Please join our newsletter list at the bottom of this page for announcements about the 2021 cohort. APPLICATIONS WILL OPEN ON OCTOBER 15, 2020 AND END NOVEMBER 30, 2020.  Check back here soon for full 2021 application information.

2020 Eligible Applicants

The certificate is designed for advanced professionals working in related therapeutic areas: licensed mental health clinicians, specific medical professionals and ordained/commissioned clergy and chaplains. Licensed professionals in these specializations must have an MA, MSW, RN or higher degree in behavioral health, medicine, or mental health fields. Clergy and chaplains must be trained within one or more of the major world religions and be ordained or commissioned prior to application. Under specific circumstances, specific medical and mental health professionals, who are not yet licensed, may apply if they have completed their coursework and 1,000 training hours of counseling and psychotherapy.

Only professionals who hold the following specific advanced degrees, licensure, commissions, or ordinations may apply to the certificate program:

  • Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC)
  • Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
  • Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
  • Occupational Therapists (OT with master's degree)
  • Registered Nurses (RN)
  • Nurse Practitioners (NP)
  • Naturopathic Doctors (ND)
  • Clinical and Counseling Psychologists (PhD/PsyD)
  • Physicians and Psychiatrists (MD)
  • Physician Assistants (PA)
  • Ordained Clergy and Commissioned Chaplains (with M.Div. and 4 hours CPE)
  • Attorneys (JD in counseling specialties only)
  • Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LAADC with master's degree)
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners (TCM with master's degree)
  • Physical Therapists (PT with master's degree)

These are strict criteria and only people with the above degrees and credentials are eligible to apply. For these professionals, preference will be given to applicants with a substantial background in psychological treatment and spiritual direction in behavioral medicine, chronic trauma and PTSD, palliative care, hospice, psychiatry, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, oncology, mediation and resolution, and/or pain management.

The Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research especially encourages applications from individuals in the above list who identity as people of color and/or LGBTQi, serve marginalized and underserved populations, and/or are military veterans.

For medical professionals, clergy, chaplains, and counseling attorneys, those applicants with substantial experience in providing psychotherapy, counseling, pastoral care, mediation, and/or spiritual direction will be considered strong candidates for the certificate program.

Criteria for Clergy and Chaplains: Ordained clergy and commissioned/ordained chaplains are considered as applicants if they serve in pastoral counseling and spiritual direction within the well-known world religious traditions. For ordained/commissioned clergy and chaplains, an M.Div. and 4 hours CPE with study in psychology and therapeutic skills is a requirement. We encourage applicants from these backgrounds. There are special tuition discounts available for clergy and chaplains who report a need for financial aid.

Criteria for Counseling Attorneys: Only JD licensed attorneys with demonstrated supervised training and counseling work with families, couples and individuals in several specific areas are eligible to apply. These areas are limited to: divorce mediation, child custody mediation and resolution, end-of-life and estate plan counseling, family and elder law counseling, and community dispute resolution. A strong candidate will be an applicant who did this counseling work under clinical supervision in non-profits or service agencies for the benefit of marginalized populations. Counseling attorneys must have passed the bar, been licensed prior to applying, and have earned certifications in one or more of these specific areas.

Criteria for Eligible Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners, Physical Therapists, Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselors, and Occupational Therapists: These professionals must have an accredited master's or doctoral degree in mental health, medicine, or behavioral health, as well as the applicable license. These specific credentials are required for these 2020 applicants.

Eligibility for Pre-licensed Professionals:  Under certain circumstances, five types of eligible mental health or medical professionals may be admitted prior to the completion of licensure requirements. These five groups of therapists are Professional Clinical Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Clinical Social Workers, Psychologists, and Psychiatrists. Unlicensed members of these five groups will be considered on an individual basis only if they: a) have completed their degree coursework, b) have completed 1,000 or more supervised internship or residency clinical hours in which they conducted psychotherapy and counseling and c) have two or more years of work experience in mental health fields. In all cases where an applicant is not yet licensed, the coursework and 1,000 supervised hours of psychotherapy or counseling experience must be completed prior to the start of the certificate program on February 1, 2020. To document the completion of the coursework, pre-licensed applicants will need to include a copy of their degree's academic requirements from the university's catalog.

Continuing Education Credits
Trainees may apply for 25 to 40 hours of applicable Continuing Education Hours for an additional administrative fee. Please see the details below of the organizations with which the certificate program has contracted to provide Continuing Education Hours. 

