Master of Arts in
Consciousness Studies & Transpersonal Psychology
Certificate inConsciousness, Transformation, and Mindfulness
The Master of Arts in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology is a 36-credit degree program that explores the nature, role, and development of human consciousness and transpersonal phenomena. What makes this program unique is that we have holistically integrated different perspectives into the coursework - psychological and spiritual, western and eastern, epistemological and clinical.
Students are first introduced to the historical origins and the theoretical and methodological foundations of Transpersonal Psychology. We then examine diverse theories and concepts concerning the structures and states of consciousness and the processes that may lead to transpersonal phenomena such as awakening, enlightenment, and unity consciousness. As a hands on exercise, students themselves will engage with meditation and somatic-awareness practices aimed at re-establishing the unity of mind-body consciousness. Through these practices students will learn to access their own intuition and embodied wisdom, as well as gaining transpersonal insights. Practices of mindfulness and presence are cornerstones of the program.
This program offers the foundation for discovery and empowerment that leads to greater fulfillment, purpose, and effectiveness in students' personal and professional lives as well as in their clients’.
The Master of Arts Degree program in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology has three major components:
First, students explore the nature of reality from scientific, philosophical, and psychological point of views, with an emphasis on the oneness of the universe and the inter-connectedness of life, creativity, synchronicity, and flow. As part of this exploration they will compare and integrate the official scientific paradigm (essentially mechanistic and reductionistic) with the emerging holistic-systemic paradigm. Coming out of this, students will also discover that on a smaller scale there are cultural and psychological equivalents of these two macroscopic paradigms which also need to be integrated.
In the second component students examine the awakening and transformation of consciousness into higher stages and states of development. This includes studying the theoretical framework of selected authors - Jung, Assagioli, Maslow, Grof, Tart, Wilber, Washburn, Loevinger and others. Students also examine the many different factors which can produce such awakening – from a serious illness to a sudden mourning, from an existential crisis to a deliberate pathway of awareness. In this respect students will learn practices that help bring forth awakening and will develop their corporeal, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual awareness. This is achieved through exercises in meditation, somatic awareness, self-observation and dialogue. They also learn how to face any negative side effects that such a transformation can produce when it happens to an unprepared individual and/or in a social world that is very skeptical and even scared by transpersonal phenomena and non ordinary states of consciousness.
Finally, the program brings these two components together to focus on how to help unaware (and thereby unhealthy and unhappy) individuals awaken from their sleeping consciousness. Students in our program are prepared to assist these individuals who are beginning to discover and develop their hidden talents and life purposes. For those students who wish to pursue the coach training path, the program also enables the application of coursework into the development of an effective coaching practice specifically addressed to personal and transpersonal development. Completion of the coach training program provides students with eligibility to apply for the Associate Certified Coach Credential conferred by International Coach Federation, the premiere professional coach organization. Other students may be more interested in collective issues such as ecology, sustainability and social justice.
The programs is addressed to:
Individuals who are seeking a fulfilling and empowering profession in the fields of psychology, personal development, spiritual growth.
Healthcare professionals (counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, alternative practitioners, nurses, physicians, etc.) who wish to expand the boundaries of their professional knowledge and skills to encompass such issues as altered states of consciousness, spiritual/mystic experiences, and personal/transpersonal development.
Life coaches, business leaders, and organizational developers who wish to enhance their profession with powerful psychological and transformational theories and tools.
Teachers and educators who have a holistic conception of education and would like to help students develop not only their knowledge but also their concept of being a whole person, full of self-awareness and life skills.
This program does not prepare students to become licensed psychology professionals. However, some students may use the program’s content in free-lance professions (e.g. coaching) focused on enhancing personal and transpersonal/spiritual development. Other students may use the program as a way to better understand themselves and manage their personal growth. Some will use the program as a first step to clarify their interest in Psychology and move toward a master’s or doctoral program in other psychological fields as social work, marriage and family therapy or counseling psychology at another institute of higher education.
Classes in the MA in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology meet on-site four or five long weekends per year (Fri-Sun) for a period of 24 months, plus one full week in each of two summers. Optional live teleclasses occur in the months when the cohort is not meeting. In addition, students engage in a 90-hour mentorship to acquire hands-on learning and experience outside of the classroom.
Courses and Descriptions
Certificate in Consciousness, Transformation and Mindfulness includes these courses:
CS 501: Stages and States of Consciousness: Catalyzing Adult Developmental Growth - 4 credits
PP 506: Positive Self-Realization and Transcendence - 2 credits
Planned 30-Credit Program includes all courses below except:
CS 508: Personalized Learning and Guided Mentorship Experience
CS 509: Culminating Action Research Project in Consciousness Studies
Master of Arts in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology Courses:
Classes are held every two or three months on an extended weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Students have traveled from as far at British Columbia, Canada for this program!
Call for suggestions on how the program's schedule can work for you!
Master of Arts: 36 Credits
Planned 30-Credit Program (Sixth-Year Equivalent)
Certificate: First 6 Credits of the MA program (qualifies for matriculation to the Master of Arts degree)
Programs On-Site in Bethany, Connecticut
"Transpersonal Psychology is concerned with the study of humanity's highest potential, and with the recognition, understanding, and realization of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness”.
- Lajoie, D. H. & Shapiro, S. I., 1992
“Transpersonal psychologists attempt to integrate timeless wisdom with modern Western psychology and translate spiritual principles into scientifically grounded, contemporary language. Transpersonal psychology addresses the full spectrum of human psychospiritual development – from our deepest wounds and needs, to the existential crisis of the human being, to the most transcendent capacities of our consciousness”.
- Caplan M., 2009
“The importance of consciousness (and under many respects even its existence) have been denied for centuries by science, due to its materialistic and reductionistic assumptions. This blindness affected also psychology, whose most influential currents considered consciousness unnecessary for explaining human behavior and, even worse, labelled as unscientific those who tried to study it. This dogmatic belief has produced very negative consequences not only on the development of science but also on the health of individuals and societies.”
- Cheli E., 2010
In the last few decades, interest in consciousness and related phenomena has significantly increased, thanks to several relevant changes in science and culture. Nonetheless, at most universities Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology are still considered naive and unscientific fields of inquiry. At The Graduate Institute, the influence of consciousness and transpersonal phenomena have been core areas of study since the Institute’s founding, and inspire several programs of study, the leading of which is the Master of Arts in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology.
The faculty for the MA in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology is comprised of leading psychologists, educators, authors, coaches, practitioners, and theorists from across the globe.