Program in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs Naropa University

Program in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs Naropa University

Boulder, CO
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
January 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
3 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


A Buddhist-Inspired School with a Focus on Contemplative Learning

Naropa University is a small, private, secular liberal arts university with 3 campuses in Boulder, Colorado. The Transpergtsonal Counseling program is based at the Paramita campus in the northern part of the city. Altogether, there are approximately 600 graduate students and 400 undergraduates enrolled at Naropa. The school's extensive recycling and green energy programs have led to its inclusion on "The Princeton Review" Green Colleges list for several years.

The school was founded in 1974 as the Naropa Institute by Tibetan-born Buddhist teacher Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Naropa offers a Buddhist-inspired "contemplative learning" curriculum that includes non-religious mindfulness and meditation practices along with class time and community involvement.

Naropa University has been at the forefront of contemplative learning since its beginning. Its conference presenters on the topic have included the Dalai Lama and feminist writer bell hooks, and Naropa's Center for the Advancement of Contemplative Education shares its information with other universities and organizations.

An Alternate Approach to Counseling Psychology

Naropa's Graduate School of Psychology offers a 3-year full-time Master of Arts (M.A.) in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology degree program that combines Eastern and Western philosophy, religious traditions, and knowledge to explore human thought and emotion. Part-time students may complete the degree program in 4 years. All students take part in psychotherapy, meditation, and community practice as part of their studies. The 3 concentrations within the M.A. in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology degree program are art therapy, counseling psychology, and wilderness therapy.

A Mixture of Counseling Skills, Studio Art, and Meditation

The art therapy concentration helps students develop their skills as studio artists, counselors, and practitioners of mindfulness in the classroom and through community work. The traditions of psychotherapy and art are taught with a focus on inclusion, diversity, and access for underserved populations. The coursework includes a clinical practicum, a practicum at the Naropa Community Art Studio, and an agency internship.

Naropa's art therapy concentration is accredited by the American Art Therapy Association. The program's classes are designed to meet the association's requirements for Registered Art Therapist registration after graduation.

An Opportunity for Self Knowledge and Professional Development

The counseling psychology concentration within the M.A. in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology degree program is a 3-year program that offers some flexibility in scheduling to accommodate students' work and family lives. The coursework combines small-group academic work, meditation, and a study of counseling approaches to give students a comprehensive view of the field and greater insight into their own strengths as counselors.

Elective studies within the counseling psychology concentration include child and adolescent therapy, couples therapy, Jungian psychology, and ecopsychology.

Exploring the Natural World as Therapy

Students who choose the wilderness therapy concentration will go on training expeditions and learn survival skills during outdoor and backcountry intensives. Classroom topics include nature trekking, equine therapy instruction, and Gestalt and Jungian psychology.

Third-year students undertake a 9- to 12-month long clinical internship off-campus. Past students have interned with a number of outdoor programs around the country, including the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning in Denver and the Children's Trauma Recovery Foundation in Boston.

Faculty Members with Extensive Working-World Experience

The Graduate School of Psychology faculty includes professors with professional experience in wilderness therapy, Buddhist meditation and scholarship, art therapy, LGBT issues, Gestalt therapy, and multicultural education, as well as many combined years of classroom teaching and therapy-practice experience.

A Wide Array of Alumni Career Paths

Nine out of 10 Naropa graduate students reports finding employment within 6 months of graduation. Alumni of the Graduate School of Psychology have gone on to found wellness centers, private therapy practices, a dance studio, and a teen program for eating disorders. Other graduates have pursued post-graduate research on post-traumatic stress disorder and built careers in corporate consulting.

Many Need-Based and Merit-Based Financial Aid Options

Nearly 80% of Naropa University's graduate students receive financial aid in the form of loans, grants, work-study, or scholarships. Graduate assistantships give students experience in teaching, administration, or research while defraying tuition costs. Naropa matches veteran graduate students' GI Bill benefits with grants through the Yellow Ribbon Program.

Naropa funds several scholarships for graduate students, including half a dozen general scholarships as well as scholarships exclusively for students in the Graduate School of Psychology's Art Therapy and Wilderness Therapy programs.

The Bernie Marek Scholarship is for art therapy students who are nominated by faculty members, based on financial need and the students' artistic and academic merit. Wilderness therapy graduate students who demonstrate financial need and meet the grade-point average requirements are eligible for the Owen Weber-Weinstein Scholarship, while the Oso Tinker Wilderness Therapy Scholarship is granted to second-year graduate students based on financial need.

A University Town in a Rocky Mountain Setting

Naropa University's base in Boulder, just 30 miles northwest of Denver, gives students easy access to a variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking and rock-climbing in the Flatirons foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder Canyon, and other nearby areas.

The city boasts an extensive network of bike pathways for commuting and recreation. Boulder is home to the University of Colorado's main campus and to a number of research organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

Location & Contact

Program in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology

Graduate Programs
Naropa University

2130 Arapahoe Avenue
Boulder, CO 80302-6697
United States

Dr. Deborah Bowman

Dean, Graduate School of Psychology

Phone: 303-546-3559

Office of Admissions

Phone: 303-546-3572
Fax: 303-546-3583

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Art Therapy Master of Arts (MA)
    • Counseling Psychology Master of Arts (MA)
    • Wilderness Therapy Master of Arts (MA)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 70
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


66% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 174
    • Accepted 116
    • Acceptance Rate 66
    • Enrolled 81
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $60
    • Application Fee - International $60
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 15th January 15th Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's Degreesin-person interview, course work in psychology, 2 letters of recommendation, extended resume, minimum 100 hours of paid or volunteer work in a helping profession (mental health, healthcare, and teaching, etc.)
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 600 paper based, TOEFL iBT

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsMarch 1
    • Types of financial support availableResearch Assitantships, Tuition Waivers, Career or Field-Related Internships, Financial Support for Part-time Students, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students236
    • Female Percentage76%
    • Male Percentage24%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students236
    • Part-time Percentage28%
    • Full-time Percentage72%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino6%
    • Black / African American1%
    • White / Caucasian81%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian0%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races7%
    • Unknown5%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty36
    • Full-time Percentage28%
    • Part-time Percentage72%
    • Female Percentage69%
    • Male Percentage31%




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