Goddard Graduate Institute
Bringing together faculty from across the humanities, social sciences, and health arts disciplines, the Goddard Graduate Institute seeks to integrate scholarship and personal development with social, ecological, artistic and cultural action to support students who want to effect positive change in the world. The pursuit of knowledge involves both a deep and rigorous intellectual endeavor and well-grounded and effective transformative practice. The Goddard Graduate Institute supports students whose individualized studies reach across and beyond established liberal arts and sciences disciplines to inter- and transdisciplinary studies.
The Goddard Graduate Institute offers three Master of Arts degrees:
Individualized Master of Arts: For students interested in pursuing a question, project or career interest that is interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary, and personally compelling. The emphasis is on helping each student find and hone a focus of inquiry that brings together deep interests with relevant theory and actual practice.
Master of Arts in Health Arts and Sciences: Students may undertake theoretical and practical study in such areas as community and environmental health, women’s health and midwifery, men’s health, botanical medicine and ethnobotany, nutritional health, expressive arts, body and movement therapies, integrative health systems, integrative nursing, mind-body studies, ecopsychology, and cross-cultural healing.
Master of Arts in Social Innovation and Sustainability: Prepares scholars and practitioners to address significant social, economic and ecological concerns, on local and regional levels. For scholars seeking to explore issues and solutions more deeply and seasoned practitioners looking for strategies that have greater and more sustained impact.
The faculty in the Goddard Graduate Institute have longstanding presence in the college and bring to their work a host of professional skills and disciplinary areas. Fields of expertise include consciousness studies, expressive arts therapy, ecopsychology, cultural studies, gender studies, poetry, literature, psychology, natural history, sustainability, social innovation, organizational and community development, social justice, neuroscience, medical anthropology, religious studies, theater, and Ayurvedic medicine, among other areas. Much of the work and interests of the faculty is in keeping with the college’s activist and social justice mission. The Faculty also have a range of international experience both in terms of work and research conducted in other areas of the world and in terms of their own lived experiences.
Goddard offers students the ability to chart their own paths and develop, or further develop, the habits and skills of life-long learning.
An application for admission to a graduate program may be questioned or rejected because of:
- Curricular Limits: The proposed study appears to require expertise not available at Goddard.
- Critical Inquiry: The proposed study appears to consist in research or other activities designed to proselytize for a theory or point of view important to the applicant, rather than a scholarly study of that and other theories or points of view.
- Readiness: The student has not earned a baccalaureate degree or its international equivalent or application materials otherwise indicate the student is not ready for a graduate-level, writing-intensive independent program of study.
At the start of the semester, students attend an intensive eight-day residency in Vermont, followed by 16 weeks of independent work and self-reflection in close collaboration with a faculty advisor. Goddard pioneered this format nearly a half century ago to meet the needs of adult students with professional, family, and other obligations seeking learning experiences grounded in the real-world.
Residencies are a time to explore, network, learn, witness, and share with peers, staff, and faculty. Students work with advisors and peers in close-knit advising groups to forge individualized study plans that describe their learning objectives for the semester.
Working closely with their faculty advisors, and supported by fellow learners, students identify areas of study, personal goals, relevant resources, and avenues to achieve these goals. Students also attend and are invited to help organize workshops, keynote addresses, celebrations and other events intended to stimulate, inspire, and challenge.
This low-residency model combines the breadth of a collaborative community with the focus of personalized learning, enhanced by insightful exchanges with a faculty advisor.