Doctor of Philosophy in Transpersonal Psychology

Course Delivery

  • Online
  • Low Residency

3 years

Average Time To Complete

75 Units

Total Number of Units

Program Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Transpersonal Psychology degree program offers a unique and exciting opportunity to study the theories and practices of transpersonal psychology. Grounded in the pioneering work of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, founded in 1975, the PhD program is structured around a three-year course of study that is offered in an online format with low-residency seminars; occasionally, courses may be offered on the Costa Mesa and/or Palo Alto campus.

The PhD is designed for adult learners with a qualifying master’s degree who seek an exceptional educational environment that combines personal growth and community support with application of transpersonal insights and research to students’ chosen professional field. Students are invited to build a holistic and multi-faceted framework for analyzing the challenges and opportunities of human relationships, cognition and spirituality in a concentration field. The program fosters diverse and novel professional applications of transpersonal principles. The central goal is to enhance positive individual, professional, and social transformation.

Students work closely with members of the faculty who facilitate social and emotional learning, cultivate mindfulness, and encourage meaningful research-based applications to their personal and professional goals and aspirations.

To complete the program in three years, students carry 9 units per quarter, initially focusing on Core Courses and then completing Concentration Courses. Students must complete GPHD8997 Introduction to Proposal Writing (“Mini Proposal”) by the middle of their second year (Quarter 6) in order to begin Dissertation registration and move through the sequence of Dissertation courses each quarter. Maximum time allowed to complete the degree is 7 years from the start of the PhD program.

Program Highlights

  • Intensive inquiry in transpersonal philosophy, theory, and research
  • A research methods sequence that prepares students for dissertation work
  • Integrative and transformational educational experiences of community-building and applied learning
  • Twice yearly off-campus seminars in Northern California
  • An optional community praxis sequence


  • Transpersonal Education and Research
  • Applied Transpersonal Psychology
  • Whole Systems Approach to Health and Wellbeing
  • Consciousness and Creativity Studies
  • Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze and explain human behavior in a variety of contexts and situations using theoretical models, empirically-supported methods, and research in the field of transpersonal psychology and the wider field of psychology.
  • Employ best practices in social science and humanistic research methodology in the design and conduct of original psychological research.
  • Integrate knowledge about and sensitivity to the experiences and perspectives of diverse populations, including but not limited to race, culture, socioeconomics, age, gender, sexual relation orientation, and disability, in research and applications of transpersonal psychology.
  • Communicate effectively using a variety of media and genres to meet the needs of the circumstances and intended audience across a range of personal and professional purposes and settings.
  • Reflect upon their own whole-person development, including growth in mind, body, spirit, creativity, and community, and identify opportunities for continuing development.
  • Integrate relevant moral and ethical frameworks with key concepts and practices drawn from transpersonal psychology in the development of solutions to professional and community problems.

“My time at Sofia University–the course work, the opportunity to collaborate so closely with the faculty, and the commitment to whole person education– allowed me to refine my vision for the Inner Explorer program, develop and pilot it in various iterations and finally to rigorously study the effects. These have all proven critical steps in my ability to co-found this nonprofit company, launch several programs, and most importantly, help children succeed in school and ultimately in life.”

-Laura Bakosh, Ph.D. / Ph.D. Alumna Class 13′



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