Our Educational Vision

The Integral and Transpersonal Psychology program seeks to ground academic excellence and the acquisition of professional skills in both the personal transformation of students and the cultivation of a spiritually informed scholarship.

Our curriculum provides context for multi-disciplinary exploration of the interface of psychology and spirituality, including integral and transpersonal psychology, Asian psychologies, modern consciousness studies, participatory spirituality, transpersonally informed therapies, depth psychology, contemplative psychology, religious comparative studies, shamanic and indigenous studies, eco-psychology, and more. Approaching the encounter among diverse worldviews in the spirit of dialogue, mutual transformation, and open inquiry, students in this program actively explore the practical implications and professional applications of this convergence for a diverse and multicultural world. This commitment also entails bridging psycho-spiritual growth with social, cultural, and ecological transformation.

Our program is guided by and dedicated to the following educational ideals:

  • To offer an integral education that honors not only intellectual excellence, but also the voice and wisdom of the somatic, vital, emotional, imaginal, and spiritual dimensions of the person.
  • To bring spirituality into academia and explore the transformative elements of inquiry, learning, and writing.
  • To foster the psycho-spiritual development of students, as well as their unique gifts and potentials.
  • To promote competence in diverse research methods and tools, with the goal of enabling students to participate in systematic, scientific knowledge building from the transformative and whole-person stances of integral and transpersonal psychology.

Students complete 36 units of coursework and write a dissertation. The degree is designed as a half-time online program 
with a research orientation. Students meet two times per year for a week-long residential seminar, with the remainder of coursework completed online. The program of study consists of core requirements, research courses, an area of focus that includes advanced seminars, two comprehensive exams, and a dissertation. Students may elect, with advisor approval, to 
add a second focus area to their program, thereby extending their program of study for an additional year. All courses in 
the our program are evaluated by letter grade; there is no pass/fail option.

Our Curriculum

The PhD in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology has 36 units of coursework plus a dissertation. Read course descriptions here.

I. Core Requirements—10 units
Western/World Philosophies with History and Systems of Psychology
Critical Thinking with Integral/Transpersonal Psychologies
Scholarly Writing with Integral and Transpersonal Studies
Praxis with Integral and Transpersonal Sociology and Social Action

II. Research Courses—14 units
Research Design and Critique with Exceptional Human Experiences
Qualitative Research Methods with Somatic Psychology
Quantitative Research Methods with Neuroscience of Consciousness
Integral Research Methods with Creative Expression
Proposal Writing

III. Area of Focus—12 units
Possibilities include:
Integral and Transpersonal Psychology
Somatic Studies
Consciousness Studies and Contemplative Neuroscience
Advanced Seminar in Area of Focus (3 units)
Advanced Seminar in Area of Focus (3 units)
Course in Focus Area (3 units)
Course in Focus Area (3 units)

IV. Dissertation—0 units
Dissertation Proposal
Dissertation Seminar

Alternative Multi-Paper Dissertation Format

In addition to the standard format for doctoral dissertations, the our program allows students to use an alternative format that consists of three peer-reviewed papers as the main basis for the dissertation. Two of these papers are to have been published or accepted for publication; the other is to be either published or accepted for publication, or under review. Students who would like to pursue the multi-paper dissertation format are assessed by the faculty program committee on a case-by-case basis. As with the traditional dissertation, a dissertation proposal is submitted, a committee of three members is formed, and a dissertation defense is held according to existing policies.

Focus Areas

Integral and Transpersonal Psychology

A transpersonal approach appreciates all that a conventional psychology brings, but also gives weight to lived experience, intuition, and exceptional human experiences such as those associated with mysticism and spirituality. It is a transformative psychology of the whole person-not just as an individual, but as part of a diverse, interconnected, and evolving cosmos. Integral psychology is a related approach that sees the typical human personality as fragmented and understands both healing and personal evolution as linked to the integration of these aspects into a more whole being. The integral tradition has roots in Indian spirituality through the writings of the Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher Sri Aurobindo.

Consciousness Studies and Contemplative Neuroscience

The study of consciousness brings a new dimension to both philosophy and psychology, so that the process of knowledge is turned back onto itself and consideration is given to the remarkable fact of awareness, of knowing, that makes knowledge possible. What contemplative neuroscience adds to this is a careful consideration of those states of consciousness, such as meditation, that involve the cultivation of consciousness. If these states can be understood, both from within experience and with the tools of neuroscience, this may advance understandings of the human mind, of experiences associated with mysticism and spirituality, and of consciousness itself.

Somatic Studies

Somatics and somatic psychology consider the intimate lived experience of embodiment-of understanding what it is to be human from the inside, and how these experiences illuminate culture, consciousness, and healing. This focus area is designed to support students with experience in transformative body practice-such as a martial arts, bodywork, dance or movement practices, advanced sport practices, gyrotonics, pilates, or similar traditions-in enhancing their capacity for teaching their practice, advancing their understanding of its relevance to challenges in the contemporary world, and supporting their ability to publish scholarly work related to their area of expertise.

Program Learning Goals and Objectives

Upon completion of the PhD in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology, students will be able to:

Goal 1. Demonstrate the ability to produce doctoral-level scholarly work in integral/transpersonal psychology

  • Exhibit doctoral-level scholarly writing and critical thinking skills.
  • Display expertise in a topic area within integral/transpersonal psychology.
  • Employ interdisciplinary scholarship in a careful and rigorous way.
  • Design and carry out scholarly research using an appropriate research method.
  • Integrate creativity and embodiment in the processes of scholarship.

Goal 2. Engage in communities of scholarship in a professional and collegial manner

  • Present scholarship effectively in a group setting.
  • Engage in respectful dialogue with scholars from other fields and backgrounds.
  • Employ integral and transpersonal psychology concepts in teaching contexts.
  • Practice inclusiveness with and appreciation of diverse and minority voices.

Goal 3. Demonstrate expertise in an area of integral and/or transpersonal psychology

  • Display a command of the literature in an area of scholarship related to integral/transpersonal psychology.
  • Participate in advancing scholarly research in the fields of integral and/or transpersonal psychology.

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