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Admission Check-List

The MP is an intensive program of study, intellectually challenging and highly scholastic, requiring a great deal of application and commitment. Prospective students need to be aware of this. 

As it is difficult to apply the material studied to one’s practice and daily life without a thorough familiarity (based on study and retreat) with the Stages of the Path (lam-rim), this subject - as well as the two subjects, Mind and Cognition and Tenets - are prerequisite subjects that need to be studied prior to entering the MP.
Applications can be submitted up to four weeks before each subject starts..

So what do you have to do for admission? Here we've provided you with a check-list:

  • Check the information on this page about admission criteria, attendance and participation requirements
  • Attentively read the MP Main Components to get a good impression of what the program entails
  • Plan your finances - make sure you know about the fees
  • Submit an application form online
  • The Masters Program coordinator will then contact you

Students may enter the Masters Program at the beginning of any subject.

Ideally, applicants should have at least one year of familiarity with the study and practice of the lam-rim (the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment) and should have completed a systematic course of study such as Discovering Buddhism, the Basic Program, Maitripa College or an equivalent program in another organization prior to enrolling in the Masters Program.
The additional requirements pertaining to tantra need to be fulfilled to study the last two subjects of the curriculum.

Admission Criteria

  • Prospective students need to have study and practice experience of the Stages of the Path.
  • A one-month lamrim retreat is highly recommended, three months is best. Attendance at the annual month-long Kopan Course and/or a retreat with Lama Zopa Rinpoche is also highly recommended.
  • Ideally, applicants should have completed the Basic Program, while the BP subjects Mind and Cognition and Tenets are a mandatory prerequisite. These subjects can be studied in an FPMT centre or by means of BP Homestudy or BP Online, in which case they need to be successfully completed by the test and the BP practice and conduct requirements need to be fulfilled.
  • Previous acquaintance with the FPMT is recommended.
  • Applicants should have a good understanding of both the oral and written language in which the program will be offered. At this time, the Program will only be offered in English. There is the option for French and Spanish speakers to attend the teachings (translation may be provided) without graduation as texts are not available. Please contact the MP coordinator for more information.
  • Applicants should have a sound financial plan with regard to covering expenses for the period of study.
  • Applicants should have a strong wish to deepen their personal understanding of the Dharma so as to be of help to others; ideally they will wish to be of service within FPMT.
  • Prospective students need to commit themselves to engage with all aspects of the program and to fulfill all attendance requirements.
  • Applicants should be aware of the challenging intellectual level and at times highly scholastic nature of the study material.
  • Prospective students need to understand that the MP is a full-time, intensive and demanding course of study that will require their undivided attention over sustained periods of time.
  • Prospective students should understand that being part of a Dharma community will pose its challenges and will require flexibility and patience.
  • In addition, Nalanda is a monastery and as such certain behaviour is required, eg., keeping the five lay precepts: no killing, stealing, sexual activity, lying or taking of intoxicants. More information is provided in the application form.

Attendance and Participation Requirements

While the Masters Program offers a unique opportunity for personal development through deep and systematic study, completion criteria were established by Lama Zopa Rinpoche to reflect the FPMT centres’ need for excellently qualified teachers, both in terms of academic knowledge and exemplary conduct.

(1) Masters Program Completion & Graduation

A Masters Program Completion Certificate is issued by FPMT Education Services to students who have passed the final exam and fulfilled the retreat requirement upon successfully completing all five subjects.
The Masters Program completion requirements are:

  • Successful completion of all five MP subjects 
  • Full participation in the three month review at the conclusion of the program 
  • Having passed the MP final exam 
  • Having fulfilled the one year MP retreat requirement

Masters Program graduates are eligible to become a FPMT registered teacher and can register at the In-Depth level, which qualifies them to teach and tutor BP and MP subjects as well as Discovering Buddhism and introductory level subjects throughout FPMT, upon request.

(2) Subject Completion

The MP completion card indicates that a student has fulfilled the academic, behaviour, service, participation and meditation/retreat requirements for each subject.  
The completion requirements per subject are:

  • Minimum attendance of 90% at teachings
  • Minimum attendance of 90% at tutorials
  • Completion of 90% of in-class quizzes
  • Passing all the exams for a subject (grade of 50% or above)
  • Minimum attendance of 90% at daily meditation sessions and retreats
  • Keeping a log of the daily meditations plus the meditation attendance sheet
  • Completing a written evaluation once a year in relation to the daily meditations
  • Daily self-evaluation and fulfilment of the patience requirement
  • Acceptable level of conduct as evaluated by MP staff
  • Full participation in the service component
  • Full participation in trainings offered as part of the program (90% attendance)
  • One month lam-rim retreat at the completion of  Ornament, Treasury and  Middle Way  

If a student cannot meet the attendance requirements for a justified reason such as illness, family circumstances, etc., a request for exception can be submitted to the MP Evaluation Committee consisting of the director, the MP coordinator and the MP teaching assistant. Exceptions can only be granted for a limited period of absence.
In the case of an unsatisfactory evaluation, if a student is judged ineligible for the subject completion requirements, a request for re-evaluation can be submitted to the MP Evaluation Committee. Students who do not pass this re-evaluation will not have their completion card signed for the subject.

 Next page: MP Online


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