Program Requirements

The master’s in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at CIIS consists of 36 semester units (two years of coursework), and is offered in both online and residential format. 

Online students are highly encouraged but not required to participate in the annual residential retreat, intensive courses, and other program-associated events held in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.

At the conclusion of their master’s program, all students take an integrative seminar which is structured to help consolidate what they have learned throughout the program. Through a process of collaborative inquiry, students refine their unique perspectives and their ability to bridge various bodies of knowledge while developing plans for their next steps after graduation. The course culminates with a public presentation to the assembled Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness community of the students’ key insights.

Course of Study - Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Track

I. Required Introduction Course (3 units)
PARP 6060 Introduction to Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness

II. Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Electives (18 units)

The following are representative courses. Course options will vary year to year. 

PARP 6110 Cosmological Powers 
PARP 6120 Cosmology of Literature 
PARP 6131 Speculation and Adoration: Introduction to the Study of Medieval Christian Mysticism 
PARP 6133 Whitehead’s Adventure in Cosmology: Toward a Physics of the World-Soul 
PARP 6134 Process Approaches to Consciousness 
PARP 6135 Process and Difference in the Pluriverse 
PPARP 6143 The Red Books of C.G. Jung and J.R.R. Tolkien: An Archetypal Perspective 
PARP 6249 Romanticism and Philosophy 
PARP 6275 Plato and Platonism 
PARP 6278 Integral Ecologies 
PARP 6315 Epic of the Universe 
PARP 6393 Mind and Nature in German Idealism 
PARP 6403 Spirit and Nature 
PARP 6407 Biography and Karma 
PARP 6422 Aurobindo, Steiner, and Teilhard 
PARP 6431 Martin Luther King Jr.: Justice, Cosmology, and Interconnection 
PARP 6506 The Great Turning 
PARP 6517 History of Western Thought and Culture: An Archetypal Perspective 
PARP 6522 Science, Ecology, and Contested Knowledge(s) 
PARP 6525 Toward an Integral Ecological Consciousness 
PARP 6532 Christianity and Ecology 
PARP 6533 Touch the Earth: Integral Ecology Practicum 
PARP 6538 Krishna, Buddha, and Christ 
PARP 6563 Buddhism and Ecology 
PARP 6650 Advanced Seminar: A.N. Whitehead’s Process and Reality 
PARP 6667 Radical Mythospeculation: Cosmic Evolution and Deep History 
PARP 6743 Cosmology of Food I 
PARP 6744 Cosmology of Food II 
PARP 6746 The Earth Journey 
PARP 6748 Nature and Eros 
PARP 6762 Steiner and Jung 
PARP 6822 Hegel, Wilber, and Morin: Foundations of Integral Theory 
PARP 6829 Integral T’ai Chi 
PARP 6833 The Evolution of Religious Consciousness: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age 
PARP 6834 The Evolution of the Modern Self: From Axial Roots to Postmodern Threshold 
PARP 6842 Cosmological Epics 
PARP 7001 Psyche and Cosmos I: Transpersonal Psychology and Archetypal Astrology 
PARP 7002 Psyche and Cosmos II: Transits in Depth (Practicum) 
PARP 7007 American Philosophy 
PARP 7008 James Hillman and Archetypal Psychology: An Introduction
PARP 7105 Archetypes, Art, and Culture 
PARP 7400 Psyche and Spirit: From the Psychology of Religion to Transpersonal Theory

IV. General Electives (12 units)
Student chooses 12 units from any CIIS program.

V. Culminating Coursework (3 units)
PARP 6897 Integrative Seminar

Course of Study - Integral Ecology Track

This track requires 36 units including 3 units of Integral Ecology Practicum.

I. Required Courses (6 units)
PARP 6060 Introduction to Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness
PARP 6278 Integral Ecologies
OR
PARP 6525 Toward an Integral Ecological Consciousness

II. Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Electives (6 units) 

III. Integral Ecology Electives (6 units)

The following are representative courses. Course options will vary year to year. 

