Specialization FAQs: M.A./Ph.D. Program in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Jungian and Archetypal Studies

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Why make this specialization a hybrid one?

Prospective students from around the country and from other parts of the world have long been requesting a degree program that allows them to study at Pacifica without making the 9 to 10 trips to campus a year that the other degree programs require. This specialization is in response to that request. Being in residency only 4 times per year over an extended weekend allows some students to participate at Pacifica who might otherwise not be able to do so.


What does a typical quarter look like?

Each quarter lasts approximately 11 weeks, though they may extend longer to accommodate holidays and other breaks for rest, relaxation, and reflection. Students take two 3-unit courses each quarter for the three years of coursework. The first few weeks of each quarter (typically modules 1 through 3) are spent reading at home and engaging in discussion and activities with the faculty and one’s classmates in D2L. Students and faculty then gather together on campus for the residential weekend (see below). On returning home, students resume using D2L to continue reading, discussing, researching, and completing final assignments.


What can I expect during a residential session?

Classes held in Santa Barbara begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thursdays, and end at 4:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Classes are in session between 7 and 8.5 hours per day. Faculty members are encouraged to combine lectures, multimedia features, student presentations, group discussion, and experiential activities to accommodate different styles of learning and to keep the pace of the day flowing. Students can meet with faculty one-on-one during lunch and dinner breaks, and every session contains an opportunity to meet as a group with the cohort’s faculty liaison member and/or program chair to address concerns, raise questions, or discuss how the program is progressing.


I'm on a computer so much for work already. How much time should I expect to use D2L?

Students are expected to log in to our learning management system (called Desire2Learn) several times a week, for approximately three to four hours per week. This will typically include time spent reading any presentations, posting and responding to discussion boards, listening to an audio file, or watching a video. For the remainder of hours of study, you will be reading.

Experience has shown that students learning in D2L have a tendency to spend more time per week “in class” than their residential peers. We have several measures in place to protect our hybrid students from burnout: we designate certain weeks “reflection weeks” where students and faculty are not using D2L, including the week when students are traveling to and taking classes on campus and the last week of the quarter, allowing students time to complete their final assignments. Periodic breaks are built into the academic calendar. In addition, we maintain clear guidelines around how much material there is to read, especially with discussion boards: faculty restrict discussion posts on D2L to no more than 2 or 3 paragraphs, or 250-300 words. Even with these protective measures in place, however, students should be prepared for a rigorous course of study, and should carefully assess whether they have the time to enter graduate school at this moment in their lives.


Are there required days or times I have to use D2L?

Pacifica requires that all students log into D2L on the first day of the quarter, and post something that indicates attendance. This is a Federal Financial Aid requirement, and it can be done anytime during the 24 hours of that first day. Other than this mandatory sign-in requirement, most assignments will be due weekly (with a Monday 11:59pm deadline for initial discussion posts) so you can log in and complete them at your convenience.


Beside participating in D2L, what other sorts of work should I expect?

As with any graduate program, you will do assigned reading for each week of the program. The number of books and articles will vary by instructor, but in general expect between 800-1000 pages of reading per course, or approximately 100-150 pages per week. Other assignments may include journal reflections, virtual partnered work, research, and paper-writing. In general, you should expect to spend approximately 20 hours a week completing your studies.


How did you come up with 20 hours?

In academia, time is measured by credit hours. A credit hour is a measure of the amount of work required of graduate students as established by federal regulations to determine equivalency among accredited institutions of higher learning. It is represented in terms of the number of hours in the classroom or direct faculty instruction as well as the minimum number of hours of out-of-class work needed for students to achieve the learning outcomes identified for a course.

At Pacifica, we remain aligned with federal standards which define a credit hour as the equivalent of ten hours of classroom or direct faculty instruction plus a minimum of three hours of out-of-class student work for each week of every quarter, a 1:3 ratio between instruction and independent work.


What can I expect from faculty in a hybrid program?

When you are on campus, your experience of a faculty member will be the same as any residential student at Pacifica and will include a combination of lecture, discussion, group work, student presentations, engagement with film and art, and experiential learning exercises. Faculty will be available for office hours during meals so students can sign up for one-on-one time together. Teaching styles vary, but, in general, learning takes as its motto that instructors are to be “guides on the side” or “mentors in the middle” rather than “sages on the stage.” Learning is truly a communal venture, with students benefiting greatly from the interaction with their peers and not just with the faculty.

