Sofia University (California)

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Sofia University
Motto Transformative Transpersonal Education Since 1975
Established 1975
Type For-profit college
President Liz Li
Location Palo Alto, California, United States
37°25′51″N 122°06′33″W / 37.43075°N 122.10930°W / 37.43075; -122.10930

Sofia University, formerly known as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP), is an accredited private university founded by Robert Frager and James Fadiman in 1975.[1] It is the first college program in the United States devoted to the study to transpersonal psychology. The institution is located in Palo Alto, California, United States. As of July 1, 2014, the president is Liz Li.[2]

Institute of Transpersonal Psychology[edit]

During its formative period the institution was known as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP). According to sources, 410 students was enrolled in the 2002 fall semester. This included students enrolled in the institute's online program. The institute offered programs in psychology and counseling with an emphasis on both traditional and non-traditional psychological and spiritual models of instruction.[1]

Change of name and academic profile[edit]

In 2012 the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology announced that it was changing its name to Sofia University, a change that included a new profile in the academic landscape with an expanded graduate program.[3]

Academic program[edit]

The university's academic emphasis is transpersonal psychology.[4][3][5][6][7]Note a The university is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges[6] and comprises the Graduate School of Transpersonal Studies, the Graduate School of Clinical and Spiritual Psychology, and the School of Undergraduate Studies. The graduate school curricula includes six main areas of inquiry: the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and creative aspects of life.[2] For further personal development, all students studying on-campus receive instruction in aikido, a Japanese martial art.

The following degrees are offered at Sofia University:

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Transpersonal Psychology
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (Ph.D.) with a concentration in transpersonal psychology
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology
Master of Arts in Transpersonal Psychology
Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Master of Arts in Spiritual Guidance
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts
Certificate in Transpersonal Studies
Certificate in Women’s Spirituality

Pending the approval of The Accrediting Commission for Schools, WASC, Sofia is preparing to offer a Master of Arts in Education and a Masters in Business Administration.

Sofia University offers programs in a hybrid: face to face and online or on-campus formats so students can choose what best suits their needs and lifestyles.


a.^ New York Times correction as of August 17, 2012, states that the original article (Otterman, 2012), in some editions, misidentified Sofia University/Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto (California) with the Institute for Transpersonal Studies in Santa Cruz (California).[8]


  1. ^ a b PR Newswire Staff. Men's Wearhouse Founder George Zimmer to Receive Honorary Doctorate From the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. PR Newswire [New York] 08 May 2003: 1.
  2. ^ a b PRWeb. Sofia University Grads Showcase Entrepreneurial Toolbox Project. Palo Alto, California (PRWEB) December 09, 2014
  3. ^ a b Press release: "Institute of Transpersonal Psychology Becomes Sofia University. New Name Brings Broader Mission, Expanded Campus and New Programs". Palo Alto, CA (PRWEB), published online July 16, 2012
  4. ^ Otterman, Sharon. "Merging Spirituality and Clinical Psychology at Columbia". New York Times, published online August 9, 2012
  5. ^ PRWeb. "Sofia University to Offer Bachelor of Arts Degree Completion Programs". Palo Alto, Calif. (PRWEB) January 28, 2013
  6. ^ a b PRWeb. "Founder Bob Frager Returns to Sofia University". San Francisco Chronicle, published online July 15, 2014.
  7. ^ McCutchan. News and Notes. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 39 (2012) 465–470
  8. ^ New York Times staff. Corrections. New York Times, Published online August 17, 2012.

External links[edit]