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    Saybrook University
  Apr 25, 2024
2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
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2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum

M.A. Psychology, Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health (CSIH) Specialization

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Overview of Program

​​Students in the Department of Humanistic Psychology may opt to declare a Specialization in Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health (CSIH). Students may select many paths through this Specialization based upon their interests. While CSIH Specialization is not required to earn the degree, it will be listed on the transcript if students formally declare CSIH Specialization and complete its requirements. Because CSIH Specialization requirements are subject to change, each student's CSIH Specialization requirements are established at the time when they formally declare CSIH Specialization. 
The CSIH Specialization takes an interdisciplinary and integrative (psyche, mind, body, and spirit) approach to understanding individual, cultural, transcultural, and transpersonal perspectives on consciousness evolution, biopsychosocial-spiritual and cultural transformation, spirituality, healing, healthful and vibrant longevity, individuation, wholeness, and wellness. We believe that well-being and health need to embrace all dimensions of human life. The integrated study of consciousness, spirituality, and integrative health offers ways of understanding people’s internal and external growth, worlds, and lives as accessible through such pathways as consciousness studies, the world’s spiritual and wisdom, traditions, and healing arts, depth psychology, transpersonal psychology, energy medicine, health span and vibrant longevity, spiritual creativity, self-regulation and self-healing, hypnosis, imagery and the imaginal, the arts, dreamwork, and contemplative practices. In this context, students who wish are certainly able to focus their work on transpersonal psychology, transpersonal inquiry, and transpersonal practices.  

The study of consciousness, psychology of consciousness, and consciousness evolution offers students a unique opportunity to explore various aspects of consciousness through approaches ranging from ethnography, autoethnography, and historiography to phenomenological, heuristic and Heuristic Self-Search Inquiry, hermeneutic, and art-based explorations of work and community life, interpersonal relationships, spiritual beliefs and practices, extended health span, healthful and vibrant longevity, culture, and social action. Given the diverse array of course offerings, in conversation with our Psychology Faculty Academic Advisor, students are able to incorporate in their program plan courses that support their particular scholar-practitioner calling, interests, and career goals. The study of spirituality supports students who want to pursue work in areas such as pastoral care, spiritual guidance, spiritual mentoring, and life coaching or who want to integrate understanding of the spiritual dimension of human life into another profession or field. Faculty members work with students to focus their studies in ways that best meet their academic, professional, and personal goals. This Specialization allows students to focus on the study of interdisciplinary and integrative approaches to health, healing, health span, healthful and vibrant longevity, and well-being that have not necessarily been regarded as standard within mainstream medical and psychological care, including spiritual, wisdom, indigenous, esoteric, mystical, and Earth-honoring traditions and practices of the world. Additional alternative health perspectives, approaches, and practices relevant to psychological, psychospiritual, and physical health and vitality that are studied include meditation, mindfulness, prayer, contemplation, psychomythology, energy medicine, health span and vibrant longevity, hospice work and chaplaincy, guided imagery, clinical hypnosis, Holotropic Breathwork, dreamwork, biofeedback, Enneagram, the arts, and indigenous healing. Students may also explore spirituality and consciousness, including their role in physical, psychological, and psychospiritual resilience and vitality, extended health span and robust longevity, personal and professional relationships, organizational functioning, culture, and communities.  

Although not intended as preparation for licensure, studies in this Specialization can be applied to the work of psychologists and other licensed mental health professionals. Studies can also be applied to research, scholar-practitioner writing, health care, health span innovation and longevity studies, peace work, pastoral care, spiritual counseling, conflict resolution, education, consulting, coaching, mentoring, and/or organizational work.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Critical Thinking: Graduates will demonstrate advanced critical thinking skills, utilizing a humanistic lens to analyze complex psychological phenomena and apply theoretical frameworks to real-world contexts. 
  2. Cultural Competence: Graduates will possess cultural competence, displaying an understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures, experiences, and worldviews, and integrating this awareness into their professional practice. 
  3. Ethical Awareness: Graduates will exhibit a strong ethical awareness, adhering to ethical guidelines in their research, teaching, and practice, and demonstrating a commitment to the well-being and autonomy of individuals and communities. 
  4. Research Proficiency: Graduates will develop proficiency in conducting rigorous research informed by humanistic, existential, transpersonal, and phenomenological perspectives, employing qualitative and quantitative methodologies to advance the field of humanistic psychology. 
  5. Social Justice Advocacy: Graduates will engage in social justice advocacy, actively promoting equity, inclusivity, and social change by addressing systemic disparities, advocating for marginalized populations, and contributing to the creation of a just and sustainable society. 
  6. Applied Skills: Graduates will possess practical skills and interventions grounded in humanistic psychology, enabling them to facilitate personal growth, foster resilience, and promote well-being in various settings, including research, educational, community, and organizational contexts