Information on Continuing Education Credit for Psychologists

CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Resource Center (SCRC) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Resource Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content. SCRC is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. RN/NPs will need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the California Board of Registered Nursing. For questions about the certificate regarding CEs, contact Cathy Coleman, PhD at For questions about CE, visit or contact David Lukoff, PhD at

Information on Continuing Education Credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs

This course meets the qualifications for hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs (Provider #85777). CIIS maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.

Students will be awarded a certificate of completion for course work after paying the continuing education fee and completing the program evaluation. Certificates will be mailed to students.

Download the  2020 Information Packet.

2020 Application Materials

A 2020 completed application will consist of the $150 non-refundable deposit and the following materials:

  • Certificate Application Form
  • Background and Goal Statement
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Credentialing Documents (for degrees, license, ordination or commission)
  • Contact Hours & Supervision Form
  • Names of Professional References
  • Scholarship and/or Special Discount Letter (optional)

Selected candidates will be invited to interview with a faculty committee as a requirement to apply for admission. This interview may be in person or via video conference. Only candidates who have turned in all of their application materials will be considered for the interview stage. 

Certificate Application Form: Applicants will complete and submit the brief application form with other documents. This form will be completed when paying your deposit. 

Background and Goal Statement: In 2-3 pages, you will describe your background and interest in this certificate. Tell us anything pertinent regarding your personal development and progress through the stages of licensure, commissioning, or ordination. Include descriptions of your training in therapy, medicine, counseling law, or spiritual direction. Share how you learned the following topics didactically and where you practiced these skills and knowledge: the understanding of psychological diagnoses; understanding of the therapeutic alliance; how to conduct a short-term treatment; recognition of transference and counter-transference; maintaining professional and pastoral boundaries; and confidentiality. Tell us how you integrate psychology and spirituality into your own practices of personal development.

In addition, your goals are important to us. Please share with us what you hope to do with this certificate. Make sure to consider both the ways you might use this training for your current work in the world and how this training can contribute to your long-term life goals.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae: Applicants will include a short resume or CV that outlines the history of their higher education, practica, internships, residencies, work in service to communities, spiritual direction assignments, fieldwork, as well as ordainment, commission, and/or licensure status and in which state(s) or country, if outside the US.

Credentialing Documents: For licensed and ordained/commissioned applicants: applicants will submit a copy of their license or ordination/commission papers. Some applicants will need to provide a copy of their graduate transcript. For eligible pre-licensed applicants only: a) applicants will upload their most recent degree transcript and b) they will also submit copy of their degree's specific coursework requirements from their university catalog.

Contact Hours & Supervision Form: This form documents your psychotherapy, counseling, mental health assessment, pastoral counseling and spiritual direction contact hours and supervision during and since your training. Click for PDF review copies of these forms for certain licensed applicants and pre-licenced applicants.

Professional References: Applicants will submit the names and phone contact information of one or two current or past clinical supervisors, spiritual guidance mentors, and/or professors who are willing to be a reference for you. Your application can be strengthened if you submit one or two letters of recommendation, but such letters are strictly optional.

Scholarships and Special Discounts:  We do receive some funding for scholarships for students from underrepresented communities enrolling in the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research. The George Sarlo Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund generously established the Ricci Coddington Diversity Scholarships. These scholarships will be awarded to certificate students from underrepresented populations and will help promote equity in this emerging field and access to these healing medicines for all diverse communities. We would like to thank CIIS Trustee Betsy Gordon, donors Robert Barnhart, Jennifer Allen, and John Hain, and the Limina Foundation who have each made substantial gifts to provide scholarships to underrepresented certificate trainees. 

To apply for the 2020 discounts and scholarships, applicants will write a 1-page letter describing their membership in any of the groups below. It will help your application if you also tell us key facts about your financial situation. Applicants may receive only one type of special discount or scholarship. The Scholarship and Special Discount statement letter is due with the application materials. Funds will be disbursed on a first come, first served basis, so apply early. Our goal is that applicants for aid will be notified on a rolling basis and by Sunday, December 15, 2019. 

  • Those who are veterans
  • Those identified as people of color
  • Those in demonstrated financial need 
  • Clinical CIIS and ACTCM faculty, students, alumni, supervisors, adjuncts, and staff

Application Dates for 2020 Class

Applications open September 15, 2019 and close October 31, 2019.  

