Master of Arts in General Psychology

The Master's program is first of all dedicated to examining the philosophical and methodological foundations of psychology as a knowledge discipline. The perennial tension between psychology conceived as a realm of measurement, quantification, experimentation and statistical analysis vs. psychology conceived as a realm of meaning, discourse, observation, and interpretation is addressed in detail. The goal is to expose rather than to mask the philosophical and methodological issues which psychology has struggled with for more than a century.

The core curriculum of the General Psychology M.A. program is designed to provide the entry-level graduate student with a solid grounding in the basic science foundations of psychology. Upon successfully completing the core curriculum, the M.A. candidate in General Psychology fulfills the remaining degree requirements by taking courses across a spectrum of substantive areas in psychology, including clinical psychology. The clinical psychology emphasis is designed to prepare students for the Institute's Ph.D. program in clinical psychology.

Although the M.A. program is a stand-alone program, it is nonetheless designed to provide a bridge into the clinical psychology Ph.D. program by enabling interested students to obtain relevant (and necessary) clinical coursework and experience. Twenty units of clinical coursework (including two four-unit Practicum courses) allows Masterís. students to become prepared for advanced clinical coursework in the Ph.D. program. The course in Foundational Skills (PSY 621), in particular, addresses the challenges involved in astute listening, comprehension, and responding to the client's discourse and accompanying behavior in a manner that fosters therapeutic benefit rather than ineffectualness or worse. The point is strongly made that everyday-life social experience in dialogue and interaction does much to foster habitual zones of insensitivity which must be methodically sensitized in clinical training.

The remaining elective coursework allows students to select substantive (non-clinical) areas of interest for study. In most of these elective course offerings the student can readily discern how topic-areas in psychology interpenetrate with other areas in the social and life sciences (sociology, biology, medicine, political economics, and so on). The important message conveyed by such inevitable overlapping with other disciplines is that the individual psyche never develops or functions in a social vacuum and that the psyche is always merged with the soma (body).

Degree Requirements
Fifty-two (52) graduate quarter units are required to complete the Master of Arts degree in General Psychology. Twenty-four (24) graduate quarter units are earned in six (6) core courses designed to establish a basic foundation in the philosophy and science of psychology. Students who wish to graduate with a clinical psychology emphasis must complete all five courses (twenty graduate quarter units) in this area. Students who wish to go on from the Institute's General Psychology M.A. program to the Institute's Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology must take the M.A. clinical psychology emphasis. Elective coursework toward the remainder of the (52) unit degree requirement (that is, units necessary for graduation beyond required courses) may be selected from the M.A. General psychology program course offerings and from the M.A. in Life Physics  and the M.A. in Comparative Religion and Philosophy program course offerings. Ph.D. level courses in Psychology, Life Physics, or Comparative Religion and Philosophy may be taken only with the approval of the Psychology Program Director.

Graduate transfer credit can be granted for a total of eight (8) quarter units of relevant graduate courses previously completed at an approved or accredited institution.


CORE CURRICULUM (for all Masters Students)
PSY 501   
   Foundations in Integral Studies (4 units)
PSY 502   
    Consciousness Studies (4 units)
PSY 503*
     Counseling & Communications Skills  *(4 units)
PSY 504**     Spiritual Education * *(4 units)
PSY 505       Introduction to Qualitative and Quantitative Research (4 units)
PSY 506       Statistics (4units)

* PSY635 Foundations of Life Coaching fulfills the requirements for LP 503

**Additional units may be taken as electives

Students intending to proceed to a Clinical Ph.D. with a view to clinical licensing must take at least 2
0 units of the following courses:
PSY 600        The Psychology of Personality (4 units)
PSY 607        Psychopathology
PSY 608        Human Sexuality (4 units)
PSY 610   
    Introduction to Psychopharmacology (4 units)
PSY 612 
      Introduction to Psychopathogenesis and Psychopathology (4 units)
PSY 613        Family Violence  (4 units)
PSY 616        Psychological Testing and Assessment (4 units)
PSY 617        Ethics and Law in Psychology (4 units)
PSY 618        Substance Abuse and Intervention (4 units)
PSY 619        Psychotherapy Approaches and Strategies (4 units)
PSY 620        Practicum I (1-4 units)
PSY 621        Practicum II (1-4 units)
*For information on the current status of CIHS in regards to clinical licensing, please contact the Dean of Academic Affairs. Email:

Students not following a clinical track may also choose appropriate electives from any of the other programs:
PSY 622        Introduction to
Mind Body Energy Psychology (4 units)

PSY 624        Psychobiology (4 units)
PSY 625        Sociocultural Influences and Intervention Strategies (4 units)

PSY 633        Introduction to Energy Psychology (4 units)
PSY 634        History of Psychology(4 units)
PSY 635        Foundations of Life Coaching (4 units)
PSY 636        Psychology of the Chakras  (4 units)
PSY 637        Introduction to Four Expressive Arts Modalities (4 units)
PSY 680        Topics of Special Interest (4-8 units)
PSY 690        Thesis (6 units)
PSY 699      
 Independent Study (2-12 units)


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California Institute for Human Science
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Encinitas, CA 92024