M.A. in Psychology Degree with Specialization 
Any student enrolled in Psychology may opt to declare one of the Specializations offered through the HP department. Specializations at the Master’s level include: 

  • Creativity, Innovation, & Leadership (CIL) 
  • Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health (CSIH) 
  • Existential and Humanistic Psychology Specialization (EHP)  

College, Degree Program, or Specialization change 
Students who wish to change their degree program will be reevaluated by the Department Chair as to the appropriateness of admission to that new program of study. If admitted, those students will be held accountable to the degree program requirements as specified for the academic year in which such a change of enrollment is granted. For those wanting to change their specialization, the new Specialization Coordinator will review the student’s objectives for acceptance and the Department Chair approve the change. In all cases, where possible, current Saybrook completed courses will be considered for application toward the new degree program and/or specialization. Students who change degree programs will have their transfer credit evaluated again by the Department Chair of the new program. Transfer credit awarded is not guaranteed to apply to the new program. 
M.A. in Psychology to Ph.D. in Psychology 
While in the M.A. in Psychology degree program at Saybrook University, students may decide to apply to continue to the Psychology doctoral program. Once such students have completed the modified admissions process to the doctoral program, they may be accepted on the condition of completion of the M.A. degree requirements (i.e., successful completion of the thesis or project and all other degree requirements). Students that are accepted on the condition of completion of the M.A. degree may take an additional 9 credits of coursework while completing the thesis or project. If the student is admitted to the doctoral program, these 9 credits will be considered toward the Ph.D. degree. If the student does not continue to the doctoral program, those additional credits completed are awarded toward the M.A. degree. That is, admission into the doctoral program does not commence until the M.A. is complete. Such students will be required to adhere to the University catalog that is in place when they matriculate into to the doctoral program (i.e., after completion of the thesis/project), not the catalog in place at the time of their conditional acceptance into the doctoral program. In terms of transfer credits for students once they have attained the master’s degree in Psychology, a maximum of 30 credit hours may be applied toward the Ph.D. in Psychology.

Career Opportunities

​​Graduates of the M.A. Psychology program with specializations in Creativity, Innovation, & Leadership (CIL), Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health (CSIH), and Existential and Humanistic Psychology (EHP) are well-equipped for a wide range of fulfilling career opportunities. With the CIL specialization, students can pursue careers in leadership and organizational development, working as consultants, trainers, or managers in various industries, fostering innovation and creativity within teams and organizations. The CSIH specialization opens doors to careers in holistic health settings, wellness centers, or in integrative health, promoting well-being and facilitating individuals’ spiritual and conscious growth. Graduates with the EHP specialization can explore careers such as humanistic fields as psychology educators, offering a compassionate and existential approach to professional and personal development. Additionally, these specializations provide a strong foundation for further doctoral studies, enabling students to pursue advanced research or academic positions in their chosen areas of specialization. 
The M.A. Psychology program helps students develop professional skills from our experiential learning curriculum, empowering them to promote life-enhancing transformative change in individuals and community development programs. Graduates of this program will be positioned to advance their existing careers, begin a new career path, or to continue their education in a Ph.D. Psychology program. With a strong foundation in psychology, graduates may find work as researchers, teachers, consultants, mediators, and many other career paths. 
Our M.A. Psychology program is intended for professionals who wish to pursue nonclinical careers or expand on their existing licenses. This program is not designed to prepare graduates to qualify for clinical licensure or certification.​ 

Program Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Degree Requirements: Bachelor’s degree 
At a minimum, you must have received, or anticipate receiving prior to the start of the semester you are applying into, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university before applying for a master’s degree at Saybrook. 
The minimum expected grade point average (GPA) requirement is 3.0 from the last degree-granting institution, though exceptions may be made. 
Transfer Credit 
Transfer credits based on equivalent graduate courses taken at another regionally accredited institution in the same or similar discipline where the student received a grade of B or better may be transferred and will reduce the number of course credits required to be completed at Saybrook. Allowable transfer credits must be suitable for transfer to the intended degree as determined by the registrar and the department chair. Transfer course credits do not affect the minimum number of credits required for the degree. 
Transfer credit to be applied toward required electives may include up to 6 transfer credits completed during a graduate degree program from an accredited university, non-degree Saybrook certificate credits, Saybrook CE credits, or other non-degree credits taken at Saybrook University, within the last seven years.

