University of the West


Degrees Offered at University of the West

The University of the West appears in our ranking of the 100 Most Affordable Small Colleges West of the Mississippi.

The University of the West allows its students to combine their ability for critical thinking and curiosity to come together in a classroom and discuss options thoroughly. This college allows everyone to explore their own studies. As such, it helps students get the opportunity to choose between a variety of programs. Additionally, high school students can also complete a dual degree program, which allows them to start during their senior year of high school.

Undergraduate programs are available, and include these options:

  •  Business Administration
  •  English (with concentrations in literature and TESOL)
  •  Liberal Arts
  •  Psychology

Graduate students also have a variety of opportunities available to them, with doctorate and master’s degrees both available. The fields of study are quite different from the undergraduate level. Therefore, it can be helpful to learn a bit more about them.

The Buddhist Chaplaincy features a Master of Divinity in Buddhist Chaplaincy or a Doctor of Buddhist Ministry. As such, the master’s degree is only one of four accredited programs throughout the US designed for Buddhists. Buddhist practitioners can learn to prepare for hands-on work in interfaith situations, including police departments, hospitals, and more. It is not an online program.

Its Master of Business Administration provides students with more in-depth technical education and management to help with decision making. This two-year program focuses on cultural diversity to teach students to be responsible and effective when managing mixed teams.

UWest also offers a Master of Arts in Psychology for marriage and family therapy. It’s a 63-unit course that prepares people to meet California licensure requirements to offer MFT psychotherapy to couples and families.

A master’s and doctorate degree are also available for religious studies.

Though many potential students desire to earn a degree, there are some certificate-only programs available. These include:

  •  Learning English as a second language (for specific or academic purposes)
  •  The Program of American Culture Exchange (where people can attend live classes on campus while visiting the area)
  •  TESOL (allowing people to teach English as a foreign/second language)
  •  BA undergraduate certificate
  •  BA graduate certificate
  •  BA Post-MBA certificate

Some course can be taken online, though there are no online-only programs available as of yet. As such, only summer courses can be completed online. These include:

  •  Business Communications
  •  Contemplation: Tibetan Canon
  •  Digital Marketing
  •  Bridge Writing
  •  Experimental Design/Statistical Analysis

This institute primarily focuses on whole-person education. As such, General Education is essential and required for all students. They will complete more than 50 GE units for bachelor’s degree needs. Its courses reflect the college’s belief that people need more knowledge than just their specialized study.

About the University of the West

The University of the West believes in educating the entire person. It was founded in 1991 to be an alternative educational experience than the traditional university. As such, it integrated with global perspectives and liberal arts traditions, primarily drawing on Buddhist wisdom. This led the school to create an open community of cooperation and collaboration. Its graduates can meet the challenges of an interdependent and complex world using compassion and creativity.

While initially known as His Lai University in 1990 by Master Hsing Yun, it opened its doors in the spring of 1991. The school focuses on bringing together partnerships between American and Chinese Buddhists to establish something amazing and well-integrated.

In 1996, during the summer, the university was moved to Rosemead City, where it has been an independent, higher-learning institution based on how a US university runs. However, UWest (University of the West) wasn’t the school’s name until April of 2004.

Primarily, the school has been run for the last few decades as a provider of liberal arts education. However, the main focus is to prepare Buddhists for leadership roles in the West. To further this mission, it has opened the Center for Small Business and Minority Study, as well as the Digital Sanskrit Canon Project.

University of the West Accreditation Details

The University of the West is currently accredited by the West Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) through the Senior College and University Commission. It received its Action letter in March 2015, reaffirming accreditation until the year 2021.

However, a special visit was held in 2017 to review the progress of the university in terms of planning, analysis, and more. It was shown that the college has satisfactorily addressed the agency’s core commitments for student learning/success.

University of the West Application Requirements

There are multiple steps that people must take to become a University of the West student. The same requirements apply to graduate and undergraduate hopefuls.

  •  Fill out an application online
  •  Send copies of the applicant’s high school and college transcriptions. They must be sealed by the school and sent directly to UWest.
  •  Provide two letters of recommendation. These must be sent directly from references in a sealed envelope. However, an email can also be sent from a professional domain. They are not required, but they are highly encouraged.
  •  Send in a personal statement. This 500-word essay should talk about the attitudes and skills the applicant believes are necessary to have a successful life.
  •  Pay the application fee. A non-refundable $50 fee is required to be considered. It can be paid by credit card or check.
  •  Provide a copy of the high school diploma or GED certification.

There may be additional information needed for graduate-level applicants, depending on the program. For example:

  •  MBA Certificates require a current CV/Resume.
  •  Psychology MFT needs two statements of purpose and an interview.
  •  Doctor of Buddhist Ministry requires an MDiv or master’s degree in a related field, as well as prior experience and four letters of recommendation.

Tuition and Financial Aid

While UWest focuses on providing low tuition rates when compared to other private universities, prospects might still need help paying for their education. A variety of scholarships are offered, including:

  •  Springboard Scholarship
  •  Lotus Scholarship
  •  IBEF Scholarships
  •  Many Others

The University of the West offers its students a variety of study options and encourages them to stand apart from the crowd and use their creativity.