Depth Psychology: MA Program

Program Coordinator

Laurel McCabe, Ph.D.
Professor, Psychology Department
Stevenson Hall 3087
(707) 664-2130 | Fax (707) 664-3113


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Curriculum in Depth Psychology

The M.A. in Psychology, Depth Psychology emphasis curriculum offers a strong, supportive small-group learning environment within a structured 36-unit two-year curriculum. Students take 9 units of coursework each semester of the 2-year program. In the first year, the 12-15 students take three year-long foundational courses. In the second year, students take a research methods course, complete an internship, take seminars in depth psychology topics, and write a culminating paper that is submitted for publication.

The curriculum develops these competencies in the students:

Knowledge base in depth psychology
Depth inquiry practices and skills
Self-knowledge and self-reflection
Cultural reflection
Applied learning
Cultural engagement

Analytical skills
Fluency in verbal and written communication
Use of information resources

Most students register for 1 - 3 semesters of Project Continuation following their two years of coursework. This allows time to complete the publishable article or Master's thesis. Project Continuation provides institutional affiliation; it is not full-time status for financial aid purposes. If the article or thesis is not complete after 3 semesters of Project Continuation, students must renew 3 units of thesis units at the current tuition unit fee.

Psychology Department 2016-17 Catalog Description and Courses


Year 1

  • Psychology 511 Theories of Depth Psychology (6 units)
  • Psychology 542 Methods and Applications of Depth Psychology (6 units)
  • Psychology 543 Cross-Cultural Mythology and Symbolism (6 units)

Year 2

  • Psychology 575 Research Methods (3 units)
  • Psychology 576 Seminar in Depth Psychology (9 units total)
  • Psychology 581 Internship (3 units)
  • Psychology 597 Culminating Paper Tutorial (3 units)

Year 3 & Post-Coursework (optional, in consultation with the Program Coordinator)

  • Psy 515, Psychological Writing
  • Psy 571, Practicum
  • Psy 578, Project Continuation (1 unit / semester, 3 semester limit)
  • Psy 582, Teaching College Psychology
  • Psy 583 Graduate Research Assistant
  • Psy 584 Graduate Teaching Assistant (C/NC)
  • Psy 595 Special Studies (C/NC)
  • Psy 599, Masters Thesis (3 units, renewal of registration following 3 semesters of Project Continuation)

Year 1

  • Psychology 511, Theories of Depth Psychology, explores the basic concepts of Jungian psychology. Students read primary sources from Jung's work, as well as contemporary scholars and practitioners, such as Edinger and Hillman. This course provides the foundational language for understanding in depth the movements of the psyche. (3 units)
  • Psychology 542, Methods and Applications of Depth Psychology, teaches the techniques of depth inquiry, methods for accessing, exploring, and understanding the hidden parts of the self. The two-semester sequence surveys the methods and applications used in depth psychological work. Students learn how the symbol contains, mediates, and expresses personal experience. Intensive work with different art forms, dreams, myth, meditation, active imagination, sandplay, and the body. Students learn conceptual approaches for interpreting symbolic experience. Theory and practice are integrated throughout the course. (3 units)
  • Psychology 543, Cross-Cultural Mythology and Symbolism, focuses on common archetypal motifs across cultures, as expressed in myths, fairy tales, folklore, and symbols. The two-semester sequence surveys selected mythological, religious, artistic, and cultural symbolic motifs and examines their expression in cultures throughout the world. Earth-based healing traditions and the council process are included. Readings are drawn from depth psychology, mythology, folklore, anthropology, eco-psychology, religion, and art history. (3 units)


