consciousness studies programs

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

Center for Consciousness Studies

The goals of this center are to elevate CIIS into international prominence in the field of consciousness studies, and to support and facilitate consciousness studies both inside and beyond the institute.CIIS Founder Haridas Chaudhuri“Consciousness at the human level is essentially in the nature of self-luminosity. It shines by its own intrinsic light; as it reveals objects it also reveals itself as the knowing function” – Haridas Chaudhuri, The Evolution of Integral Consciousness (1977)

Since its origins in the mid-20th century CIIS has been committed to the exploration of the nature and potentials of human consciousness. This commitment is embraced and embodied by its many programs, ranging form Asian philosophy to integral psychology and counseling, and on through women’s spirituality, ecology, creative arts, and many more.

The goals of this center are to elevate CIIS into international prominence in the field of consciousness studies, and to support and facilitate consciousness studies both inside and beyond the institute. Also to act as a clearinghouse for faculty members and students both within CIIS and outside of it who interested in the field of consciousness studies


Allan Combs, Ph.D.
Professor of Consciousness Studies
[email protected]

Ph.D. Focus On Consciousness Studies Program In Transformative Studies

This new Consciousness Studies Focus is a track witin our online Transformative Studies Ph.D. program.

This Focus leads to a Ph.D. in Consciousness Studies grounded in the well established and successful Transformative Studies online Ph.D. Program. Courses in this program provide the student with a foundation in transdisciplinary scholarship and complexity thinking imparted by some of the world’s leading scholars in these fields. In this way students learn to integrate an “ecology of consciousness” approach, originally suggested by visionaries such as psychologist Frank Barron and systems thinker Gregory Bateson, with contemporary understandings of consciousness, ecology, and complexity

Other Academic Programs Of Special Interest To Consciousness Studies:

1. Integral and Transpersonal Psychology

‘An Online PhD Program’

The Online PhD in Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at California Institute of Integral Studies is a 3-year program teaching 36 units, as represented by this graphic

Healing and Transformation

Transpersonal psychology is a transformative psychology of mind and body, and of the individual in felt connection with a diverse, interconnected, and evolving world. The field pays particular attention to mystical, spiritual, and other exceptional human experiences associated with healing and transformation—encounters that disclose a vibrant reality that enfolds our seemingly individual minds.

We offer a whole-person approach to transpersonal psychology that includes learning and research structured to meet the needs and goals of working professionals. This approach includes a peer-reviewed journal produced in part by student interns; and senior scholars in the field who are available to guide student research. We are committed to diversity and inclusion, embodied tools for scholarship, and systematic approaches to building transpersonal areas of knowledge. Our program is offered as a part-time course of study, where online learning is supplemented by residential intensives.

Cultivate Meaning and Scholarship

Our doctorate is for professionals who wish to enhance their credentials, cultivate new meaning in their work, deepen their skills, or contribute to shaping their areas of specialization. It is also for entrepreneurially oriented students who wish to gain a breadth of knowledge as foundation for teaching, consulting, or working with individuals. Students will typically gain skills in critical thinking, scholarly writing, and systematic approaches to problem solving, all of which may translate into many areas of work. We hope our students will play a shaping role in psychological research and practice.

Residential Intensive Dates:

Fall 2021: Wednesday, August 25, 2021 to Sunday, August 29, 2021

2.Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness

Our program aims to shape the leadership necessary for profound, progressive transformation of social institutions and individual consciousness.

COVID-19 Update from the Program

The Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program will continue to hold all classes online and virtually through Fall 2021 semester, which means we will not hold any on-campus meetings. PCC and CIIS will continue to monitor the situation daily and will follow current medical guidelines to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff. In PCC we feel especially fortunate to have experienced faculty who work well in the online and virtual modalities, and we look forward to working with you as you join our vibrant community. We will keep everyone apprised of our plans via the CIIS website/Canvas Cafe. If you have any questions, please contact our Program Manager.

As those who have taken our online courses already know, the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program has been building a wonderful online community and a culture of rich online learning for a number of years now and we’re grateful to have those things in place as we confront the challenges of our current moment. We are also actively instituting for new ways for faculty, students, and alumni to share work with one another and to collaborate through co-curricular online symposia, workshops, the PCC Forum, and other such options.

