Diploma in Pali and Buddhist Studies (DPBS)

2 years program offered jointly by the Dept. of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka and Right Mindfulness Training Academy (RMTA).


To provide both monastics and laypersons with the opportunity to earn a college degree in Buddhist studies.


This Associate-equivalent program consists of 16 compulsory credits and 14 optional credits for the total of 450 class hours, taken over two years period at part-time basis, total of four semesters.
Lectures will be conducted in English and all students will attend in-person. (No online option). The classes will be held at MABA on two weekends each month, total of five months each semester.
Certificate will be conferred by University of Kelaniya.

DPBS (on-going two years program, Aug 2019 – June 2021):


However, you are welcome to audit the classes. Please read the Guidance for auditing the classes below, or contact us for more information.

Subject information for semester 2 (Feb 29 – June 21, 2020):

  • Subjects to be taught:
  1. DPBS 03064 Buddhist Ethics and Meditation (4 credits)

Teacher: Sayadaw Ashin Thitzana

Class dates: Feb 29-Mar 1, Mar 28-29, Apr 25-26, May 23-24, June 6-7

  1. DPBS 03024 Fundamental Teachings on Buddhism (4 credits)

Teacher: Bhante D. Upananda

Class dates: Mar 14-15, Apr 11-12, May 9-10, June 20-21

  • Year-end examinations (registered students only): June 27-28, 2020

Teachers’ brief biographies:

Sayadaw Ashin Thitzana is a Burmese monk elder who had migrated to USA since 1995, he is currently the resident chief abbot of Asokarama Monastery (http://stg.tbamichigan.org/pgs/about) in Charlotte MI. Sayadaw received his monastic studies and training at Ma-Soe-Yein Thaik-Thit Monastery in Mandalay in his early monkhood. Sayādaw achieved various educational degrees for outstanding achievements conferred by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Government of Myanmar, among which are: Sāsanadaja Sirīpavara Dhammācariya (The equivalent of lecturer in Pāli Language), Vinaya Pāli Pāragu (an equivalent of Ph.D in Pāli Language), Vinaya Dhara, Vinaya Kovida (Scholar of Vinaya Pitaka Buddhist Texts), Dīghabhāṇaka , Dīghanikāya Kovida (Scholar of Suttanta Pitaka Texts) and Ābhidhammika , Ābhidhamma Kovida (Scholar of Abhidhamma Texts).

Sayadaw is experienced in teaching Pāli courses, Abhidhamma (Buddhist psychology) and Buddhist texts, and regularly leads meditation retreats in USA, Canada, Singapore.

Some of his important academic works are: A Comprehensive Manual of Pāli Grammar (In Myanmar), A Handbook of Noun Declension and Verb Conjugation (In Myanmar), and Kaccayana Pāli Grammar (An English translation in 2016).

Bhante D. Upananda:
Bhante obtained his B.A. and MA in Pali from University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka, M.A. in Religious Studies from Florida International University, Master of Philosophy in Modern South Asian Studies with Emphasis on Religion from University of Cambridge, and Higher Master’s in Teaching of English to Speakers of other Languages from North-central University. Bhante currently is a doctoral researcher in Buddhist Mindfulness studies from University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. Bhante Upananda is very experienced in teaching; he was a lecturer in World Religion at Florida International University (2007- 2009), and lecturer in Buddhist Studies at Ren Ci College in Singapore (1997-1999) and University of Kelaniya (1994-1997). Bhante is currently an International TESOL Instructor, coach in mindfulness practice, and a counsellor for child, juvenile, divorce, and family issues.

Guidance for auditing the classes

Basically, the classes are conducted every two weekends, and it is a full-day class from 8:30am-4:30pm, lunch break is from 11:30am-1:30pm.
Here are some instructions for you to audit the class:
– The class is held at the 4th floor (Prajna Hall) in the Blue Lotus House. Feel free to bring your own notebook to the class. There is no any particular text book given by the teacher for the class, but the teacher will share many references with the class.
1. Please plan to arrive 10 minutes before class (bell ringing is 10 minutes before class starts). Park your car at the parking lot outside Chan Hall and walk to Blue Lotus House.
2. Once you enter the house, please sign your name on the “auditing sign-in sheet” on the table. You will see other sheets e.g. attendance sign-in for registered students and chores list on the table as well. [Candies and brownies are for everyone]
3. Take one of the “Auditor” name tags on the table and put it on, auditors are required to put on the name-tag at all time.
4. Proceed to 4th floor and take any empty seats that are available, and wait for the class to start.
This is a non-profit program, we do not have paid staffs to run the program, MABA totally depends on public contribution and volunteers. Vegetarian meals are prepared by our volunteering friends. All students are assigned with simple chores after lunch and after the class ends to help maintaining the cleanliness of the study environment. (We may assign you a simple chores as well.)
Auditors are required to fully follow the daily schedule on the day when they come to audit the class. Your safety is always our priority. So, please inform us if you have any issues during your stay at MABA or if you have to leave half way. Ven. Kungshih is the person-in-charge of the office management and chores assignments. Venerable Kongyan is the coordinator of the study programs. Please feel free to email us if you have any questions, we will do our best to support your learning and practice here with us.


Donations are welcome to support the on-going educational program.
This is a non-profit program merely for educational purpose, aiming at benefiting all students who are interested in improving oneself. All expenses of this program—teachers’ salary, full and partial scholarship for students, facilities and management, lodging and food−is fully supported by Youth Buddhist Educational Foundation (YBEF) and public contribution.

To make a donation, please send via check make payable to “YBEF” and mail to YBEF, 299 HEGER LN, AUGUSTA, MO 63332.

Or via PayPal.