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Admission Requirements

In evaluating applicants for its programs, Pacifica 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. All programs have an emphasis in depth psychology.

The Office of Admissions is currently accepting applications for all programs and for Spring 2018 in the Engaged Humanities and Jungian and Archetypal Studies Specialization hybrid programs


M.A. in 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.
  • Application Requirements:
    • Personal Statement (3-5 pages)
    • Resumé/CV
    • 300 word essay writing sample
    • 2 letters with recommendation form
    • Official transcripts – must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state approved institution of higher education

Ph.D. Clinical Psychology

  • Applicants are expected to bring a strong foundation in psychological scholarship, specifically scholarly research and writing, as well as a demonstrated interest and aptitude for the study of depth psychology, which will be assessed during the application process for bachelor level applicants.
  • Program seeks individuals who are psychologically-minded, and who show evidence of emotional resilience, cultural awareness, and commitment to scholarly questioning necessary to work with diverse individuals and communities
  • In addition to advanced writing and scholarship skills, successful candidates will have supervised clinical experience and manifest an interest in the relationships among psychology, the humanities and human sciences.
  • The experience of personal depth psychotherapy is highly valued.
  • Application Requirements:
    • Personal Statement (3-5 pages)
    • Resumé/CV
    • Minimum 10 page Academic Writing Sample
    • 3 letters with recommendation form
    • Official transcripts – must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state approved institution of higher education

Psy.D. Clinical Psychology Program

  • Applicants are expected to bring a strong foundation in the field of psychology and a demonstrated interest and aptitude for the study of depth psychology, which will be assessed during the application process for bachelor level applicants.
  • Program seeks individuals who are psychologically-minded and evidence the emotional resilience necessary to work in relational fields with diverse individuals and communities, including in community-based mental health settings.
  • In addition to advanced writing and scholarship skills, successful candidates will have supervised clinical experience and manifest an interest in the relationships among psychology, the humanities as well as natural and human sciences.
  • The experience of personal depth psychotherapy is highly valued.
  • Application Requirements:
    • Personal Statement (3-5 pages)
    • Resumé/CV
    • Minimum 10 page Academic Writing Sample
    • 3 letters with recommendation form
    • Official transcripts – must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state approved institution of higher education

Ph.D. Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices Specialization

  • Applicants are expected to have a strong foundation in the field of psychology and a demonstrated interest and aptitude for the study of depth psychology.
  • In addition to master’s-level education and professional development, this doctoral specialization requires candidates to have work experience with clients in a distinct healing-oriented or therapeutic profession. In certain instances, a bachelor’s degree coupled with both substantial master’s level education/training/scholarship and significant hours of therapeutic work experience may be considered in lieu of a master’s degree.
  • The program is ideal for diverse practitioners (licensed, pre-licensed, or license-exempt) in the following professions (partial list): Psychotherapists, Psychologists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Social Workers, Professional Counselors, Health and Medical Professionals (Nursing professionals, Physicians, Allied Health Providers), Jungian Analysts, Psychoanalysts, Specialized Addiction and Treatment Counselors, Expressive Arts Therapists, Spiritual and Pastoral Counselors, Health and Wellness Practitioners with Advanced Training, and Other Qualified Consultants and Counselors.
  • Applicants must either be practicing or are enrolled in the program for case consultation and presentation.
  • Because the program maintains a strong emphasis on learning through client presentations and practice supervision groups, we seek candidates who are psychologically-minded and show evidence of the emotional resilience necessary to work in the transference/counter-transference field.
  • Prior commitment to personal growth and development as a client or patient working with a therapeutic professional is an important factor in the consideration of the application.
  • In addition to having advanced skills in writing and scholarship, successful candidates will hold some familiarity with, and aptitude for, the perspectives of depth psychology, and demonstrate a commitment to practice and research in a therapeutic and healing-oriented profession.
  • Application Requirements:
    • Personal Statement (3-5 pages)
    • Resumé/CV
    • 8-10 page Academic Writing Sample
    • 3 letters with recommendation form
    • Official transcripts – must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state approved institution of higher education

M.A./Ph.D. Program in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Somatic Studies

  • Applicants must demonstrate an 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.
  • Application Requirements:
    • Personal Statement (3-5 pages)
    • Resumé/CV
    • 8-10 page Academic Writing Sample
    • 3 letters with recommendation form
    • Official transcripts – must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state approved institution of higher education

M.A./Ph.D. Program in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies (hybrid)

  • Applicants must demonstrate an 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.
  • Application Requirements:
    • Personal Statement (3-5 pages)
    • Resumé/CV
    • 8-10 page Academic Writing Sample
    • 3 letters with recommendation form
    • Official transcripts – must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state approved institution of higher education

