Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Transpersonal Psychology


Program Description

If you are a self-motivated learner who grapples with the challenges of our time and seeks to make a positive change in the world, this program is for you. Our program combines experiential learning with a serious academic inquiry and our graduates become transpersonal scholars, transpersonally-oriented therapists and healers, transformative educators, and change agents in various social and organizational contexts.

Coursework includes intensive inquiry in transpersonal philosophy, theory and research; a research methods sequence that prepares students for dissertation work on a chosen topic; and integrative and transformational educational experiences of community-building and applied learning through retreats and a community praxis sequence. This on-campus program provides the container for you to be a part of a diverse learning community.

Our program offers five concentrations:

  • Consciousness and Creativity Studies
  • Behavioral Science
  • Ecopsychology
  • Somatic Psychology
  • Research Methods in Psychology

Members of our faculty publish in diverse areas of inquiry including exceptional human experiences, consciousness studies, creativity, comparative religions, and the interface of cultural studies and transpersonal psychology. Our distinctive balance of scholarly study, experiential learning, and professional development supports the work of bringing transformational concepts and practices into the world in a manner that promotes personal growth, social change, and healing in a variety of settings.

What does this prepare you for?

Students who complete their doctorate in transpersonal psychology go on to various professional endeavors. Those with prior professional lives often incorporate transpersonal principles into an existing practice. Along with a chosen specialization, many graduates develop a new calling after completion of the program including work as coaches, spiritual guides, educators, and change agents in nonprofit, government, and corporate environments.

Consciousness and Creativity Studies

Philosophers and scientists have explored the concept of consciousness for millennia, but only now do we know enough about the brain to make scientific progress on even the most basic questions. Of course much remains mysterious and probably always will. At the same time, everyone is familiar with the experience of heightened or expanded awareness and the concomitant feeling of greater connection with oneself and the wider world. Our Consciousness and Creativity Studies concentration is designed to provide a space for doctoral students to explore consciousness in its various dimensions while experimenting with spiritual technologies and creative processes that produce and are nurtured by it. Our exploration is rooted in academic inquiry, contemplative practices, entheogenic integration, and intersubjective encounters with members of our learning community.

Behavioral Science

The Behavioral Science concentration focuses on neuroscientific, behavioral, and cognitive psychology. In addition to these traditional topics, students are introduced to more innovative post-graduate disciplines such as neurotheology, neurophenomenology, and bioethics in the broader context of consciousness studies. Questions concerning neurological correlates of spiritual and religious experience and problems surrounding enhancement of the human brain through transformative technologies are also part of this concentration.


Ecopsychology approaches the human psyche as a phenomenon of nature and views all psychological and spiritual matters in the light of our participation in the life of the more-than-human world. This concentration explores the ways ecotherapy, environmental action, and ecologically responsible ways of life promote optimal mental health, well-being, and a sense of the transpersonal.

Somatic Psychology

Somatic psychology addresses the challenges presented to people’s lives by the rupture between the world of knowledge and the world of lived, embodied experience. It focuses on the body as the place of evolutionary intelligence, learning, and transformation. Drawing on both Eastern and Western perspectives, this concentration explores interactions between body processes and states of consciousness through a transpersonal psychological perspective.

Last updated Mar 2020

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About the School

Sofia University has built itself on a foundation of transformative, transpersonal education since 1975.

Sofia University has built itself on a foundation of transformative, transpersonal education since 1975. Read less