Mastering of the five Great treatises in which the enormous corpus of Buddhist scriptures is divided:
1. Pramana, the Buddhist logic and epistemology which includes the studies of many non-Buddhist thoughts.
2. Prajnaparmitas which include voluminous texts of Bodhisattva practices such as the study of six perfections.
3. Madhyamika, the study of Buddhist middle views, Sunyatavada.
4. Abhidharmakosa, the Buddhist metaphysics and
5. Vinaya, monastic rules and disciplines.
They form a very demanding curriculum. The idea behind such studies is that 'if you study, you will know the Law of Buddha and from then, you will be able to keep away from sin. It is by this means you will find your way out of the wheel of rebirth.' Understandably not all of those willing to learn are able to immerse themselves in these studies with equal depth. The entire period of study takes more than twenty years. However the Tibetan monastic life rests on spiritual communities containing very large number of monks. But every member of these communities is not able to see the prescribed course of studies through to the end. Simples tasks are required of bearer of low monastic grades. These include maintenance of the monastery buildings, lighting lamps in the temple, working in the monastic kitchens - in short all the jobs that require no particular training. And those who have completed their courses successfully were awarded the degrees of 'Geshe', a Doctorate of Buddhology, by the monasteries themselves of by the State. They are now qualified to carry out the most important and most difficult rituals in the general chapels or in their colleges and are also qualified to teach in the various monasteries and universities. They can also proceed further on the higher tantric studies and practices.
Study in the monasteries is by no means restricted only to liturgical, doctrinal and esoteric teachings. The student is also offered the possibility of penetrating into the auxiliary sciences, even if these are not directly connected to the primarily religious and liturgical trainings. They are also taught medicine, astrology and astronomy, rhetoric, literature, painting and the art of drawing such religious arts as mandala and thankas. At present in Indian and Nepal, elementary modern sciences and foreign languages like English are also taught in the monastic schools.