The course of study is transdisciplinary. It is inquiry driven rather than driven exclusively by the purview of a single discipline. Students develop a solid grounding in research in transformative studies, in the complexities of transdisciplinary research, and in the knowledge base of their topic.

Research draws on a plurality of relevant disciplines as students select and focus on a topic they are passionate about.


The program is also meta-paradigmatic: Students are exposed to a plurality of perspectives and disciplines, and learn how to excavate the underlying assumptions and paradigms informing them.

Students learn ways of inquiry that connect and contextualize in order to integrate different, even divergent, perspectives in a coherent way.

Inquiry Driven

The program stresses the role of the knower in the process of knowing. The psychology of knowledge, which addresses such issues as perception, assumptions, projection, creativity, habits of mind, error and illusion, and imagination, is considered central to the process of inquiry, as is the sociology of knowledge, which contextualizes inquiry in its social, cultural, and political milieu.

Every academic inquiry is viewed as an opportunity for and exploration of the roots and matrices of knowledge in self and society.

All inquiry is viewed as an opportunity for self-inquiry. Self-inquiry, in turn is supported by, and informs, increasing academic depth and sophistication. Students are encouraged to understand the biases, assumptions, aspirations, and emotional investment that they bring to the process of inquiry.

Academic inquiry is framed as an opportunity for personal and social transformation, as a spiritual practice, and as an opportunity to cultivate creativity.


The program stresses the interrelationship between theory and practice. As thought-leaders and action-leaders, students develop skills that allow them to participate in scholarly discourse, to write for publication, and, if they choose, to conduct action-oriented research and interventions in applicable contexts.

Graduates of the program have the opportunity to teach in a discipline related to their area of interest and to conduct action-oriented research and interventions in human systems at the individual, group, and organizational levels. 

Consciousness Studies Focus

The Consciousness Studies Focus allows the student to explore many aspects of human consciousness, including its evolution through time; its growth and transformation in each individual; and its expressions in art and society. To learn more about the Consciousness Studies specialization in the Transformative Studies Ph.D. program please visit the Consciousness Studies Focus page.

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