Apply for the Diversity Scholarship for the fall 2019 semester by April 15, 2019. See below for more details and application form.

Please click below to start an application!

Apply for >> Fall 2019 <<

This program starts each fall semester.

Beginning November 15, 2018, you will be able to submit your entire application online, save for the transcripts.

If you are applying for Fall 2019, transcripts should be either emailed or mailed to the CIIS Admissions Office. If emailing transcripts, please send to materials@ciis.edu. If mailing, please send to:

1453 Mission St.
Admissions Office
San Francisco, CA 94103

Application Deadline Information:

January 15, 2019 - Drama Therapy deadline
February 15, 2019 - Priority deadline for all other programs (1st review): Applications after this date are considered on a space-available basis and may not be able to be considered if you miss this deadline.
April 15, 2019 - Application deadline for 2nd review: (pending space availability)
May 15, 2019 - Third priority application deadline for programs still accepting applications, which are:
All programs in the School of Consciousness and Transformation and the School of Undergraduate Studies, as well as the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

In the School of Professional Psychology and Health, the following programs are accepting applications:

  • Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
  • Community Mental Health (MA)
  • Expressive Arts Therapy (MA)
  • Integrative Health Studies (MA)



Admission to the Program

One of a handful of MA Expressive Arts Therapy Programs in the world, the EXA program offers students the opportunity to integrate the whole palette of creative arts processes into their work including visual and fine arts, digital, spoken word, movement, dance, drama.

CIIS' intensive training combines coursework with individual and group expressive arts psychotherapy, plus a yearlong clinical practicum. Students come from all over the world to enroll in our three-year program. They work in a variety of psychotherapeutic contexts including private clinical practice, expressive arts consulting education, expressive arts coaching and community arts & social justice practice locally and internationally.

Please visit Applying to CIIS for application deadlines and other important dates.

Click here to view application requirements

Online Admissions Application: Begin the application process by submitting an online graduate application and submitting the non-refundable $65 application fee payment.

Degree Requirement: An undergraduate degree (BA, BS, or the equivalent) from a regionally accredited institution.

Academic Prerequisites: Two undergraduate psychology courses from an accredited college or university are recommended but not required. Completion of coursework in one of the following areas is strongly recommended: human development, psychopathology, theories of personality, and/or introduction to psychology.

Minimum GPA: A GPA of 3.0 or higher in previous coursework is required. However, a GPA below 3.0 does not automatically disqualify an applicant and CIIS will consider a prospective student whose GPA is between 2.0 and 3.0. These individuals are required to submit a GPA Statement and are encouraged to contact the Office of Admissions to discuss their options.

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all accredited academic institutions attended where 7 or more credits have been earned. If transcripts are being mailed to CIIS, they must arrive in their official, sealed envelopes. Transcripts from institutions outside the US or Canada require a foreign credit evaluation through World Education Services (WES) or CIIS will also accept foreign credential evaluations that are in a comprehensive course-by-course format from the current members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Short Essay Responses: Please write a series of brief responses, one for each of the following prompts in the order that they appear:

  1. Why are you interested in applying to CIIS specifically to study Expressive Arts Therapy? (350 words maximum)
  2. Describe the creative arts modalities you would bring with you into the Expressive Arts Therapy program. (350 word maximum)
  3. Please describe the direct human services experiences you have had in either employment  and/or through volunteering. (200 word maximum)
  4. What internal and external strengths and resources do you draw from to help you cope in your daily life? What social supports does this include? (200 word maximum)
  5. Our graduates are expected to be able to work with people from very diverse social, cultural, sexual/affectional preference, gender and socioeconomic backgrounds. What is your experience of relating across dimensions of difference? (200 word maximum)
  6. To which clinical track would you be applying (MFT or LPCC) and why? In answering this question, please consult and reference your area's regulatory agency's guidelines for licensure: (e.g. http://www.bbs.ca.gov/)
  7. (Please answer only if applying for the low-residency program). The low-residency program requires a high level of self-directed, autonomous work in addition to the ability to work in groups. Please describe your experience a.) working individually; and b.) working collaboratively in a group to meet a deadline. (200 word maximum)

Two Letters of Recommendation: letters of recommendation will be accepted from academic advisors, professors, professional supervisors, or someone able to attest to your ability to undertake the work required for your program. Recommenders should use standard business format and include full contact information- name, email, phone number, and mailing address.

Academic Writing Sample: a five page sample of  a piece of your academic writing (typed, double-spaced) that demonstrates your capacity to think critically and reflectively and demonstrates graduate level writing abilities. You may submit copies of previous work, such as a recent academic paper, article, or report that reflects scholarly abilities. The selected samply must be five consecutive pages. A sample that uses outside sources must include proper citations.  Please include the reference pages from this writing sample. (The reference pages are not included in the five page limit.)

An Up-To-Date C.V. detailing your educational and professional experience.

International Students

Please note: International students and individuals who have studied at institutions outside the US and Canada have additional requirements. Please see the International Student page for additional details.

Foreign Credential Evaluation

For students with an international academic history, please follow these steps for your foreign credential evaluation (e.g. WES – World Education Services):

  1. Please provide your complete and entire academic history on the application form.

  2. For degrees earned outside of the United States or Canada, we will need a foreign credential evaluation. You, the applicant, need to initiate and request this, at your own expense, through a CIIS-approved foreign credential evaluation provider.

  3. CIIS favors foreign credential evaluations provided by WES – World Education Services, and specifically the course-by-course-report. CIIS accepts the WES 'Basic' report, but applicants may wish to complete the 'ICAP'.

  4. CIIS will also accept foreign credential evaluations that are in a comprehensive course-by-course format from the current members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

  5. The foreign credential evaluation is used in lieu of sending original transcripts from abroad to CIIS. Original or notarized copies of the transcripts should only be sent to the foreign credential provider, per the foreign credential provider's instructions; there is no need to send these to CIIS!

  6. When requesting the foreign credential evaluation, choose the appropriate degrees to be evaluated for the degree that you are applying for. If applying for a PhD at CIIS, foreign degrees equivalent to a BA and MA must be evaluated. If applying for an MA at CIIS, foreign degrees equivalent to a BA must be evaluated.

  7. If you have studied abroad as part of a degree received in the United States or Canada (i.e. transfer credits from abroad), no WES evaluation is needed - provided these units are showing on your US/Canadian degree transcript. If you wish to receive transfer units for any courses earned outside of the United States/Canada that are not showing on a US/Canadian degree transcript, we do need a foreign credential evaluation for these courses.

$5000 Diversity Scholarship for School Year 2019-2020

CIIS is a university deeply committed to diversity, inclusion, and advocating for social justice. The university, guided by these principles, is offering forty $5,000 Diversity Scholarships for the academic year 2019-2020. In line with our institutional mission of embracing traditions that enhance social and political liberation, these scholarships are intended to support the recruitment of a diverse student body, particularly students historically underrepresented in higher education. Apply for the Fall 2019 semester by April 15, 2019 via this application link below. Start the Diversity Scholarship application now!

Contact us

If you have any additional questions about admissions, please contact our admissions counselor:

Skylar Hall
(415) 575-6155
shall@ciis.edu

Photo Credit: EXA Banner Photos by LissaIvy Tiegel

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