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Enliven your innermost Self – pure consciousness – and connect this experience to ancient wisdom and modern science.

The BA in Consciousness & Human Potential (CHP) integrates personal experience, philosophy of mind, neuroscience, and ancient wisdom.

Our goal for every student is enlightenment — the systematic development of full potential from within. This is the key to true fulfillment in daily life and any career.

What you’ll study

  • The philosophy of Yoga, as explained by Maharishi in the Bhagavad Gita and by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, and how it enhances your life
  • How to accelerate personal growth through the Transcendental Meditation® technique, yoga asanas, retreats, and other practical approaches
  • The latest scientific research on brain functioning and how meditation leads to clearer thinking
  • Strategies for social transformation leading to a more peaceful world
  • Examine modern perspectives on consciousness in the light of Maharishi Vedic Science
  • CHP is also available as a specialization within the Bachelor’s of Applied Arts & Sciences

student meditatingAs a student, you’ll learn the Transcendental Meditation (TM®) technique. This effortless, evidence-based technique has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, improve health, and help the brain to function optimally, enhancing clear thinking and heightening creativity.

Students majoring in CHP practice the TM technique daily to integrate the knowledge they’re studying with their direct experience, offering a practical understanding to the concepts they’re exploring in class.


Get started by contacting Jess

Jess Nohle, admissions counselorJess Nohle is this program’s admissions counselor for US students. Jess will provide you with all the details of becoming a student, including connecting you with program faculty when you have questions. International students may connect with their admissions counselor through our contact form.

Jess Nohle, admissions counselor

Contact Jess >

Comments from alumni

Keil Dean


Keli Dean, Psychotherapist, class of 2014

Keil Dean

“This program helped prepare me to sit with others in psychotherapeutic work and have empathy and compassion for the human condition while staying attuned to my Self.”

Vinodthan Nayagar


Vinodthan Nayagar, Sr. Technical Account Manager, class of 2011

Vinodthan Nayagar

“My degree brings to light a clearer, more positive mindset at work. I’ve been able to make good decisions which have led to me being promoted multiple times.”

Lilith Shoemaker


Lilith Shoemaker, Public Relations Program Manager, class of 2016

Lilith Shoemaker

“It gave me an understanding of how best to put my passions to work for me. I’m more capable of understanding what it is I love to do, and not settling for a job that doesn’t fulfill me.”

Asher Fergusson


Asher Fergusson, CEO, AsherFergusson.com, Class of 2008

Asher Fergusson

“By using my Vedic understanding of consciousness I am able to turn abstract business ideas into actionable concrete realities that help me expand my business.”

Research Center for Brain, Consciousness, and Cognition

Fred Travis mentoring studentDr. Fred Travis, Department Chair and Director of the Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition is the author of over 80 published papers in:

  • Psychophysiological correlates of higher states of consciousness
  • Investigation into the brain patterns of world-class performers
  • Effects of the Transcendental Meditation practice on child development
  • Effects of the Transcendental Meditation practice on promoting healthy aging

“As a CHP major, you will learn how EEG research can be used to test theoretical concepts and give insight into your own questions about the inner working of the brain while meditating, performing cognitive tasks, listening to sounds, etc.”

Featured faculty

Keith Wegman

Keith Wegman

Keith Wegman

Keith Wegman received his PhD in Maharishi Vedic Science from Maharishi International University in 2004, his MA in Science of Creative Intelligence from Maharishi International University in 1993, and BA in Philosophy/Art from St. Olaf College in 1991.

Dr. Wegman has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate level courses in Sanskrit and Maharishi Vedic Science and has researched and lectured in these subjects both nationally and internationally over the last 25 years. He is also a Certified Teacher of Transcendental Meditation and is the Director of TM instruction at the Raj Ayurveda Health Spa. He lives in Fairfield, Iowa with his wife Sankari and two children Jayanta and Uma.

All Department Faculty

Featured courses

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Inner State of Yoga for Fulfillment in Life

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The course on Yoga philosophy explores the deepest understanding and experience of Yoga as the silent inner Self of each of us. It also considers different types of Yoga – such as Ashtanga Yoga, Karma Yoga, Gyana Yoga – in light of this understanding.

eeg2

EEG, Brain, and Enlightenment

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Learn to measure how meditation, juggling, and listening to music change your brain waves (EEG) and heart rate – then conduct your own study.

tom egenes teaching

Dharma: Insights from Maharishi’s Commentary on the Bhagavad-Gītā

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The Bhagavad-Gītā, a dialogue in Sanskrit between Krishṇa and Arjuna on the battlefield, includes surprisingly current discussions about Dharma, devotion, Yoga, desire, Karma, happiness, Self, right action, and many other absorbing topics.

meditating outdoors

Personal Growth of Consciousness

meditating outdoors

This course works to unfold each student’s full potential through greater clarity of transcendence in meditation. Several practical approaches are applied including a retreat, healthy daily routine, yoga asanas, media dieting, and exercise techniques.

