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Earn a Master's Degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Online

Beginning in August 2017, the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program is launching an online Master's degree. The program awards a Master's degree after successful completion of 36 units of online coursework and participation in three on-campus intensives. All intensives take place at the main campus of California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. Online courses are hosted on the state-of-the-art Canvas Learning Management System

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Contact Matt Segall for more information (msegall@ciis.edu). 

Three Unique Curricular Tracks

The online Master's degree offers students the opportunity to focus their studies in one or more curricular tracks. Students are encouraged to choose at least one of the three tracks below, but also have the option, in consultation with their faculty advisor, to design a coherent course of study across the tracks as part of a transdisciplinary online Master's degree in PCC:

New Online PCC Certificate Option

New PCC Certificates in Archetypal Cosmology, Integral Ecology, and Process Philosophy

Beginning in Fall 2017, the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program is offering three 12-unit MA-level certificates. Qualified students can apply for a PCC certificate in archetypal cosmology, integral ecology, or process philosophy. The following policies apply:

  • Certificate students are not eligible for federal financial aid. Federal financial aid is only available for PCC's degree programs. 
  • Certificate courses are offered in both residential and online formats.
  • Certificate students are invited but not required to attend on-campus intensives alongside online PCC MA students.
  • Students can earn a maximum of one certificate in PCC.
  • Students can take up to two years to complete the 12 units required for their certificate.
  • Certificate students must enroll in at least 1 unit every Fall and Spring semester (Summer enrollment is optional). Students who do not enroll in at least 1 unit in a given semester must apply for a Leave of Absence through the Registrar's office.
  • Students can decide to 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).
  • Students applying to the online PCC MA degree program after earning a PCC certificate are required to participate in three on-campus intensives (two at the beginning of Fall semesters, one at the end of the final Spring semester). It is recommended that certificate students considering the online PCC MA participate in at least one intensive while still a certificate student (thus facilitating their completion of the MA intensive requirements). 
  • Students in the PCC MA program may also be awarded a certificate upon completion of the required coursework (one certificate per student). 
  • Students in other MA programs at CIIS may also earn a PCC certificate, so long as their degree program grants them enough elective units to complete the required certificate coursework. Certificate courses taken outside this elective allotment are not eligible for federal financial aid. 

Certificate Curricula

Certificate students can choose one of the three tracks listed below.

A. Archetypal Cosmology--12 units

1. Foundations (3 units, required)

  • Psyche and Cosmos I: Transpersonal Psychology and Archetypal Astrology

2. Philosophy and History (choose 0 to 6 units)

  • History of Western Thought and Culture: An Archetypal Perspective 
  • Archetypal Process: Process Philosophy and Archetypal Cosmology
  • Archetypal Research: Writing and Methods for the Archetypal Biographer and Historian
  • Jung on Astrology
  • James Hillman and Archetypal Psychology: An Introduction (1 unit)

3. Psychology (choose 0 to 6 units)

  • Psyche and Cosmos II: Transits in Depth (Practicum)
  • Psyche and Spirit: From the Psychology of Religion to Transpersonal Theory
  • Nietzsche, Freud, and Jung: Descent into the Underworld
  • Advanced Seminar: Carl G. Jung
  • The Way of the Archetypes or Archetypal Astrology and Individuation
  • Feminist Approaches to Depth Psychology and Archetypal Cosmology (1 unit)

4. Arts, Literature, and Music (choose 0 to 6 units)

  • Archetypes, Art, and Culture
  • Archetypal Women
  • Brief History of Film: An Archetypal Perspective
  • The Red Books of C.G. Jung and J.R.R. Tolkien: An Archetypal Perspective

B. Integral Ecology--12 units

1. Foundations (choose 3-6 units)

  • Philosophy and Ecology: Toward a Green Metaphysics, Phenomenology, and Epistemology
  • Integral Ecologies
  • Toward an Integral Ecological Consciousness

2. Practicum (3 units, optional)

  • Touch the Earth

3. Applications (choose 3-9 units)

  • Cosmological Powers
  • Merleau-Ponty: The Body and the Earth
  • Next of Kin: Perspectives on Animal Ethics and Biodiversity 
  • Plants and People: Understanding the Plant World Through Relationship
  • Mind and Nature in German Idealism
  • Judaisms and Ecology: Visions, Voices, and Practices (1 unit)
  • Spirit and Nature
  • The Great Turning 
  • Science, Ecology, and Contested Knowledge(s)
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Christianity and Ecology 
  • Buddhism and Ecology 
  • Earth Law: Toward a Flourishing Earth Community (1 unit)
  • Earth Law in Praxis (1 unit) 
  • Integral Gaia
  • Ecologies of Liberation
  • Integral Permaculture (1 unit)
  • The Earth Journey
  • Nature and Eros

C. Process Philosophy--12 units

1. Historical Context (choose 3-6 units)

  • Philosophies of Becoming: Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Western Traditions
  • Philosophies of Becoming: Modern and Postmodern Western Traditions 
  • Mind and Nature in German Idealism
  • Hegel, Wilber, and Morin: Foundations of Integral Inquiry

2. Whitehead's Thought (choose 3-6 units)

  • Whitehead's Adventure in Cosmology: Toward a Physics of the World-Soul
  • Advanced Seminar: Whitehead's Process and Reality

3. Applications (choose 3-6 units)

  • Cosmological Powers
  • Process Approaches to Consciousness 
  • Process and Difference in the Pluriverse
  • Evolutionary Cosmology and Process Philosophy
  • Archetypal Process: Process Philosophy and Archetypal Cosmology

PCC Program Mission

moon and earth

The online PCC Master's degree program is dedicated to re-imagining the human species as a mutually enhancing member of the Earth community.

