Where can students and graduates publish their research?

Students and graduates of our program have published articles in journals such as Asian Philosophy, Journal of Analytical Psychology, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, Psychosis, ReVision, Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology, Journal of East-West Psychology, Journal of Child and Family Studies, and Somatics.

Graduates have also worked as associate managing editors and book review editors with the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies.

Do East-West Psychology students present at conferences?

Students in our program have in recent years presented at professional conferences such as the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, the American Psychological Association (APA) Annual Convention, the Society of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology Meeting (APA Division 24), ITP Conference on Spirituality and Psychology, International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology, the International Conference on Expressive Arts (Lima, Peru), The International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology, The International Conference on Learning, and the Daimonic Imagination Conference (University of Kent, UK).

Does the East-West Psychology department offer an accelerated M.A. to Ph.D. option?

Completing a M.A. and a Ph.D. in this program would require 72 units of coursework plus a dissertation. However, we offer the option of a 54-unit M.A./Ph.D. to students deemed capable of advanced and accelerated academic work. The 18 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 M.A./Ph.D. track must first apply for and be accepted into the M.A. 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 Ph.D.-level writing and research skills, superior self-direction, sufficient psychological maturity for Ph.D. 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 doctoral degree to their future scholarly and professional work in the world.

Can East-West Psychology students receive scholarships?

In recent years, our students have won numerous scholarships in support of their research, including the Cultural Integration Fellowship's Integral scholarship, the Esalen scholarship, the Kranzke scholarship, the Student Alliance Scholarship for Social Justice Research, and the Baumann scholarship. For more information about our community's professional achievements, please read our student and graduate bios and our news.

Graduates have also worked as associate managing editors and book review editors with the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies.

Can you share a bit about the history of the program?

The roots of our program go back to 1968, when CIIS was founded. Originally, our school was called the California Institute of Asian Studies, and students there earned degrees in East-West comparative studies, focusing on philosophy, psychology, religion, and other fields. 

Dr. Haridas Chaudhuri, founder of the Institute, emphasized the need for connecting psychology and spirituality, based on his own experiences and observations. He also derived inspiration from Sri Aurobindo, a modern Indian philosopher-mystic, who said that "yoga is nothing but practical psychology." Dr. Chaudhuri understood that spiritual and psychological development were inextricably connected, and that Western psychology could benefit from studying sacred psychologies embedded in Eastern spiritual traditions.

Dr. Chaudhuri intended East-West Psychology as an experiment. He was interested in what transformative alchemies of learning and practice might emerge in studies that bridged East and West. Dr. Chaudhuri taught that transformation is essentially experimental, an ongoing work of becoming. To remain viable, to grow to its full stature, every living being must adapt to the demands of its time while remaining true to its origins, values, and identity.

In 1975, East-West Psychology became a separate department, co-directed by Mary Oliver Tasch and Hilary Anderson. In the mid to late 1970s, various courses were taught in areas such as Asian psychology, yoga psychology, Buddhist psychology, integral psychology, archetypal psychology, parapsychology, humanistic and transpersonal psychologies. Meditation, tantra, mysticism, and altered states of consciousness were introduced by various faculty including Dr. Chaudhuri, Kimberly Mckell, Mary Tasch, Hilary Anderson, Rammurti Mishra, Ralph Metzner, and others.

Do you have a list of publications by East-West Psychology graduates?

Yes! Here are a few publications by our graduates:

The Helping Professional's Guide to End-of-Life Care: Practical Tools for Emotional, Social, & Spiritual Support for the Dying. (New Harbinger Publications, 2012) by Alessandra Strada Ph.D.

Emerging Earth: The Revealed Philosophy of the Evolution of Consciousness (SUNY Press, 2009) by Craig Bowman, Ph.D. '06

So What? Now What? The Anthropology of Consciousness Addresses a World in Crisis (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2009) co-edited by Tina Fields, Ph.D. '01

Relational Sandplay Therapy (Mustard Seed Press, 2005) by Linda Cunningham, Ph.D. '05

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 .

Stay Connected to CIIS