Humanities graduates have taken their distinctive skills into creativity coaching, a wide range of arts and somatic therapies, arts management, and in outreach programs supporting the humanities and arts. In exploring the role of the humanities and arts in facilitating healing, our MA graduates have found (and often come forward and devised) meaningful employment in supporting, mentoring, and consulting in a wide range of institutional and private settings.

Graduates have provided depth psychology workshops for disadvantaged groups such as the physically or learning disabled, and underprivileged children. Many of these graduates have secured teaching positions in schools, community colleges and independent institutions like Pacifica. Taking their unique approach to the Engaged Humanities and the Creative Life into the wider world, these graduates have opened up exhibitions in libraries, taken their arts practice into the corporate environment, designed websites, curated museums and set up new businesses based on creative entrepreneurship.

Above all, Humanities graduates of Pacifica have learned how to find sources of creativity, inspiration, energy and growth in taking inner work out to the world in ways that enhance what it is to be human, the Pacifica mission of imaginal intelligence and the program goal of enabling the creative life.

Our alumni web page highlights some of their stories

ED Gainful Employment Disclosure MA or scroll down for the Department of Education disclosure

Orientation to Gainful Employment at Pacifica (July 1, 2018)

In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education (ED) regulations on gainful employment, Pacifica is posting their gainful employment templates with data and disclosures here on our website. We recognize the templates do not provide context for the data provided.

The below discussion is intended to provide insight into what we view as Pacifica’s relatively unique status when considering gainful employment data.  We believe it is important for you to have the opportunity to review all of the relevant information in order to have a complete picture of Pacifica’s status and your possibilities in relation to gainful employment.

  • I. Pacifica is an employee owned proprietary school through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”).  Specifically, 97.2% of its stock is owned by the ESOP. All profits of the school are paid into the ESOP to support the retirement benefits of its employees.  No stock dividends are paid.
  • II. Pacifica students have a low default rate. Specifically, as shown on the attached “Key Ratios” chart, Pacifica has an extraordinarily low loan default rate (2.9-5%) in comparison to the national average:
Year 2016 2017 2018
Pacifica’s Student Loan Default Rate 3.0% 4.7% 3.4%
National Average Student Loan Default Rate 11.3% 11.5% 11.5%

Pacifica and its students and graduates are not meaningful contributors to the nation’s student loan defaults. Also, only about 60-70% of Pacifica students are financing their education with federal student loans, even though ED regulations permit up to 90% of our revenues to come from federal student aid. Pacifica is not among the category of problematic for-profit schools that relies nearly exclusively on federal student aid financing.

  • III. The ED methodology for compiling GE data is necessarily generalized because ED regulates so many different kinds of schools. Thus it cannot and does not take into account some important circumstances of a unique school like Pacifica which relate directly to the employment of Pacifica graduates. For example, a limited number of Pacifica graduates are not at full earning capacity until completing certain time consuming postgraduate requirements.

Graduates of Pacifica’s Clinical Psychology Programs (PhD and PsyD) train to become licensed as clinical psychologists, and graduates of the Counseling Psychology Program (MA) train to become Marriage and Family Therapists and Licensed Professional Counselors. For example, California, the state in which most Pacifica graduates begin their careers, requires counseling psychologists and clinical psychologists to accrue 3,000 hours and 1,500 hours, respectively, of work experience after graduation and before becoming licensed. It typically takes two to six years for counseling psychology graduates, and two to three years for clinical psychology graduates, to accrue this experience. These graduates see reduced earnings while completing their practicum experience. This is because, while engaged in practical training, preparing for licensure, a graduate typically must charge less for his or her services.

The ED gainful employment rule applicable to Pacifica does not take into account this necessary state required delay between graduation and achieving full earning capacity for the required post-graduate residency period with respect to medical and dental school graduates. Graduates of medical and dental programs are allowed time to complete their residency and approach a more meaningful earnings potential before their gainful employment data is computed. That same treatment is not afforded to graduates of Pacifica’s programs.

IV. Additional factors relevant to likelihood of employment.

We think there are additional factors relevant to potential academic success and future employment that students and prospective students should consider.
  • A. Pacifica’s licensure exam pass rates is well above the state of California average.
  • B. Accreditation. Pacifica is an academic institution accredited by and in good standing with the WASC Senior College and University Commission, and also the State of California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.
  • C. Pacifica’s graduation rate is higher than the national average. One reason for that is the flexibility Pacifica affords its student to complete all degree requirements. The ED standard for “on time” completion does not capture the reality of Pacifica students’ status as working adults. If time for completion is extended only 6-12 months, as at Pacifica, there is a dramatic rise in the number of completers.

Time to Completion

Although many Pacifica students often do not need or want to complete a graduate degree within a certain time frame, 0% of the Engaged Humanities students who completed the M.A. degree program in 2016-2017, did so within 24 months. 73% finished between 2-3 years and remaining 27% finished between 3-5 years.

The program supports and develops the student experience through dedicated teaching and a wide range of creative humanities courses along with individual arts practice. Students are energized and challenged as they develop individually within the support of a creative community. Students find that the transforming qualities of enriched humanities study enable them to complete the program in both a personal and collectively engaged support network.

Pacifica provides students in need with a generous leave of absence policy to accommodate the complexities of the lives of adult students while maintaining high academic standards. Therefore, time to completion rate averages can be lengthened by those students who need to withdraw and re-enter the program.

Overall Time To Completion: Depth Graduates 2008–2018
Humanities Graduates Number Average Time to Completion (Years)
MA Graduates 95 2.3 yrs*

*This figure may include temporary withdrawals and leaves of absence from the program, which can occur due to illness, pregnancy, or other serious instances that students encounter in their academic career.

Pacifica Graduate Institute’s U. S. Department of Education’s Office of Post Secondary
Education identification number (OPEID): 031268-00

Program Name: Engaged Humanities
CIP for program: 24.0103

This program prepares students for the following career:
SOC code: 25-1199- Postsecondary Teachers, all other

Program Level: Masters
Program Time to Completion Parameters

Program *Standard Minimum *Standard Maximum **Humanities Program Minimum
*** Gainful Employment
**Humanities Program Time
Limit (Maximum)
MA 24 mos 60 mos 24 mos 60 mos

*Standard time to completion rates are defined by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) as standard for any graduate program at any academic institution. **The Humanities program curriculum is designed to be completed in 24 months, as published in the 2019-2020 Pacifica catalog. ***Department of Education Gainful Employment “Program On-time to Completion.”

MA Time to Completion Rates 2017-2018:

The percentage of students who completed the MA program between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 within the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment “Program On-time to Completion” criterion of 24 months was 0%, with 73% of the students completing between 2-3 years and remaining 27% completing the program within 3-5 years.

Time to Completion MA Humanities 2017-2018

Cost for Entire Program Completed within Standard Program Time
Estimated Total Tuition Estimated Costs for Books and Supplies
MA (24 mos) $39,800 MA (24 mos) $2,244

Total annual room and board charges:

MA Debt for all graduates between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018:

  • Fewer than 10 students completed this program within normal time. This number has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students.