For those who wish to work in the fields of teaching, research, healing, dream interpretation, or personal coaching, obtaining an interdisciplinary graduate degree focused on consciousness may be a great option. Graduate programs in consciousness allow students to integrate the fields of psychology, religion, and philosophy in order to apply this knowledge to a range of positions. Read on to find out more about degree options and program requirements.
Graduate Degree Options for Consciousness Studies
As consciousness studies is an interdisciplinary field, students who wish to focus in this area have several options. It is possible to undertake graduate study directly in consciousness studies; you can also earn the graduate degree in a cognate area while focusing studies in the area of consciousness.
Master of Arts in Consciousness and Transformative Studies
One option is to earn a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Consciousness Studies. To complete the program, students will be required to take courses in a range of fields related to consciousness, including religion and psychology. A thesis or independent research project is typically required for program completion. To apply, students should hold a bachelor's degree and submit transcripts and recommendations. A personal interview may also be required.
Ph.D. in Psychology
Another option is to earn the Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in psychology. A doctoral program in psychology focused on consciousness will typically take a holistic approach to the discipline and may integrate humanistic and transpersonal approaches to psychology. Students will usually be expected to complete a dissertation demonstrating independent research. Applicants should provide transcripts, recommendations, a writing sample, and GRE scores for admissions. Those with an earned master's degree may have preference in admissions decisions. This course of study may be especially relevant to those interested in mind/body healing.
Ph.D. in Philosophy
In addition, students may elect to pursue a Ph.D. in philosophy. In this program, students would gain a base in a wide range of philosophy areas, such as logic and ethics, and then choose courses and research topics to specialize in the area of consciousness. A qualifying paper, teaching assistantship, comprehensive examination, and dissertation may be required for program completion. To apply, students should expect to submit transcripts, GRE scores, and a recent writing sample related to the field of philosophy.
Within any of these options for graduate study, students will grow to understand some common themes that are present throughout the field of consciousness. Listed are some core courses that may be encountered across the programs.
Emotional Intelligence and Communication
During this course, students will be introduced to the basic methods of effective interpersonal communication. Listening skills, affect, and emotional scripts may be components of the course. Internal communication, such as learning how to oppose one's 'inner critic,' may also be a component of the course.
Sleep and Dreams
During this course, students will look at the scientific research that has been expanding regarding dreams. Different techniques of interpreting dreams, including those of Freud and Jung, will be considered. The religious and spiritual impact of dreaming will be analyzed.
Spiritual Practices and Direction
This course will undertake to expose students to the profession of spiritual direction. A wide variety of spiritual practices and traditions will be reviewed. Students will learn to create programming to promote spiritual awakening within their clients. Self-care for those in this field may be reviewed.
In mind-body medicine, students will begin to learn basic issues in holistic health. They will explore a wide range of alternative healing practices, such as acupuncture and homeopathy. Other therapies such as yoga may be considered as well. The science of quantum healing might be discussed.
Buddhism and Contemporary Knowledge
In understanding the Buddhist tradition, students will grow to understand the theory and practice of those holding this tradition. Consideration will be given to the impact of Buddhism on contemporary fields, such as the American environmental movement. Integration of Buddhism with other contemporary fields, including psychology and medicine, may be considered.
Earning a graduate degree related to consciousness can provide insight into self and how to effectively work with others. This interdisciplinary field promises continued development in new practices to promote healing and self-awareness.