Sofia University , home of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology ( ITP ), is a private university founded by Robert Frager and James Fadiman in 1975. The university is located in Palo Alto , California, United States. As of July 1, 2014, the president is Liz Li.

Institute of Transpersonal Psychology

During its formative period the institution was known as the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (ITP). According to sources, 410 students were enrolled in the 2002 fall semester at the institute. This included students enrolled in the institute's online program. The institute offered programs in psychology and counseling with an emphasis on both traditional and non-traditional psychological and spiritual models of instruction.

Change of name and academic profile

In 2012 the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology announced that it was changing its name to Sofia University, a change that included a new profile in the academic landscape with an expanded graduate program and a selection of undergraduate offerings. The word sofia means "wisdom" in Greek.

The re-branding was followed by a period of dissent, turmoil and schism that resulted in enrollment shortfalls and budget-cuts. The resignation of the president, as well as several trustees, followed due to the lack of a functioning governance structure.[3][5]

Facilitated by the brief tenure of interim president Frank Ellsworth in early 2014, according to the about section on the website, the university was acquired by private investors (including the current president). It expanded her degree offering to incorporate fields relevant to the Silicon Valley, such as computer science, business and transformative education and moved to a designation as Sofia University FPC with a non-profit research arm under the name Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Sofia is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (with a Notice of Concern effective 2017). The school has broadened to include studies in computer science, including artificial intelligence, human computer interaction, big data and software design, thereby applying transpersonal principles into real-world disciplines. As of 2015 the university was reaccredited for an additional seven years by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. [2]

Academic program

The university's academic emphasis is transpersonal psychology . The university is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and comprises four schools - Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, School of Technology and Engineering, School of Business, and School of Transformative Education. [3] The graduate school curricula includes six main areas of inquiry: the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, physical, social, and creative aspects of life.


a. New York Time s correction as of August 17, 2012, states that the original article (Otterman, 2012), in some editions, misidentified Sofia University/Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto (California) with the Institute for Transpersonal Studies in Santa Cruz (California).