ACADEMIC Degree Programs
Master of Won Buddhist Studies
A reformed Buddhism integrating Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian teachings
Fall 2024 Final Deadline - August 1st
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Discover the Won Institute

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Master's Degree

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

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Become an Ordained Minister or Lay Leader

Get ordained into the Won Buddhist Order or become a lay leader in the Won Buddhist community

Master of Won Buddhism Program

The Won Institute of Graduate Studies is the only institution of higher education outside of South Korea offering a Won Buddhism Masters Degree program. Won Buddhism is reformed Buddhism integrating Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian teachings. As the 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 who want to incorporate Won Buddhism principles into their current profession. All our students develop a deep understanding of Won Buddhist teaching and practice, while building strong critical thinking, research, and academic writing skills. Students participate in a 2-week retreat in South Korea at Youngsan University.

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Master of Won Buddhist Studies Program

WBS Program Details

Years To Complete
Program Retreats

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.

Learn More About Won Buddhism

The Won Institute of Graduate Studies has institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Administration.

View our full accreditation details on our Consumer Information page.

To join the Master of Won Buddist Studies or Certificate of Won Buddhism Studies programs, you must obtain:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Won Buddhism or Bachelor’s Degree in any subject.


  • Completion of the Preparatory Won Buddhist Studies (PWBS) courses.

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

Obtaining your master’s degree in Won Buddhism prepares you for many careers, such as:

  1. Won Buddhism teacher
  2. Ordained minister
  3. Academic researcher
  4. Lay leader
  5. Meditation Instructor
  6. Academic faculty member

In addition, this degree allows students to apply their knowledge in a setting they design for themselves: a calm, welcoming environment for teaching dharma, yoga, or meditation.

The Won Buddhism degree takes two years to complete. When you begin the program, you’ll learn about the principles and ethics of Won Buddhism. You’ll also have practice classes where you learn about meditation and mindfulness. Once you progress further into the program, you’ll learn about the theory and applications of Won Buddhism. 

You can explore the full list of required courses for this program here.

Won Institute of Graduate Studies has a team of exceptional faculty members who are committed to teaching and helping students achieve their goals. Get to know our faculty and learn more about their backgrounds.

Whether you want to increase your knowledge of Won Buddhism or become an ordained minister or lay leader, the Won Buddhism online learning master’s program is an ideal way to get started. Our program ensures you have a deep understanding of Won Buddhist teachings and practices. It also helps you to apply this knowledge in a setting you design for yourself: a calm, welcoming environment for teaching dharma, yoga, or meditation and in therapeutic environments. Students also participate in program retreats at the Won Dharma Center in Claverack, NY.

At the Won Institute, we understand that tuition and fees can be a major financial investment. Learn more information about tuition and fees, and our financial resources including scholarship opportunities.

While Won Institute of Graduate Studies is nondenominational, it fosters many learning principles from Won Buddhism, applying them to many academic programs. Won Buddhism is the practice of unifying the spirit of several topics, such as morality, equality, spirituality, and religious practice in different settings, from science and economics to social justice and human endeavors.

When you study at Won Institute, you can see how we have:

Apply For A Degree In Buddhism Now

When you want to learn more about Won Buddhism and its values for spirituality and society, Won Institute of Graduate Studies is the place to be. We are the only institute of Won Buddhist studies in the United States. You can enjoy online learning and in-person practicum that helps you design a welcoming environment for practicing Won Buddhism.

Start your journey to earning your Master of Won Buddhist Studies degree at Won Institute. Apply to the program today!

Ready to Become a Won Buddhist Minister or Lay Leader?

Apply to the Master of Won Buddhist Studies Program

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Download The Latest WBS Bulletin

Click below to check out the latest news from Won Buddhist studies department. See where alumni are now, learn about our faculty and more!

Spring/Summer 2022

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Won Buddhist Studies Programs - Fall 2024 Final Deadline 8/1