California Institute of Integral Studies

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Online Degree Programs
San Francisco, California

California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco is an accredited university offering an online M.A. in transformative leadership and an online Ph.D. in transformative studies in a unique learning community. Residential Ph.D., Psy.D., M.A., and B.A.completion degrees in psychology and the humanities are also offered. The Institute's commitment to the study and practice of multiple cultural and spiritual traditions and to their expression throughout the activities of the community promotes a stimulating learning environment with rigorous scholarship and a supportive community—including the online programs.

Distance Learning Program

The master's degree program in transformative leadership has been created for individuals who want to take the initiative and find ways to express their passion for making a contribution to the world. The program provides a context where they can prepare themselves in a community of like-minded individuals, exploring their own mission in life and developing the skills needed to make it a reality. The culminating capstone project grounds students' work in an action site, where they can apply their learning on a continuous basis.

The primary focus of the doctoral program in transformative studies is to develop thought-leaders who are committed to exploring leading-edge issues in innovative ways, combining scholarship, creativity, and self-inquiry. The program places great value in developing the ability to participate in scholarly discourse through publication and on the importance of viewing academic inquiry as an opportunity for personal and social transformation, while grounding transformative processes in academic depth, rigor, and imagination.

Current information about the programs and courses is available on the CIIS Web site, by telephone, or in person at CIIS in San Francisco.

Delivery Media

The M.A. and Ph.D. are offered as 36-semester-unit programs. The doctoral program also requires a dissertation. Both programs are offered in online format using community-based learning through CIIS's Web-based virtual campus, in which students, faculty members, and staff members interact.

Students from both online programs participate in weeklong intensives in a San Francisco Bay Area retreat setting. Intensives are held at the beginning of each semester. Distance students generally take all their courses on the virtual campus.

Student Services

The CIIS Library, Registrar's, Business Office, and Financial Aid Department are well prepared to support online students with their specific needs.


CIIS programs attract a faculty of scholars who wish to act from a spiritual foundation while helping to improve the effectiveness and well-being of individuals, communities, and organizations. The online-degree faculty members bring practical experience and intellectual expertise relevant to transformation and change and the pedagogies appropriate for an online learning environment.


Individuals who wish to deepen their understanding and effectiveness as transformative change agents are welcome to apply. Typically, candidates have professional experience and are seeking to enhance their abilities through study, action, reflection, and scholarship.

Both master's and doctoral programs are also attractive to those wishing to make a career transition or looking to approach change differently in their current site of practice. The ideal candidate also is seeking a program that uses an integral pedagogy, one that honors body, mind, and spirit. And finally, those who require a program that caters to the working professionals find the virtual campus a convenient venue.

Tuition and Fees

For 2006–07, full-time tuition for the M.A. program, at 9 units per semester, is $6750 ($16,130 per year). For the Ph.D. program, at 9 units per semester, tuition is $8040 ($16,020 per year).

Financial Aid

Financial assistance through scholarships, loans, and grants is awarded on the basis of merit and/or need. A serious attempt is made to extend a personalized, concerned approach to student financial needs while complying with governmental and donor regulations. General financial aid programs include Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Institute scholarships, diversity scholarships, international scholarships, Veterans Administration Educational Benefits, Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFELP), Federal Stafford Student Loans, and other loan and scholarship opportunities based on merit or need.


Applicants must meet the general admissions requirements of the Institute. In addition to official transcripts and an autobiographical statement, applicants must submit the following: two letters of recommendation, a critical writing essay, a resume, and a goal statement. Ph.D. applicants should include a statement telling how they will use the resources of the curriculum to advance a chosen inquiry.

Complete admission information and applications are available through the CIIS Web site or through the Admissions Office.


Admissions Counselor
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, California 94103
Phone: 415-575-6150
Fax: 415-575-1264
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site:

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California Institute of Integral Studies