Program Requirements

The Ph.D. in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at CIIS consists of a minimum of 42.2 semester units and is offered in both online and residential format.

Coursework is customizable with a wide variety of electives available. Upon taking and passing their comprehensive exams, students begin the process of writing their dissertation beginning with the dissertation proposal. Upon completion, candidates must defend their dissertation before a committee of faculty members.

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.

Course of Study - Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Track

Minimum 42.2 units of coursework including a dissertation.

I. Required Introduction Course (3 units)
PARP 6060 Introduction to Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness.
( Not required for graduates of the master’s program, who should fulfill this unit requirement with an alternative course.)

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 
  • PARP 6142 Archetypal Research: Writing and Methods for the Archetypal Biographer and Historian 
  • PARP 6143 The Red Books of C.G. Jung and J.R.R. Tolkien: An Archetypal Perspective 
  • PARP 6144 Jung on Astrology 
  • PARP 6145 The Way of the Archetypes or Archetypal Astrology and Individuation 
  • 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

III. General Electives (15 units)
Students choose 15 units from any CIIS program.

IV. Comprehensive Exams (6 units)
PARP 9600 Comprehensive Exam
PARP 9601 Comprehensive Exam

V. Dissertation (0.2 units)
PARP 9800 Dissertation Proposal Completion (three times maximum)
PARP 9900 Dissertation Seminar

Course of Study - Integral Ecology Track

Minimum 42.2 units of coursework including a dissertation. 

I. Required Courses (3 units)
PARP 6060 Introduction to Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness (3 units)
(Not required for graduates of the master’s program.)

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

III. Integral Ecology Electives (9 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 (6 units)
Students choose 6 units from any CIIS program.

V. Comprehensive Exams (6 units)
PARP 9600 Comprehensive Exam
PARP 9601 Comprehensive Exam

VI. Dissertation (0.2 units)
PARP 9800 Dissertation Proposal Completion (three times maximum)
PARP 9900 Dissertation Seminar

Curriculum Highlights 

PARP 7400 Psyche and Spirit: From the Psychology of Religion to Transpersonal Theory (3 units) 
This course explores the relation of psyche to “spirit”—that is, to religion, spirituality, and spiritual philosophies and worldviews—through a consideration of the development that leads from classic representatives of the psychology of religion to the principal paradigms of contemporary transpersonal psychology. Readings include primary texts—set in their appropriate contexts—by William James, C.G. Jung, Stanislav Grof, Ken Wilber, Jorge Ferrer, Jenny Wade, and others. Major themes include the evolution of consciousness; connections between main elements of Western spiritual and intellectual traditions and analogues from Asian traditions; and contributions of esotericism, new paradigm science, and non-ordinary experiences to transpersonal theory.

PAR 6079 Ecology in a Time of Planetary Crisis (3 units)
Ecology is the study of oikos, Greek for “household” or “home.” What does it mean, existentially, to find that our home, Earth, is under threat as a result of human actions? This course provides a broad overview of the human imbrication in planetary systems. We examine critical planetary issues, including climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, freshwater depletion, agriculture, fisheries collapse, and globalization, from a holistic perspective. Framing of ecological issues are placed in dialogue with religious and spiritual views, allowing students to discuss the complex interconnected ways that worldviews, biophysical science, institutions, ethics, and justice have shaped the current state of the Earth.

PAR 6472 The Colors of American Philosophy: Pluralism, Pragmatism, and Political Transformation (3 units) 
This course introduces core thinkers and themes in the American philosophical tradition and emphasizes the importance of pluralism, pragmatism, and political transformation. In line with this emphasis, course readings emphasize the influence of Native American, African American, female American, and Latinx thinkers. Course participants will be invited to situate themselves in relation to the themes explored and to present on a relevant text of their choosing that is reflective of their own background. The aim of the course is to provide participants with a conceptual grounding in the diverse histories of American thought in the hope that this grounding is of service to social and political transformation in the present.

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