California Institute of Integral Studies

School of Consciousness and Transformation

Asian Philosophies and Cultures


1453 Mission Street

San Francisco, CA 94103

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

MA in Asian Philosophies and Cultures, PhD in Asian Philosophies and Cultures

Format: Campus

Program Description:

In today's diverse and interrelated world, the Asian Philosophies and Cultures Program (APC) combines both classical and modern approaches to the study of Asian religious and philosophical traditions while addressing contemporary social issues.

A distinctive and progressive academic model, it is based on the principle that spiritual transformation contributes to academic excellence. Within an integrative framework, you can choose to study Hinduism, Buddhism or Chinese philosophy. Our students examine sacred texts, writings and historical contexts. They explore cross-cultural hermeneutics, traditional religious practices and disciplines, Asian attitudes towards well-being, and Asian philosophical perspectives on ecology.

The Asian Philosophies and Cultures (APC) Master's Program offers an introductory study into the spiritual and philosophical traditions of South and Southeast Asia, China, and the Himalayan regions

As a Doctorate student, you can choose to emphasize Buddhism, Chinese philosophy, Hinduism or comparative studies. Along with in-depth academic studies, students are also encouraged to deepen their knowledge by experiential involvement in spiritual practices and religious traditions.

The faculty’s expertise brings out the deeper meanings of source texts in Sanskrit, Pali, Tibetan, and Classical Chinese. The program recognizes that spiritual practice strengthens the quality of your scholarship. The program’s San Francisco Bay Area location provides you with ready access to leading teachers and practitioners in Asian traditions.

Research resources include the CIIS Laurence S. Rockefeller Library and the UC Berkeley’s renowned South Asian collection. PhD graduates are university faculty and administrators, and authors and activists in the U.S. and Asia. MA graduates pursue careers as scholars, authors, organizational consultants, and social/political activists.

Through advanced study of major Eastern religious and philosophical traditions, students encounter world traditions and cultivate an integrative understanding of the personal and the social, the intellectual and the spiritual, the historical, and the contemporary.

CIIS founder Haridas Chaudhuri arrived in the United States at a time when the “Global Village” was still imminent. A visionary, Dr. Chaudhuri believed that education was the best vehicle for informing the new culture that would evolve. Dr. Chaudhuri, as a philosopher and student of the 20th century Indian spiritual master Sri Aurobindo, ceaselessly promoted in teaching and writing the full integration of the human being-the intellect, emotions, personality, and the spirit-to achieve the wholeness of which we are each capable. The CIIS commitment to integral education, therefore, challenges students to deepen their own perspectives on the self and the world through inquiry, research, reflection, and experiential learning.


Accredited by: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100 Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 748-9001 Fax: (510) 748-9797 Email:

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

# of Credits Required: MA -36 units; PhD-36

Average Cost per Credit (Graduate): 1162 USD

In State Tuition (per year): 19801 USD

Out State Tuition (per year): 19801 USD

Classification: Master's College or University I

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 1,000-2,999

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