Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness (PCC) is a graduate program dedicated to reimagining the human species as a mutually enhancing member of the Earth community.   The heart of the PCC program is its focus on knowledge that is transformative—of ourselves and of our civilization. It attracts intellectually engaged individuals who are to varying degrees dismayed by what they see happening in industrial societies and who are striving to find meaningful ways to develop their gifts to serve the future of the world. 

Earth from space

Inspired by Alfred North Whitehead's view that the function of the university is to enable the future to appear, first in conceptual thought, the PCC faculty and graduate students hold in mind three fundamental goals:  

1. To open our consciousness, through learning and imagination, to those creative and evolutionary energies suffusing the Earth, the Universe, and the deep psyche that will enable us to participate fully in the regeneration of human communities and their enveloping life systems;

2. To analyze the current devastation of planetary life and to strive to liberate ourselves and our communities from the underlying causes of alienation, consumerism, militarism, androcentrism, and unsustainable modes of life;

3. To draw from the deep wells of philosophical and religious wisdom together with other scholarly and scientific insights in order to bring forth a profound vision of a vibrant planetary era.  

Professor Brian Swimme lecturing to incoming PCC MA students.

Scientists, scholars, and visionaries recognize that the Earth community is facing an unprecedented evolutionary challenge, the most severe degradation of life in the last 65 million years. This multifaceted crisis requires a fundamental reorientation of our civilization, one in which a compassionate humanity becomes a mutually enhancing presence within Earth's complex systems of life. Cultural historian Thomas Berry has called this task "the Great Work."


Berry"We come into being in and through the Earth. Simply put, we are Earthlings. The Earth is our origin, our nourishment, our educator, our healer, our fulfillment. At its core, even our spirituality is Earth derived. The human and the Earth are totally implicated, each in the other. If there is no spirituality in the Earth, then there is no spirituality in ourselves." —Thomas Berry, The Sacred Universe


The PCC program is committed to shaping the leadership necessary for profound, progressive transformation of social institutions and individual consciousness. Drawing upon some of the most powerful ideas of Western intellectual and spiritual traditions, together with insights from Asian spiritual philosophies and indigenous worldviews, the faculty has constructed a multidisciplinary course of study to help accelerate each student's journey into his or her particular leadership role within this work:  

Philosophy: To free philosophy from its contemporary limitations—narrowly analytic, reductionist, and cosmologically alienated—and revive the original essence of Western philosophy as the love of wisdom. Philosophy in PCC explores new ways of thinking and being that are both visionary and pragmatic, and resist the paradigm of fragmentation that continues to dominate Western thought and culture.  

Cosmology: To pursue a multidisciplinary study of cosmology with a focus on the evolutionary unfolding of the Universe and the Earth community. Cosmology in PCC includes reflection on the discoveries of the natural sciences, as well as cosmological and ecological perspectives emerging in contemporary culture, including especially the arts and religion.  

Consciousness: To explore the worlds of consciousness and the deep psyche, particularly by research concerning archetypal structures and their formative expression in individual lives and culture. Consciousness studies in PCC focus on transpersonal and Jungian psychology, the evolution of consciousness, Western esotericism, and new paradigm studies.  

Integral Ecology: In the last several years, the PCC faculty and students have collaborated in creating a strong emphasis on integral ecology. The word integral implies that ecology is relevant to the full range of human knowledge and action. Integral Ecology includes the study of the natural and human sciences as well as the world's spiritual traditions.  

In the end, the perspectives studied and developed within the PCC community are tested in the fire of each student's experience. PCC offers students a challenging and supportive learning community in which to find their voice and vision as leaders.

New Online Masters Degree

Beginning with several pilot courses in Spring 2017, the PCC program will expand to include an online modality. PCC's online Masters program officially launches in Fall 2017. Click here for more information. 

PCC Online Masters Degree

New 12-unit Graduate Certificate Options

Earn a graduate certificate in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness from anywhere on Earth!

Have you been dreaming of studying with world-class faculty like Richard Tarnas and Brian Swimme in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness (PCC) program, but can't relocate to San Francisco or commit to a full degree program?

Coinciding with the launch of our new online Master's degree, the PCC program now offers more choices to engage the transdisciplinary curriculum that first drew you to us.

Beginning in the Fall 2017 semester, the PCC faculty are excited to offer three unique online certificate tracks, making it possible for you to immerse yourself in the study of archetypal cosmology, integral ecology, or process philosophy without relocating or committing to a full degree program. 

Qualified students can apply to PCC's MA program at any point during their certificate. Any units earned while a student is in a certificate program are transferable to the MA degree (up to 12 units).

Learn more about how PCC's certificate tracks prepare students to apply ideas and skills to catalyze personal, cultural, and institutional transformation.

Apply for a certificate by clicking here. 

The PCC team looks forward to working with you as you explore these new and more flexible formats!

Contact PCC's Admissions Counselor Richard Wormstall at rwormstall@ciis.edu or 415.575.6156

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