Applications for the 2021 cohort are now closed, and no late applications will be considered. We will advertise here when admissions for 2022 are open.

Please join our newsletter list at the bottom of this page for announcements about the next cohort.

Application Dates for the 2021 Class:

Applications for 2021 are open beginning October 15, 2020 and will close November 30, 2020.

All application materials must be uploaded between the above dates. Separate documents and sections of the application may be saved, which allows the applicant to finish the submission later. The admissions application and additional materials, including optional scholarship or need-based aid application statement or letters of recommendation, must be submitted no later than November 30th. No additional materials can be added once the application has been fully submitted.

  • Applications Open: Thursday, October 15, 2020
  • Applications Close: Monday, November 30, 2020
  • Classes Begin: Friday, April 9, 2021
  • Classes End: Sunday, December 5, 2021

Our goal is that all invitations for admission, need-based aid, and scholarship awards will be given before or by February 15, 2021.

For questions regarding online application submissions, please contact the Certificate Admissions Manager, Dr. Cathy Coleman, at, or call the Center at: 1-415-575-6261.

2021 Eligibility Criteria for the Certificate:

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/MS, MSW, RN or higher degree in behavioral health, medicine, or mental health fields. Clergy and chaplains must be trained in a recognized program with multiple teachers within one or more of the major world religions, hold an MDiv, have completed 4 units of CPE, and be ordained or commissioned prior to application. Under specific circumstances, some medical and mental health professionals, who are not yet licensed, may apply if they have completed their coursework and 1,000 supervised training hours of counseling and psychotherapy.

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

  • Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT)
  • Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)
  • Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC/LPC)
  • Naturopathic Doctors (ND)
  • Clinical and Counseling Psychologists (PhD/PsyD)
  • Physicians and Psychiatrists (MD/DO)
  • Physician Assistants (PA)
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners (TCM with MA/MS)
  • Registered Nurses (BSN or higher)
  • Nurse Practitioners (NP with MS)
  • Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM with MS)
  • Ordained Clergy and Commissioned Chaplains (with M.Div. and 4 units of CPE)
  • Attorneys in counseling specialties (JD)
  • Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselors (LAADC with MA)
  • Physical Therapists (PT with MA)
  • Occupational Therapists (OT with MA/MS)

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/or 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 eligible individuals within the above list who: identify as people of color; identify as LGBTQ+; are military veterans; are clinical CIIS and ACTCM faculty, students, alumni, supervisors, adjuncts, and staff; and/or serve marginalized and under-represented populations.

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 actively serve in pastoral counseling and spiritual direction within the well-known world religious traditions. The three requirements for this group are that they must: have earned an accredited M.Div. with study in psychology and therapeutic skills; be ordained or commissioned within a supervised traditional and established curriculum with multiple teachers; and have completed 4 units of CPE prior to application. We encourage submissions from these applicants. There is aid available for clergy and chaplains who demonstrate financial need.

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 counseling, 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-profit 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, Certified Nurse-Midwives, and Occupational Therapists: These professionals must have an accredited master’s or doctoral degree in one of these specific disciplines, as well as the applicable license. These specific credentials are required for the above 2021 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. Pre-licensed members of these five professions 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 February 1st, 2021. To document the completion of the coursework, pre-licensed applicants will need to submit a copy of their degree's academic requirements from the university's catalog and their latest transcript.

With no exceptions, LAADCs, TCM practitioners, CNMs, counseling attorneys, clergy members, and occupational or physical therapists must have received their applicable M.Div., MA/MS, JD or PhD/PsyD degrees, CPE units, and professional licenses or ordinations prior to application.

International Licensed Medical and Mental Health Professionals: The Center welcomes and accepts applicants from outside the U.S. We review the licensing credentials from non-U.S. professional boards on a case-by-case basis. To date, we have had the pleasure of training 21 international physicians and licensed psychotherapists.

Continuing Education Hours and Credits
Trainees may earn up to 40 approved hours of applicable Continuing Education Hours and Credits 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 and Credits.

In 2019 and 2020, to date many of the psychedelic-assisted training certificate classes were approved for CME AMA PRA Category 1 Credit TM through CME Consultants.

Below is the information about our co-sponsors of Continuing Education Hours for trainees who are mental health professionals and nurses. In the past 5 years these professionals have received as many as 40 approved hours of continuing education hours.

Information on Continuing Education Credit for Psychologists and Nurses

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

Download the  2021 Information Packet.

