The program attracts an international community of creative, self-directed learners from diverse academic and occupational backgrounds. Recent entering classes included educators, administrators, online teachers, theatrical directors, professional musicians, social workers, artists, health researchers, peace negotiators, ministers, and organizational and diversity consultants.
At the beginning of each semester, learners meet in the San Francisco Bay Area for an intensive five-day retreat combining workshops, presentations, advising, and strengthening of community bonds.
Admission to the Program
Applicants to the Transformative Studies doctoral program must submit two letters of recommendation, with at least one from an academic advisor or someone familiar with the applicant's ability to do advanced academic work.
Applicants are also asked to provide a recent example of scholarly writing, a résumé of relevant experiences, and, of particular importance, a one- to three-page statement of how the resources of this curriculum will be used to advance a chosen inquiry.
Skills and Competencies
The successful applicant will have demonstrated skills and competencies in his or her field of work, which might be in such areas as education, health care, the arts, social activism, psychology, organizational development, or corporate management.
Applicants should have a demonstrated capacity to learn and to work both independently and collaboratively. All students must have consistent access to a computer with the capacity to navigate the Internet and the web, and the ability to use the online medium for ongoing dialogue.
This transdisciplinary program combines a sophisticated understanding of ways to structure knowledge with the ability to apply that knowledge in original research. Students experience inquiry as a transformative process, exploring multiple theoretical approaches in a variety of disciplines, and skillfully matching appropriate methods to research questions. Award-winning teacher and author Allan Combs directs the Focus in Integral Studies.
Please visit Applying to CIIS for application deadlines and other important information.
Click here to view applications requirements
Online Admissions Application: Begin the application process by submitting an online graduate application at the link below and submitting the non-refundable $65 application fee payment.
Degree Requirement: A bachelor's and master's degree (or the equivalent) from a regionally accredited institution.
Transcripts: Official transcripts from all accredited academic institutions attended. Transcripts must arrive in their official, sealed envelopes.
Two Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation, at least one from an advisor or someone familiar with the applicant's ability to do advanced academic work. Recommenders should use standard business format and include full contact information-name, email, phone number, and mailing address.
Academic Writing Sample: A writing sample of eight-to-ten pages (typed, double-spaced) that demonstrates your capacity to think critically and reflectively and demonstrates graduate level writing abilities. A sample that uses outside sources must include proper citations. You may submit copies of previous work, such as a recent academic paper, article, or report that reflects scholarly abilities.
Goal Statement: A one-to-three page (typed, double-spaced) statement of your educational and professional objectives. Include how you will use the resources of the curriculum to advance your chosen inquiry.
Autobiographical Statement: A four-to-six page (typed, double-spaced) introspective autobiographical statement discussing your values, intellectual and professional journeys, aspirations, and life experiences that have led to your decision to apply.
Please submit all electronic materials as individual attachments (one document per submission, in .doc, or .pdf formats) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: International students and individuals who have studied at institutions outside the US and Canada have additional requirements. Please see the International Student page for additional details.
If you have any additional questions about admissions, please contact our admissions counselor: