About Sofia

A Transformative History

Sofia University, formerly known as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) and founded in 1975, is a private, WSCUC-accredited institution. Historically, the University’s academic emphasis has been on providing graduate degree programs in Transpersonal Psychology. We define Transpersonal Psychology as the scientific study of the full range of human experience, which includes the pain of trauma and dysfunction on the one hand and heights of creativity, intuition, and peak functioning on the other. The University has since broadened its program offerings and has integrated a transpersonal focus into all its new degree programs and disciplines, including master’s degrees in Business Administration and Computer Science and bachelor’s completion programs in Business Administration and Psychology.

The graduate school curriculum, initially developed by founder and President Emeritus Robert Frager, PhD, focused on six areas of inquiry: the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and creative aspects of life. For further personal development, all on-campus students received instruction in Aikido, a Japanese martial art. Although Aikido is not a required element of the curriculum today, the University offers other opportunities for students and faculty to engage in embodied practice and experiential ways of knowing and learning.

As the world around us, across the globe and within California has been transforming the ways people live, especially the role of technology in daily life, Sofia University aims to bring its unique perspective to contemporary challenges. Based on a transpersonal philosophy, Sofia continues to offer programs centered at the heart of the timeless human experience (through programs in clinical psychology, counseling and transpersonal psychology) and, simultaneously, to develop new programs that balance questions about personal wellness, human growth, and social transformation with emerging trends in business and computer science.

Sofia University aspires to be a globally conscious leader in transformative education that will empower students with intellectual growth, ethics and the development of emotional and social intelligence.

Sofia University is a passionate, dynamic learning community that fosters multiple ways of knowing. We are dedicated to academic excellence with a shared commitment to authenticity, inclusivity, cultural humility, ecological stewardship, and service to others. Our curricula focus in six areas of inquiry: the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, social and creative aspects of life.

Our Core Values

  • Service
  • Stewardship
  • Transformation
  • Academic Excellence
  • Cultural Humility
  • Innovation
  • Inspiration
  • Emotional Awareness
  • Commitment

Sofia University is committed to equity, inclusion, diversity, and accessibilty (EIDA).

Our work on equity, inclusion, diversity, and accessibility is grounded in the tenets of transpersonal and humanistic psychology. Our mission, vision, and core values have long reflected our commitment to an empathetic, compassionate, and holistic view of all human beings. This shared history serves as a solid foundation for our work on EIDA. However, we recognize that the work is on-going, the issues are evolving, language is fluid, and our understanding needs to expand. Through our academic programs we strive to apply principles of inclusion and diversity to current issues of equity and social justice. In policies, practices, classes, meetings, intensives, and seminars, the Sofia University community is engaged in and committed to genuine dialogue, active listening, relevant education, self-reflection, personal accountability, and transformation.

Sofia University remains committed to implementing actions and practices that support these statements and to seek feedback regarding our ongoing EIDA initiatives. 


We work to create policies and practices that are fair and just, so that all community members have genuine opportunities to experience success.


We are committed to building and maintaining a safe environment that empowers all community members to have a voice and feel respected.


We invite, appreciate and honor our differences. We engage with, listen to, work with, learn from, and reflect our diverse communities.


We are committed to providing the supports and services necessary to meet students’ diverse needs. We strive to be adaptable, reduce barriers, and provide opportunities for students’ educational access, personal growth, and the tools for transformation.

Sofia University Board of Trustee's Resolution

The Sofia University Board of Trustees is committed to fostering a more equitable, inclusive, diverse, and accessible university. We endorse and support the implementation of EIDA policies in academic and organizational practices as described in the catalog and other official documents of Sofia University.

Adopted December 11th, 2022.

Why Choose Sofia University?

Sofia University looks forward to celebrating 45 years of  Inspiring Transformation in the lives of its students – past, present, and future. Our educational approach has been rooted in transforming the transpersonal – the belief that true transformation requires a deeper understanding of the body, mind, and spirit. 

Founded in 1975 by Dr. Robert Frager and Dr. James Fadiman, Sofia University initially began as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, a graduate institution that fully prepared psychologists to understand human nature. Today, our transformative transpersonal values remain the foundation for our university as we broaden our focus to include computer science and business.

An education at Sofia will challenge you to embrace all that you are. Your talents. Your skills. Your faults. Your shortcomings. True transformation encompasses all. 

What is Transpersonal Psychology?

Transpersonal psychology is rooted in our identity as a university. Are you interested in learning more about transpersonal psychology, its principles, and its history? Our blog has a ton of great content on the subject contributed by alumni, faculty, staff, and previous members of the Sofia community.

The Board of Trustees of Sofia University is the corporate body established by the charter with complete responsibility for the government and welfare of the University,  including the interests of students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Accreditation & Recognition

Western Association of Schools and Colleges

Sofia University has been accredited by the nation’s premier regional accreditation body for higher education, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WSCUC), since 1998. Through its rigorous review process, WSCUC confirms that Sofia University possesses the resources, policies, and practices to achieve its educational goals and shows a dedication to the improvement and accountability of its programs. In June of 2022, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) reaffirmed Sofia University’s accreditation for a period of 6 years!


California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE)

Sofia University is on California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE)’s Listing of Accredited Institutions and Programs.


Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Sofia University is on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s Listing of Accredited and Candidate Institutions (CHEA).


U.S. Department of Education

Sofia University is also among the recognized list of institutions of higher education in the U.S. Department of Education’s database.


Chinese Government Website of Ministry of Education

Sofia University is also among the recognized list of institutions of higher education on Chinese Government Website of Ministry of Education’s database as “Sofia University (Original name is Institute of Transpersonal Psychology,name changed in 2012)”.


State Authorizations for Distance Education

Sofia University is licensed, registered, authorized, certified, or formally exempt in the following states and territories as indicated States Authorization page.

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