Faculty members are asked to review and participate in the discussions on D2L two or three times per week. They will typically offer general guidance to the group, rather than to individual students in this format. In other words, a student will may receive feedback on each of his or her postings; however, faculty will help to facilitate the discussions for the group by offering insights and commentary. Individual faculty members’ personal teaching styles may differ, so expect variations in this regard.

Faculty members are also asked to be available for students for phone or Skype conversations during the quarter. Faculty will list their contact details on the syllabus. It is preferable that students should send a request for a phone conversation to the faculty via email, indicating the content of the conversation, and suggesting a few good times they can be reached. Our faculty body is comprised of academics and analysts with full lives, and it is not expected that they are on D2L or available every day of the week; the expectation is the same as it is for students, that both will log in several times a week.


Who are the faculty who teach in this specialization?

The program is taught by scholars in the field and Jungian analysts drawn from Pacifica’s core faculty and supplemented with adjuncts from around the world. Faculty members are selected not only for their knowledge and experience in the subject matter, but for their interest in mentoring students in applying and advancing Jungian and archetypal studies beyond the traditional analytic encounter.


Part of the reason I'm drawn to Pacifica is for the oppurtunity to study with people of like minds. How does a hybrid program lend itself to a sense of community?

People who have been enrolled in our learning programs will tell you that community and intimacy builds quickly in that environment. While you may not “see” your classmates every month like a traditional Pacifica student, you will “hear” from them weekly. In fact, using D2L is particularly conducive to hearing the voices of all students, as it requires participation from everyone; students who normally may be very quiet in a traditional classroom may be more comfortable “speaking” in D2L.

Remember, too, that you’ll spend a little more than half of the direct instruction for each course meeting face-to-face with your classmates, and over those four days per quarter on campus, you’ll continue discussions over shared meals together, you’ll watch films and have social time together, you’ll attend classes and guest lectures together, and work together in pairs and groups. Community has been at the heart and soul of this specialization from its inception. In 1948, when Jung gave his dedication speech on the occasion of the founding of the C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, he called for a community of scholars to come together to imagine extensions “without limit” for depth psychology in the world. This specialization aims to be such a community, one where students and faculty come together to support each other in exploring, applying, and advancing Jungian and archetypal studies “without limit” in the world. As part of every course, students will share their understanding of how the material is relevant to their lives and their vocational callings (with their classmates and instructors serving as sounding boards and tuning forks). Students provide support for each other, share resources, and help refine each other’s theories and practices.

Besides creating a community of scholars and researchers, this specialization has as part of its vision the creation of a community of writers. D2L, as the learning management software, is an ideal tool for honing one’s written expression. In addition to the weekly discipline of posting and reading other students’ posts in D2L, students will be encouraged early on to form writing groups, to read each other’s papers, to provide supportive feedback and offer constructive commentary on those papers, and to seek venues for publication for their papers in order to reach an even larger community.


I've never used D2L before. What sort of support is available to me?

When it gets closer to the start of the program, all students will be invited to participate in a tutorial to become familiar with the learning management system, and we will invite you into a Resource Center where you can begin to explore the delivery system. For ongoing questions or support once you begin the program, you may contact our excellent hybrid learning team via phone, or chat with them on D2L. The Program Administrator will also be available to answer your questions and provide support.


How familiar do I need to be with depth psychology or with Jungian and archetypal studies before entering the specialization?

It is expected that students will enter the program with varying degrees of knowledge about depth psychology. For students with less familiarity with depth psychology, our admissions counselors can make some recommendations of books to begin to read, and we may explore this with you as well at the interview stage.


What do students do with an advanced degree in depth psychology?

The Jungian and Archetypal Studies program is a wide-ranging, multidisciplinary program of study, covering ideas and practices that lend themselves to application in many different fields. Some of our students and graduates work as therapists, some are involved in the arts, some become teachers and writers, and others apply the insights of depth psychology in corporate life. Some students come into our program knowing exactly what they want the degree for, or what they plan to do with it, but it’s just as common for students to enter the program saying “I don’t exactly why I’m here, or what I’m going to do with the degree when I’m finished, but I just know I’m supposed to be here, and the answers will come.” As James Hillman writes in The Soul's Code, vocation or “calling” is “the essential mystery at the heart of each human life.” Throughout the program, we’ll explore that mystery in classes and reflection exercise, and we’ll raise the question “What can we do with this material in the world?” in every course you take. It is our hope that through this education for individuation rather than education for information, our students will discover, uncover, or recover the heart of the work they have been called here to do.

*Please note: This graduate program does not lead to clinical licensure. The degree will not enable you to practice psychotherapy under a state license.

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