2021 Application Materials:

All application materials will be uploaded at, beginning on our open admission start date of October 15, 2020. Selected candidates will be invited to interview with an admissions committee member as a requirement as the next step in application for admission. Only candidates who have turned in all of their application materials will be considered for the interview stage. This interview will be via videoconference.

A 2021 completed application will consist of the $150 non-refundable application fee and the following materials:

  • Certificate Application Form
  • Background and Goal Statement
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Credential Documents (for degrees, license, ordination and/or commission)
  • Professional References
  • Contact Hours and Supervision Form for Eligible Pre-licensed Professionals only
  • Letters of Recommendation (optional)
  • Scholarship and Need-Based Aid Application Statement (optional)

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

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. Please 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 individual and group psychotherapy; recognition of transference and counter-transference; maintaining professional and pastoral boundaries; and confidentiality. Tell us how you integrate psychology, mindfulness, or 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 resume or CV that outlines the history of their higher education, licensure, ordainment, or commission status, practica, internships, residencies, work in service to communities, pastoral care, and fieldwork.

Credential Documents: For licensed and ordained/commissioned applicants - Applicants will submit: a copy of their current license(s); commission/ordination papers and documentation of 4 units of CPE (400 hours); and/or post-graduate certifications in counseling fields. For eligible pre-licensed applicants (LPCC/LPC, MFT, LCSW, psychologist and psychiatrist) only: a) applicants will upload their most recent degree transcript (watermarked transcript copy is sufficient) and b) they will also submit a copy of their degree's specific coursework requirements from their university catalog.

Contact Hours and Supervision Form: This form is only for the 5 eligible pre-licensed professionals. This documents a pre-licensed applicant’s 1,000 hours providing supervised psychotherapy, counseling, and mental health assessment during their training.

Professional References: Applicants will submit the names, email, and phone contact information of one or two current or past clinical supervisors, mentors, and/or professors who are willing to be a reference. Applications may be strengthened by submitting one or two letters of recommendation, but such letters are strictly optional. Unfortunately, no letters of reference can be accepted after an application has been fully submitted.

Scholarships and Need-based Aid: 

We receive funding from generous donors for scholarships for students from underrepresented communities enrolling in the Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research. These scholarships are 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. For the 2020 class, the George Sarlo Foundation funded the Ricci Coddington Diversity Scholarships. We would like to thank all our certificate program graduates who generously funded scholarships since 2016. For 2020, Dr. Jesus Gomez established The BIPOC Scholarship, Dr. Denise Renye established a scholarship for a student who came from a working-class family, and Elizabeth Baer provided a scholarship for a student who identifies as a person of color. For 2020-2022, Dr. Wendy Feng has funded a three-year gift to establish The Monnica T. Williams Scholarships and The Indigenous Scholarships. We would also like to thank all our generous donors throughout the years who have made substantial gifts to provide scholarships to certificate trainees.

The certificate program sponsors significant scholarships and need-based aid for applicants under six specific criteria. We encourage applicants to apply if they meet any of the criteria. To apply for the 2021 need-based aid 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, but this is not necessary unless you are applying based on financial need. The Scholarship and Need-based Aid statement letter is due with the application materials. Our goal is that applicants for aid will be notified on a rolling basis through February 15, 2021.

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

2021 Payment and Withdrawal Policies:

Applications will not be considered without payment of the application fee at time of full submission.

Application Fee: $150 non-refundable

Tuition Cost: $9,850 *

* Inclusive Retreat Tuition: The tuition cost covers all classes, including the shared room for each trainee’s 5-day retreat and coffee/refreshments in conference room.

Tuition Deposit: When an applicant is offered admission to the 2021 program, an initial deposit payment of at least $1,000 of tuition cost is due within three weeks of the offer of admission or by February 1, 2021, whichever comes first. This tuition deposit payment will secure your space in the program.

Payment Schedules: The remaining $8,850 tuition, less any scholarship or demonstrated need-based aid awarded, may be paid in one, two, or six payments.

  • One Payment Option: Due March 1, 2021
  • Two-Payment Option: One-time $50 processing fee added. Payments due March 1 and July 1, 2021.
  • Six-Payment Option: One-time $100 processing fee added. Equal payments due March 1, April 1, May 1, June 1, July 1, and August 1, 2021.

Continuing Education Payments (Optional): For those trainees who choose to receive the available Continuing Education Hours or Credits, there will be an additional charge of $10 per credit or hour.