This re-imagination entails a ground up reappraisal of the dominant industrial world view guiding our increasingly imperiled planetary society and depends upon the development of new and transformative pathways across multiple disciplines, including an expanded vision of philosophy inspired by the world's spiritual traditions, depth psychology, integral ecology, digital humanities, and emerging perspectives bridging the natural and social sciences.

The program aims to inspire thoughtful action by emphasizing the importance of linking theoretical reflection upon world views to practical intervention in the world. The PCC program supports students called to meet the Earth community's unprecedented evolutionary challenge by offering them a rigorous, supportive, and transdisciplinary learning community in which to find their voice and vision as leaders. Unlike many graduate programs in philosophy where faculty are seldom accessible to students and an atmosphere of criticism and competition dominates, PCC faculty strive to provide genuine mentorship to students and to maintain a learning environment that balances scholarly rigor with encouragement for each student's unique strengths and value commitments.

What will I learn in PCC?

The Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness online Master's program endeavors to cultivate in its graduate students both intellectual rigor and sympathetic imaginative capacities which will better enable them to enter fruitfully into a plurality of worldviews, historical eras, and cultural sensibilities. By understanding transformative historical and contemporary ideas, students will develop the ability to discern creative possibilities for  life-enhancing futures.

Goal 1: Become an Agent of Change

To generate creative and effective thinking in response to the unprecedented evolutionary challenge of the ecological, cultural, and spiritual crises that are currently facing the human and nonhuman members of the Earth community.

Student Learning Outcome 1: Students will be able to articulate sophisticated critiques of the causes and consequences of the current planetary crises.

Student Learning Outcome 2: In response to the dominant worldview, students will be able to generate alternatives that promote an ecologically just and flourishing future for the entire Earth community.

Goal 2: Articulate Sophisticated Evaluations of Historical and Contemporary Thought and Culture

To develop and apply appreciative and critical evaluations of major transitions in worldviews including those that have contributed to the current planetary situation.

Student Learning Outcome 3: Students will be able to speak and write cogently about the nature of worldviews for a variety of scholarly and popular audiences.

Student Learning Outcome 4: Students will be able to engage confidently as public intellectuals regarding the history and evolution of Western, Asian, and indigenous perspectives, remaining sensitive to the dangers of appropriation while also developing an appreciation for the potential of newly emerging hybridizations of these perspectives.

Goal 3: Become an Expert in Transdisciplinary Research

To critique, evaluate, and apply transdisciplinary scholarship within or across the three available concentrations.

Student Learning Outcome 5: Students will demonstrate competence in transdisciplinary thinking by integrating content and frameworks from at least two disciplines to create scholarly products.

Student Learning Outcome 6: Students will be able to engage critically and constructively with a diverse array of research topics (e.g., religious, spiritual, and esoteric traditions, historical and scientific paradigms, and other, marginalized perspectives and ways of knowing).

Goal 4: Connect Inner and Outer Evolution

Depending on their chosen curricular tracks and background, students will be able to apply ideas and newly acquired skills to catalyze personal, cultural, and institutional transformation.

Student Learning Outcome 7: Students focusing on Integral Ecology will gain a deeper theoretical understanding of the causes of the ecological crisis, develop innovative practical solutions for addressing it, and find their voice as scholar-activists committed to ecological justice and social change.

Student Learning Outcome 8: Students focusing on Archetypal Cosmology will enhance their capacity for personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal psychological exploration, be able to identify and analyze broad trends in cultural history, and cultivate a deeper recognition of their embeddedness in a meaningful cosmos.

Student Learning Outcome 9: Students focusing on Process Philosophy will gain an appreciation for the history and contemporary application of the process-relational mode of thought while also developing the creative, flexible, and transdisciplinary scholarly skillset essential for thinking through the complex conceptual entanglements typifying our planetary moment.

Details about the Course of Study

The online PCC program will award a Master's degree after successful participation in three required residential intensives in San Francisco and completion of 36-units of online coursework.  The intensives include initial class sessions for the courses offered that semester, research methods and other skill-building modules to help students develop their scholarly voice, writing, and online networking abilities, advising sesions with faculty, and a variety of community-building opportunities. In addition to on-campus intensives, students will be expected to participate in several live community webinars to meet with their advisors and share progress in the development of their coursework. 


All intensives will be held at the 1453 Mission St. campus of California Institute of Integral Studies. Students will pay a flat fee covering their hotel and meals for the duration of the intensive. Email the PCC Program Coordinator Aaron Weiss for more information (aweiss@ciis.edu). 

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