Saybrook University


Saybrook University was founded in 1971 and is based in Oakland, California. Its programs, all of which are graduate, are influenced by the founding work of the humanistic psychology movement. Its masters and PhD programs begin with the belief that people are works in progress and that each person has a capacity and responsibility for their own development. Students learn through Saybrook University online programs how to facilitate growth for themselves and others.

Saybrook University Online and Saybrook University Campus Programs

Saybrook offers programs in areas of:

  • Humanistic and clinical psychology
  • Leadership and management
  • Integrative and functional nutrition
  • Mind-body medicine
  • Integrative wellness coaching
  • Transformative social change

It also offers continuing education opportunities, skills workshops, and seminars.

Saybrook University blends its online programming with brief residencies on campus or at Residential Conferences (RCs). The school firmly believes in holistic learning and that students’ personal lives are equally important as their professional and academic ones. Hybrid programs help facilitate a balance of personal, professional, and academic progression.

Saybrook University’s Mission and Purpose

Saybrook University’s mission is to provide “rigorous graduate education that inspires transformational change in individuals, organizations, and communities, toward a just, humane, and sustainable world.” The school is community oriented, and its foundational idea is that all things are inherently interconnected. It encourages students and faculty to take innovative and creative approaches to confronting modern challenges. Its environment fosters a sense that every living being matters and deserves to thrive. As such, it focuses on building a sense of community, connection, and transformation. 

At the heart of Saybrook University is a research institute. As such, the school and its programs and set-up continue to evolve as new information becomes available. Saybrook shifts as communities and the people it serves do. It focuses on training people in leadership, management, and counseling, and helps people develop the skills to respond to real-world issues.

Saybrook’s Sources of Pride and Joy

Saybrook University takes pride in having been one of the first schools in the U.S. to provide hybrid education. It has had some time and experience to find a balance between online and face-to-face interaction, and to make both accessible and meaningful. Through uniquely designed conferences and residencies, students get a holistic educational experience.

Saybrook’s faculty work is described using adjectives such as Nurturer, Transformer, Minding the Movement, Change Maker, and Humanity’s Mirror. As you can see by these descriptions, their work emphasizes action and discourse that makes a positive difference in society. Believing in the power of the individual and communities, Saybrook promotes students’ vibrant and conscious participation in society.

Though perhaps unconventional in subject, Saybrook’s programs are supported by conventional resources. Its library, registrar, and Student Academic Services Team can all be accessed online, and Saybrook devotes itself and its resources to student success. The Student Academic Services Team, for example, helps students navigate and utilize their many resources. Online students needn’t worry that help is hard to find.

Saybrook embraces an international student body. Almost 10 percent of its student body is international.[i] Saybrook also invites students to learn in international contexts. It has one course, for example, in which students learn online and travel to Berlin to study particular contexts.

Otherwise, Saybrook is simply unique. It embraces the power of individual personalities, expressions, and contributions, and it applies them to cultural and community contexts. Plus, its Oakland, CA roots place it in a historically significant context for considering and causing social change. For students who want to grow personally and contribute professionally, Saybrook provides a complementary curricula.

Saybrook University’s Faculty

Saybrook University has 25 full time and 144 part time faculty. 2 of the full time faculty members are primarily devoted to research. The remaining 23 are devoted to instructional education. The school does not utilize graduate assistants. Students and prospective students can read “Faculty Stories” and learn about the actions faculty are taking to promote social well-being and change on Saybrook’s website.

Hybrid formatting helps Saybrook produce a model of education that embraces mentorship. Students work with faculty individually or as parts of groups. This helps Saybrook tailor coursework to students’ interests and professional goals.

Saybrook’s “scholar-practitioners” are particularly trained to question and offer alternatives to mainstream axioms and to support students in doing the same. Through online programming and face-to-face residencies and conferences, students gain access and support to and through program processes. One goal of faculty is to use education to foster positive social transformation.

Saybrook University’s Accreditation Status

Saybrook University is accredited by the Senior Commission of Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). WASC is a regional accrediting agency recognized by the state of California and the U.S. Department of Education. WASC assesses the quality and value of graduate schools in California, Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Basin.

Saybrook University APA accreditation depends on the program. Students should consult with a counselor at Saybrook to determine whether or not a Saybrook’s graduate program has APA accreditation. Students should also confirm whether or not the program of their choice meets requirements for state licensure in the state where they intend to practice. In some states, students might need to meet additional requirements.

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Saybrook University Admissions Requirements

Because Saybrook University is a graduate school, you have to hold a bachelor’s degree to apply to the school. You can also apply if you anticipate having a degree prior to the start of the semester you are applying into. If you want to pursue a Ph.D., you have to have a master’s degree unless you’re applying to the Ph.D. Clinical Psychology program. Your degrees have to have been earned from an accredited university.

Once you’ve met these basic requirements, you can apply for admissions at Saybrook University. For any program, you must submit the following, although some exceptions may be made.

  • An online application
  • A personal statement
  • Official transcripts
  • Evidence of a 3.0 GPA in a previous program 

For some programs, you might have to submit additional information. For example:

  • A resume or CV
  • An academic writing sample
  • Recommendations

You might also have to participate in a personal interview.

International students must submit satisfactory TOEFL or IELTS exam scores unless English is their primary language. They must also submit international transcripts and submit to a transcript evaluation. International students should note that financial aid is not as readily available to international students as it is to domestic ones. They should plan accordingly.

The application fee for any program is $50.

Saybrook University Online Attendancei

In fall, 2016, Saybrook University had 558 students, all of which were graduate students. 56 percent of those students were part-time, and 44 percent were full-time. 88 percent of all students were enrolled in at least some distance education. Only 11 percent were not enrolled in any distance education at all. Because all of Saybrook’s programs require a short residency, no students learned 100 percent online.

Financial Aid for Saybrook University Online Courses

Financial aid may be available to qualified Saybrook students. Saybrook participates in the Federal Direct Loan Program of the U.S. Department of Education. It also honors The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 benefits and the Federal Work-Study Program. International students are also able to apply for loans through privately-funded options. International students must have a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen. Saybrook offers direct scholarships to eligible students and can help students find outside scholarships.


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