The East West Psychology Program offers a MA, PhD, and Certificate option. Please visit Applying to CIIS for application deadlines and other important information.


Master of Arts

Applicants must meet the general admission requirements of CIIS and submit an outstanding academic writing sample. Applicants need not have an undergraduate major in psychology, but a strong interest in psychology and an interdisciplinary orientation are assumed.

Students with insufficient background in psychology may be required by the EWP Admission Committee to take additional courses as prerequisites to the MA. These courses are drawn from the EWP programs or other Institute programs.

Successful candidates for admission into the East-West Psychology MA program typically have the following qualifications:

  • A vision that is compatible with the program's mission
  • A path of personal and/or spiritual growth
  • Sufficient maturity and stability to pursue independent inquiry
  • Respect for a diversity of viewpoints
  • The ability to clearly articulate their educational and professional goals
  • Basic scholarly writing skills
  • The ability to identify a prospective specialization that is consistent with the program's mission and resources.

In this two-year program, students design their own curriculum, area of specialization and psychospiritual sequence, pursuing their studies at an institute that honors both intellectual inquiry and personal transformation.

In addition to a broad spectrum of courses, students take part in an Integrative Seminar, where each individual develops an action plan for postgraduate work.

This broad, multidisciplinary foundation, which encompasses psychospirituality, ecology, and multicultural traditions, prepares students to work at the crossroads of these traditions.

For example, recent graduates have launched the first graduate program in transpersonal psychology academically recognized in Mexico, maintain private practices, lecture, curate exhibitions, and facilitate workshops.

Click here to view MA application requirements

Online Admissions Application: Begin the application process by submitting an online graduate application at the link below and submitting the non-refundable $65 application fee payment.

Degree Requirement: An undergraduate degree (BA, BS, or the equivalent) from an accredited college or university.

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all accredited academic institutions. Transcripts must arrive in their official, sealed envelopes.

Autobiographical Statement: A four-to-six page (typed, double-spaced) introspective autobiographical statement discussing your values, emotional and spiritual insights, aspirations, and life experiences that have led to your decision to apply.

Goal Statement: A one-page (typed, double-spaced) statement of your educational and professional objectives.

Academic Writing Sample: A writing sample of eight to ten pages (typed, double-spaced) that demonstrates your capacity to think critically and reflectively and demonstrates graduate level writing abilities. A sample that uses outside sources must include proper citations. You may submit copies of previous work, such as a recent academic paper, article, or report that reflects scholarly abilities.

Two Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation will be accepted from academic advisors, professors, professional supervisors, or someone able to attest to your ability to undertake the work required for your program. Recommenders should use standard business format and include full contact information-name, email, phone number, and mailing address.


Please submit all electronic materials as individual attachments (one document per submission, in .doc, or .pdf formats) to materials@ciis.edu.

Doctor of East-West Psychology

Applicants must meet the general admission requirements of CIIS and have an MA in East-West Psychology or its equivalent.

For those who do not have a background in East-West Psychology, up to 15 units of courses drawn from the EWP core requirements and directed electives will be required, minus equivalencies (equivalency for graduate courses previously taken is determined by the EWP Admissions Committee on an individual basis).

Successful candidates for admission into the EWP doctoral program typically have the following qualifications:

  • A vision that is compatible with the program's mission and interdisciplinary nature
  • A path of personal and/or spiritual growth
  • Sufficient maturity and stability to pursue independent inquiry
  • Respect for a diversity of viewpoints
  • An openness to multiple ways of knowing and whole-person learning
  • The ability to clearly articulate educational, professional, and research goals
  • Outstanding scholarly writing skills
  • The ability to clearly articulate their educational and professional goals
  • The ability to identify a prospective area of specialization and/or dissertation topic that is consistent with the program's mission and resources

The breadth and depth of this program foster professional leadership and distinctive research, including such dissertation topics as lucid dreaming, the individuation process, the development of ecological selfhood, and psychospiritual responses to trauma.

Recent graduates teach, publish, lecture internationally, maintain private practices and have cofounded the Latin American Association for Holotropic Breathwork and Transpersonal Psychology.

Our graduates' publications include:

The Helping Professional's Guide to End-of-Life Care: Practical Tools for Emotional, Social, & Spiritual Support for the Dying. (New Harbinger Publications, 2012) by Alessandra Strada Ph.D.

