Department Overview

CIIS’ Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness department is dedicated to reimagining the human species as a mutually enhancing member of the Earth community.

The heart of the program is its focus on knowledge that is transformative—of ourselves and of our civilization. Our program attracts intellectually engaged individuals who are to varying degrees dismayed by what they see happening in modern societies and who are striving to find meaningful ways to develop their gifts to serve the future of the world.

Inspired by Alfred North Whitehead's view that the function of the university is to enable the future to appear first in conceptual thought, our faculty and graduate students hold in mind three fundamental goals:

  1. To open our consciousness, through learning and imagination, to those creative and evolutionary energies suffusing the earth, the universe, and the deep psyche, so that we are able to participate fully in the regeneration of human communities and their enveloping life systems.
  2. To analyze the current devastation of planetary life and to strive to liberate ourselves and our communities from the underlying causes of alienation, consumerism, militarism, androcentrism, racism, and unsustainable modes of life.
  3. To draw from the deep wells of philosophical and religious wisdom together with other scholarly and scientific insights in order to bring forth a profound vision of a vibrant planetary era.

Our students pursue a unique interdisciplinary curriculum which prepares them for professional careers in academia, writing and research, consulting, counseling and coaching, and entrepreneurship. Our faculty have established international reputations and a wide range of research interests in fields such as: evolutionary and archetypal cosmology, philosophy, religious studies, Jungian and transpersonal psychology, ecology, and the evolution of consciousness.

Learn More About Our Programs

Our Approach 

Our approach to Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness is based on the following understanding: 

Philosophy
We hope to free philosophy from its contemporary limitations—narrowly analytic, reductionist, and cosmologically alienated—and to revive the original essence of philosophy as the love of wisdom. In our department, philosophy explores new ways of thinking and being that are visionary and pragmatic, and resist the paradigm of fragmentation that continues to dominate Western thought and culture.

Cosmology
We pursue a multidisciplinary study of cosmology with a focus on the evolutionary unfolding of the universe and the Earth community. Cosmology, in our department, includes reflection on the discoveries of the natural sciences, as well as cosmological, ecological, and archetypal perspectives emerging in contemporary culture, including especially the arts and religion.

Consciousness
We seek to explore the worlds of consciousness and the deep psyche, particularly by research concerning archetypal structures and their formative expression in individual lives and culture. In our department, consciousness studies focus on transpersonal and Jungian psychology, the evolution of consciousness, Western esotericism, and new paradigm studies.

Integral Ecologies
We cultivate approaches to our common home (Oikos) which recognize the integral relation of Earth systems to questions of ethics and metaphysics, the political economy, culture, religion, and spirituality. We recognize that, just as no dimension of Earth remains untouched by humans, all facets of the human project must be reconsidered in light of our shared planetary ecology. Integral ecology includes the study of the natural and human sciences as well as the world's spiritual traditions.
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How to Apply

Fall 2022 Applications are open as of November 15, 2021

February 15, 2022 - 1st priority deadline. Submit by February 15th at 11:59pm PT for guaranteed review. ​After this date, some programs may be full and only interview for waitlist spots or not be able to further review applications. 

March 15, 2022 - 2nd application deadline: pending program space availability. Applications after this date are considered on a space-available basis and may not be considered if you miss this deadline.

April 15, 2022 - 3rd application deadline: pending program space availability (after the priority deadline). After this date, some programs may be full and only interview for waitlist spots or not be able to further review applications. Applications will be considered on a space-available basis and may not be considered if you miss this deadline.

The Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness MA and PhD programs are full and no longer accepting applications for Fall 2022.

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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 .

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