Applications will be received and processed on a rolling basis. The earlier you apply, the earlier you may be invited to an interview for a place in the 2020 class. We will close admissions and scholarship applications when we have filled the class for 2020. If you are interested in this certificate training program, we recommend that you apply early.

Applicants with completed paperwork will be notified shortly about whether or not they will be invited to an interview. Admissions results will be shared with applicants within two to three weeks of the interview. Our goal is that all invitations for admission and scholarship awards will be made before or by December 15, 2019.

For questions regarding online application submissions, please contact CPTR Center Manager Laura Pustarfi at

*Applications will not be considered without payment of the registration deposit.

2020 Payment and Withdrawal Policies

Registration Deposit: $150  (non-refundable)

Tuition Cost: $10,000     

Inclusive Tuition: The tuition cost covers all the training during on-site CIIS weekends and the entire room and board for the June week-long retreat at the EarthRise Retreat Center in Petaluma, California (50 miles north of San Francisco).

Applications Open: September 15, 2019

Completed Applications Due: October 31, 2019

Our Goal is that Offers of Admission and Scholarship/Tuition Discounts will be announced before or by: December 15, 2019

2020 Classes Begin: Friday, March 13, 2020

2020 Classes End: Sunday, November 8, 2020

Payment and Cancellation Policies
A non-refundable deposit of $150 is due at the time of application. If you are offered admission to the 2020 program, an initial tuition payment of at least 25% of tuition is due by February 1, 2020, to secure your space in the program. 

An installment payment schedule is available for those who show financial need.

If a student withdraws before Thursday, April 30, 2020, 25% of the full fee ($2,500) will be due. If a student withdraws before Saturday, June 20, 2020, 50% of the full fee ($5,000) will be due. The full fee of $10,000 (minus any scholarships or special discounts given) is due if a student withdraws on or after Saturday, June 20, 2019.

Refund Petition Process

Students who believe they have extenuating circumstances warranting a credit, refund, or adjustment of the program cost may present a petition to Dr. Janis Phelps, CPTR Director. The petition must include an explanation of this circumstance along with supporting documentation, which will become the property of CIIS and will not be returned. The petition must be submitted within 90 calendar days of the last day of the program.

Instructions for Disability Accommodation

Students who request accommodation for a disability should contact Student Disability 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 University disability officer, who is also the Dean of Students.

California Institute of Integral Studies complies with the provisions of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Office of Student Affairs is responsible for working toward equal access.

More information can be found on the Student Disability Services page of MyCIIS.

Student Handbook: Information on Student Affairs, Complaints, Services

All programs at CIIS are covered by the Student Affairs office. All departments that offer continuing education adhere to the university's complaint procedures. Click here for the Student Handbook for more information.

Policy for Missed Classes

Please note that students must complete the entire curriculum in order to receive the certificate. We will meet at predetermined times for 6 months with a summer break. Should a student miss 1 or 2 classes of an instructor, they will have the option of attending a 1-unit course at CIIS or a presentation on this topic offered by the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research. (The presentations options can be taken at a 15-25% discount; the 1-unit classes will be at full additional cost). Or a student may be able to opt to do a special project at additional cost with their mentor-supervisor. In certain cases, the student may find a class elsewhere to fulfill the requirement. All make-up classes must be approved by Janis Phelps and the student's mentor.

It is not possible to earn the certificate completely online because the program is part residential, part online. Students will do 120 hours in classrooms at CIIS and at the June retreat. The remaining 60 hours in this semi-hybrid program are a combination of online learning, mentoring, and volunteer work. We will do everything we can to create solutions for unavoidable schedule conflicts. If any student needs to make-up more than 25 hours of the 180-hour certificate, they will be asked to take a portion of the certificate hours with the 2021 cohort of students. In this special case, the certificate will then be conferred sometime in 2021, rather than in 2020. If you live outside the Bay Area, please contact Dr. Cathy Coleman at with any questions you have about the details of your particular situation.

Need to Contact Us?

CIIS Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Dr. Cathy Coleman
CPTR Admissions Manager | Certificate Manager
Phone: (415) 575-6261

Dr. Laura Pustarfi
Associate Director of the Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research Certificate Program
Phone: (415) 575-6243

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