The MA in East–West Psychology is a two-year program requiring 36 units of study. The program is designed to provide flexibility that allows students to focus on specific areas of study and to explore a variety of western, eastern, and indigenous approaches to psychology and spirituality. With the guidance of academic advisors, students design their own individualized curriculum, possible area of specialization, and psycho-spiritual approach.

Course of Study

All students are required to take four core courses:

  • Introduction to East-West Psychology 
  • Conscious Diversity: Inner and Outer—A Diversity Process Class 
  • Community Retreat
  • MA Integrative Seminar

Students also choose among three courses that follow East–West and other psychological approaches:

  • Depth Psychology
  • Integral and Transpersonal Psychology
  • East–West Spiritual Counseling
  • Eco-Psychology
  • Culture and Psychology

All students choose two of three courses in foundational spiritual traditions, with the option to take another course in another program.

  • Eastern Theories of Self, Mind, and Nature
  • Western Mystical Traditions
  • Indigenous and Shamanic Traditions

Students have required coursework in psycho-spiritual practice, including eastern, western, indigenous, contemporary participatory spirituality, and socially engaged practices and service learning.

Students may optionally use elective units to gain either depth through an area of specialization or breadth in different areas of interest.

Read the course descriptions here.

If you are interested in our MA, but still have to finish your BA, please read more about our BA to MA accelerated track.

Teaching/Research Assistantships

Our program offers limited number of paid teaching and research assistantships each semester. Possible responsibilities for teaching assistants includes facilitation of experiential learning, teaching portions of the class, working with students outside the classroom on projects, miscellaneous administrative and logistic tasks, providing feedback to the faculty member on student learning and perceptions, and reading student papers and giving feedback (but not as the only reader). Research assistants assist faculty in specific research areas in tasks such as annotated bibliographies, scholarly networking,  and maintaining scholarly databases. 

Internships

Internships allow students to integrate career-related experience into an academic education and to gain practical experience in their chosen field in a supervised professional work environment. Our program provides a list of associated organizations in which internships are available. Internships can be carried out as fieldwork up to a maximum of 6 units.

Admissions

Applicants must meet the general admission requirements of the Institute. Applicants need not have an undergraduate major in psychology, but should have a strong interest in psychology; an interdisciplinary orientation is assumed. Students with insufficient background in psychology may be required to take additional courses as prerequisites to the MA.

Successful candidates for admission into the MA program typically have the following qualifications: a vision that is compatible with our program's mission; a path of personal and/or spiritual growth; sufficient maturity and stability to pursue independent inquiry; basic competence in communication and dialogical skills; demonstration of respect for a diversity of view points; the ability to clearly articulate educational and professional goals; basic scholarly writing skills; and the capacity to identify a prospective specialization that is consistent with the program's mission and resources.

Accelerated MA to PhD

Completing an MA then a PhD in our program would require 72 units of coursework plus a dissertation. However, we offer the option of a 60-unit MA/PhD to students deemed capable of advanced and accelerated academic work. The 24 units of pre-dissertation coursework required for this option focus primarily on research courses, allowing fewer electives than the usual 36-unit program.

Students who wish to apply for the accelerated MA/PhD track must first apply for and be accepted into the MA program. After the first full-time year of coursework, students interested in the accelerated track should contact their advisor. The advisor must provide a recommendation to the core faculty, and writing and/or research samples will be required as part of this program review. Applicants must have demonstrated  the consistent capacity for PhD-level writing and research skills, superior self-direction, sufficient psychological maturity for PhD work, and outstanding grades and evaluations from their professors. They must have a focused dissertation topic, a workable plan for the research, and academically sound, well-defined goals for the practical application of the EWP doctoral degree to their future scholarly and professional work in the world. 

Questions about admissions or our program?

Admissions Counselor:
Richard Wormstall
(415) 575-6156| rwormstall@ciis.edu

Program Manager:
Stephen Julich, PhD
(415) 575-6189| ewp@ciis.edu

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