AcademicsUndergraduate AcademicsYoga Degree

BA in Yoga Studies

Yoga Degree

Embrace yogic practice as a way of life and be transformed beyond the mat with the Yoga Studies degree at Naropa, the country’s first university to offer a degree in yoga.

Program Overview

Naropa’s yoga certification and degree program is dedicated to preserving the vast teachings of yoga, from the historical and philosophical aspects to the practical implementation and methods.

You will spend four years delving into yoga’s history, literature, and philosophy.
The methodologies of Hatha Yoga will come to life as you practice asanas, pranayama, and meditation. 

In this program, learning how to become a yoga instructor is only one piece of the big picture. The curriculum covers the foundations of yogic practice, the history and ideas behind yoga, the science of human anatomy, Sanskrit language and literature, and more.

The award-winning faculty of Naropa’s bachelor’s degree in yoga studies are distinguished scholars, historians, authors, world travelers, and deeply committed practitioners of yoga. With specialties in Indian philosophy, world music, Buddhist studies, and more, our faculty can offer mentorship in a diverse array of yoga-related disciplines.

The modern mindfulness movement started on our campus, and the study of yoga is integral to our mission of contemplative learning. Transform from the inside out through meditation and self-inquiry.

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Quick Facts

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Program Format

Naropa’s Yoga Degree is a four-year, fully accredited Bachelor of Arts. During the 36-credit major, students delve into the rich and diverse history, literature, and philosophies of the yoga tradition while immersing in the methodologies of Hatha yoga, including asana, pranayama, and meditation.

In addition, students study Sanskrit, Ayurveda, anatomy, yoga therapy, Hinduism, Tantra, and Buddhism, all while engaging in an intensive teacher training curriculum as part of their yoga degree program.

Upon completion, students earn both a bachelor’s degree and a 1,000-hour certificate in Yoga Teacher Training, which meets and exceeds the 500-hour requirement of Yoga Alliance. All graduates are eligible to become Registered Yoga Teachers (RYT500) with Yoga Alliance. 

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Course Spotlight

Hindu Tantra

The term “Tantra” encapsulates intricate traditions, often misunderstood or misrepresented due to romanticization and cultural appropriation. This course seeks to clarify and ground students in the true essence of Tantra, spanning its origins in fifth-to-sixth-century India to its modern interpretations. By exploring its various streams, rituals, and philosophies, students gain a comprehensive understanding. The objective is to navigate its historical evolution and diverse social dynamics, ensuring a nuanced appreciation of Tantra’s depth and significance. 


A Bachelor of Arts degree (120 credits) consists of a Core Curriculum (24 credits) and at least one major, as well as minors and/or elective courses of the student’s choosing.

Naropa’s Yoga Studies Major is comprised of 36 credit hours. 

Yoga Studies Major Requirements

  • TRA-133 Yoga I: Foundations (3)
  • TRA-233 Yoga II: Tantric Yoga (3)

  • TRA-333 Yoga III: Synthesis (3)

  • TRA-453 Yoga History, Theory, and Philosophy (3)

  • TRA-463 Yoga Meditation (3)

  • PAR-101 Experiential Anatomy (3)

  • PSYB-332 Human Anatomy (3)

  • REL-355 Introductory Sanskrit: Language of the Gods (3)
  • PSYB-304 Somatic Intelligence: The Neuroscience of Our Body-Mind Connection (3)

  • REL-158W Breeze of Simplicity: Meditation Weekend (1)

  • REL-210 Religion and Mystical Experience (3)

  • REL-247 Embodying Sacred Wisdom: Modern Saints (3)

  • REL-255W Opening the Heart: Meditation Weekend (1)

  • REL-277 Sanskrit I (4)

  • REL-334 Hindu Tantra (3)

  • REL-351 Theories of Alternative Spiritualities and New Religious Movements (3)

  • TRA-114 Indian Devotional and Raga Singing I (3)

  • TRA-314 Indian Devotional and Raga Singing II (3)

  • TRA-499 Independent Study: Traditional Eastern Arts (0.5)

  • TRA-433 Yoga IV: Yoga Teacher Training (3)

  • TRA-449 Yoga V: Yoga Teacher Training (3)

  • TRA-485 BA Wisdom Traditions Retreat (1)

  • COR-440 Capstone II (3)

Total: 36 credits

Why Choose Naropa?

Award-winning Faculty

Your yoga degree and certification will be backed by faculty members with decades of experience in fostering the success of yoga students. They will assist you in academic exploration, contemplative practice, and mindful movement, incorporating timeless yoga wisdom into every lesson.

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Artistic Development

Graduates of Naropa’s yoga studies program will have both a bachelor’s degree and a 1,000-hour yoga teacher training certification. This certification meets and exceeds the Yoga Alliance certification standard of 500 hours.


