Admissions Requirements

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Department of Psychology

In evaluating applicants for its programs, Pacifica's Department of Psychology assesses the student's ability to demonstrate psychological mindfulness. The Institute defines psychological mindfulness as the capacity to attend to intrapsychic, interpersonal, and environmental issues by thinking metaphorically, demonstrating empathy, listening reflectively to one's own language and that of others, and using psychological language in a manner which recognizes its strengths and limitations.

M.A./Ph.D. in Depth Psychology with three distinct emphases
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
M.A. in Counseling Psychology
Ph.D in Depth Psychology with Emphasis in Psychotherapy
M.A./Ph.D. in Mythological Studies
M.A. in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life


M.A./Ph.D. in Depth Psychology Emphases in: Somatic Studies; or Jungian and Archetypal Studies; or Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology

Applicants must have a bachelor's and/or master's degree from an accredited or state-approved institution of higher learning. Applicants must also demonstrate aptitude in the following areas: a background in psychology through formal coursework or personal study and experience; a background in interdisciplinary studies, such as the humanities, sciences, and social sciences; a demonstrated interest and ability in scholarly research; and a familiarity with the perspectives of depth psychology, such as psychoanalytic, Jungian, and archetypal psychology.


Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Applicants to the Clinical Psychology doctoral program are expected to bring a strong foundation in the field of psychology and a demonstrated interest and aptitude for the study of depth psychology. The program seeks individuals who are psychologically-minded and evidence the emotional resilience necessary to work in the transference-counter transference field. In addition to advanced scholarly writing skills, successful candidates will have supervised clinical experience and manifest an interest in the relationship among psychology, the humanities, and the arts. The experience of personal depth psychotherapy is highly valued. These capacities are normally found in applicants who have already earned master's degrees in psychology or a related field from an accredited institution of higher learning. The Admissions Committee may consider applicants who have earned an accredited bachelor's degrees in psychology or a related field who, in addition to meeting the admissions requirements as noted above, also present a strong foundation, including a minimum of two years of advanced study and experience in depth psychology.


M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Applicants for the Master of Arts Program in Counseling Psychology must have a bachelor's and/or master's degree from an accredited or state–approved institution of higher education. The Counseling Psychology Program values students whose backgrounds include work in social, religious, or human services; academic training in psychology or the humanities; and experience in personal therapy. Successful applicants will also display scholarly writing skills and an interest in research.


Ph.D. in Depth Psychology Emphasis in Psychotherapy

Applicants must have a bachelor's and master's degree from an accredited or state-approved institution of higher education. Successful candidates will have completed all of the academic requirements of a Master's Degree in Counseling, a Master's in Psychology, a Master's in Social Work, or a related field such that their degrees qualify them for licensure at the master's level in their own places of residence. Applicants must either be practicing, or have a plan in place to start practicing as psychotherapists, once they become enrolled in the program.

Because the program carries a strong emphasis on learning through case presentation and supervision, we seek candidates who are psychologically-minded and show evidence of the emotional resilience necessary to work in the transference/counter-transference field. Prior experiences as a psychotherapist patient, or patient in psychotherapy are important factors in our consideration of your application.

In addition to having an advanced writing and scholarship skills, successful candidates will hold some familiarity with, and aptitude for, the perspectives of depth psychology, and demonstrate a commitment to practice and research in the field of depth psychotherapy.


M.A./Ph.D. in Mythological Studies

Pacifica's Mythological Studies Program seeks students who have the potential to succeed in the creative application of mythological themes and psychological insights. In the process of reviewing applicants, attention is focused on past educational, creative, and professional endeavors.

Applicants must have a bachelor's and/or master's degree from an accredited or state-approved institution of higher education. While a degree in the humanities, arts, or social sciences is preferred, other degrees will be considered. Successful completion of a comprehensive examination at the end of the second year of the program and demonstrated proficiency in academic research are required for continuation into the third year of course work in the program.


M.A. in Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life

Applicants must have a bachelor's and/or master's degree from an accredited or state-approved institution of higher education. While the program seeks students with a background in social science, humanities, psychology, or the arts, other degrees will be considered. Successful applicants will also display scholarly writing skills and show an interest in the application of depth psychological or mythological principles.