ACADEMIC Degree Programs
Master of Won Buddhist Studies

A reformed Buddhism intergrating Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian teachings



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Master's Degree

Complete a 2 Year Full-Time Master's Degree Program


Become an Ordained Minister or Lay Leader

Get Ordained into the Won Buddhist Order or Become a Lay leader in the Won Buddhist Community

Program Details

Application Deadline for Spring Term December 1. 

Application Deadline for Fall Term August 1.

The Won Institute of Graduate Studies is the only institution of higher education outside of Korea offering the study of Won Buddhism — a reformed Buddhism integrating Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian teachings. Advancing the study of Won Buddhist teachings is part of the core of the institute mission. As the only only institution in the United States offering the study of Won Buddhism, our two-year Master of Won Buddhist Studies program is specifically designed to present Won Buddhism within a Western context and to prepare students to practice and teach Won Buddhism. The flexibility of our program allows students to focus on their own area of interest, such as moving meditation, history of Buddhist philosophy, or the application of meditation. We serve both students wanting to become ordained ministers or lay leaders, as well as students simply interested in learning more about Won Buddhism. All our students develop a deep understanding of Won Buddhist teaching and practice, while building strong critical thinking, research, and academic writing skills. The Won Institute of Graduate Studies is the nexus of Won Buddhist Studies in the United States.

Program Details


To Complete Full Time


Flexible Class Schedules

Program Retreats

Per Year

Practicum Experience

From the start of the program, Won Buddhist Studies students develop their own contemplative practice. Through daily disciplines, including meditative stillness and active engagement in the world, students better understand the practical application of Won Buddhist principles. The Won Institute’s program culminates with a practicum experience, during which students apply this knowledge in a setting they design for themselves: a calm, welcoming environment for teaching dharma, yoga or meditation. This gives students exposure to leading meditation sessions and dharma talks for American practitioners.

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Program Links

New students can begin the program in the fall or spring term. Applications for the spring term must be received by December 1. Applications for the fall term must be received by August 1.


  • Bachelors Degree in Won Buddhism or Asian Studies or Bachelors Degree and completion of the Preparatory Won Buddhist Studies program

Additional requirements may be required for pre-minister students. Please consult the most recent course catalog for more information.

Hye Sung (Hojin) Park, Ph.D., Dharma Chaplain & Assistant Professor  Ph.D. Loyola University M.S. Loyola University M.A.M.S. Won Institute of Graduate Studies M.A. Won Kwang University B.A. Won Kwang University  [email protected]

Chung Nam Ha, Ph.D., Associate Professor  Ph.D. Buddhist Studies, Won Kwang University, M.A. Comparative Religious Studies, Western Michigan University M.A. Buddhist Studies, Won Kwang University  [email protected]

Grace Song, Ph.D., Interim Chair & Assistant Professor  Ph.D. in Won Buddhist Studies at Won Kwang University, M.A. in Oriental Philosophy at Seoul National University M.WBS in Won Buddhist Studies at Won Institute of Graduate Studies, B.A in Religious Studies at the University of Toronto  [email protected]

Chong-nyue Park, M.A., Adjunct Professor  M.A. Religious Studies, Florida International University B.A. Sociology, Queens College, New York B.A. Won Buddhist Studies, Won Kwang University  [email protected]

The tuition for the Master of Won Buddhist Studies Degree program is $453 per credit hour. Full-time students are defined as those taking 7.5 credit hours or more. Part-time students are those taking less than 7.5 credit hours.

External Scholarships

A list of possible places to search for scholarships compiled by staff, students, and informational mailings to the Institute. By no means comprehensive –  good luck with your search!

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