Global Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology
Global Online Program
The Global PhD in Psychology just ranked in the top 20 best online psychology programs for 2017 - 2018. One reason is that this program provides a flexible, hybrid/online educational format for learners who want to conduct graduate level research in psychology with a focus on transpersonal psychology. Through a combination of online classes and residential seminars, program courses feature a specially designed research methods training track, dissertation process support, and a system of individual advising. The program trains students both in spiritual and integral psychological competencies, as well as methods of behavioral, qualitative and transpersonal psychological research.
Are You a Match?
The global doctoral student seems to fit a certain model. Does this sound like you?
- highly motivated
- personally mature
- able to work independently
- capable of handling complex information
Our program offers:
- Learner-centered, whole-person education
- Highly functional online technology for online courses
- Transformative and contemplative pedagogy
- 3 year online courses of study
- An interdisciplinary curriculum which opens up a wide range of career options
- Original research opportunities in transpersonal psychology and related fields
- Expert and dedicated faculty
- A global learning community
3-Year Degree Program Prerequisites
- Master’s degree in psychology or related field with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited college or university.
Students enrolled in either the 3 year global program are required to attend three (1 unit) in-person seminars in the Northern California. The 3 seminars must be completed before entering into the dissertation phase.
JUST THE BASICS
- 4 quarter system runs Fall - Summer
- 3-10 units per quarter
- 3 year advanced track - 75 units required coursework + dissertation
Tuition 3 year Advanced track program:
- $950 per unit
- Cost to complete 75 units $$71,250
- There are 3 years of full paid tuition.
- After 3 years- continuation fees are charged quarterly until your dissertation is completed
- Financial Aid available
Contact: email@example.com, 650-493-4430
Faculty Research Interests
Members of our faculty publish in diverse areas of inquiry including exceptional human experiences, consciousness studies, creativity, comparative religions, and the interface of cultural studies and transpersonal psychology. Wondering about the research interests of our faculty? For a full list of interests, check out this link.
Snow, Renée M., Ph.D., CFP®, (Dissertation Chair) EA firstname.lastname@example.org
Interests: Behavioral economics and finance, transpersonal corporate and business strategies, the influence of religion and philosophy on money management, especially Astika and Nastika traditions; conscious wealth creation that reveres all living beings and the environment, business and financial ethics, economic philosophy, value-driven personal wealth management.
Methods: Primary focus− quantitative and mixed-methods; Secondary focus− grounded theory, phenomenology
Heery, Myrtle, Ph.D. (Dissertation Chair) email@example.com
Interests: Grief, loss, group work, existential-humanistic psychotherapy, inner voice research, supervision, training of psychotherapists, near death experience, death and dying, transpersonal psychotherapy, change in psychotherapy models, the psychotherapist.
Methods: Case studies, phenomenological, depth inquiry, and heuristic.
What Can You Do with Your Doctorate in Transpersonal Psychology?
Our students integrate research on transcendence, consciousness, expanded human experience, and positive transformation in individuals, organizations and society with a broad spectrum of more traditional topics in sciences and humanities. Developed in the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology at Sofia University in the heart of Silicon Valley, our program encourages innovation and creativity in all areas of study. Our students learn to apply the principles and practices of transpersonal psychology to other industries, such as healthcare, law, management, engineering or artificial intelligence.
Anne-Marie Charest, Ph.D. conducted her research in mindfulness, embodied compassion, shamanic practices, and the art of transcendence. Her passion for the lived expression of spirituality as well as her shamanic practices has led her to solicit the re-introduction and revival of ancient shamanic rituals in Western culture. Through her organization, The Peaceful Soul Transitions, individuals are taught to explore the divine through daily embodied practices, mindfulness, and positive psychological approaches. In addition to her knowledge and studies in Somatic and Transpersonal Psychology, Anne-Marie was formally trained through the shamanic teachings of the Kalaalit Eskimo traditions of the far North, Greenland.
Julie writes about women’s development, motherhood, spirituality, and the art of self-inquiry. Most of what Julie does, in both her personal and professional life, is dedicated to human growth and development, teaching and learning, and understanding the complex dimensions of human behavior. It’s her goal to be mindful and present, to be loving and kind, and to live with wisdom and grace. Julie also believes in the power of gratitude as a game-changer for everything in her life.
Walker Karraa, Ph.D. is a provocative thought leader in the field of maternal mental health and leadership. She earned her Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology from Sofia in 2013. Her first book, Transformed by Postpartum Depression: Women's Stories of Trauma and Growth, presents her research revealing the traumatic and transformative nature of postpartum depression. Her book’s been on the top ten for postpartum depression every week since publication.
After the birth of my first son, I suffered postpartum depression and it changed the trajectory of my life. It truly influenced what I wanted to do. From that experience I wanted to learn more. I became a birth doula for a decade. I wanted to explore the role mental health played for childbearing women. I knew I wanted to go back to school and gain a doctorate degree so I could research it. I was familiar with literature on quantitative data, yet there was a smaller body of qualitative literature. There was no literature on either side that talked about how women changed through their experience. So many people were talking about it being a change-agent. My own personal experience was very different from the studies.