Fall 2022 Applications are open as of November 15, 2021

February 15, 2022 – 1st priority deadline. Submit by February 15th at 11:59pm PT for guaranteed review. ​After this date, some programs may be full and only interview for waitlist spots or not be able to further review applications. 

The Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program is dedicated to re-imagining the human species as a mutually enhancing member of the Earth community.

Our program attracts intellectually engaged individuals who are in varying degrees dismayed by what they see happening in modern societies and who are striving to find meaningful ways to develop their gifts to serve the future of the world.

The program supports those called to meet the earth community’s unprecedented evolutionary challenge by offering a rigorous and supportive learning community in which students find their voice and vision as leaders.

3.East-West Psychology

COVID-19 Update from the Program

For Spring and Summer 2021, all classes will be virtualized. There will be no on-campus meetings. The situation for Spring is undecided. EWP and CIIS are following current medical guidelines to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff. As of last semester, all faculty did a terrific job of modifying their courses to accommodate students participating virtually. If any questions, please contact Stephen Julich at [email protected]

Fall 2022 applications are open as of November 15, 2021

February 15, 2022 – 1st priority deadline. Submit by February 15th at 11:59pm PT for guaranteed review. ​After this date, some programs may be full and only interview for waitlist spots or not be able to further review applications. 

Apply Now

The East-West Psychology program offers a global approach to the exploration and study of psychology and spirituality. Students are encouraged to become thought leaders in cross-cultural relations that are rooted in ancient spiritual traditions. Graduates create positive and sustainable paradigms in global and personal change. Our program offers the following paths of study:

  • PhD in East–West Psychology
  • MA in East–West Psychology
  • MA to PhD Accelerated Track
  • Add-on certificates in East-West Spiritual Counseling and in Eco-Resilience Leadership

Courses are cross-disciplinary and include academic inquiry of systems, spiritual traditions, and psychological teachings. Our program explores the interface of psychology and spirituality, including:

  • Transpersonal and integral psychology
  • Asian psychologies
  • Modern consciousness studies
  • Participatory spirituality
  • Depth psychology (Jungian, archetypal, and psychoanalytic)
  • Contemplative psychology
  • Religious comparative studies
  • Shamanic studies
  • Ecopsychology

Earn your East-West Psychology from anywhere in the world.

We are excited to announce that beginning Fall 2021, the East-West Psychology Program will be offering a fully online Master’s of Arts degree. If you are interested in earning your East-West MA online and would like to learn more please contact our Admissions Counselor Richard Wormstall for for admissions policies or our Program Manager Stephen Julich for program information.More About Our Program

Welcome from chair Debashish Banerji, PhD

East-West Psychology Program Chair, Debashish Banerji, PhDThe dialogue of East and West, a dialogue of civilizations, formed one of the founding inspirations of CIIS and has never been more relevant than in our present era of rapid globalization. East–West psychology addresses this dialogue at the level of human communication and transformation, aiming at an integral understanding. Apart from the interchange of civilizations, East–West psychology also includes the dialogue with indigenous modalities of knowledge and becoming. In our programs, Jungian and other alternative psychologies, contemplative methods, wisdom traditions, shamanic epistemologies, and forms of psycho-spiritual practice are engaged through a strong foundation in theoretical and qualitative research. Our faculty are leading edge and our courses are paradigm changing.

If you are interested in a future as a counselor, writer, academician, life-coach, or other professional utilizing a deep study of human potential and intercultural transformative means, our program may be the place for you. Please explore these pages to learn more about our faculty and students and graduates. You may also like us on Facebook, attend an info session, or contact us directly with your questions. We would love to talk with you about the graduate education that aligns with what your soul desires.

4.Integrative Health Studies

COVID-19 Update from the Program

Due to Covid-19 precautions, IHL Academic Intensives will be held virtually until further notice. The online gathering is scheduled during the first two weeks of the semester. Please continue to check back for more information regarding our in-person intensives. We will continue to prioritize health and wellness as we await the return of our beloved retreat time! 