Withdrawal and Deferral Policies
Any student who wishes to withdraw or defer may do so at any point in the program. Requests for withdrawal or deferral must be documented in writing to the Director and the Admissions Manager of the program. The Admissions Manager will determine if any tuition is due back to the student, based upon the program’s published payment deadlines and the date of documentation of the student’s request. The CIIS business office will send students any funds due by check.

The following policies and dates apply to withdrawal from the program. Any scholarships, needs-based aid, and payment processing fees will be deducted before the tuition refund is determined. The following is the withdrawal fee schedule for students who choose to withdraw from the program.

  • If the student withdraws from the certificate program before Monday, March 15th, 2021, all tuition paid to date will refunded, less $500 and any applicable payment processing fee.
  • If a student withdraws from the certificate program before Friday, April 30, 2021, then 25% for their full tuition (minus scholarships and needs-based aid) will be due and the remainder will be refunded.
  • If a student withdraws from the certificate program on or after Friday, April 30, 2021 and before Wednesday, September 1, 2021, then 50% of their full tuition (minus scholarships and needs-based aid) will be due and the remainder will be refunded.
  • The full tuition fee of $9,850 (minus any payment process fee, scholarships and need-based aid) is due if a student withdraws from the certificate program on or after Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

For both withdrawn and deferred students who wish to re-enter or re-apply to the program in the future:

  • Students who have withdrawn may reapply at any time in the future but must pay the new application fee when reapplying. A student who withdrew from a previous year will need to pay all of the tuition (at beginning of program or in a payment plan option) for the new year in which they reapplied and will complete the entire new year's coursework.

  • Deferred students who wish to return to the program at a later date will not need to re-apply if they paid a non-refundable deferment fee. If the deferment fee was not paid, then the student must completely reapply. A student who deferred will be given credit for any payments retained by CIIS from the original year's tuition. For a student who deferred, classes that the deferred student attended in the original year which are identical to the re-admitted year's classes will be waived.

  • If requested, Continuing Education hours or credits will be awarded for classes for which the student filled out the appropriate paperwork prior to the date of withdrawal or deferral.

  • Scholarships and discounts do not carry forward from the original year: new application statements for scholarships and discounts must be submitted and reviewed.

Policy for Missed Classes

Please note that students must complete the entire curriculum in order to receive the certificate. Should a student miss 1 or 2 classes of an instructor, we will consult with that student to find an appropriate make up option. This make-up assignment may potentially be at an additional cost (such as the day long Holotropic Breathwork class). Or a student may be able to opt to do a special project at possible 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 program staff and the student's mentor. However, there are defined circumstances involved if any student misses more than 25 hours in the classroom. They may be asked to take a portion of the certificate hours with the 2022 cohort of students. In this special case, the certificate will then be conferred sometime in 2022, rather than in 2021. We will do everything we can to create solutions for unavoidable schedule conflicts.

Special Circumstances for MAPS Modules at CIIS: Should a student miss any of the three MAPS modules, the student will need to make arrangements to make up that time with a designated MAPS representative. We interface with the student and MAPS for each individualized circumstance in order to create solutions in this case. We recommend an applicant carefully consider the cohort they are applying for and the dates of that cohort’s in-person 5-day retreat. Students need to attend the designated dates for all classes and the fall retreat with their particular cohort. Should a student miss any part of their 5-day retreat, they will need to cover their own room and board costs in the future. This will entail either by joining the following year at CIIS or by making other arrangements with MAPS.

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, Center 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.

Values of CIIS from the Office of Diversity 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 originally centered. This inclusive environment best allows students, faculty, and staff to thrive as individuals and as a community.

For more information about the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, see their page on the CIIS  website.

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.

Information on CIIS 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. For more information, please follow the above link for all the services offered from the Office of Student Affairs.

University and Federal Policies:

  • Certificate program registration does not constitute admission to a CIIS academic program. Students registered in certificate programs are not eligible to earn a degree. Those seeking a degree must submit an application for admission to their program of interest.
  • Should a certificate program student later apply and be admitted to a CIIS degree program, no credit hours earned as a certificate program student may apply toward the requirements of the degree program.
  • Students registered in certificate program are not eligible for federal financial aid, CIIS university scholarships, or CIIS student employment positions.

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

Leslie Carson, MS, LPCC
Admission Project Assistant, and Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research Graduate 2017
Phone: (415) 575-6243

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