Tell us a little bit about your Sofia experience
I received solid training from core faculty at the time regarding what it meant to be a researcher. I was taught how to bring my own experience as a researcher into my work, and reflect on it. I was guided on how to be aware of my own experience and not to show my bias. I didn’t want to write about myself because of this bias, but looked to others and used their experiences to look for a theory of how postpartum depression can change women.
There’s also the transpersonal piece. Knowing that I was in a community of researchers who were all interested in scholarship to express the fullest range of the human experience felt like a once in a lifetime opportunity. The support I got at Sofia should be honored and represented.
What advice would you offer a PhD student considering a Sofia education?
Pick your chair carefully. Never underestimate the importance of that relationship. It’s not just someone who will sign off on your paper. It’s a mentorship. Choosing from someone can guide you as a researcher. Someone familiar with your methods. Also, don’t be afraid of the review. It’s all good. When you have access to a library salon of scholars whom you can have a conversation with is really valuable.
What are one or two of your more meaningful professional experiences?
I’m very happy with having published a book. I was able to take the gift that was offered to me. I spoke with 20 women and I was able to put their wisdom to work in the world. I dedicated my book to them because they deserved it. They shared something so devastating, yet so transformative. The stories are personal and intimate. I’m really pleased and honored for them that their story has made a difference in helping other women.
Also, I’m happy I could work with my mentor at Sofia and that he and I continue to work together. To me, I feel like I learned to be an active, engaged scholar and researcher by working with him.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s not really advice I’ve received, but more the way I conduct myself as a Buddhist, especially when people behave badly. I am mindful of how I cultivate more wisdom, compassion, breath, and more transpersonal awareness through difficult situations.
What’s one thing your colleagues would be surprised to know about you?
That I am an incurable introvert. INFJ with 80% Intuition. And that I am an empathy who comes from a long line of empathic women. My grandmother was an inventor and psychic who published two books on her work with channeling using a talking board! Fascinating.
Who inspires you?
When I need inspiration, I read the writings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also, I really appreciated Sofia’s Dr. Mark Gonnerman’s inspiring classes. They were very transformative. The women who write for my site, STIGMAMA™ inspire me. Against all odds they rise to the occasion of the human spirit with grit and grace.
Global Ph.D. in Psychology Curriculum
Learn more about the program from Chair Marilyn Schlitz
Years 1, 2, and 3
- 5 Required Core = 15 units
- 3 Minimum Seminars = 3 units
- 13 Elective courses = 39 unites
- 3 units of internship = 3 (May be waived upon Program Chair’s recommendation)
- 6 Dissertation courses= 18 units
Core Required Courses: (15 units)
- Cultural Psychology
- Creativity & Critical Reflection
- Neurological Correlates of Experience
- Qualitative Research Methods
- Quantitative Research Methods and Statistics
Specialization: Consciousness and Creativity Studies (18 units)
- Creativity & Critical Reflection
- Introduction to Transpersonal Studies: Images & Ideas
- Introduction to Creative Expression
- Theories of Self-Transformation
- Topics in Consciousness Studies
- Critical Hermeneutic Thinking
Specialization: Behavioral Science (18 units)
- Neurological Correlates of Experience
- Neurophenomenology and Philosophy of Mind
- Cognitive and Affective Psychology
- Natural Basis of Learning and Memory
- Biological Dimensions of Neuropsychology
- Neuroscience of Brain Enhancement
Specialization: Research Methods in Psychology (18 units)
- Qualitative Research Methods
- Quantitative Research methods and Statistics
- Critical Hermeneutic Participatory Research (MBA 3011)
- Using Quantitative Data Analysis Software JMP/SPSS/R and SAS Software
- Mixed Modeling
- Phenomenological Research Methods
- Research Lab (Only under supervision)
Elective Courses (39 units)
- Transformative Digital Literacy
- Introduction to Research Methods and Research Design
- History & Systems of Psychology
- Introduction to Transpersonal Theory
- Introduction to Transpersonal Therapies
- Archetypes and Theories of Personality
- Transpersonal Finance
- Psychology of Cognition & Emotion
- Transpersonal Leadership
- Introduction to Ritual Practices
- Psychology of Dreams
- Unlocking the Power of Innovation
- Individuation & Wholeness Across the Lifespan
- Social Psychology
- Psychology of Health and Well-Being
- Psychology of Mind
- Psychology of Organizational Change
- Normativity and Abnormal Psychology
- Logos of the Heart
- Professional Research Ethics
- Psychopathology and Diagnosis
- The Principles and History of Psychedelic Science
- Topics in Comparative Philosophy of Religion
- Topics in Postmodern Philosophy
- Topics in Media Literacy
- Topics in Life Narrative Studies
- Psychology of Personality: Theories and Applications
- Psychology of Learning
- Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology
- Advanced Statistics (Multivariate)
- Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology
- Transformative Learning Theory
- Transpersonal Perspectives on Eros and Gender
- Exceptional Human Experiences
Craft of Writing Courses (12 units)* Students need to take these courses upon the recommendations of faculty or chair within the first two quarters.
