BSO 104 | Tibetan Buddhism


12-hour online course
with Dr. Constance Kassor

How have Tibetan Buddhists understood the teachings of the Buddha? What practices did they develop to reach the goal of enlightenment in a single lifetime?


Join professor of Buddhist Studies, Dr. Constance Kassor, and a global cohort of students, for this unique opportunity to explore the rich and multifaceted history of Tibetan Buddhism. 

Why is Buddhism such an important part of Tibetan culture? What’s “Tibetan” about Tibetan Buddhism? 


How has Tibetan Buddhism transformed over time as it has spread across the world? This course will explore the history, development, beliefs, and practices of Tibetan Buddhism.

How do we study the history of Tibetan Buddhism?


Over the course of four modules, we will attempt to answer these questions by studying the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet, its institutionalization and politicization, and its continued spread around the globe within the last century. In addition to studying the history of Tibetan Buddhism, we will also explore key beliefs and practices related to emptiness, compassion, and tantric meditation. Students in this course will develop a multifaceted understanding of Tibetan Buddhism, exploring this rich and fascinating tradition from multiple perspectives.

Course Structure

Students enrolled in this course will receive:

  • 4 pre-recorded video lectures + audio recordings (90 min each)

  •  4 recordings of Zoom Q&A sessions + audio recordings (90 min each)

  •   4 BSO Credits

  • Course Syllabus (PDF)

  • Weekly Readings (PDF)

  • 4 Weekly Handouts (PDF)

  • 4 Weekly Quizzes

  • Access to private Community forum

  • Certificate of Completion (PDF)

Your Instructor


Dr. Constance Kassor

Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin

Dr. Constance Kassor is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where she teaches courses on Buddhist thought and Asian religious traditions. Prior to joining the Lawrence faculty in 2016, she taught Buddhist Studies at Smith College, Hampshire College, Amherst College, and the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal.

Connie’s research primarily focuses on Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, and she is interested in different ways that Tibetan Buddhist scholars understand the cultivation of knowledge. Her forthcoming book, Accounting for Awakened Awareness, examines the nature of knowledge through the lens of the 15th century philosopher Gorampa Sonam Senge. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Connie is also currently translating Gorampa’s extensive Madhyamaka treatise, Synopsis of Madhyamaka (dbu ma’i spyi don) into English, in collaboration with Khenpo Dr. Ngawang Jorden, principal and abbot of the International Buddhist Academy in Nepal.

Connie has spent several years living, working, and teaching in Buddhist communities in India and Nepal. In addition to her scholarly publications, she has written for Lion’s Roar and Tricycle, and has recently published an audio course for The Great Courses and Audible, titled Religious Lessons from Asia to the World. She is currently preparing a video course for The Great Courses, titled Tibet: History, Culture, and Religion, scheduled to be released in 2023.

Student Testimonials

"Dr. Kassor delivered this online course brilliantly. There was so much to be taught, and her knowledge seems to be endless. She took the time to explain everything and the importance of the history. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is looking to understand the complexities of Buddhism."

— BSO 104 Student

"Dr. Kassor is a very engaging lecturer. She is a master of the technique of clear and methodical explanation of concepts. I really appreciated the way she takes every question seriously."

— BSO 104 Student

"I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to learn from Dr. Constance Kassor at BSO. I haven’t taken a course like this in a long time. Fortunately, I was able to study among a group of people who are educated and kind-hearted, with the same ambition and interests. I feel so blissful, thank you!"

— Violet Li (New York, USA)

"I am new to Buddhist studies, and this course was an excellent introduction to Tibetan Buddhism. Dr. Connie Kassor was very organized, and her lectures were very easy to consume. She is a very clear teacher, making a very complex subject memorable."

— BSO 104 Student