Explore the SelfDesign Graduate Institute

The SelfDesign Graduate Institute is a unique learning community. We are committed to the integrity and capacity of each person to design her/his own learning—and life. We invite you to:

  • Engage in an educational experience that is personal, relational, challenging, and deeply meaningful.
  • Join a cohort of learners sharing a common motivation to learn and grow.
  • Choose an M.A. program that will enable you to explore who you are called to become and what contribution you can make—and a program in which you can begin to create that contribution now, not sometime in the future.
  • A program where you design your own learning.
  • Experience a program that will offer you access to integral perspectives and insights.
  • Learn in a high-quality program that integrates in-person distance learning with learning in short-term Residencies. On line, we converse in person in real time.

Talk with the Admissions Counselor

  • Interested in our program and want more information?
  • Have questions about SelfDesign?
  • Have questions about the Institute’s M.A. program?

Staff in the Office of the Academic Dean provide both pre-admission advising and academic advising, by telephone, email, synchronous electronic media, or in-person interviews. During these conversations, learners learn more about admission policies and procedures, transfer information, course and program planning, graduation requirements, and career planning.

Email to set up an appointment to talk with our Admissions Counselor. We would like to talk with you.

Admission requirements

The SelfDesign Graduate Institute offers a Master of Arts in SelfDesign programs. Our programs are open to individuals who have completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.

Applicants are required to submit a transcript from the institution that granted their undergraduate degree.

Applicants must also have regular access to high-speed Internet so they can participate in online classes and directed studies.

Transfer credit

A learner who has successfully completed graduate level courses at another accredited post-secondary institution may request that these credits be transferred to SDGI if the course work is similar to a course offered by SDGI. SDGI may grant a maximum of six credits towards a Master’s degree for this previously completed course work if it fulfills the requirements of the program to which the learner has applied.

Support for learners with disabilities

The SelfDesign Graduate Institute does not discriminate on the basis of disability and is committed to providing equal access to all our programs for eligible students with disabilities. SDGI upholds the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.


In Washington State a new institution of higher education first gains authorization from the state’s Student Advancement Council before it can seek accreditation. The SelfDesign Graduate Institute was authorized in 2011 and reauthorized in 2013 and 2015. The Institute has applied for national accreditation in 2016.

Transfer Credit from SDGI to Another Institution

Acceptance of transfer credit from the SelfDesign Graduate Institute is determined by the receiving institution.


Learners who withdraw from a program are entitled to a full refund of tuition (except for the amount of the Application Fee), if withdrawal occurs on or before the last business day prior to the first official day of the semester.

A matriculating learner who withdraws from a specific course or directed study can claim a refund of tuition for that course according to the following schedule: 90% by the Friday of the 3rd week of the semester; 60% by the end of the 4th week; 40%, the 5th week; 30%, the 6th week; 20%, the 7th week; 10%, the 8th week; and none after that. Withdrawal notification must reach the Office of the Academic Dean on or before the Friday of the week of the withdrawal. If the learner withdraws after the 4th week, a grade of “W” will appear on the academic transcript.

Learners may withdraw and receive a 100% tuition refund from a Residency Workshop if they submit this request by email to the Academic Dean at least 15 days prior to the first day of the Residency. If the withdrawal is received after that period, the refund is 70%.

Tuition and other costs

In 2018 tuition is $1421 US or $1558 CDN for each three-credit course. Tuition for each semester can be paid all at once at the start of the semester or in four monthly installments.

Costs for books and other learning materials will vary. Learners must pay for their own transportation, room, and board expenses for the August Residency in both the first and second year of their participation in the program.

Learners must also pay for their own high speed Internet connection.

Residency costs vary from one year to the next. To find out what the cost will be this year, send an email of inquiry via the Questions? Box above.

Many SDGI learners enroll in one course each semester. This allows them to earn their M.A. degree for less than $6,000 per year in out-of-pocket expense.


Learners may apply for a scholarship once they have been admitted to the M.A. Program. All scholarships will be awarded in increments of $500 per course completed. For more information about or to apply for a scholarship, contact: [email protected].

The Bay and Paul Foundation Visionary Leaders Scholarship

The Bay and Paul Foundation Visionary Leaders Scholarship is a grant of $4000 toward the cost of tuition. The scholarship is aimed toward learners with a vision for creating educational environments for children and/or teens that engage the whole person and evoke each learner’s creativity and capacities.

This scholarship is provided through the generosity of Fred Bay and the Bay and Paul Foundation.

The Margo MacLeod Scholarship

The Margo MacLeod Scholarship is a grant of $3500 toward the cost of tuition, available to learners of all ages. The scholarship is aimed toward those with a particular interest in advancing holistic thinking and practice around Awareness Through The Body (ATB), an integral yoga practice.

This scholarship is provided through the generosity of a group of Margo’s learners, including Abbie, Sara, Deb, Darcy, Andi, elan, Jessica, and Laurel.

The Diane Tien Memorial Scholarship

The Diane Tien Memorial Scholarship is a grant of $3,500 toward the cost of tuition, available to learners of all ages who are supporting the self-authorship of their children or grandchildren. Celebrating Diane’s passion for creativity in everyday life, the scholarship is aimed at learners with a particular interest in bringing the interrelationships of self, family, community, and global flourishing to the holistic learning process.

This scholarship is provided through the generosity of Laurel Tien, SDGI’s Academic Dean.

2019 SelfDesign Graduate Institute Academic Calendar

Winter Semester 2019

First day of semester January 2
Last day of semester April 12
Grades due: April 19
Legal holidays: February 18

Summer Semester 2019

First day of semester April 22
Last day of semester August 2
Grades due: August 9
Legal holidays: July 4

Residency 2019

Pre-residency event Friday Aug 9 through Monday Aug 12

First day August 11
Last day August 18
Grades due: August 25

Fall Semester 2019

First day of semester September 3
Last day of semester December 13
Grades due: December 20
Legal holidays: November 21-22