California Institute of Integral Studies

The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) is an accredited university in San Francisco (USA) that strives to embody spirit, intellect and wisdom in service to individuals, communities and the earth. CIIS expands the boundaries of traditional degree programs with transdisciplinary, cross-cultural and applied studies utilizing face-to-face, hybrid and online pedagogical approaches. Offering a personal learning environment and supportive community, CIIS provides an excellent multifaceted education for people committed to transforming themselves, others and the world.

Integral studies are a response to the growing need to synthesize the fragmentary aspects of contemporary thought and culture into a meaningful whole. The integral outlook, envisioned by the founders of CIIS as embodying a creative synthesis of the highest values of East and West, has grown to encompass the study of traditions and experience from around the globe. Integral studies at CIIS encompass all aspects of learning: the intellectual, the experiential and the applied.

To address the demand for trained psychotherapists to work in the expanding field of psychedelic studies, CIIS created the Center for Psychedelic Therapies and Research in 2015 ( The Center is directed by clinical psychologist Dr. Janis Phelps, who is also a professor in the East-West Psychology program.

The Center offers a series of evening lectures, weekend workshops, webinars, and films shown at CIIS and online. The goal of the Center's Certificate in Psychedelic-Assisted Therapies and Research is to invite cohorts of licensed psychotherapists and medical professionals to become psychedelic researchers and practitioners in legal clinical studies.

The certificate program trained over 220 licensed and ordained professionals from 2016 to 2019. The next certificate course will be begin in March 2020. Dr. Phelps has spoken at national and international conferences about this innovative, first of its kind postgraduate certification program.

More than a dozen top psychedelic researchers —including Dr. Bill Richards (Johns Hopkins University), Dr. Charles Grob (University of California, Los Angeles), and Michael and Annie Mithoefer, lead researchers for the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)— have partnered with the Center to teach in the certificate program. 

In 2019, the training program received a grant from the Threshold Foundation to support our application to the FDA for approval of a training protocol. If approved, our trainees will receive MDMA and psilocybin and practice being facilitators for these sessions under clinical supervision.