The Mythological Studies program attracts people from a wide range of fields. In addition to those students with traditional academic backgrounds in the humanities, we have doctors, lawyers, therapists, corporate executives, military service veterans, and other professionals who enrich our community. Given the diversity of our students, there is a wide range of applications of the degree relevant to the graduate’s chosen field. These include deepening previous professional activities and finding new and creative ways of developing expertise in those areas, as well as making radical shifts in terms of employment and personal growth and development.

The degree is also appropriate for any position that requires an interdisciplinary degree in the humanities. Administrative positions in humanities programs, arts foundations, and other culturally-oriented organizations can value such a degree. Positions in the field of publishing may also be an option. Some graduates have used their degree in consulting fields such as organizational development.

Teaching at the community college level in literature or the humanities is a possible career option for students who earn the M.A. or Ph.D. degree. Some of our graduates also teach at the four-year college or university level primarily in part-time or adjunct positions. Teaching at non-traditional post-secondary institutions is also a viable option. These kinds of settings can include Jung Institutes, adult education or extension programs, and free-standing schools—such as Pacifica— that teach specialized subjects such as depth psychology, mythology and religious studies.

Persons in religious work—clergy and those not ordained—can find this field of study enriching to their calling. In addition, writers, artists, film makers, and performers have found their options enhanced for employment and creative work. Any endeavor involving international relations and development greatly benefit from the global, multicultural orientation of the curriculum.

Beyond the options listed, many of our students develop unexpected and creative applications of the degree to their career, finding new or deepened areas of interest within the program. Our alumni web page highlights some of their stories.

DOE Gainful Employment Disclosure MA scroll down to see the Department of Education disclosure
DOE Gainful Employment Disclosure PhD scroll down to see the Department of Education disclosure

Orientation to Gainful Employment at Pacifica (July 1, 2017)

In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education (“DOE”) 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 (2.5-3%) in comparison to the national average:
Year 2014 2015 2016
Pacifica’s Student Loan Default Rate 3.0% 2.9% 3.0%
National Average Student Loan Default Rate 13.7% 11.8% 11.3%

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 DOE 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 DOE methodology for compiling GE data is necessarily generalized because DOE 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 DOE 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 DOE 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

Like many Pacifica students, those in Mythological Studies often do not need or want to complete a graduate degree within a certain time frame. Most of them (81%) who complete the MA degree, which is PhD-related, do so between 2 and 3 years considered standard for any master’s degree by our accreditation agency. Those who pass the oral comprehensive exam and complete the dissertation required for a PhD typically take longer, with 44% completing between 5 and 6 years and 56% between 6-9 years.

These rates compare favorably with the national median completion time of 9.5 years for doctorate programs in the humanities, as reported by National Science Foundation, 2009 Survey of Earned Doctorates: 2009 Survey. 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, completion rate averages are lengthened by those students who need to re-enter the program.

Overall Time To Completion: Myth Graduates 2006–2016
Myth Graduates Number Average Time to Completion (Years)
MA/PhD Graduates (includes MA/PhD and PhD graduates) 506 4.3*

*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: Mythological Studies
  • CIP for program: 24.0103
  • This program prepares students for the following career: SOC code: 25-1199- Postsecondary Teachers, all other: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/25-1199.00

Program Level: Master/Doctorate

Program Time to Completion Parameter
Program *Standard Minimum *Standard Maximum **Myth Program Minimum***Gainful Employment **Myth Program Time Limit (Maximum)
MA/PhD 63 mos/5 yrs 96 mos/8 yrs 63 mos/5 yrs 96 mos/8 yrs

*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 Myth program is designed to be completed in 24 months for the MA degree and 63 months for the MA/PhD, as published in the 2015-2016 Pacifica catalog.
*** Department of Education Gainful Employment “Program On-time to Completion.”

MA Time to Completion 2015-2016:

Students who completed the MA program between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 within the Department of Education Gainful Employment “Program On-time to Completion” criterion of 24 months equaled approximately 0%. 81% finished the program between 2 and 3 years. 19% finished between 3 and 4 years.

Time to Completion MA Myth 2015-2016
Cost for Entire Program Completed in Minimum Expected Completion Time based on the 2017-18 Catalog
Estimated Total Tuition Estimated Costs for Books and Supplies
MA (24 mos/2 yrs) $57,800 MA (24 mos/2 yrs) $2,600

Total annual room and board charges:
Residential Fee: $6,410/Non-Residential Fee: $3,616
Annual program direct cost information
Annual Cost of Attendance

PhD time to Completion 2015-2016:
Students who completed the PhD program between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 within as defined by the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment “Program On-Time to Completion” criterion of 63 months equaled approximately 0%. An additional 44% completed the program within 5-6 years, 20% within 7 years and the remaining 36% between 8 and 9 years.

Time to Completion PhD Myth 2015-2016
Cost for Entire Program Completed in Minimum Expected Completion Time based on the 2017-2018 Catalog
Estimated Total Tuition Estimated Costs for Books and Supplies
PhD (63 mos/5 yrs) $115,600 PhD (63 mos/5 yrs) $3,300

Total annual room and board charges:

MA Debt for all graduates between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2015:

  • Of the 26 MA graduates who completed the program during this time, 73% completed with student loan debt.
  • Median cumulative debt (borrowers and non-borrowers):
  • Federal student loan debt: $93,914

PhD Debt for all graduates between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016:

  • Out of the 25 students who completed the program during this time, 80% completed with student loan debt.
  • Median cumulative debt (borrowers and non-borrowers):
  • Federal student loan debt: $74,563