What types of students benefit most from the whole-person academic perspective offered in the your program?
Students in our program share an interest in whole-person approaches to psychology such as humanistic, transpersonal, holistic, integral, somatic, contemplative, Jungian, and East-West. This typically includes

  • Working professionals who wish to deepen their knowledge, advance their education, contribute to research, and bring greater meaning to their existing field of experience.
  • Idea entrepreneurs or activists who wish to use their education as a foundation for consulting, writing, or teaching in the public sphere.
  • Individuals who are in transition in life and who, after varied life experiences, are expanding their worldview to a more whole-person perspective.
  • International students from diverse places on the globe seeking graduate training and a whole-person education.

Do I need to have an MA in psychology to apply to the program?
You do not need to have an MA in psychology. Many of our students come from social sciences and humanities backgrounds with some coursework in psychology. Students with a lighter background in psychology may be encouraged to take one or more foundational courses in psychology from another program at CIIS, or at a college in their own community.

What is the difference between your program and other programs at CIIS (such as Integral Counseling Psychology, Clinical Psychology [PsyD], philosophy and religion programs, or East-West Psychology)?
The Integral Counseling Psychology program provides the required academic coursework and professional training necessary to apply for the marriage and family therapist (MFT) license. The PsyD program provides doctoral-level academic and professional training, and prepares students to become licensed clinical psychologists. The philosophy and religion programs emphasize the study of world philosophy and religion (with concentrations in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness; Women's Spirituality; and Asian and Comparative Studies). The East-West Psychology program integrates the study of world religions with western psychology and psycho-spiritual practice. 
Our program shares an interest in transpersonal and consciousness studies with some of these programs, but our program comes to the topic with an interest in whole-person-based psychological research.

Does the program prepare students to become licensed therapists?
No, the our program does not prepare students for licensure as psychological counselors, psychotherapists, or clinical psychologists. However, the degree is designed to serve students who have earned MAs in counseling or psychotherapy. 
Some of these students will pursue further doctoral studies in topics related to counseling psychology, such as integral psychotherapy, somatic psychology, expressive arts therapy, drama therapy, and community mental health.

For what kind of career does the program prepare me?
It is expected that many of the graduates from our program will continue working in their established fields as psychotherapists, social workers, psychologists, counselors, consultants, activists, organizers, leaders, teachers, researchers, nurses, physicians, or lawyers, or in fields related to personal development, social change, or environmental protection. Some students who are entrepreneurially inclined may become consultants, writers, speakers, or workshop leaders. A few may go into academic teaching or research and publication.

May I speak with a faculty member before I apply?
Yes. We provide various forums during which you can meet with a faculty member and discuss your interest in the program, including the biannual CIIS open houses and program information sessions. You can also arrange to attend an online class by contacting the admissions counselor for this program.
Our admissions counselor is also able to discuss with you your academic interests and goals, give you program materials and financial aid information, and provide a tour of the university building, which will give you a sense of the intellectual and integral climate of the university.

Why does each semester include six units of coursework?
In order to qualify for financial aid, you must take a minimum of six units per semester.

What types of financial aid or student employment are available?
Government loans totaling up to $20,500 and various university scholarships are available. Additionally, some students are employed within the university as student workers. It is best to speak directly with a financial aid officer to understand the specifics, and to request that financial aid information be sent to you. Please write to finaid@ciis.edu.

Will I have a chance to be interviewed?
After you submit your application and application materials, our admissions office will forward your materials to the program for review. You may then receive an invitation from our program coordinator for an interview. After the interview, the our program will decide whether to offer admission, and if you are accepted, will make recommendations about prerequisite courses and choice of academic advisor. This process takes between two and four weeks.

Can I transfer credits from previous graduate work?
You can transfer in a maximum of six units, but only after the program has looked at your previous coursework and determined if the work is eligible. This is done after you have been accepted.

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