Department Overview

Our online hybrid M.A. in Integrative Health Studies prepares students to become leaders in the expanding fields of integrative health, personal wellness, and health promotion. We teach a client-centered, individualized approach to health coaching, combining a whole-person model with evidence-based strategies and practices. Through a focus on integrative tools like whole foods nutrition, stress management, fitness, complementary therapies, mindfulness, and interpersonal neurobiology, our graduates provide the culturally sensitive knowledge, practices, and resources needed to advance the health and wellness of individuals and communities.

Our Approach

This two-year, nonclinical program supports passionate people who have a clear commitment to bridging Western biomedicine and Eastern alternative/complementary approaches to treatment. Coursework in this program combines intellectually rigorous courses with applied learning through internships and embodied practice. 

In addition to developing theoretical knowledge, students acquire practical skills, including a special focus on integrative wellness coaching. Our Integrative Health Studies graduates go on to work in private practice, hospitals and clinics, wellness programs, and international nongovernmental organizations.

Learn More About Our Program

Career Paths

A degree in Integrative Health from CIIS incorporates behavioral psychology and coaching psychology methodology, exercise physiology, neurophysiology of stress management, integrative nutrition, anatomy and physiology, and health education in preventive health.

In addition to Western health approaches, our coursework incorporates integral wisdom including: subtle energy medicine, human flourishing, and spirituality and consciousness.

Through our experiential learning courses graduates are prepared to work in the field of integrative health as: 

  • Health and Wellness Managers, Program Coordinators, Specialist (Alameda Health System, SF General Hospital, Charlotte Maxwell Clinic)
  • Integrative Wellness Coaches, Health Educators, Researchers (CPMC Institute of Health and Healing, One Medical Group, Epiphany Health, private practice)
  • Writers on integrative wellness
  • Advocates for social, political and environmental interventions
  • Consultants and coaches to healthy living websites and app developers

Earn three Certificates with your Master’s

This program is NBHWC approved. Graduates meet the eligibility requirements to sit for the NBHWC Certifying Examination to become National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coaches (NBC-HWC). Graduates also receive certificates in Integrative Health and Wellness Coaching and Wellness Management, in Patient Navigation, and in Guided Imagery.

The Integrative Health Studies Online Master at California Institute of Integral Studies is an Approved Training Program by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching, as the image of the NBHWC logo certifies

5.Transformative Studies

COVID-19 Update from the Program

The Transformative Leadership MA and Transformative Studies PhD have always been online, and some of our faculty have been teaching exclusively online for 25 years. We can proudly say that we probably have more extensive experience with online education than just about any other program in the world.

CIIS 25th Anniversary Online Education Logo

This year, CIIS celebrates 25 years of unique online education. Our online programs feature small classes, individualized attention, remarkable students, and exceptional faculty from all over the world.

Our Transformative Studies PhD is CIIS’ most well-established online program-one that’s innovative and transdisciplinary with a focus on creative scholarship for personal and social transformation.

Scholarship, Creativity, Self-Inquiry

The focus of the online doctoral program in Transformative Studies is to develop thought-leaders who are committed to exploring leading-edge issues in innovative ways that combine scholarship, creativity, and self-inquiry.

The program encourages students to articulate research topics they are passionate about and supports participation in the scholarly discourse through publication. It views academic inquiry as an opportunity for personal and social transformation, grounding transformative processes in academic depth, rigor, and imagination.

The program focuses on the development of the following capacities:

  • Making an original transdisciplinary research contribution in a chosen area of inquiry
  • Engaging in inquiry as a creative and collaborative process in the context of a community of learners
  • Applying one’s research to real-world problems, articulating and embodying one’s values, and skillfully putting theory into practice
  • Engaging inquiry as an integral, spiritual, and transformative process of personal and social transformation.
As this graphic represents, the Transformative Studies PhD program at California Institute of Integral Studies is an online program taking 2 years and teaching 36 units


The Spring 2022 Intensive will be held online. 

Spring 2022: January 20-21, 2022

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