Fall 2020 cycle is closed. Fall 2021 cycle is opening 11/15/2020.
We seek (and seem to attract!) creative, motivated, mature students who have already demonstrated a strong interest in the integration of theater and therapy.
Integrity, introspection, and dedication are all essential attributes. Our students come to the program from around the world. Applicants must have a background in drama/theater and a minimum of two undergraduate psychology courses. Volunteer or paid work experience in human services is strongly recommended.
We encourage and embrace diversity in our program, and place a high value on having students from a variety of racial and cultural backgrounds; other representations of diversity (including age range) are also important to us. We look at each applicant holistically, and if you feel passionate about this field, we welcome your application.
Admission is for the Fall semester only. Applicants who are selected to interview will be invited to San Francisco for interviews that are held in late February to early March. Please visit Applying to CIIS for deadlines and other important dates.
Click here to view application requirements
Online Admissions Application: Begin the application process by submitting an online graduate application and submitting the non-refundable $65 application fee payment.
Degree Requirement: An undergraduate degree (BA, BS, or BFA) from an accredited college or university.
Academic Prerequisites: Two undergraduate psychology courses from an accredited college or university are required. They may be in progress during the application process.
Minimum GPA: A GPA of 3.0 or higher in previous coursework is required. However, a GPA below 3.0 does not automatically disqualify an applicant and CIIS will consider a prospective student whose GPA is between 2.0 and 3.0. These individuals are required to submit a GPA Statement and are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions to discuss their options.
Transcripts: Official transcripts from all accredited academic institutions attended where 7 or more credits have been earned. If transcripts are being mailed to CIIS, they must arrive in their official, sealed envelopes. Transcripts from institutions outside the US or Canada require a foreign credit evaluation through World Education Services (WES) or CIIS will also accept foreign credential evaluations that are in a comprehensive course-by-course format from the current members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).
Autobiographical Statement: A five to seven page (12 pt font, double-spaced) introspective essay in which you reflect on significant childhood and adult life experiences that have affected your personal development.
Goal Statement: A one page (12 pt font, double-spaced) statement of your educational and professional interests, goals or passions.
Two Letters of Recommendation: From academic advisors, professors or professional supervisors. Recommenders should use standard business format and include full contact information-name, email, phone number, and mailing address.
Background Outline: A one page outline specifically listing your background/experience (if any) in: (1) theater/drama (2) psychology (3) human services/counseling work, and (4) creative arts therapy. If you hold a degree in any of these areas you can simply indicate that (for example, BFA in Theatre. For all other areas, list any courses, internships, work experience pertinent to that category (or indicate "none").
Interview: Individual and group interviews by invitation from the admissions committee.
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 additional details.
Foreign Credential Evaluation
For students with an international academic history, please follow these steps for your foreign credential evaluation (e.g. WES – World Education Services):
Please provide your complete and entire academic history on the application form.
For degrees earned outside of the United States or Canada, we will need a foreign credential evaluation. You, the applicant, need to initiate and request this, at your own expense, through a CIIS-approved foreign credential evaluation provider.
CIIS favors foreign credential evaluations provided by WES – World Education Services, and specifically the course-by-course-report. CIIS accepts the WES 'Basic' report, but applicants may wish to complete the 'ICAP'.
CIIS will also accept foreign credential evaluations that are in a comprehensive course-by-course format from the current members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).
The foreign credential evaluation is used in lieu of sending original transcripts from abroad to CIIS. Original or notarized copies of the transcripts should only be sent to the foreign credential provider, per the foreign credential provider's instructions; there is no need to send these to CIIS!
When requesting the foreign credential evaluation, choose the appropriate degrees to be evaluated for the degree that you are applying for. If applying for a PhD at CIIS, foreign degrees equivalent to a BA and MA must be evaluated. If applying for an MA at CIIS, foreign degrees equivalent to a BA must be evaluated.
If you have studied abroad as part of a degree received in the United States or Canada (i.e. transfer credits from abroad), no WES evaluation is needed - provided these units are showing on your US/Canadian degree transcript. If you wish to receive transfer units for any courses earned outside of the United States/Canada that are not showing on a US/Canadian degree transcript, we do need a foreign credential evaluation for these courses.
$5000 Diversity Scholarship for School Year 2020-2021
CIIS is a university deeply committed to diversity, inclusion, and advocating for social justice. The university, guided by these principles, is offering forty $5,000 Diversity Scholarships for the academic year 2020-2021. In line with our institutional mission of embracing traditions that enhance social and political liberation, these scholarships are intended to support the recruitment of a diverse student body, particularly students historically underrepresented in higher education. The Diversity Scholarship application for Spring 2021 is open as of September 15, 2020. The deadline to apply is November 15, 2020 by 11:59pm PT.
Click here to apply: Spring 2021 Diversity Scholarship Application
If you have any additional questions about admissions, please contact our admissions counselor: