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 3where 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)