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Serves: Worldwide
Enrollment: twice a year
Financial Aid: Yes
Scholarships: Yes
Contact Info:
State: Colorado
City: Boulder
Street: 2130 Arapahoe Ave
ZIP: 80302
Phone: 303-444-0202
Naropa defines itself as Buddhist-inspired, ecumenical and nonsectarian rather than Buddhist. Naropa promotes non-traditional activities like meditation to supplement traditional learning approaches. The fact is, this very phenomenon is unfolding today at Naropa University, a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian liberal arts institution dedicated to advancing contemplative education.

This approach to learning integrates the best of Eastern and Western educational traditions, helping students know themselves more deeply and engage constructively with others. By combining these two storied pedagogies, East and West are indeed meeting every day at Naropa University and the resulting sparks of inspiration are flying.

Naropa is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools in 1988.

Naropa University comprises a four-year undergraduate college and graduate programs in the arts, education, environmental leadership, psychology and religious studies. It offers BA, BFA, MA, MFA and MDiv degrees, as well as professional development training and classes for the community.

Distance Learning
Distance learning at Naropa University takes advantage of the latest technology in online learning in an innovative approach to contemplative education. Students can study at Naropa University without disrupting their own busy lives or leaving their homes through the use of streaming audio, video, chat rooms, bulletin boards and other online communication tools.

Online discussion has five qualities: openness, resourcefulness, clarity of intellect, communication and effective action. They are so integral to the Naropa University distance learning experience that after some time, they become a natural part of the students’ and instructors’ approaches to course work.

In addition to individual online courses, Naropa University offers several low-residency degree programs and low-residency certificates.

Financial Aid
A quality education is a costly product in today’s world. For this reason Naropa University makes every attempt to assist students who do not have the financial resources to achieve their educational aims. The university offers institutional grants and scholarships as well as all types of federal student aid. Some financial aid for international students is also available.


Stephanie Fowler
This is a holistic psych university (bachelors/ masters) based on Buddhist principles. Buddhism is a philosophy and a way of life, and not a religion. After 10+ years in an all girls’ private catholic school, I really appreciate Buddhism.

I have to admit that I have never attended this university as a student. However, I've been blown away by almost everyone I've met who has studied here. They seem more happy, grounded, peaceful, and positive. Sure, there is an occasional trust fund pot head, but it's Boulder, what do you expect?

Their curriculum includes subjects like meditation for stress reduction, transforming your relationship with money, re-visioning your future, couple power, writing from the heart, yoga, listening to our bodies, and aikido. Real world skills. They don't spend time memorizing battle dates! There needs to be more institutions of learning like this. Erudite, content people don't wage war!

Fay Peterson
Naropa University is an excellent choice for holistic new age hippy style. Students are free from the constraints of a traditional learning environment and sure to flourish among fresh thoughts and ideas of super new-age caliber. Naropa prides itself on a learning environment combined from the best of eastern and western learning traditions - "Greece and India" in one. The Uni strives to integrate self-awareness and understanding with a traditional study of the "outside" world. Therefore, meditation, yoga and other spiritual methods are incorporated in curriculum.

Interestingly, Naropa is the only "fully accredited Buddhist-inspired University in the United States". Naropa University has a lot of Boulder charm or Boulder has a lot of Naropa charm. Either way, if you are from Colorado, you will understand my description that Naropa is "very Boulder."

Shanna Watson
Positive: Personal development and practicing awareness are part of everything that goes on at Naropa. These can be applied to all future endeavors. I wouldn't trade my experiences in that way for any other University experience. The faculty are sincere and responsive.
Negative: I did not develop practical skills that would allow me to succeed in my chosen field (music), although I had a lot of leeway for creative exploration and growth.
Also, at the end of the program, my advisor and I had different ideas about how I should go about creating my senior project, and therefore I never achieved a degree although I accomplished all required classes with a 3.8 gradepoint. That was years ago, but I still feel this was a bit unfair, as the point was that the students try to do what is most meaningful to them in their fields. Just make sure to be clear about expectations when you enter into the program--don't assume anything.
Attend this school if you are interested in actively participating in your own development, particularly in the psychology programs. The Buddhist studies are practice oriented and offer a strong foundation in theory as well.
If your idea is to get a career, Naropa may not be the place to go except for the programs that prepare you for licenses (MA's in Counseling, for example), or if you are planning on remaining in academia.
All in all, it was one of the best educational experiences of my life.