Our program's online MA aims to inspire thoughtful action by emphasizing the importance of linking theoretical reflection on world views to practical intervention in the world. Our program offers students a rigorous, supportive, and transdisciplinary learning community in which to find their voice and vision as leaders. Unlike many graduate programs in philosophy where faculty are seldom accessible to students and an atmosphere of criticism and competition dominates, our faculty strive to provide genuine mentorship to students and to maintain a learning environment that balances scholarly rigor with encouragement for each student's unique strengths and value commitments.

Photo from space of Earth Philosophy in a Time of Emergency Play Video
Play Video

The online MA requires of 36 units of online coursework and participation in three four-day on-campus intensives. All intensives take place at the main campus of California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. The intensives include initial class sessions for the courses offered that semester; research methods classes; skill-building modules to help students develop their scholarly voice, writing, and online networking abilities; advising sesions with faculty; and a variety of community-building opportunities.

MA Learning Outcomes

Our program supports students in the cultivation of both intellectual rigor and sympathetic imaginative capacities which will better enable them to enter fruitfully into a plurality of worldviews, historical eras, and cultural sensibilities. By understanding transformative historical and contemporary ideas, students will develop the ability to discern creative possibilities for bringing about life-enhancing futures.

Goal 1: Agents of Change: To generate creative and effective thinking and action in response to the unprecedented evolutionary challenge of the ecological, cultural, and spiritual crises that are currently facing the human and nonhuman members of the Earth community.

  • Students will be able to articulate sophisticated critiques of the causes and consequences of the current planetary crises.
  • In response to the dominant worldview, students will be able to generate alternatives that promote a socially and ecologically just future for the entire Earth community.

Goal 2: Sophisticated Evaluation: To develop and apply appreciative and critical evaluations of major transitions in worldviews including those that have contributed to the current planetary situation.

  • Students will be able to speak and write cogently about the nature of worldviews for a variety of scholarly and popular audiences.
  • Students will be able to engage confidently as public intellectuals in conversation regarding the history of and interaction between Western, Asian, and indigenous perspectives, remaining sensitive to the dangers of appropriation while also developing an appreciation for the potential of newly emerging hybridizations of these perspectives.

Goal 3: Transdisciplinarity: To critique, evaluate, and apply transdisciplinary scholarship.

  • Students will demonstrate competence in transdisciplinary thinking by integrating content and frameworks from a variety of disciplines to create scholarly products.
  • Students will be able to engage critically and constructively with a diverse array of research topics (e.g., religious, spiritual, and esoteric traditions, historical and scientific paradigms, and other marginalized perspectives and ways of knowing).

Goal 4: Inner and Outer Evolution: To clarify and expand the relevance of ideas studied to one's personal life and aspirations, with an eye to their implications for the transformation of culture and society at large.

  • Students will be able to build connections between their studies, their personal lives, and the larger communities in which they are embedded.
  • Students will be able to tap into and express individual creativity through personal and/or scholarly communication.

Stay Connected to CIIS