Frequently Asked Questions

What are emerging and contemporary fields of inquiry?

Emerging and contemporary fields of study evolve as human knowledge and understanding expands across the culture. We develop programs in emerging and contemporary fields as interdisciplinary studies, generating new knowledge at the convergence of two or more traditional academic disciplines. Such knowledge often diverges from mainstream ideologies and often reflects shifting worldviews in light of current events and societal issues. As a result, study in emerging and contemporary fields connects discovering new knowledge with intellectual and cultural development.

Quantum mechanics is a recent example. Though grounded in established areas of study (philosophy, mathematics, and classical physics), it challenged early 20th century logic. Indeed, quantum theory was conceptually impossible before Bohr, Einstein, and Heisenburg published their seminal works on connectivity and relativity. After only 20 years of rigorous scholarship, however, quantum mechanics was embraced throughout the academic community. It revolutionized humankind's view of a participatory universe and prompted the leap toward a postmodern ideology.

I am researching various possibilities for graduate study. Why choose The Graduate Institute?

Rather than rely on a prescribed method of studying existing traditions or historical canons, TGI gives students the opportunity to pursue knowledge and meaning in more personal ways and in more contemporary contexts. Each student is recognized as a colleague, and an independent thinker in search of new approaches to knowing. We offer students the support of a committed learning community as they strive to create meaning grounded in participation, collaboration, interpretation, and exploration. We challenge, guide, and sustain them in their cultural and intellectual evolutions, as well as their personal and professional development.

While engaged in their selected fields of emergence – and steeped in the practice of inquiry – students assume full responsibility for their involvement as scholars, for their engagement as contributing citizens, and for their roles as members of family and community. As individuals and in cohorts, they strive to contribute to the betterment of society. TGI has made an inferred promise – and a declared vow – to encourage learning that emerges from the native brilliance of its community members, from emerging inquiry, and from the social and spiritual values that create the concept: human being. Consequently, our programs reflect dynamic opportunities for learning, invite new insights, and lay the foundations for nascent realities. TGI is dedicated to learning as it serves individuals, as it facilitates intellectual emergence, as it supports civilization, and as it establishes the cultural sustainability required to support all humankind.

You should choose TGI because you choose inquiry and discovery before prescription and memorization.

Can I arrange a campus visit?

Of course! The Graduate Institute’s Admissions Department is happy to set up campus visits with prospective students, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please contact an Admissions Representative at (203) 874-4252 or to arrange your visit. Candidates are strongly encouraged to attend an Information Session, which will provide a full overview of the Institute’s programs and admissions requirements.

Is The Graduate Institute accredited?

Yes, The Graduate Institute is fully licensed, chartered, and accredited by the State of Connecticut, Department of Higher Education, Board of Governors. It also meets the Connecticut Department of Education’s requirements for maintaining teaching certification in the state, and is an approved institution for military veterans who are eligible to receive educational funds under the GI bill.

Does The Graduate Institute offer financial aid?

The Institute offers need-based scholarships at times. Please review the need-based scholarship form on the Financial Assistance page. Students may apply for a low-interest student loan through CHESLA, the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority. CHESLA accepts applications online, at, or you may call the student loan hotline at 800-935-2275.

The Institute will accept scholarships and grants that have been privately awarded to students. The Graduate Institute is also an approved institution for military veterans who are eligible to receive education benefits under the federal GI Bill. Click here to learn more about veterans benefits. For questions regarding loans and payments, please contact the Office of the Bursar.

Can I enroll in individual classes at The Graduate Institute, or must I commit to an entire degree or certification program?

Due to the nature of our cohort model, in which learning is a function of community, participants are not able to register for single classes. Instead, students enroll in a full degree or certificate program, in which course content is presented throughout an established number of live class meetings. Specific course requirements vary by program. Our certificate programs also allow students to participate in weekend seminars and earn 6-12 graduate credits, depending on the program, that may be applied toward a master’s degree. For more information, please contact Admissions.

When do classes meet?

Integrative Health and Healing and Learning and Thinking classes meet once a month on the weekend, with additional sessions as required by each program. Weekend sessions typically comprise a Friday evening, from 5 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology meet every three months for a three day weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 am - 5 or 6pm.

In addition, all programs except Integrative Health and Healing require one week of classes in each of two summers. Please review Enrollment Dates or contact Admissions for specific cohort schedules.

Do I need to register for classes?

Because of the holistic nature of our programs, students need not register for individual classes. Our integrated curriculum model presents content in the context of multiple learning events, and during each monthly class session, a variety of topics are covered that speak to concepts from multiple courses. Credits are earned on a trimester basis.

Does your integrated curriculum model qualify for tuition-reimbursement programs?

Yes. We work with HR departments, supervisors, and other company personnel to provide all of the grades, transcripts, and other periodic documentation required by reimbursement programs. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact us.

What kind of assessment method does The Graduate Institute utilize?

The primary function of assessment is to improve learning and performance. Progress toward program objectives is evaluated on the basis of successful completion of program components. This includes, but is not limited to, lectures, response papers, symposia, workshops, projects, mentorship(s) and internship experiences.

What kind of coursework will I need to complete between classes?

Students maintain electronic portfolios, archives of their academic work. Portfolios include writing responses to monthly class sessions, book and chapter responses, assigned papers, and mentorship and internship reports. Students also design and execute Culminating Projects, which are the equivalent of a master’s thesis. The Culminating Project is a significant initiative, based in research, and designed and executed by the student. It provides the opportunity for students to refine and demonstrate their knowledge in their particular subject areas – and to exemplify their knowledge and skills as independent thinkers.

Can I audit a program if I do not have a bachelor's degree?

Candidates without bachelor’s degrees may audit programs with special approval. Auditing candidates participate in all class sessions and are encouraged to complete all coursework, gaining the same experience as those who are enrolled in a degree program. For more information about auditing, please contact Admissions.

Are there any pre-requisites to enrolling in one of The Graduate Institute's Master of Arts degrees?
The Graduate Institute strives to engage students of diverse academic backgrounds. While eligible applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree, there is no subject-area prerequisite. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of our curricula, undergraduate study in the arts, sciences, and/or or humanities will serve as valuable assets to embarking upon a Master of Arts degree in an emerging or contemporary field of inquiry.
What kinds of career opportunities exist for The Graduate Institute alumni?

Our alumni demonstrate high levels of success in their professional achievements. Because our degree programs focus on self-evolution as well as professional development, students gain important skills for exercising creativity, building capacity and insight, and implementing new ideas in a variety of situations and contexts.
Because our programs enable students to direct the paths of their learning, students are active co-creators in the outcomes of their avenues of study. Mentorship(s) and Culminating Projects formalize and implement students’ goals in the context of a supportive learning community. As a result, many students discover their experiences here lead toward lasting professional achievements.
Here are some examples of careers filled by TGI alumni:

  • Teachers, librarians, and administrators
  • Coaches, counselors, and consultants in health, wellness, personal development, stress management, organizational behavior, and corporate leadership
  • Community health educators
  • Writers and researchers
  • Community organizers and activists
  • Holistic practitioners and guides
  • Patient navigators and care coordinators
  • Movement and expressive arts facilitators
  • Integrative nurses, physicians, and other practitioners
  • Entrepreneurs in business, community, the arts, and not-for-profit enterprises
  • Informal educators and youth workers
  • Storytellers, artists, musicians, and other performers
  • Living historians and curators
  • Social workers and psychotherapists.