GBTS admits applicants to become members if their application shows that they meet the following criteria:
- Born between 1960 and 1982.
- Active Buddhist teachers from a lineage that takes refuge in the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha).
- Primary activity is teaching the Dharma (with students and through leadership of a sangha, temple, retreats, or other Buddhist center).
- Actively teaching the Dharma for at least five years as a recognized teacher, except for those of non-dominant racial, ethnic, gender, sexual identity, abilities, or economic status, who must have actively taught Dharma for two or more years as a recognized teacher.
- Are accountable to someone other than themselves.