The Integral and Transpersonal Psychology PhD offers a part-time online doctoral degree with residential intensives focused on research in transformative psychologies of the whole person.

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NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR FALL 2018  Deadline for International Students — June 1, 2018  Deadline for Domestic Students — August 1, 2018  Learn more about application requirements and apply.

Integral and Transpersonal Psychology

This degree cultivates scholars who embody a 21st century integral and transpersonal vision in order to play a shaping role in psychological research and practice. The degree offers a whole-person approach to learning and research that is structured to meet the needs and goals of working professionals; this includes affiliation with a planned research laboratory, a peer-reviewed journal, and senior scholars in the field, as well as a commitment to diversity and inclusion, embodied tools for scholarship, and systematic approaches to building transpersonal areas of knowledge.

The doctoral degree is for professionals who wish to enhance their credentials, cultivate new meaning in their work, deepen their skills, or contribute to shaping their areas of specialization. It is also for entrepreneurially oriented students who wish to gain a breadth of knowledge as foundation for teaching, consulting, or working with individuals. Students will typically gain skills in critical thinking, scholarly writing, and systematic approaches to problem solving, which may translate into many areas of work. The degree is associated with a planned research laboratory for holistic neuroscience, a peer-reviewed academic journal produced in part by student interns, and senior scholars in the field who are available to guide student research.

Transpersonal is a transformative psychology of mind and body, and of the individual in felt connection with a diverse, interconnected and evolving world. The field pays particular attention to mystical, spiritual, and other exceptional human experiences associated with healing and transformation-encounters that disclose a vibrant reality that enfolds our seemingly individual minds.

The notion that spirituality is an aspect of the human being apart from any specific religion is an idea that comes directly from transpersonal psychology, and it was the first field to examine the practices of Eastern spirituality, such as mindfulness, from a psychological perspective. Transpersonal was also the first psychology to study psychedelics, a field that is now coming back to the attention of mainstream researchers. As an outgrowth of humanistic psychology, it is part of the movement that almost single-handedly invented the field of personal growth and development. As a whole-person psychology, it resonates with the values and perspectives of the complementary and alternative medicine movement, which has become a major force in healthcare.

Integral psychology is concerned with exploring and understanding the totality of human consciousness and personality. It seeks to unify the personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal dimensions of human experience to achieve wholeness of personality, multicultural harmony, and collective transformation. Integral psychology is based on the practical and transformative aspects of Sri Aurobindo's integral yoga psychology.

Why This Degree?

As psychologies situated in community and world, transpersonal and integral affirm the value of social action and ecological stewardship. Because our relationships are global, a transpersonal approach challenges the false norms of a psychology that is situated in any one meaning frame. Transpersonal's initial mission to include more than one valid state of consciousness can now be extended to embrace many ways of being human as reflected in culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, spiritual path, and ways of knowing. The integral vision of a whole-person psychology can blossom into a psychology of humanity that celebrates our differences as much as it honors what we hold in common.

Aspects that set this degree apart are research, publication, and systematic approaches to building whole-person psychologies. First, the degree is associated with a research laboratory that is in planning stages, and that will be available for use by students who wish to incorporate neuroscience into their research. The value of a whole-person approach in this context is that, while neuroscience does well at measurement, integral and transpersonal approaches excel at the descriptions of the experiences that are being measured. The vision informing the laboratory is that whole person approaches to neuroscience may be able to open valuable new areas of research into healing and human consciousness.

In addition, some students will have an opportunity to work on a CIIS-sponsored peer-reviewed academic journal, the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, and in this way gain hands-on experience in the processes of academic publication. This journal, which is available free online at, has over 80,000 unique visitors per year.

Every PhD program involves research, but the added feature of this degree is that it brings together some of the most seasoned scholars in these fields and offers students the opportunity to work with scholars on advancing their research agendas. It is by collaboration between scholars that cohesive areas of new knowledge are developed, and as aspiring scholars participate in constructing knowledge that has an impact, they cultivate a location for themselves in a research area that matters.

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