M.A./Ph.D. Program in Depth Psychology with Specialization in Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, & Ecopsychology

  • Applicants must have a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree from a regionally 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 and social sciences with an emphasis in cultural studies, social justice studies, and environmental studies; a demonstrated interest in scholarly research and active community engagement around an issue of their concern.
  • Application Requirements:
    • Personal Statement (3-5 pages)
    • Resumé/CV
    • 8-10 page Academic Writing Sample
    • 3 letters with recommendation form
    • Official transcripts – must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state approved institution of higher education

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Application Requirements:
    • Personal Statement (3-5 pages)
    • Resumé/CV
    • 8-10 page Academic Writing Sample
    • 3 letters with recommendation form
    • Official transcripts – must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state approved institution of higher education

M.A. Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life (hybrid)

  • 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.
  • Application Requirements:
    • Personal Statement (3-5 pages)
    • Resumé/CV
    • 4-7 page Academic Writing Sample
    • 2 letters with recommendation form
    • Official transcripts – must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited or state approved institution of higher education

Admissions FAQ’s

How do I apply to Pacifica?

You can securely APPLY ONLINE.

Call: 805.969.3626 ext. 305 for questions and information regarding the application process.

Email: admissions@pacifica.edu

What is the application deadline?

Deadlines vary with each program since each program has a different start date due to the cohort schedule, and the Office of Admissions is currently accepting applications for all programs and for Spring 2018 in the Engaged Humanities and Jungian and Archetypal Studies Specialization hybrid programs.

When should I apply?

We encourage applying early to allow time for submission of application documents and the admissions decision. Accepted applicants are eligible to apply for Pacifica scholarships by the July 15th deadline in 2018, receive an acceptance portal with useful students resources that prepare students for the start of their program (such as the syllabus and reading list), and assistance from the various departments that support student success: guest services for booking accommodations, financial aid, student accounts to name a few.

What is the application fee?

There is a $75 application fee that will be charged at the end of the initial online application.

What academic term should I apply?

Pacifica Graduate Institute is on a quarter system. (See the Academic Calendars page for quarter dates or contact the admissions office). Most programs admit students for Fall quarter only, with start dates in mid-September or early October. The two hybrid programs also admit in the Spring quarter. Please contact an Admissions Advisor for questions about the application for admission.

May I apply to more than one graduate program?

The Office of Admissions in only able to process an application for one program at a time, and the Admissions Advisors are available to help you select the program that will be the best fit per your goals. Applicants do have the option to switch an application to another program should they decide on another program. Only one application fee is required; the first online application you submit will require payment of the $75, and the fee is waived if there is a program switch.

Do you offer conditional admission?

Pacifica offers conditional acceptance decisions for applicants who have not yet completed, for example, their undergraduate studies, and can submit an in-progress transcript and be interviewed for an admissions decision. Once a degree in progress is completed, the conditionally accepted applicant must submit an official transcript with the date of degree conferral for their application file to become officially accepted before the start of the program.

What is the process for an international student?

Apply online to one of Pacifica’s nine degree programs and specializations prior to April 1st or as early as possible to allow sufficient process time to obtain any additional documentation required to study in the United States and the F-1 visa all Pacifica students will need.  For Spring enrollment, applications should be submitted by December 1st to allow sufficient process time. International transcripts must be evaluated to determine U.S. equivalency.  We will accept evaluations from current members of the NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) and AICE (Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc.).  In addition, international applications must submit TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) results. Alex Clarke in the Office of Admissions can answer questions for international applicants, please contact him at aclarke@pacifica.edu and 805.969.3626 ext. 307.

What TOEFL scores does Pacifica look for?

All TOEFL scores must be submitted to Pacifica in in order to complete an application and we look for 213 computer-based test; 550 written test; or 79 internet-based test. Please contact your admissions advisor for more information about the TOEFL.

What type of visas do you offer to international students?

Pacifica offers F1 Visas.  F1 Visa prohibits any employment authorization while enrolled at Pacifica Graduate Institute. This visa is essentially a “commuter” visa allowing for easy travel across borders at least once per month.  Please note that F1 Visa applications, or Change of Status applications, may take up to three months to process.  If a student wishes to reside in the U.S. please note that we only process F1 Visas – no H1-B, F2, or any other visa holders are permitted to attend classes at Pacifica.

Where do I send my transcripts?

Official transcripts can be submitted to the Office of Admissions in a sealed envelope or electronically. If sent electronically, please send them to Citlali Hernandez, Admissions Assistant at chernandez@pacifica.edu. When applying, send official transcripts only from schools where you earned a degree (bachelor’s degree or higher). If sending hard copies, please send them to:

Office of Admissions
249 Lambert Road
Carpinteria, CA 93013

Do I have to have finished my undergraduate degree by the time I apply?

