Department Overview

Since 1975, CIIS’ East-West Psychology department has been actively exploring the  convergence of Eastern, Western, and indigenous psychologies and spiritualities. Our in person and online programs provide a creative, experimental space for bringing spirituality into academia through transformative elements of inquiry, learning, practice and writing. 

We explore philosophies and psychologies that address issues of psychospiritual practice, embodied self-actualization, social justice, and ecological awareness. Our programs include Jungian and other alternative psychologies, contemplative methods, wisdom traditions, shamanic epistemologies, and forms of psychospiritual practice. These areas are engaged through a strong foundation in theoretical and qualitative research. Guided by leading-edge faculty and paradigm-shifting coursework, students examine inner conflict as a barometer of collective consciousness. 

Our graduates are prepared for professional careers in academia and research, activism and organizational leadership, and spiritual counseling or coaching. Our faculty have a wide range of research interests, among them: Asian wisdom traditions, yoga studies, Integral Yoga, traditional Chinese medicine, Depth and archetypal psychologies, Western religious and esoteric traditions, folklore and mythology, ecopsychology, indigenous psychospiritualities, plant medicines, non-ordinary states of consciousness, and transpersonal and existential psychologies.

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Our Approach  

Drawing on the principles of CIIS’ founder Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri, we understand that spiritual and psychological development are inextricably connected, and that every living being must adapt to the demands of their times in the context of their values and identities.  

All East-West Psychology coursework integrates multiple ways of knowing and invites students to examine and develop their unique rational, emotional, imaginal, and spiritual wisdom, as a foundation for the creation of holistic knowledge that meets the needs of their place and time. Our learning community fosters the psycho-spiritual development of our students and supports their individual gifts and potentials. The East-West Psychology department also offers unique scholarships for our students.

Community-building and collaborative learning are central to our pedagogical approach. The coursework includes dialogical inquiry, class presentations, small-group assignments and cooperative inquiry, as well as group work in daylong retreats. We encourage our students to share in the construction of knowledge, to create emotional and interpersonal competence, and to learn how to enter into fruitful exchange with people holding different views.

East-West Psychology faculty promote academic excellence and encourage students to present at professional conferences and to publish work in scholarly journals. Students leave our program with personal and professional connections that enhance their work in the world.

Image of Professor Craig Chalquist speaking in the CIIS library. Teaching East-West Psychology with Professor Craig Chalquist Play Video
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How to Apply

Application Open Dates

Apply for Spring 2023 starting September 15, 2022 - see a list of spring-admitting programs.

Apply for Fall 2023 starting November 15, 2022 - all programs accept fall applications.

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Questions? Contact us.

We are here to help! If you have any questions about applying to a program or registering for an Info Session, please reach out to the Admissions Office

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