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 onsite residency 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. The Meridian learning format (described below) offers a unique methodology for transformative graduate education. Students participate online and via onsite residencies, 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 Format

Meridian’s 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 onsite one-week residencies. By combining innovative online education methodologies with rich video calls and deep onsite residency connections, Meridian’s learning format enables students to contribute locally and perceive globally.

Onsite Weeklong Residencies

Meridian's weeklong residencies are a central part of the learning model.

Weeklong residencies take place globally based on student and faculty locations, preferences, and constraints. Residencies run from Monday through Friday during the day. Students are encouraged to collaborate and connect in the evenings as well as join in on local exploration during the weekends directly before and after the residency.

Students attend two residencies each year but may attend additional residencies if they prefer.

Engaging and Engaged Online Courses

Online courses at Meridian involve seven-weeks of engaged, faculty-driven, collaborative coursework involving a combination of reading, writing, working with other students and video calls with faculty, depending on the specific course and faculty.

Courses run seven-weeks, therefore enabling students to take time to reflect and prepare between quarters, even though their coursework runs all four quarters each year.

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 residency is held each quarter, though more than one may be held. Students are required to attend a certain number of residencies to complete their graduation requirements, depending on their specific degree program and attend at least two residencies per academic year until they have met the required number of residencies.
  3. Students may attend a residency in more than two quarters each year (and therefore attend up to three or four residencies) space permitting. Students who have not yet attended two residencies 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; 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 residency attendance requires different levels of credit and course-count flexibility.
  7. 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.