Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research


Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies & Research

Applications are open until MAY 1st, 2024

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Throughout its history, CIIS has been a leader in consciousness research. To address the demand for trained psychotherapists and medical professionals to work in the expanding field of psychedelic studies, CIIS created the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research in 2015. To date, our certificate program has trained more than 1,200 licensed and ordained professionals to become psychedelic therapists and researchers, and is advancing the field with the highest possible standards of scientific rigor and safety.

The expansive roots of this certificate are in the work of clinicians, clergy, scholars and researchers on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies, transpersonal psychology, consciousness studies, psychoanalysis, comparative mysticism, cultural anthropology, and Indigenous plant medicine practices.

The program has been of the highest quality of any educational programs I have participated. I am looking forward to putting this to use in upcoming research at Yale and when possible to integrate this into my private practice.

- Robert Krause, MSN, APRN-BC, Lecturer, Yale University, School of Nursing

Center History

Throughout its history, CIIS has been a leader in consciousness research, including research into non-ordinary states of consciousness. In 1997, CIIS began offering the Robert Joseph and Wilhelmina Kranzke Endowed Scholarships, a gift of Robert Barnhart in memory of his parents, which supports scholarships for students conducting approved psychotropic research. 

Demand for trained psychotherapists working in psychedelic studies continued to grow. To address this need, and with the generous support of many individuals and organizations passionate about the scientific possibilities of this field, CIIS created the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research in 2015. Founding Director Dr. Janis Phelps has remained at the helm since then, leading the Center with her expertise and decades of experience in clinical psychology and psychedelic studies.

The Center continues to build strong partnerships with other universities, medical centers, researchers, and research groups. Top psychedelic researchers and scholars work with the Center to teach in the certificate program, mentor trainees, and sit on the Center’s council of advisors. This includes a history of collaboration with MAPS PBC, the Heffter Research Institute, and the Usona Institute, three of the most renowned research organizations for psychedelic studies. The Center’s certificate program is the largest collaborative program focusing on psychedelic studies within a non-medical graduate university. 

In 2020, the Center received a three-year grant of $1.0 million from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to support the expansion of our certificate program. The Foundation’s generous gift has helped the Center meet the rapidly growing demand for psychedelic therapist training and education. In addition to enhancing our course offerings and increasing cohort sizes, the grant supports new training sites, with Boston as the first additional location in 2021 and Oregon in 2024. In 2022, the Center received additional grants to share our curriculum and instruction with other universities beginning their own certificate programs.

Values at CIIS from the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A diverse academic community offers a rich and dynamic perspective to CIIS's intellectual environment. Diversity is broader than the traditional categories of age, gender identity, national origin, race, religion, and sexual orientation. It also encompasses disability, socioeconomic status, family background, language, the level of academic preparedness, learning style, and even different communities with which our students, faculty, and staff are associated. As a result of intentional engagement with our own identities and the work of diversity, we uncover our similarities through our differences, thus allowing us to celebrate and honor our shared humanity.

Inclusion is respecting and embracing those distinctive characteristics each member of the CIIS community adds to the institution. It goes beyond numerical diversity. Inclusion is the creation of a climate where all feel valued and appreciated-where there is substantive interaction between and within groups, such that the very space becomes renewed by those included and all are willing to be challenged and enriched by the introduction of ideas, ways of knowing, and perspectives that were not often enough centered. This inclusive environment best allows students, faculty, and staff to thrive as individuals and as a community.

The Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research has partnered with CIIS' Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to: 

  • Prepare trainees to meet the evolving challenges of diverse communities in an increasingly unjust world. 
  • Collaborate with teachers, staff, trainees, and community members to increase learning about BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Indigenous scholarship, worldviews, and cultures. 
  • Create a Culture of Belonging throughout the program in order to foster empathy, connection, and authenticity. 

More about CIIS' Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Instructions for Disability Accommodation

Students who request accommodation for a disability should contact the Office of Student Accessibility Services at the Office of Student Affairs by emailing Students will be guided through the registration procedures for accommodation. Any questions, requests for accommodation or access, or concerns regarding services for students or applicants with a disability as defined by law should be addressed to the Director of the Office of Student Accessibility Services. In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended (ADAAA), the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities have equal access to the programs and services available to all students at CIIS. Further, equal access for students with disabilities is fundamental to the mission and educational philosophy of CIIS.

Download the Information Packet for the 2024-2025 Certificate Program

Applications are open until May 1st, 2024 


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We gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions of our donors over the years, without whom this crucial work could not continue.