Saybrook University

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Saybrook University
Former name
Humanistic Psychology Institute, Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center
TypePrivate; Non-profit; Graduate
AffiliationTCS Education System
PresidentNathan Long, Ed.D.
Academic staff
Students622 (Fall 2016)
Location, ,
United States
Saybrook University Logo.png

Coordinates: 37°47′54″N 122°24′00″W / 37.7984°N 122.4001°W / 37.7984; -122.4001[1]

Saybrook University is a private graduate university in Pasadena, California. It was founded in 1971 by Eleanor Camp Criswell[2] and others. It offers postgraduate education with a focus on humanistic psychology. It features low residency, master's and doctoral degrees and professional certification programs. The university is regionally accredited by the Senior Colleges and Universities Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).[3][4] The university is classified as a Research Doctoral: Humanities/social sciences-dominant institution by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.[5] As of 2016 the university had 622 students enrolled.[6][7] The university reports 222 full time and part time academic faculty.[8]


Eleanor Camp Criswell, along with Rollo May, Clark Moustakas, and James Bugental, founded the Humanistic Psychology Institute at California State University, Sonoma in 1971.[6][9][10] Under the leadership of Criswell and philosopher Thomas Louis Hanna (1928-1990) the school began offering graduate courses in humanistic psychology.[11]

Later on it was renamed the Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center.[6]

Author Michael Mayer recalls that the Saybrook name derives from Old Saybrook, Connecticut, where during a conference in 1964 several psychologists, including May, expressed a desire "to create a school that embodied the values of the 'human growth and potential movement' and to educate practitioner-scholars in the methods and philosophies of human-centered psychotherapy".[12] In 2009, the school was renamed Saybrook University.[6] The university became affiliated with the shared services organization TCS Education System in 2014 to provide administrative and financial services, so that the school could focus on teaching and research.[13][14] The same year, the administrative offices of the school moved from San Francisco to Oakland, California.[15] The administrative offices now are located in Pasadena, California.


The university aims to provide "rigorous graduate education that inspires transformational change in individuals, organizations, and communities, toward a just, humane, and sustainable world."[16] It offers programs in Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies (non-clinical), Clinical Psychology, Psychophysiology, Mind-Body Medicine, Leadership and Management, Counseling, Integrative Wellness Coaching, Transformative Social Change, and Integrative and Functional Nutrition.

The school's president is Nathan Long[17]


The university awards Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees as well as certificates. These programs are housed in colleges and schools:[18]

  • College of Social Sciences
    • Department of Humanistic and Clinical Psychology
    • Department of Counseling
    • Department of Leadership and Management
    • Department of Transformative Social Change
    • Department of Business Administration
  • College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences
    • Department of Integrative Wellness Coaching
    • Department of Integrative and Functional Nutrition
    • Department of Applied Psychophysiology
    • Department of Mind-Body Medicine


Based on a survey of academic programs, US News & World Report ranked Saybrook's psychology program in the bottom quartile of its 2013 ranking of graduate psychology programs. The precise rankings in this quartile are not published.[19][20] The United States National Research Council rankings (NRC) ranked Saybrook 173/174 out of 185 in its 2014 rankings of 185 psychology PhD programs.[21]



Saybrook's M.A. in counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP),[22] however the remainder of its clinical mental health programs are not accredited by any major national accrediting body or major professional organizations' accrediting bodies like the American Psychological Association (APA) (which does not accredit distance-learning programs),[23] the Council for Accrediting of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). This can cause problems with licensure or employment in certain agencies.[24][25]


Saybrook University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), a regional accrediting agency recognized by the US Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and by the State of California.[26]


Saybrook has authority to operate in the State of California by way of an exemption granted by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education pursuant to California Education Code section 94874(i).[26]

Saybrook has registered in Pennsylvania with the Bureau of Postsecondary and Adult Education as an out-of-state distance education provider to enroll residents of Pennsylvania in its online programs.[26]

Saybrook has a Certificate of Authorization from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer degrees or courses leading to degrees at a physical location in Texas.[26]