Emerging Earth: The Revealed Philosophy of the Evolution of Consciousness (SUNY Press, 2009) by Craig Bowman, Ph.D. '06

So What? Now What? The Anthropology of Consciousness Addresses a World in Crisis (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009) co-edited by Tina Fields, Ph.D. '01

Relational Sandplay Therapy (Mustard Seed Press, 2005) by Linda Cunningham, Ph.D. '05

Click here to view PhD application requirements

Online Admissions Application: Begin the application process by submitting an online graduate application at the link below and submitting the non-refundable $65 application fee payment.

Degree Requirement: A master's degree (or the equivalent) from an accredited college or university.

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all accredited academic institutions attended. Transcripts must arrive in their official, sealed envelopes.

Two Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation will be accepted from academic advisors, professors, professional supervisors, or someone able to attest to your ability to undertake the work required for your program. Recommenders should use standard business format and include full contact information-name, email, phone number, and mailing address.

Autobiographical Statement: A four-to-six page (typed, double-spaced) introspective autobiographical statement discussing your values, emotional and spiritual insights, aspirations, and life experiences that have led to your decision to apply.

Goal Statement: A one-page (typed, double-spaced) statement of your educational and professional objectives.

Academic Writing Sample: A writing sample of eight to ten pages (typed, double-spaced) that demonstrates your capacity to think critically and reflectively and demonstrates graduate level writing abilities. A sample that uses outside sources must include proper citations. You may submit copies of previous work, such as a recent academic paper, article, or report that reflects scholarly abilities.


Please submit all electronic materials as individual attachments (one document per submission, in .doc, or .pdf formats) to materials@ciis.edu.

Spiritual Counseling Certificate

Please note: the Spiritual Counseling Certificate is only available to CIIS students who meet the degree and licensure requirements listed below. Applicants from the EWP program will only need to complete the application and pay the application fee.

In this two-semester program, mental health practitioners and pastoral counselors acquire specific tools and knowledge that can broaden the scope of their practice.

The coursework integrates five East-West psychological approaches: depth and transpersonal psychology, consciousness studies, East-West spiritual counseling, and ecological studies.

By making case presentations in the Advanced Seminar, students articulate their model for psychospiritual growth and the principles guiding their spiritual counseling practice. The faculty also encourages students to reflect on their own spiritual development and how it evolves in both personal and professional contexts.

Mental-health professionals who apply are preferably licensed. All applicants must have a master's degree and counseling experience. This program begins in the fall, and candidates may pursue this certificate conjointly with the doctoral program.

Click here to view certificate application requirements

Online Admissions Application: Begin the application process by submitting an online graduate application at the link below and submitting the non-refundable $65 application fee payment.

Degree Requirement: An undergraduate degree (BA, BS, or the equivalent) from an accredited college or university.

Licensure Requirement: Applicants must be licensed health care professionals, in practicum on their way to licensure, or pastoral counselors. (Applicants who are not yet licensed but have training and experience in mental health or spiritual counseling will be considered on a case-by-case basis.)

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all accredited academic institutions attended within the United States. Transcripts must arrive in their official, sealed envelopes.

Two Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation should be requested from individuals familiar with your counseling skills. Recommenders should use standard business format and include full contact information-name, email, phone number, and mailing address.

Autobiographical Statement: A four-to-six page (typed, double-spaced) introspective autobiographical statement discussing your values, emotional and spiritual insights, aspirations, and life experiences that have led to your decision to apply.

Goal Statement: A one-page (typed, double-spaced) statement of your educational and professional objectives.

Academic Writing Sample: A writing sample of eight to ten pages (typed, double-spaced) that demonstrates your capacity to think critically and reflectively and demonstrates graduate level writing abilities. A sample that uses outside sources must include proper citations. You may submit copies of previous work, such as a recent academic paper, article, or report that reflects scholarly abilities.


Please submit all electronic materials as individual attachments (one document per submission, in .doc, or .pdf formats) to materials@ciis.edu.

International Students

Please note: International students and individuals who have studied at institutions outside the US and Canada have additional requirements. Please see the International Student page for addtional details.

Admission Counselor: Ebrahim Nasher

For any additional admission questions, please contact our admission counselor:

Ebrahim Nasher
(415) 575-6291
enasher@ciis.edu

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