Year 2

  • Psychology 575, Research Methods, continues the exploration of depth inquiry methodologies as it introduces the students to qualitative, depth-oriented methods that explore subjective experience. This course builds on the skills learned in Year 1's Methods and Applications class. Students learn techniques in depth inquiry, interviewing, and organic inquiry, and design an individual research study. (2-3 units)
  • Psychology 576, Seminar in Depth Psychology, provides seminars in topics of the students' choosing. Past seminars have included the topics of Jungian psychology and neuroscience; Greek and Roman mythology; Hindu mythology; psyche and culture; object relations; typology; transformational teaching; alchemy and individuation; the dark feminine; masculine soul; mythos and soul; authentic movement; and advanced dreamwork. (2-3 units fall, 5 units spring)
  • Psychology 581, Internship, offers students100 hours of community work experience in their field of interest. Community internships may involve work in the arts, teaching, mental health, ecopsychology, rites of passage work, sandplay, and other areas. Students may choose to teach an undergraduate course in their field of expertise in Sonoma State's Psychology Department. Past student-taught courses have included the topics of cross-cultural rites of passage; the archetypal feminine; Jung and tarot; and myth and narrative. The Program Coordinator assists students in developing curriculum and supervises the internship teaching experience. (3 units fall)
  • Psychology 597, Culminating Paper Tutorial, provides guidance and feedback in the process of writing a publishable article in the student's field of expertise. Students choose a topic of passionate interest, design an inquiry and carry it out, or outline a path of inquiry and conduct the necessary research. Articles are submitted to a targeted journal for publication. (3 units spring)
  • Psychology 582, Teaching College Psychology (1-4 units, optional)
  • Psychology 583, Graduate Research Assistant (1-4 units, optional)
  • Psychology 584, Graduate Teaching Assistant (1-4 units, optional)
  • Students also have the option, at additional expense, of enrolling in University courses that meet their specific learning needs.

Year 3 Post-Coursework (optional)

  • Psychology 578, Project Continuation (1 unit, 3 semester limit)
  • Psychology 599, Masters Thesis (3 units, thesis renewal following Project Continuation)

The Culminating Paper

The culminating paper provides the opportunity for passionate inquiry into an area of deep interest to the student. Students may use depth inquiry methods involving dreamwork, active imagination, art, nature, sacred practices, case studies, and interviewing, to explore their area of passionate concern. The culminating paper may proceed from the internship work completed in the fall semester. Students design a study or line of inquiry, conduct the inquiry, write the paper, and after review and approval by the student's faculty committee, submit it to a targeted journal for publication.

The culminating paper may involve original research, personal process work, artistic inquiry, curriculum development and teaching, practical applications, and creative artistic productions.

An end-of-year Article Evening in mid-May celebrates the culminating work of the students. The Article Evening is a public event in which students discuss their work and share their experience.

Academic Standards

Students must maintain minimum course grades at the B level to remain in the Master's program. First year students must complete all Incompletes in order to be advanced to the second year.

For further information on the University's academic disqualification policy see the University policy on Academic Probation and Disqualification.


Public Programs in Depth Psychology

The M.A. in Psychology, Depth Psychology concentration sponsors a monthly Public Programs in Depth Psychology lecture series which invites noted authors, Jungian analysts, therapists, and practitioners to come and discuss their work. Psychoterhapists, clinical psychologists, nurses, interns and mental health professionals may attend these lectures for Continuing Education units (registration for CEUs is at the door of the event). Past presentations have included discussions of emotion and the archetypal imagination; animal imagery in dreams; the Kabalah; images of enlightenment; dreams and violence; and long-term work with the psyche.

Sandplay Room

Sandplay is a symbolic modality that allows one to give form to the psyche through the placement of objects in sand. The Program has a sandtray room in Stevenson Hall with three sandtrays: two dry and one wet.


James L. Jarrett Award

The Depth Psychology concentration honors students who present at national and international conferences with the James L. Jarrett Award. This prize recognizes students who enter into the collegial dialogue with idea, warmth, and spirit. It's named in honor of James L. Jarrett, an Emeritus Professor of Education at UC Berkeley, a philosopher and inspired teacher of Jungian psychology, and the editor of Nietzsche's Zarathustra: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1934-1939.

Class Schedule

Classes are held Thursday evenings, all day Fridays, and some Saturdays. First-year students may also have one class which meets Thursday afternoon. In addition, there are first-year group meetings, monthly Public Programs in Depth Psychology lectures, an annual Career Day to explore livelihood in the field of depth psychology, occasional all-program meetings, and twice-yearly potlucks.

Academic Calendar

The Depth Psychology Program follows the University´s academic calendar. Classes generally begin the third week of August with an opening Orientation for all students and faculty, and continue to early December. Spring classes begin in mid-January and continue until early May. There are no Depth Psychology graduate classes held during the summer.


Information Meeting

Algeria White LadyAttend the next program Information Meeting in Stevenson Hall 3042 on Sat Jan 20, 2-4 pm.

Accepting Applications

de AlchimiaWe are accepting applications for fall 2018 admission online through Cal State Apply.

Article Evening

Class of 2017The graduating master's students presented their culminating work on Thursday May 18, 2017 in the Cooperage.