PAR 6078 Theory and Method in the Integrative Study of Religion and Ecology 
PAR 6079 Ecology in a Time of Planetary Crisis 
PAR 6292 Next of Kin 
PARP 6110 Cosmological Powers 
PARP 6120 Cosmology of Literature
PARP 6150 The Book of Nature 
PARP 6159 Plants and People: Understanding the Plant World Through Relationships 
PARP 6278 Integral Ecologies 
PARP 6315 Epic of the Universe 
PARP 6393 Mind and Nature in German Idealism 
PARP 6403 Spirit and Nature 
PARP 6431 Martin Luther King Jr.: Justice, Cosmology, and Interconnection 
PARP 6506 The Great Turning PARP 6522 Science, Ecology, and Contested Knowledge(s) 
PARP 6525 Toward an Integral Ecological Consciousness 
PARP 6532 Christianity and Ecology 
PARP 6533 Touch the Earth: Integral Ecology Practicum 
PARP 6563 Buddhism and Ecology 
PARP 6743 Cosmology of Food 
PARP 6744 Cosmology of Food II 
PARP 6746 The Earth Journey 
PARP 6748 Nature and Eros 
PARP 6822 Hegel, Wilber, and Morin: Foundations of Integral Theory 

IV. General Electives (12 units)
Student chooses 12 units from any CIIS program.

V. Integral Ecology Practicum (3 units)
PARP 6533 Touch the Earth: Integral Ecology Practicum. This course combines a semester-long Integral Ecology fieldwork experience of the student’s own choosing with a discussion seminar. 

VI. Culminating Coursework (3 units)
PARP 6897 Integrative Seminar

VII. Optional Thesis Adviser, approval required (0.2 units)
PARP 9800 Thesis/Dissertation Proposal Completion
PARP 9900 Thesis/Dissertation Seminar

Curriculum Highlights 

PARP 6522 Science, Ecology, and Contested Knowledge (3 units) 
To understand the current ecological crisis, we need to investigate the ontological and epistemological foundations of our knowledge about the environment. The science of ecology, in its social and biophysical permutations, is a dominant way of understanding the natural environment. Examining the social construction of scientific and ecological knowledge will shed light on how we know and what we know about the natural environment. In this course, we will critically examine the social construction of scientific and ecological knowledge, coming to see Western scientific knowledge as a particular cultural phenomenon. We will examine countervailing epistemological understandings, such as situated knowledge and traditional ecological knowledge, that challenge the idea of a dispassionate and omniscient scientific viewpoint. We will investigate the compatibility of religious and spiritual insights with ecological knowledge. Applying feminist and non-Western epistemologies to environmental issues, we will seek to generate alternative ways of understanding ecological crises, which may, in turn, generate healing alternatives.

PARP 6134 Process Approaches to Consciousness (3 units) 
This is a course on consciousness. In one sense, consciousness is a subject we are each intimately familiar with. What could be more obvious than the fact that we think, feel, sense, and imagine things? But in another sense, consciousness remains a hotly contested object of academic study, with some claiming it does not exist at all and others claiming it is the only thing that does! This course examines the subject/object of consciousness from a plurality of disciplinary perspectives, including theoretical biology, neuroscience, psychology, transpersonal theory, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, phenomenology, psychedelic studies, and especially process philosophy. Alfred North Whitehead’s process-relational panexperientialism is explored as a potential naturalistic alternative both to deflationary accounts of consciousness offered by scientific materialism and to more inflationary accounts offered by philosophical idealism.

PARP 6150 The Book of Nature (3 units) 
Can the ancient metaphor of “the book of nature” provide us with theoretical and imaginative tools for a critique of the current crisis of nature and culture? Increasingly, many see our current crisis crystallized in the apparent conflict between a humanism that ignores nature, on the one hand, and a naturalism that warps and disfigures our understanding of humanity, on the other. Can we look at things differently? This course seeks to respond to the prevailing crisis through a critical reconsideration of the metaphor of the book of nature, one of the central root metaphors for relating nature and culture throughout Western history. We will follow the development of this trope from its appearance in antiquity through to its high point of cultural influence in the Middle Ages, its transformation in early modern science and philosophy, and its continuing importance for much Romantic and environmental literature. Along the way, we will also consider the role of the imagination in the mediation of knowledge, the relationship between allegory and metaphysics, and the connection between dominant metaphors and the modes of consciousness attaching to them.

Questions? Contact us.

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