Judaism Classroom This 45-credit Contemplative Judaism concentration is designed for students who desire an in-depth survey of Jewish traditions and texts, with a special emphasis on the experiential dimensions of Jewish practice, Jewish meditation, and contemplative approaches to Judaism. Students in these programs will engage in academic study that integrates training in Jewish contemplative practices and offers access to authentic exemplars of the tradition.

This program will consist of both residential and online courses, with the standard contemplative retreat requirement of 30-days over the course of the program.
Contemplative Religions Concentration

This 45-credit concentration is designed for students who wish to join the academic study of comparative religions with interreligious dialogue, contemplative practice, and personal investigation. Students develop literacy in the living practice traditions of a variety of world religions, with special emphasis on integrating the mystical contemplative dimension with the texts, teachings, and other aspects of the traditions. Students also learn interreligious dialogue skills for communicating across religious differences in an environment of global pluralism. Students work with faculty members who are both academically and spiritually trained in the teachings and practices of their respective traditions.
ith an oral comprehensive exam as well as a master’s project paper.

Indo-Tibetan Buddhism Concentration

The 45-credit MA Religious Studies with Indo-Tibetan Buddhism concentration offers two emphases: History of Religions and Tibetan Traditions.

Tibet has played a central role in the development of Buddhism in Asia, including preserving the scholastic traditions and texts of India, while deepening the meditative practices and insights of the Indian oral traditions. This MA degree surveys Indian and Tibetan Buddhism with emphasis on textual and meditative lineages, integrating study and practice each semester. The faculty includes Western-trained academics and acharyas (master teachers) steeped in Tibetan Buddhist practice, as well as English-speaking Tibetan lamas extensively trained in their own traditions. 



Naropa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

# of Credits Required: 45

Average Cost per Credit (Graduate): 900.00 USD

Classification: Specialized Institution—Other

Locale: Small City

Size & Settings: 1,000-2,999

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