Sofia University is the foundational university for Transpersonal Psychology. Since its founding in 1975 it has been the leading research institution for Transpersonal Psychology within the academy. In the 1980s, well-known transpersonal psychologists and researchers of consciousness Charles Tart and Arthur Hastings, created a vision for the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) as a hub of novel research approaches which would combine scientific rigor, pioneering vision, personal transformation and spirituality. Joined by William Braud and Rosemarie Anderson in 1990s, the research faculty at ITP created a new research training sequence which encouraged graduate students to address complicated relationships between the psychological, spiritual and non-ordinary aspects of human experience.

Following the establishment of the William James Center For Consciousness Studies (1994), Professor Olga Louchakova-Schwartz established the Transpersonal Education and Research Specialization (2004) and the NeuroPhenomenology Lab (2007). Continuing the tradition of transpersonal research on the cusp of psychology and human science, Sofia University has expanded into the fields of computer science and engineering. The Transformative Technology Lab was established in 2014 in conjunction with Professor Jeffery A. Martin to move transdisciplinary research across these fields forward. Today, Sofia conducts cutting edge research for the academy, industry, and public sectors.

Our working model of transpersonal research includes the following principles

  • Methodological rigor
  • Innovative qualitative research methods and practices for social sciences and humanities
  • Broad range of Inter-disciplinary subjects
  • Focus on human experience
  • Research process as a trigger for personal transformation of researcher
  • Interest in spiritual, religious, transpersonal, non-ordinary and exceptional forms of human experience
  • Creativity and individual innovations
Dissertation students at Sofia university receive individual mentoring with the leading researchers in the field of transpersonal psychology and transpersonal studies, and can have research internships in any of the Centers and Labs at Sofia. For topics and projects, please check the list of dissertations on the library site.

Office of Research

Original research of all forms is core to the mission of Sofia University. The Office of Research at Sofia University is the functional office of the Vice President and Dean of Research, currently Jeffery A. Martin, PhD. The office has overall responsibility for all research conducted at Sofia University. It creates, maintains, and publishes the University's official research policies, which are contained in the Sofia University Research Policy Handbook. It houses Sofia University's Institutional Review Board (IRB) for human and animal research. The IRB is a committee that is charged with reviewing human and animal research at Sofia prior to approval being granted to perform data collection. Generally speaking, it is required to seek research approval or an exemption prior to conducting any human or animal research at Sofia University, including on pre-existing data sets. For more information, see the Research Policy Handbook and the IRB Application Packet (linked to below).

Policy Handbook and Forms

Institutional Review Board Information and Forms

Typeable IRB Application Forms

Psychology Journals

It can be very time consuming to locate relevant journals to post articles to. Below you'll find a list of journals in the field of psychology that is updated by the research office. For each journal, there is a Journal Impact Factor. Generally, the higher this number is, the more prestigious the journal is - and the more discerning they are in terms of submissions. If psychology is not your field, and you need assistance in finding an appropriate journal, just contact us! We're happy to help!