May 27, 2022  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
    
2020-2021 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Psychology, Depth Psychology Emphasis, M.A.


This program is going on hiatus for 2020-21, and will not be accepting admissions.  For continuing students, please see the following description.

The Psychology Department, working in conjunction with the School of Extended and International Education, offers a Masters of Arts in Psychology with a depth psychology emphasis. This Special Sessions program is a partnership between the School of Social Sciences and the School of Extended & International Education (SEIE). Academic criteria for the program are set by the department and are determined in accordance with all applicable SSU and CSU policies. As a tuition, self-supported program, unique and separate fees are charged on a per-unit basis for all courses required for this program. These fees are set annually by the SSU President. Information about fees, financial aid and scholarships are available through SEIE. Degrees are awarded by the School of Social Sciences.

Curriculum in Depth Psychology

The curriculum offers a strong, supportive small-group learning environment within a structured 36-unit two-year curriculum. In the first year, the 12-15 students take four foundational courses.

The Theories course explores the basic concepts of Jungian psychology, which is an in-depth language for understanding psychological development and creative expression. The Methods and Applications course teaches the techniques of depth inquiry, which are methods for accessing, exploring and understanding the hidden parts of the self. This is accomplished through intensive work with different symbolic forms, such as dreams, art, active imagination, sandplay, movement, myth, nature, and the body. The Cross-Cultural Mythology and Symbolism course focuses on common archetypal motifs across cultures as expressed in image, myth, fairy tale, ritual, rites of passage, and indigenous practices. The Research Methods course explores depth inquiry methodologies and develops skills in reviewing the literature, conducting a study, and interpreting the findings.

In the second year, students develop a research proposal for their culminating Master’s requirement and begin implementing their study in the fall Culminating Paper Tutorial. In the spring students complete their study and prepare for the public presentation of their work in the Article Evening in May. Students have a choice of completing an article of publishable quality or a master’s thesis focused on an area of passionate interest. Students choose seminars in depth psychology oriented around student interests. Past seminars have explored individuation; earth-based rites of passage; expressive arts; trauma; transformational teaching; neuropsychology; typology; and object relations.

The second year internship offers students community work experience in their field of interest, such as teaching, the arts, mental health, ecopsychology, and rights rites of passage. Students may apply to teach an undergraduate course in their field of expertise in the SSU Psychology Department as an internship. Past student- taught courses include cross-cultural rites of passage; myth and narrative; and indigenous wisdom. The Program coordinator assists students in developing curriculum and supervises the teaching internship.

Students also have the option, at additional expense, of enrolling in University courses that meet their specific learning needs. After completion of coursework, university policy requires students in master’s programs to maintain continuous enrolment until completion of the M.A. program. A maximum of 10 academic units may be taken post-coursework. Students may sign up for 3 semesters of PSY 578, Project Continuation, and then renew thesis units with 3 units of PSY 599, Masters Thesis, at the current tuition rate. There is a 7-year limit on coursework for the M.A.

The Master’s program sponsors a monthly Saturday lecture series open to the public that invites noted authors, therapists, and practitioners to come and discuss their work. Past presentations have included discussions of emotion and the archetypal imagination; spirituality; archetypal masculine and feminine; sandplay case studies; images of enlightenment; and psychological initiation.

Program of Study


* Students have the option to register for 1-3 semesters of Project Continuation following their two years of coursework in order to complete their article or master’s thesis.

Year One


Year Two


Year Three and Post-Coursework (optional)*


Prerequisites for Admission


Course prerequisites are required for admission and are designed to give students a foundation in the field of psychology and in symbolic exploration. The criteria for application and acceptance into the program are the following:

  1. B.A. or B.S. from an accredited institution;
  2. Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 units of coursework;
  3. Competency in written and oral expression, as demonstrated by the coherence of the personal statement and oral interview;
  4. Emotional maturity, as demonstrated in the personal written statement, life experiences, and oral interview;
  5. Four area prerequisites: child, adult or lifespan development; abnormal/psychopathology; personality; and research methods. A maximum of 9 units may be lower division courses completed at a Community College;
  6. Readiness for graduate work, as evidenced through three (3) letters of recommendation; and
  7. Self-Reflectiveness, as evidenced in the discussion of symbolic work.

Fees and Financial Aid


Fees are set by the president in consultation with the School of Extended and International Education. Because of the self-support nature of the program, students are eligible for University and federal financial aid in the shape of scholarships, grants and loans, but are not eligible for state-funded financial awards.

Program Information


For information about the program, visit the website www.sonoma.edu/depth. Applications are online thought he Cal State Apply process at http://web.sonoma.edu/exed/admissions