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


What do you mean by a "hybrid" program?

A hybrid program combines online learning with residential sessions. Specifically, in this specialization students spend 4 days each quarter learning on campus. There are 31 residential hours in total, and 29 hours online.

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. The first few weeks of each quarter is spent reading at home and engaging online in discussion and activities with the faculty and one's classmates. Students and faculty then gather together on campus for the residential weekend (see below). Students return home and back to the online format to continue reading, discussing, researching, and completing final assignments.

What can I expect during a residential session?

Classes held in Santa Barbara begin at 9:00 a.m. on Thursdays, and end at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, in order to accommodate students who wish to travel back home that afternoon. Classes are in session from 7 to 9 hours a day, and faculty are encouraged to combine lecture, pair work, student presentations, and group discussion with experiential and embodied learning 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 program's 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 be online?

Far less time than you think! Students are expected to log in to our distance learning software (Desire2Learn) several times a week, for approximately three to four hours per week. This will typically include time spent reading any online 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 an online format have a tendency to spend more time per week online "in class" than their residential peers. We have several measures in place to protect our hybrid students from online burnout: we designate certain weeks "reflection weeks" where students and faculty are not online, 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. In addition, we maintain strong boundaries around how much online material there is to read, especially with discussion boards: faculty restrict online discussion posts to no more than 2 or 3 paragraphs, or 250-300 words. Even with these protective measures, 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 be online?

Pacifica requires that all students log into their online courses 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 so you can log in and complete them at your convenience.

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

Reading, of course. The number of books and articles will vary by instructor but in general, expect between 800-1000 pages of reading per course, or approximately 135-220 pages per week. Other online 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 online vary, but in general, online learning takes as its motto that instructors are to be "guides on the side," or "mentors in the middle" versus "sages on the stage." Learning online is truly a communal venture, with students benefiting greatly from the interaction with their peers and not just with the faculty.

Faculty are asked to review and participate in the online discussion 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 are also asked to be available for students for phone conversations during the quarter. Faculty will list their phone numbers on the syllabus, but 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 is comprised of academics and analysts with full lives, and it is not expected that they are online 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 will be taught by Jungian analysts and scholars of depth psychology drawn from Pacifica's core faculty and supplemented with adjuncts from around the world. Faculty will be 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?

Very well. People who have been enrolled in our learning programs with an online component 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, online learning 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" online.

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 or five days per quarter on campus, you'll continue online 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 who will provide support, 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. The online format is an ideal platform for honing one's written expression. 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 taken an online class before. What sort of support is available to me?

When it gets closer to the start of the program, all students will be required to participate in an online tutorial to become familiar with the delivery software, and we will invite you into an online 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 live online. The Program Administrator will also be available to answer your questions and provide support. We really pride ourselves on the amount of support available to our students, 7 days a week during regular office hours.

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 specialization with varying degrees of foreknowledge 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'll explore this with you as well at the interview stage.

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

There are multiple ways to answer this question. One way is to tell you directly what you can't do with a degree in Depth Psychology, which is to practice psychotherapy under a state license. Another way is to call our admissions team and let them know what you're interested in, and ask them how they think the program may lend support to that interest. Another way is to mention some general venues where you'll find our alumni, like education, business, health care, community work, the arts, etc. Another way is to tell you that you're in good company in asking the question! 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."

But one of these answers will answer the question of what you can do with a degree in Depth Psychology. As James Hillman writes in The Soul's Code, vocation or "calling" is "the essential mystery at the heart of each human life." We'll explore that mystery in classes like "Our Soul's Code: Depth Psychological Views of Vocation," and in the Reflective Studies sequence at the end of each year, 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.

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