CIIS’ master’s in East-West Psychology is a non-license-oriented psychology degree, that prepares a new type of integral psychospiritual practitioner and scholar who is educated at the intersection of the wisdom traditions and practices of East, West, and Earth. Our students become “metta psychologists” who bring mentoring, healing, knowledge, communication, mindfulness skills, out into a rapidly changing world.
This program is offered online or in person and is designed to provide flexibility that allows students to pursue their specific areas of interest and to explore a variety of western, eastern, and indigenous approaches to psychology and spirituality.
Required foundational courses engage in collaborative inquiry around the process of producing knowledge and invite students to explore a conscious recognition of biases through our diversity process class.
Throughout the program students collaborate closely with fellow classmates and faculty advisors. In the final semester, students write a master’s thesis that represents the cumulation of study.
Teaching and Research Assistant Opportunities
East-West Psychology students are given the opportunity to work as paid teaching and research assistants.
Possible responsibilities for teaching assistants include facilitation of experiential learning, teaching portions of a class, working with students outside the classroom on projects, providing feedback to the faculty member on student learning and perceptions, and reading student papers and giving feedback.
Research assistants assist faculty in specific research areas, performing tasks such as annotated bibliographies, scholarly networking, and maintaining scholarly databases.
M.A. to Ph.D. Accelerated Degree Track
Normally, completing an M.A. and then a Ph.D. in East-West Psychology requires 72 units of coursework in addition to writing a dissertation. A 54-unit accelerated M.A./Ph.D. option, which reduces the Ph.D. coursework requirements from 36 units to 18 units, is available for M.A. graduates of East-West Psychology with a GPA of 3.8 and above whom the faculty have determined consistently produce advanced and accelerated academic work during their master’s-degree studies.
The 18 Ph.D. units of pre-dissertation coursework required for this option focus primarily on research and advanced seminar courses, requiring fewer elective units than the usual 36-unit program. All students hoping to apply for the accelerated M.A./Ph.D. track must first be accepted into the East-West Psychology master’s program.
Upon completion of a year of M.A. coursework, students interested in this track should contact their adviser to discuss their progress that year and their readiness for the accelerated track. During the second year of the M.A.,in the final semester, interested students will apply as a continuing student for the accelerated Ph.D. track and go through the traditional admissions process.
All students who wish to pursue this track must demonstrate Ph.D.-level writing and research skills, superior self-direction, enough psychological maturity for Ph.D. work, a grade point average of 3.8 or more, and a clear and workable dissertation topic. Students who take M.A. courses for a Pass/Fail grade are ineligible for admission to the Ph.D. program.
The East-West Psychology master’s program is a non-clinical psychology degree. Students may integrate the psychological related material with their previous mental health professional experience, but the goal of this program is to empower the next generation of change-makers. Students in our program are trained in comparing alternative viewpoints, articulating complex ideas and imagining new ways of being. Additionally, students may use the practical training offered through our certificates to supplement their career goals.
East-West Psychology graduates go on to work as:
- Educators, researchers, and writers
- Activists and community organizers
- Environmental stewards and eco-leaders
- Entrepreneurs and consultants
- Counselors and mental health professionals