Program Overview

The mission of the Ph.D. in East-West Psychology at CIIS is to explore the convergence of Eastern, Western, and indigenous psychologies and spiritualities in the spirit of pluralism, dialogue, and integral inquiry. Our students engage in research subjects that explore the meaning of this convergence for a diverse and multicultural world.

We encourage students to build bridges between disciplines or fields of research (e.g., psychoanalysis and Buddhism), research methodologies (e.g., theoretical, phenomenological, narrative, and heuristic), approaches to knowledge e.g., (using first-, second-, and third-person standpoints), and epistemologies (e.g., Eastern contemplative and Western scientific).

East-West Psychology students contribute their expertise to the expansive field of integral philosophies through original research for their dissertation. Many students use their dissertation to contribute to growing bodies of research in areas such as mindfulness, somatic spirituality, eco-psychology, indigenous and earth-based wisdom, community-building, restorative justice, integral yoga, and nonordinary states of consciousness.

Length of Coursework
2
Years
Number of Units
36
Format
In-person classes icon
In-Person

Teaching and Research Assistant Opportunities

East-West Psychology students are given opportunities to work as paid teaching and research assistants as and when available.

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 in tasks such as annotated bibliographies, scholarly networking, and maintaining scholarly databases.

Fritjof Capra and Debashish Banerji sitting on a stage with microphones in front of them speaking to an audience. The Systems View and East West Psychology: A Conversation with Fritjof Capra and Debashish Banerji Play Video
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Career Paths

In a world that increasingly demands an integral perspective, encompassing the personal, interpersonal, cultural, ecological, and spiritual dimensions of human existence, our graduates go on to apply their research in areas such as: 

  • University professors, college teachers, writers
  • Consultants, workshop leaders
  • Activists and community organizers

We also support students in envisioning creative applications of psychology in careers outside of clinical and academic settings including: 

  • Spiritual counseling and leadership
  • Integral coaching
  • Interreligious mediation
  • Ecological activism

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 contact the Admissions Office at 415-575-6154 or .

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