Incoming undergraduate students enrolling full-time in at least 12 credit hours each semester have the opportunity to apply for scholarships. An inclusive community is the heart of Naropa University, thus we aim to welcome as many students as possible with the help of scholarships.

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How this Program Prepares You

Diverse Career Paths

Naropa’s yoga studies graduates become yoga instructors and/or full-time yoga teachers. Others go on to open yoga studios, practice therapeutic yoga, lead yoga teacher training, engage in international social justice work, found businesses based on health and wellness, and more. The skills you develop in Naropa’s Bachelor of Arts in Yoga Studies are globally relevant and highly transferable. 

Bridging Theory and Practice

In a community of like-minded peers, you’ll learn how to become a yoga instructor, studying the marriage of breath, movement, and consciousness in the yoga tradition. You’ll explore the chakra system, learn advanced breathing techniques (pranayama), practice meditation, and study anatomy and alignment in the human body— while understanding the history and philosophy behind yogic practice and tradition.

Contemplative Learning

You will embark on a profound journey of personal transformation by delving deep into the practice of meditation and self-inquiry, nurturing a profound metamorphosis from within.
Naropa’s Bachelor of Arts in Yoga Studies not only provides intellectual wisdom but also inner knowledge. Our graduates know themselves and are motivated to discover a career path unique to their spiritual journeys. 

What You'll Learn

Discipline Yogic Form

Become a yoga teacher with the ability to demonstrate the correct yogic form.

Strong Teaching Skills

Learn the language and techniques for successful yoga instruction.

Careers in Yoga

Discover a rewarding career as a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, or counselor.

Foundation in Philosophy of Yoga

Understand the history and philosophy behind yogic practice and tradition.


Transform from the inside out through meditation and self-inquiry.

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Career Opportunities with a Yoga Degree

Many of Naropa’s Yoga degree graduates make their deepest passions their professions, working as teachers and teacher-trainers globally. They establish their own yoga studios and initiate ventures in health and wellness clinics, recreation centers, hospitals, and community organizations. Some pursue advanced degrees in psychology, counseling, religious studies, the arts, and various other disciplines.

Hear from a Graduate

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My experience in the yoga teacher training program at Naropa University has been the journey of a lifetime. The wisdom passed down to the students manifests on and off the yoga mat, in all aspects of life. It was such a gift to experience this yoga program.
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Lauren Barrett

FAQs About the
Yoga Degree

Yoga studies refer to the academic and comprehensive exploration of yoga as a discipline, covering its history, philosophy, cultural context, and various aspects beyond the physical practice. While traditional courses on yoga primarily involve physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation, yoga studies broadens the scope to include theoretical and contextual understanding.

A Bachelor’s Degree in Yoga Studies allows graduates to work as yoga instructors and full-time yoga teachers. Others go on to open yoga studios, practice therapeutic yoga, lead yoga teacher training, engage in international social justice work, found businesses based on health and wellness, and earn advanced degrees in religious studies, psychology, the arts, and other disciplines.

Graduates of Naropa’s Yoga Studies Degree will obtain a yoga teacher training certification as well as a bachelor’s degree.
After completing the Yoga Studies program, students will receive a 1,000-hour certificate in Yoga Teacher Training, which meets and exceeds the 500-hour requirement of Yoga Alliance.

Learn More About the Program

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with your counselor

Rachel Thompson

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions 

Ready to Apply?

Admission Requirements

Academic excellence is highly valued at Naropa University, but we also hold in high regard our students’ commitment to engaging in introspective work.

Learn more about admission requirements and the application process for first-time and transfer students. 

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  • Students with a 3.0 GPA or Higher

Applicants who can demonstrate a strong history of academic performance are welcome with minimal eligibility criteria.

  • Students with Less than 3.0 GPA

If you wish to benefit from a Naropa education and will contribute to our growing community, we strongly encourage you to submit your application, regardless of any past academic challenges.

  • Transfer your College Credit

You can transfer 60 or more transferable credits from previous studies by presenting an official college transcript on top of your application.

Take a look at our application guide for first-time and transfer students, and check all admission requirements.

By being built on a foundation of inclusion and diversity, Naropa welcomes other cultures with open arms. Becoming an international student at Naropa University will make you part of our diverse community, and will make us stronger.

Learn more about applying to Naropa from abroad.

Costs and Financial Aid

Thanks to tuition, scholarships, grants, and financial aid, more students have the opportunity to join our community. Delve into our undergraduate costs and aids page to learn more, and use our Net Price Calculator to estimate your potential expenses while pursuing education at Naropa.

Undergraduate Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships are a great way to help with the costs of going to school. Naropa University offers an array of scholarship opportunities to undergraduate students. Students may be eligible to receive scholarships through their admissions application, by applying for scholarships, or by being nominated for a scholarship. For more detailed information about the different scholarships available and how to receive them, please review our undergraduate scholarship page.
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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.