No, but you do have to finish the degree by the time you begin your graduate studies at the Pacifica Graduate Institute. If you have not yet finished the degree at the time of application, you need to send your in-progress transcript to the Office of Admissions, but it can be unofficial.  If you are admitted, you will need to send your official final degree transcript, after your degree is conferred, prior to starting the program.

Do I have to take the GRE, GMAT, or other tests in order to apply to Pacifica Graduate Institute?

No. The GRE/GMAT or other tests are not an admissions requirement. The application file documents, including your personal statement, resume, and writing samples are used to determine the potential for success at Pacifica.

What if I already have a degree from Pacifica Graduate Institute?

Applicants with a Pacifica Graduate Institute Master’s or doctoral degrees returning to pursue another graduate degree should contact an Admissions Advisor about the process.  The $75 application is not required.

What is your transfer credit policy?

A maximum of 16 credit units may be transferred into Pacifica towards any of the Pacifica’s doctoral degree programs.  All coursework completed more than four (4) years prior to the student’s matriculation at Pacifica Graduate Institute will not be considered for transfer.  Application for transfer credits must be made after opening an application with Pacifica and prior to enrollment.  Additional information about transfer of credits and prior training can be obtained from the Office of Admissions. Please email the Admissions Office at admissions@pacifica.edu or call 805.969.3626 ext. 305.

Can I be admitted if I have an unaccredited bachelor’s degree?

In most cases, no. Pacifica requires a degree from a regionally accredited or state-approved U.S. institution, or, for international students, an accredited degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an institution of recognized standing. On rare occasions, a student from an unaccredited institution, or one that offers the equivalent of bachelor’s degree instruction but not the degree itself, may be considered for admission if they have an accredited degree from another institution. The Office of Admissions has more information.

Can I be admitted if I have an unaccredited master’s or doctoral degree?

For most of our programs, yes. Pacifica requires a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited  or state-approved U.S. institution, or, for international students, an accredited degree equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an institution of recognized standing, will meet the requirements for most of our programs. Contact the Office of Admissions for more information.

If I am accepted to the program this year can I defer my enrollment?

An applicant’s acceptance to any of the degree programs is for the current academic year only and cannot be deferred.

What is the general format of classes?

The classes are usually a combination of 3-4 days of lecture and discussion and experiential learning exercises, with 9-10 residential sessions per year. Classes may also include group or individual presentations, and clinical training for licensure programs. The hyrbid programs include more online learning modules with 4 residential sessions on campus per year.

Do you have any online graduate degree programs?

At this time, Pacifica does not have completely online degrees, although the cohort program format allows our students live and work around the country and complete a graduate degree program.  Most of our programs meet for 3-4 days once a month, while the two hybrid programs meet for 4 days once per quarter.

How much work is required outside of class?

Class assignments consist of readings, papers, and/or projects. For the master’s program in Counseling Psychology, for every hour in class there are approximately two hours of work outside of class between each class session. For the Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life program, a blended hybrid program, students will have a minimum of 15-20 hours of work outside of class time using the D2L online learning platform. For the doctoral programs, approximately 20 hours of work per week is a reasonable expectations for reading, writing, and researching in preparation for a session or completion of quarter assignments. However, the amount of time a student invests in course work (one word) will vary depending upon a variety of factors such as learning style and study habits. Most students work full time while attending classes at Pacifica.

How do I take classes without being admitted to a degree program?

Pacifica’s programs follow a closed cohort model therefore we do not allow students to take classes without be admitted and enrolled in the entire degree program.  For Pacifica events, which are open to the public, please visit The Retreat webpage for more information.

Is Financial Aid available? How do I apply for Financial Aid?

Yes, Pacifica is approved by the U.S. Department of Education for participation in the Federal Stafford & Grad Plus Loan Program. All students who wish to apply for the Federal Stafford & Grad Plus Loan are required by the Department of Education to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form each year of enrollment. The FAFSA form is available on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Students need to include Pacifica’s school code (G31268) to ensure the results of one’s application are forwarded to the school. Please visit Pacifica’s Financial Aid page for more information.

Do you offer scholarships?  When is the deadline to apply?

Pacifica offers renewable and non-renewable scholarships for our various programs to those who show high financial need and academic merit. The scholarship application deadline is is July 15th for 2018.  Keep in mind that you must be accepted PRIOR to scholarship application deadline in order to be considered for a scholarship.  For information about our scholarships and the application, please visit our Pacifica’s Scholarship page.