- Critical Thinking & Scholarly Writing in Transpersonal Psychology
- Research and Academic Writing
- Bibliographic Research and the Composition of Literature Reviews
- Writing for Scholarly Publication
Dissertation – (18 units)"
- Seminar in Dissertation Research & Writing
- Dissertation Research & Writing (For at least 5 quarters)
Seminars – (3 units)
Internship – (3 units) May be waived upon Program Chair’s Approval
Three-year program total units: 75
Global Ph.D. in Psychology Concentrations
Consciousness and Creativity Studies
Philosophers and scientists have explored the concept of consciousness for millennia, but only now do we know enough about the brain to make scientific progress on even the most basic questions. Of course much remains mysterious and probably always will. At the same time, everyone is familiar with the experience of heightened or expanded awareness and the concomitant feeling of greater connection with oneself and the wider world. Our Consciousness and Creativity Studies concentration is designed to provide a space for doctoral students to explore consciousness in its various dimensions while experimenting with spiritual technologies and creative processes that produce and are nurtured by it. Our exploration is rooted in academic inquiry, contemplative practices, entheogenic integration, and intersubjective encounters with members of our learning community.
Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience
The Behavioral Science concentration focuses on neuroscientific, behavioral, and cognitive psychology. In addition to these traditional topics, students are introduced to more innovative post-graduate disciplines such as neurotheology, neurophenomenology, and bioethics in the broader context of consciousness studies. Questions concerning neurological correlates of spiritual and religious experience and problems surrounding enhancement of the human brain through transformative technologies are also part of this concentration.
Research Methods in Psychology
The Research Methods in Psychology concentration allows doctoral students to focus their studies on the research endeavor. Students will gain in-depth knowledge of the philosophy of various research methods. This concentration allows students to become research methodologists who creatively engage with the knowledge and practice of social science research. Upon completion of this concentration, students are prepared to teach research methods (particularly from a transpersonal perspective), engage in post-graduate and professional research, and continue the tradition of crafting and honing the study of research methods.
Global Ph.D. in Psychology FAQ
What is unique about this Sofia University program?
As the world’s first transpersonal university, Sofia has developed approaches to transformative teaching and learning that encourage personal growth; promote collaboration; honor epistemologies of both the heart and head; apply transpersonal principles to active service in the world; and celebrate the unique qualities and characteristics of transpersonal psychology as an academic research field.
As a transpersonal university, we explore the dynamics of part-whole relationships so that we might better participate in the integral and interdependent systems that sustain biological and ethnic diversity. We appreciate multiple ways of knowing and support each person’s effort to build on strengths while growing in areas that pose challenges.
We approach what we are doing with an open-minded spirit of adventure.
How long does it take to complete this doctoral program?
Students who have not completed a master’s degree enter the Year 1 curriculum and are typically able to complete their degree program within 5 years if they complete two 3-unit courses each academic quarter. Year 1 introduces transpersonal studies, and Year 2 focuses on research and communication skills. Completion of Year 2 is recognized with an interim Master of Arts in Transpersonal Studies degree.
Year 3—where students may begin if they have already completed a master’s degree in a relevant field—introduces the Ph.D. dissertation process through study of research methods, library work that produces a literature review, and preparation of a Dissertation Qualifying Paper that may advance the student to candidacy. In Year 4, students continue to cultivate subject-area knowledge, study research ethics, and draft a dissertation proposal. Year 5 is devoted to a dissertation research and writing process with support from peers and committee members.
Am I able to do this if I have a full-time job and family to take care of?
Program participants learn to balance academic inquiry with other life responsibilities. While it takes time to develop new routines, students typically discover that engagement in courses and research projects enhances enjoyment of all aspects of life as they take on new meaning through changes in thought and perception.
Am I required to attend the in-person seminars twice each year?
Our biannual seminars are a highlight of this educational process because here the learning community comes together to strengthen friendships, share ideas, and celebrate the communal nature of the work of creating new knowledge. Members of our community look forward to these seminars. They are not to be missed!
Which forms of livelihood will I be prepared to pursue?
For many, this doctoral degree is a way to go deeper into questions and encounters that emerge through life as a therapist, artist, teacher, parent, social change agent, and explorer of human experience. This education is especially valuable for people who are interested in exploring new directions congruent with a sense of maintaining personal integrity.
Does this program lead to licensure in California or elsewhere?
No. While many clinicians enter this program to study issues and ideas that have arisen in the course of their practice, this is not a clinical degree.
Is pursuit of this degree worth the time and money it requires?
In this universe there is a great treasure. If you possess it, then whether you are a boatman or a cartman, a servant or a maid, you are a person of great fortune and virtue and wisdom. If you don’t possess it, then even if you are an emperor, a daimyō, with high rank and great wealth, you are poor and ignorant, a person of low estate. —Zen Master Hakuin Ekaku (1686–1769)