Academic Formats


The Cohort System

When students begin their studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute, they join a cohort of like-minded students who are also enrolling in that particular degree program. The majority of students remain with the same cohort throughout their academic journey. A very real sense of community is soon established as students collaborate within their cohorts and share the intense experiences that are part of graduate-level work at Pacifica. Close personal and professional bonds are formed, often lasting long after studies are completed and extending into graduates' new careers.

Monthly Learning Sessions

Pacifica has developed educational formats that are particualarly well suited to individuals who wish to pursue graduate education while continuing their existing professional and personal commitments. In most of the degree programs, students join their classmates once a month for three or four-day learning sessions on campus. Betwen sessions, they continue coursework through reading, research, and praticum experiences in their home settings. In this way, students participate in classes and interact with professors as they would in a traditional degree program. This format makes it possible for students from throughout the country and around the world to participate in Pacifica's graduate degree programs.

Residential Learning with an Online Component

Pacifica’s Humanities & the Creative Life and Depth Psychology with an emphasis in Jungian and Archetypal Studies program take advantage of the blended online format.

Students in the blended online/residential degree programs utilize online-learning technology to work primarily from their home environments, viewing presentations, taking part in interactive discussions with classmates and faculty, and completing regular written assignments. Additionally they travel to Pacifica's Ladera Lane campus each quarter for a four-day residential session. The work is ongoing and academically rigorous, yet flexible enough to allow students to participate in the program in a way that suits their personal schedules. In the online format, community forms quickly, as all students contribute their voices, engaging in inquiry and discussion. That bond is strengthened when students gather on campus in residential sessions, meeting in person with faculty, staff, and student services represenatatives. These intensive on-campus sessions include classroom presentations, guest speakers, experiential activities, social interaction, and give students the opportunity to make hands-on use of Pacifica's research library and archives, while relaxing in the retreat-like setting of the Ladera Lane campus.

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