Academic Structure


Overall Structure

Meridian’s five-point academic structure gives students the flexibility to navigate the University’s curricular architecture in ways that match their passions, professional goals, and other life commitments.

The structure is designed to serve a diverse student body, who live around the globe, have varied cultural and clinical visions for their careers, and are at different stages in their professional journey.

  1. Meridian students enroll in a degree program and can elect a concentration. Each quarter, they register for online courses and sometimes for a lab as well.
  2. While each Meridian program has different graduation requirements and prepares graduates for a different set of professional paths, all Meridian programs involve a sequence of anchor courses that prepare students be transformative leaders and learners in both their personal and professional lives after graduation.
  3. Concentrations serve to assist students in focusing on their area of passionate engagement throughout their degree program. In addition to core courses for the specific degree program and anchor courses that represent the Transformative Learning intent of Meridian’s curriculum, students select elective courses that align with their Meridian concentration, background, and career path.
  4. Meridian’s two learning formats (described below) offer a unique methodology for transformative graduate education. Students participate online and can also attend onsite labs if they choose, engaging their learning journey at Meridian in ways that work with their professional constraints, personal circumstances, and vision.
  5. Students choose the number of credits they register for each quarter based on their degree path and life circumstances, and may therefore switch between accelerated, standard, and part-time statuses depending on the quarter.

"Meridian provides an extraordinary curriculum that has benefited me both personally and professionally. I am excited for anyone choosing Meridian for their graduate education because I know they will receive a rigorous yet meaningful education and expansive understanding of psychology and its true purpose of caring for the soul."


Learning Formats

Hybrid Format

Meridian’s hybrid learning format combines online courses with weeklong onsite labs. The hybrid learning format is designed to enable students to pursue their graduate education at a flexible pace, combining asynchronous coursework via the University’s custom social learning platform, Pivot, live course video calls with faculty, synchronous student community engagement, and one-week onsite labs. By combining innovative online education methodologies with rich video calls and deep onsite connections, the hybrid format enables students to contribute locally and perceive globally.

Each quarter, students take one or multiple seven-week online courses. This schedule provides students with time between quarters to rest, engage, and prepare. Additionally, students attend at least two weeklong onsite labs per academic year. Labs run Monday through Friday throughout the year, with onsite labs taking place at Meridian’s Bay Area Center and other globally distributed locations.

Online Format

In Meridian's online learning format, students can complete 100% of their coursework degree requirements online. Online labs are also available for students who choose not to travel to onsite labs. Students can select lab dates, locations, and formats based on their personal circumstances and professional aspirations

Meridian’s Pivot Learning Platform

All course learning formats involve engagement via Meridian’s proprietary custom-designed online learning platform, Pivot. Additionally, students engage throughout their time as students at Meridian (and as alumni) via the Social app of the Pivot platform, which provides robust professional social networking functionality.

Social groups in Pivot provide students the structure to engage with others in their program and concentration, as well as faculty and alumni who have the expertise and professional acumen to guide students on their journey.

Students use the Pivot platform to both engage in course-specific learning activities as well as ongoing social sharing and networking.

Additional Program Structure Information

  1. Course availability varies by quarter and by program/degree. Students should seek clarification from their admissions advisor prior to enrolling regarding course and format criteria that are important to them personally or professionally.
  2. Concentrations do not have graduation requirements themselves or change the graduation requirements for the degree. Concentrations inform how the student selects elective courses, project topics, and Professional Specialty Programs, as well as how the student makes other topic-driven academic path choices. Courses associated with concentrations are offered based on demand. Concentration availability does not imply the offering of a specific course in a specific quarter.
  3. Generally, at least one lab is held each quarter, though more than one may be held. Labs are held onsite at Meridian’s Bay Area Center and other distributed locations, as well as online (i.e., Zoom).
  4. Students may attend a lab in more than two quarters each year (and therefore attend up to three or four labs), space permitting. Students who have not yet attended two labs in a given academic year are given registration priority.
  5. Students pursuing state licensure have additional specific course requirements and may need to complete additional credits beyond the published total credits required for the degree if they seek: 1) Both educational eligibility for licensure and a concentration that is other than the clinical concentration; 2) For PhD and PsyD students, educational eligibility for licensure other than that of Psychologist and/or; 3) Educational eligibility for multiple licenses.
  6. Meridian licensure preparatory curricula is designed for a specific set of state licenses. Students pursuing state licensure should keep in mind the specific licensure requirements for each state they may seek to practice within. Some state licensing boards require APA accreditation (American Psychological Association) which none of Meridian's Psychology degree programs have nor do faculty wish to seek, as this would affect the unique curriculum offered at Meridian. Note however that the University holds institutional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission which is a United States regional accreditor recognized by the US Department of Education.
  7. Part-time enrollment extends the length of the degree program. There are minimum and maximum credits required in each quarter to stay enrolled.
  8. Students can easily move between the two learning formats throughout their time as a student, based on availability.
  9. Students in the PhD in Psychology and PsyD in Clinical Psychology can earn the MA in Psychology degree during their enrollment if they complete the MA degree requirements on their way to earning a doctoral degree at Meridian.
  10. Students in degree programs that require field placement (internship) are responsible for utilizing the University's Fieldwork Handbook and support services to find their own employment/internship site. The University does not provide students with internal field placement/internship. Students can begin their field placement during coursework or wait until after completing coursework. Program Length figures published by the University assume students are taking courses on a standard or accelerated basis, not part-time, and that they complete their fieldwork during coursework, rather than waiting until all of their courses are complete to complete fieldwork.
  11. Students in degree programs that include a doctoral project requirement (Dissertation or Clinical Case Study) choose when to begin the 'clock' period. This period is either one year or two years depending on the degree program. Program Length figures published by the University assume students begin their clock in alignment with their taking the research coursework sequence, however students may wait until after coursework to begin their clock.
  12. The Student Success page includes important information regarding retention, on-time completion, and other key metrics. Prospective students should also review the University's School Performance Fact Sheets and Annual Report on the Consumer Information page. The School Performance Fact Sheet is also included for review and initialling in the University's Enrollment Packet.