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 an intensive 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 residential intensives 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.

Learning Formats

Hybrid Format

Meridian’s hybrid learning format combines online courses with onsite weeklong residential intensives. 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 residential intensives. By combining innovative online education methodologies with rich video calls and deep residential 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 weeklong onsite residential intensives per academic year. Intensives run Monday through Friday throughout the year, with residential intensives 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, including attending virtual intensives rather than residential intensives.

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. Generally, at least one intensive is held each quarter, though more than one may be held. Intensives are held onsite at Meridian’s Bay Area Center and other distributed locations, ae well as virtually (i.e., online over Zoom). Students are required to attend a certain number of intensives to complete their graduation requirements, depending on their specific degree program and attend at least two intensives per academic year until they have met the required number of intensives.
  3. Students may attend an intensive in more than two quarters each year (and therefore attend up to three or four intensives), space permitting. Students who have not yet attended two intensives in a given academic year are given registration priority.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Part-time enrollment extends the length of the degree program. There are minimum and maximum credits required in each quarter to stay enrolled, and intensive attendance requires different levels of credit and course-count flexibility.
  7. Students can easily move between the two learning formats throughout their time as a student, based on availability. Residential and virtual intensive schedules are addressed in the Academic Calendar for each year.
  8. 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.