How do I apply to Pacifica?
You can securely APPLY ONLINE.
Call: 805.879.7305 for questions and information regarding the application process.
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.
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 August 15th deadline 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 the 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 is 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. Please contact the Office of Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org and 805.969.3626.
What TOEFL scores does Pacifica look for?
All TOEFL scores must be submitted to Pacifica in order to complete an application and we look for 213 computer-based test; 550 written test; or 90 internet-based test. Please contact your admissions advisor for more information about the TOEFL.
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 Admissions at email@example.com. Sealed official transcripts must be come directly from your academic institution. 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.
A maximum of 16 credit units may be transferred into Pacifica towards any of 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 the transfer of credits and prior training can be obtained from the Office of Admissions. Please email the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805.879.7305.
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.
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 hybrid 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 to 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 Depth Psychology and Creativity 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 expectation for reading, writing, and researching in preparation for a session or completion of quarter assignments. However, the amount of time a student invests in coursework (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 being 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 September 10th. Keep in mind that you must be accepted PRIOR to the 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.
Can I learn more about Pacifica’s Title IX Policy?
Pacifica Graduate Institute prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, physical or mental disability, citizenship status (within the limits imposed by law), marital status, medical condition, or age in any of its policies, procedures, or practices. This nondiscrimination policy covers treatment in institutionally approved academic programs and activities. In conformance with Institute policy, Pacifica Graduate Institute is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Students who believe they have been subjected to any form of unlawful discrimination should submit a written complaint to the Student Relations Liaison in the Provost’s Office.
In addition, Pacifica protects all student speech and association rights in support of the open exchange of ideas and the equal and fair treatment of all its students.
Download the Title IX Policy