University Learning Experience

Virtual Learning Experience (VLE) - Required even falls; spring optional, Community Learning Experience (CLE) - Optional

All new students begin their studies with a Welcome Week. Welcome Week activities, including a degree program orientation, are held online during the week ahead of the start of the fall and spring semesters. Participation is strongly encouraged.

Starting with the fall 2022-2023 academic year, all psychology students will be required to attend only the five-day fall VLE each academic year. Although you may complete most of your courses through distance learning, all our psychology degree programs have residential requirements. Virtual Learning Experience (VLEs) are academic requirements, and their completion is important for your successful academic progress: they allow you to meet with faculty and co-learners in a stimulating and supportive face-to-face environment. Our VLEs are an important part of your learning experience as they nurture intellectual and relational creativity, enrich the educational environment, and foster faculty and peer interactions. There are courses being launched, workshops, independent learning activities, peer learning opportunities, community events, and other hands-on experiences intended to nurture professional development, skill building, and transformative change.
M.A. students are required to attend until formal enrollment in either master thesis or project.


​​The program requires a total of 33-36 earned credits, which may vary based on the specialization chosen. These credits encompass a rigorous curriculum that includes core courses, specialized coursework in the chosen area of focus, research methodology and analysis, and the completion of a capstone project or thesis. Through a combination of theoretical exploration, experiential learning, and research opportunities, students gain the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary for success in their future careers or further doctoral studies. The credit units and hours invested in the M.A. degree ensure that students receive a comprehensive and well-rounded education, empowering them to make significant contributions to the field of psychology.​ 

Mode of Delivery

At Saybrook University, we are committed to providing a dynamic and flexible online learning experience that combines both asynchronous and synchronous delivery methods. Our M.A. Psychology program with specializations in Creativity, Innovation, & Leadership (CIL), Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health (CSIH), and Existential and Humanistic Psychology (EHP) embraces the advantages of online education, allowing students to pursue their studies at their own pace while also fostering meaningful real-time interactions. 
Through our asynchronous delivery, students have access to a user-friendly online platform where they can engage with course materials, lectures, and multimedia resources at a time that suits their schedule. This flexibility empowers students to balance their studies with other commitments, ensuring an optimal learning experience. They can participate in discussions, complete assignments, and collaborate with fellow students, all while benefiting from the expertise of our dedicated faculty who provide timely feedback and guidance. 
In addition to asynchronous learning, our program incorporates synchronous elements to foster a sense of community and enhance real-time engagement. Through virtual classrooms, students have the opportunity to participate in live lectures, interactive discussions, and group activities led by faculty members. These synchronous sessions provide valuable opportunities for students to connect, ask questions, share ideas, and engage in collaborative learning experiences. Our virtual classrooms utilize video conferencing and collaboration tools to simulate the benefits of face-to-face interaction, ensuring an immersive and interactive learning environment. 
The combination of asynchronous and synchronous delivery methods allows us to provide a well-rounded and comprehensive online learning experience. Students benefit from the flexibility of self-paced study, while also experiencing the richness of real-time interactions and discussions with faculty and peers. This blended approach cultivates a supportive and interactive community, enabling students to develop critical thinking skills, engage in meaningful discourse, and forge lasting connections within their chosen specialization. ​ 

Length of Program

​​The degree completion time for a full-time student in the M.A. Psychology program following the default course sequence will range from 2 - 3 years and Earned Credits from: 33-36.​ 

Required Courses

The course requirements listed below are for students enrolled in the Psychology degree program.

The charts below will show you the basic academic requirements for the M.A. in Psychology degree with Consciousness, Spirituality, and Integrative Health (CSIH) Specialization.

Research Course Sequence (taken in order):

Core Ethics Course (select 1 of the following courses):

Core CSIH Specialization Courses:

CSIH Specialization Electives: 3 Credit(s)

Other Electives: 6 Credit(s)

Upon Completion of all required courses:

Total: 33-36 Credits *

*Saybrook transcript must reflect a minimum of 33 completed post-baccalaureate credits of new learning for the MA.

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