The Tibetan language program in the Department of Asian Studies is the only university program in Canada of its kind. Due to the historical depth and richness of its literature, Tibet is widely and rightly considered as a “book culture.”

Since its introduction, the Tibetan scripts has seen massive literal production of religious and secular forms of writings in Classical Tibetan over the last fifteen centuries. This brought forth a great variety of unique literary types ranging from a specific Sanskrit-Tibetan translation-literature collected in the Tibetan Buddhist Canon to the birth of a vibrant modern secular literature.


The Tibetan language program is a part of the South Asian language focus area. Here, we cover foundational concepts, grammar and syntax for spoken and written Tibetan. Our program also trains students to gain linguistic expertise to work with Tibetan source material and work on Tibetan Buddhism, as many ancient Buddhist text transmissions were only translated into Tibetan.

Placement Tests

Students are not required to take placement tests or interviews for the Tibetan language program.