Dharma Drum Institute emphasizes humanities and character education, educating students to become future leaders of the world. This goal is achieved through two inter-related paths: academic programs and residential colleges.

To design the residential college system, we have reviewed a number of prominent models in the United States and Europe. We believe that residential colleges play a crucial role in facilitating students’ learning through living and interacting with one another. The residential colleges offer students opportunities to cultivate academic and individual integrity and development, and to integrate the Institute’s core values – empathy, wisdom, harmony, and respect – into educational activities.

The residential colleges are like community-based dorms. Upon admission, students will choose which residence to be a member of. Each residence has its own character and may house students from all Schools and degree programs. Each residential college will have a dean and organize its initiatives such as gathering, seminars, lectures, meditations, counseling, and volunteering programs. Embedded with caring, interaction, and vision, the residential colleges provide whole-person education that enhances students’ capabilities in communication, teamwork, leadership, and creativity. The residential colleges are featured with:

  • Life education– cultivating Dharma Drum core values,
  • Learning by living together– dormitory life develops a sense of community and care for others,
  • Reflection and meditation– encouraging students to reflect, meditate, and contemplate in their daily lives, in connection with the Chan Center for Meditation,
  • Mentorship– mentorship by outstanding experts, scholars, or practitioners of governmental/business/social sectors,
  • International learning– a dormitory rich with cross-cultural and interdisciplinary dialogue as well as opportunities for international exchange,
  • Global citizenship– students engaging in critical thinking on important issues in a global context, and
  • Open dialogue– members’ free sharing of ideas and perspectives.