Gainful Employment – Depth Psychology

A central tenet of purpose in Depth Psychology is to extend the theories and practices of psychology beyond the confines of the clinical consulting room, and to reach into the culture and community in new and innovative ways. This is apparent in the various curricula of our specialties, but is also evident in the lives of our students, before, during and after their studies. In addition to a natural affiliation with traditional professions such as psychotherapy and organizational consultation, we attract students with very diverse professional goals.

Our students take their Pacifica studies into medical practice, nursing, and health administration, into law, public policy, urban, regional and community planning, community organizing, mediation, program evaluation, foundation work, arts and entertainment, writing and publishing.

Our graduates are finding work at all levels of higher education, from community college to graduate school, including tenure track positions at public and private institutions. Many of our students enter their coursework as a way of deepening and renewing their commitments to already established professions, again in a wide variety of pursuits. The education they obtain at Pacifica enhances new opportunities as well as their enjoyment of work in which they already are engaged.

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.

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

Like many Pacifica students, those in the Depth Psychology program often do not need or want to complete a graduate degree within a certain time frame. Most of the students (83%) who graduated in 2017-2019 completed the MA degree, which is PhD-related, within 2-3 year period considered standard for any master’s degree by our accreditation agency.Those who pass the oral comprehensive exam and complete the dissertation according to the rigorous PhD requirements typically take longer, averaging 5 years, with 21% completing the degree between 4 and 5 years. As a graduate degree in psychology with a unique emphasis, these rates are comparable with the national median completion time of 9.5 years for doctorate programs in the humanities and 7.7 years in the social sciences, 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: Depth Graduates 2008–2018
Depth Graduates Number Average Time to Completion (Years)
MA Graduates 380 2.4*
PhD Graduates 268 6.4*

*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: Depth Psychology
CIP for program: 42.9999
This program prepares students for the following career: SOC code: 19-3039- Psychologists, all other:
SOC code: 25-1066- Psychology Teachers, postsecondary

Program Level: Master/Doctorate
Program Time to Completion Parameter

Program *Standard Minimum *Standard Maximum **Depth Program Minimum***Gainful Employment **Depth Program Time Limit (Maximum)
MA/PhD 60 mos 96 mos 63 mos 96 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 Depth program is designed to be completed in 24 months for the MA degree and 63 months for the MA/PhD, as published in the 2019-2020 Pacifica catalog.
*** Department of Education Gainful Employment “Program On-time to Completion.”

MA Time to Completion 2017-2018:
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 equaled approximately 0%. 83% completed the program in 2-3 years, 7% finishing between 3-4 years, 7% finishing between 4-5 years, and 2% finishing in more than 5 years.

Time to Completion MA Depth 2017-2018
Cost for Entire Program Completed in Minimum Expected Completion Time based on the 2018-2019 Catalog
Estimated Total Tuition Estimated Costs for Books and Supplies
MA (24 mos) $59,000 MA (24 mos) $2,230

Total annual room and board charges:

  • Residential Fee for Depth Specialization in Community Psychology, Liberation, Indigenous Pyschology $5,670/Non-Residential Fee: $3,240
  • Residential Fee for Depth Specialization in Jungian and Archetypal Studies: $3,540/Non-Residential Fee: $1,920
  • Residential Fee for Depth Specialization in Somatic Studies: $5,670/Non-Residential Fee: $3,240
  • Annual program direct cost information
  • Annual Cost of Attendance

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

  • Of the MA graduates who completed the program during this time, 66% completed with student loan debt.
  • Median cumulative debt: $90,076

PhD time to Completion 2017-2018:
Students who completed the PhD program between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 within the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment “Program On-time to Completion” criterion of 63 months equaled approximately 15%. 21% completed the program within 5 and 6 years, and 64% in between 6 and 9 years.

Time to Completion MA/PHD Depth 2017-2018
Cost for Entire Program Completed in Minimum Expected Completion Time based on the 2018-19 Catalog
Estimated Total Tuition Estimated Costs for Books and Supplies
PhD (63 mos) $118,000 PhD (63 mos) $3,311

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

  • For programs greater than 4 years, the number of students (both full-time and part-time) who began enrollment in the program is not required.