Answers to help you learn more about our program and how to apply to it.

How long is the course of PhD study?

The time it takes to complete the PhD varies greatly depending on whether you enroll part-time or full-time and the time it takes you to conceptualize and develop an original dissertation project. The average time that our PhD students take is between 5-8 years. 

What kinds of dissertations are acceptable in the program?

The Women's Spirituality program is interdisciplinary, so dissertations may cover a wide range of topics.

How can I fund my degree?

Our program is committed to helping students attain and maintain access to their studies. With our diverse student body in mind, we've curated a number of resources for scholarships, awards, and funding in order to best support you in your studies at CIIS. View our Scholarship and Funding Resource Guide to learn more.

Many of the resources listed under "General Scholarships" are geared toward women, while some are for people of all genders. Several resources are for people who are low-income, people working on social justice scholarship, or people of have unique life circumstances. We've also developed a list of scholarships geared toward under-represented groups in academia.

This guide is best viewed on a computer. The title of each scholarship listed is a link to the direct website where you can find more information and scholarship applications. Please check the scholarship websites for application deadlines.

For further questions about financial aid, including grants, further scholarships, loans, default prevention and counseling, financial planning, work-study, financial aid appeals, and more, please contact our financial aid office.

What makes a strong applicant?

Successful candidates for admission into the MA program typically have the following qualifications:

  • A vision that is compatible with the program's mission
  • A commitment to personal and social transformation 
  • An ability to think critically and creatively 
  • Respect for a diversity of viewpoints 
  • Sufficient maturity and stability to pursue independent inquiry
  • Scholarly writing skills

Successful candidates for admission into the Women's Spirituality doctoral program typically have the following additional qualifications:

  • The ability to clearly articulate educational, professional, and research goals
  • The ability to identify a prospective area of specialization and/or dissertation topic that is consistent with the program's mission and resource

Successful completion of an MA is a requirement for admission to the PhD program. An MA degree earned in a related field is preferred, but not required. Upon review of the applicant's complete file, a faculty advisor may require that the prospective student take up to 18 supplemental units for primary competency in the field.

Are GREs required?

You are not required to take the GREs for admission into the program.

What kind of work does the program prepare me for?

Our graduates fill a number of roles and leadership positions in various fields—academia, research, policy making, education, social entrepreneurship, nonprofits, creative arts, restorative justice, and many more. Our program has a strong emphasis on social justice and seeks to make an impact on the world at large by providing students with the tools to think deeply and critically about local and transnational issues, and to affect change through an integrative approach to education that values the spiritual dimensions of our human experience.

We recognize that there is no clearly paved career trajectory for someone with a degree in women's spirituality; much depends on a student's objective, self-motivation, and entrepreneurship. Students tailor their studies to their specific areas of interest, and our graduates have diverse careers. Our curriculum includes a course on vocation design to give students tools for career creation. Learn more about Graduate Careers and about the breadth of vocational paths of our graduates.

Can you tell me about your accreditation?

CIIS is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges-Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Women's Spirituality is an MA and PhD program at this accredited university.

Is the Women's Spirituality program on social media?

We are glad you asked! Yes!

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or watch us on YouTube.

Questions about Admissions or Our Program?

Admissions Counselor: Danielle Niakaros; 415.575.6291

Program Coordinator: Violeta V Krasnic 415.575.6255

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