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The aim of the Ph.D. Program in Integral Noetic Sciences is to provide advanced coursework in a scholarly study at the intersection of philosophy of science, consciousness studies, and contemplative traditions; to advance training in spiritual, esoteric, and contemplative practices; to foster relevant mixed methods research; and additionally, to offer opportunities for elective coursework in other departments which can enhance the student’s overall understanding of the discipline of contemplative practice and philosophical inquiry.

Program learning Outcomes

Integral Noetic Sciences Ph.D. PLOs.  Graduates of CIHS INS Ph.D. program will be able to:

  • PLO 1: Evaluate multiple religious contemplative and esoteric traditions and cultures in their specific historical, philosophical, psychological, ethical, scientific and cultural contexts. Sources may include texts, practices, beliefs and material culture.

  • PLO 2: Apply and critique equitable practices of dialogue, learning, and research that respect the sacred wisdom of each religion, spiritual expression and indigenous tradition. Within this process, it is expected that students engage in critical self-reflection about one’s own culture-bound perceptions, assumptions, and experiences, including the effects of privilege and oppression. 

  • PLO 3: Investigate and apply mixed methods research methods appropriate to the fields of comparative religion esoteric traditions, paranormal and consciousness studies in order to pioneer post-materialist views of reality.

  • PLO 4: Analyze and evaluate the correlations between spirituality and both mental and physical wellness, and the way that spirituality intersects with integral health and psychology to create existential coherence and the development of subtle modes of perception.

  • PLO 5: Examine “religion” “spirituality” “philosophy”, and “consciousness” in the context of our existence within an expanding galactic context and contemporary global society, eval-uate the challenges posed in developing a global ethic and a pluralistic society, and formulate potential resolutions of these challenges through compassionate social engagement.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Philosophy in Integral Noetic Sciences requires ninety-four (94) graduate quarter units, 72 units of course work including ten core courses (40 units), and 22 units of Dissertation sequence.  Core course units completed at the Masters's level do not have to be repeated, and they may be applied toward the Doctoral course requirements to a maximum of 16 quarter units, except the Spiritual Education requirement is to be fulfilled at both Masters and Doctoral level.  Elective course units, beyond the core courses, may be completed by drawing upon the Integral Noetic Sciences electives and from the Institute’s other programs.

Advancement to Candidacy is a formal step in the Ph.D. program. Eligibility for the Advancement to Candidacy examination consists of successful completion of all coursework (68 units) except INS 896, INS 897, and two research-based papers prior (or concurrent to) enrollment in the first of the Dissertation sequence. 


Core courses                                       62units

Electives                                               32 units

TOTAL                                                  94 units


  • ​INS 700 Academic Writing Within the Human Sciences (4 units)

  • INS 701 Foundations in Integral Studies (4 units) 

  • INS 702 Consciousness Studies (4 units)

  • INS 703 Counseling & Communication Skills (4 units)

  • INS 704 Spiritual Education (several options available) (4 units)

  • INS 705 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods (4 units)

  • INS 706 Advanced Quantitative Research Methods (4 units)

  • INS 715 Study of Eastern and Western Religions: Philosophy and Ethics (4 units)

  • INS 718 Study of Eastern and Western Religions: Metaphysics and Healing (4 units)

  • INS 730 Religion, Spirituality, and the Global Society: Foundations and Methods (4 units) 

  • INS 896 Dissertation Topic Research (5 units)

  • INS 897 Dissertation Methodology Review (5 units)

  • INS 898A Dissertation I (6 units)

  • INS 898B Dissertation II (6 units) 

*See catalog for prerequisites

  • INS 720 Shamanism and Indigenous Religions (4 units)

  • INS 723 Buddhism (4 units)

  • INS 724 Christian Mysticism (4 units)

  • INS 725 Islam (4 units)

  • INS 726 Judaism (4 units)

  • INS 727 Hinduism (4 units)

  • INS 728 Taoism (4 units)

  • INS 790 Topic of Special Interest (2-4 units)

  • INS 799 Independent Study (4 units)

*Additional courses in the areas of the science of consciousness, anomalous phenomena, and the design of wisdom systems are being developed as part of the new concentrations.

Concentrations within a Degree Program


Individually Designed Concentrations:

The Individually Designed Concentration (IDC) areas option has been designed to meet the needs of students who wish to design a course of studies within a degree program.  IDCs may be proposed within any of the degree programs within the Schools of Integral Health, Integral Noetic Studies, and Psychology.  Students with IDC concentrations complete the same course courses and core course units for the degree program and design the IDC within the electives course units.


The student identifies and secures a faculty advisor, often the Program Director, who agrees to oversee the IDC.  All continuing CIHS faculty members, including Program Directors, may serve as the academic advisor for an IDC.  The faculty member’s area(s) of expertise will align with the student’s proposed area of study.  The faculty member or Program Director is responsible for reviewing and approving the coursework (including electives and, if necessary, independent studies) and for providing the IDC student with advising including annual advising during the spring quarter.  The faculty advisor completes the student’s pre-graduation audit associated with the IDC requirements.  The faculty advisor usually is the Dissertation Committee Chair for PhD students or the Thesis Advisor for MA students.


Students who want to pursue an IDC should schedule a meeting with the Program Director to review administrative details.


Program Designed Concentrations (PDCs):


Degree Program Directors may design concentration areas to meet the needs of a group of students.  Requirements for a PDC are the same as IDCs except that PDCs may be subject to an enrollment group minimum, and the Program Director and not the student will design the set of elective courses and independent studies that compose the concentration.  Students pursuing a PDC should schedule a meeting with the Program Director for instructions regarding admittance requirements and administrative details.  PDCs are subject to change and/or revision to meet the needs of students.  The following PDCs are currently available:


School of Integral Noetic Sciences MA and PHD Degrees, Concentration in Anomalous Studies: designed to prepare graduate students to research the transformative potential of people’s extraordinary anomalous experiences (e.g., paranormal, psi, multidimensional, galactic, esoteric, cryptological, transpersonal, UFO/ET encounters, and psychedelic); scientifically investigate, through mixed methods research, anomalous realities and their relationship to consciousness and subtle energies; and explore the resulting philosophical and ontological implications of anomalous phenomena on the nature of reality. 


School of Integral Noetic Sciences MA and PhD Degrees, Concentration in Wisdom Design: designed to prepare graduate students to design “wisdom systems” that serve the whole person within complex systems by applying principles of wellbeing economics, multicapital social impact, and wellness design to businesses and organizations as well as to social innovation and large-scale design projects.

Prerequisites for Admission

  • Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution, in a related field.

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