Saybrook has met the requirements of Utah Code Ann. § 13-34a-203 to be a registered postsecondary school legally authorized by the State of Utah.[26]

Saybrook is authorized by the Washington Student Achievement Council and meets the requirements and minimum educational standards established for degree-granting institutions under the Degree-Granting Institutions Act.[26]

Student demographics[edit]

Fall 2020 Enrollment - Ethnicity[7]
Program Total Students International Latinx/Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native Asian Black/African American White Two or More Races Not Reported
Certificates 6 0% 0% 0% 16.7% 0% 83.3% 0% 0%
Master's 143 0% 11.3% 2.5% 1.8% 15.6% 58.8% 3.8% 6.9%
Doctoral 524 1.6% 12% 0.6% 4.5% 17.1% 48.3% 7.1% 8.2%
Total 785 1.3% 11.7% 0.8% 4.2% 16.7% 50.7% 6.4% 7.2%
Fall 2020 Enrollment - Gender[7]
Program Male Female Non Binary
Certificates 2 4 0
Master's 25 134 1
Doctoral 122 496 1
Total 149 (19%) 634 (80.8%) 2 (.3%)

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable faculty include Gary S. Metcalf at the School of Organizational Leadership and Transformation[27] and author Chip Conley.[17]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Saybrook Graduate School and Research Center
  2. ^ Eleanor Camp Criswell (born May 12, 1938) - After her marriage to philosopher Thomas Louis Hanna (November 21, 1928 - July 29, 1990) on June 25, 1974, she began being referred to as Eleanor Criswell Hanna.
  3. ^ "Statement of Accreditation Status: Saybrook University" WASC Senior College and University Commission. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  4. ^ "About WASC Senior" WASC Senior College and University Commission. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Carnegie Classifications | Institution Lookup". Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  6. ^ a b c d Margaret Bailey, Greg Dewey (January 2014) "Report on the Structural Change Visit: Saybrook University In the case of the Change of Control with TCS Education System". Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Saybrook University Student Achievement Data 2017" (PDF). Saybrook University. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "College Navigator - Saybrook University". Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  9. ^ "Alumni Support Saybrook's Golden Heritage - Saybrook University". Saybrook University. 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2016-11-15.
  10. ^ Michael Price (November 2011). "Searching for meaning". American Psychological Association. Retrieved 3 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Saybrook: Historical Origins". 2007-10-31. Archived from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  12. ^ Mayer, Michael (12 June 2012). The Path of a Reluctant Metaphysician. The Body Mind Healing Center. p. 99. ISBN 978-0983966500.
  13. ^ Staff Writer (October 23, 2013). "TCS Education System and Saybrook University Join Forces". Education Letter. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  14. ^ Staff Writer (March 19, 2014). "Accreditors Approve Saybrook University Alliance with TCS Education System". Education Business Weekly. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  15. ^ "We've moved! - Saybrook Forum". Retrieved 2014-11-09.
  16. ^ "Mission and Values". Saybrook University. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  17. ^ a b Staff Writer (January 18, 2012). "Saybrook University Appoints Chip Conley Inaugural Scholar-Practitioner in Residence". Education Letter. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
  18. ^ "College of Social Sciences". Saybrook University Catalog. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  19. ^ "Best Psychology Programs | Top Psychology Schools | US News Best Graduate Schools", Psychology, page 10. US News & World Report. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  20. ^ "What does it mean when a school is marked as Rank Not Published or Unranked?" Archived 2014-04-23 at the Wayback Machine US News FAQ. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
  21. ^ "NRC Ranking of U.S. Psychology Ph.D. Program". Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Online Education: Graduate Programs". Retrieved 2018-10-19.
  24. ^ "California Psychology Schools That Were Approved But Not Accredited Between 1991 and 2016". Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  25. ^ "Will Attending an Unaccredited Degree Program Impact My Employment Prospects?". 2017-05-30. Retrieved 2018-09-01.
  26. ^ a b c d e f "Accreditation and Authorizations". Saybrook University Catalog. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  27. ^ "Saybrook University Faculty Directory: K". Saybrook University. Retrieved 4 July 2014.

External links[edit]