Courses may include:

Is human knowledge inevitably partial or can we fathom complete knowledge? How are insights of ancient seers into the nature of reality relevant to our contemporary lives? This course examines questions such as these in light of Maharishi Vedic Science (“Vedic” is from “Veda,” meaning knowledge). You will learn about Vedic literature — including Yoga, Vedanta, and the Upanishads — in light of the direct experience of consciousness. From time immemorial, Vedic literature has been studied for its enlightening wisdom; this course explores Maharishi’s unified structure of Vedic literature as the dynamics of consciousness knowing itself. Qualities of consciousness — such as expanding, unifying, and analyzing — are explored in the branches of Vedic literature, in human physiology and in the structure of the universe. (4 credits)
In this course students learn about and practice a range of Vedic technologies to maximize personal growth of consciousness, including a seven-day retreat, Maharishi’s videotaped lectures, training in physical health and fitness, group-building projects, and a class-agreed daily routine protocol. In addition, we will explore Maharishi AyurVeda diet and cooking, some simple self-administered Panchakarma therapies, Maharishi Gandharva music, and artistic expression — writing, music, drawing, and painting. There will be a capstone project to integrate knowledge and experiences gained during the course. (4 credits)
This course will explore models of human development across the lifespan. You will examine Piaget’s model of cognitive development; Loevinger and Cook-Greuter’s models of ego or self-development; Kohlberg’s model of moral development; and the Science and Technology of Consciousness of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. (4 credits)
What action in life is best for your personal development – your “Dharma”? How does this relate to family, social, and global responsibilities? How do we make the right decisions for ourselves and others, and act in a way that is enjoyable, not stressful and exhausting? This course studies timeless questions and dilemmas such as these, discussed in the Bhagavad-Gita — using as a guide Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s translation of and commentary on chapters one to six. (variable credits)
Course participants study how Maharishi applied the ancient knowledge of Yoga technologies to create contemporary solutions for world peace. This includes a focus on the principles of and published scientific research on creating coherence in collective consciousness. There is an in-depth review of Maharishi’s historic unfoldment of this knowledge from 1960 to current strategies to create permanent world peace in this generation. By way of comparison, there is also a brief review of other peace-creating strategies. The course includes both theoretical understanding and direct experience of peace-creating programs, with emphasis on the relationship of personal inner peace and peace creation in the public domain. (4 credits)
This course explores themes related to Yoga philosophy in light of effortless, natural practice of Transcendental Meditation. The course introduces Yoga both as a settled inner state of mind and a path of development, as brought out by Maharishi in his books and lectures. Topics include Yoga and the brain, Yoga and health, development of full human potential, Yoga and Dharma, and the role of Yoga Asanas in the eight limbs of Yoga brought out in the traditional Yoga text, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. (4 credits)
During this course, students develop and present a summative oral presentation and write a paper that serves to integrate and complete the knowledge and experience gained from the Consciousness & Human Potential major. Note: A total of 4 credits is required. Students should take the course after having completed all other requirements. (8 credits)

Modern Science

Brain functioning underlies conscious processing, states of consciousness, and enlightenment. Students learn how to record EEG (brain waves) and other physiological measures (breath rate, heart rate, and skin conductance), learn the brain signatures of the practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique and of higher states of consciousness and conduct original research testing a research question that they generate during the course. Prerequisite: PH 101 (4 credits)
This course reviews contemporary methods of research design and methodology, and issues from the philosophy of science, in light of fifty years of research on the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs. These precise, systematic, and effective programs for developing human consciousness open up new frontiers of researching mental potential, brain functioning, health, behavior, education, and social relationships. This course develops your ability to evaluate and explain research design and methodology – skills that can be transferred to a wide range of applications. (4 credits)

Self-development module

The Science of Being and Art of Living was Maharishi’s first book, published in 1963. In this course, both through reading and through studying Maharishi’s videos, students investigate the main themes of the book — Being, the essential constituent of creation; how to contact and how to live Being; how to live one’s full potential in thought, speech, action, and relationships; and God-realization. (4 credits)
The Transcendental Meditation Sidhi® (TM-Sidhi®) program is a simple, natural, effortless set of procedures that accelerate the personal growth gained from the Transcendental Meditation technique. The TM-Sidhi program is designed to accelerate the growth of creativity, learning ability, physical health, and psychological well-being that TM technique practitioners report.
Self-Pulse Reading is the most ancient and most natural means of determining the level of balance or imbalance in the mind and body. Taking the pulse enlivens the connection between mind and body, consciousness and matter. Furthermore, the procedure of taking the pulse produces a balancing effect on the mind and body. This course presents Maharishi’s revival of this ancient technology. In this course students will learn how to read their pulse and detect imbalances early, before they manifest as symptoms of a disease; how to determine where imbalances are; and how to restore balance. This course includes public speaking exercises. Materials fee: $10 (4 credits)
Diet, digestion, and nutrition are fundamental to health. How we metabolize food and drink directly affects the strength, vitality, immunity, and longevity of the physiology. This course provides very practical knowledge of what to eat, when to eat, and how to eat to maintain or restore perfect balance of the three Doshas – the three principal governing qualities of intelligence in the body. Topics include: influence of consciousness on the process of digestion and nutrition, effects of different foods on physiology, categories of food according to their influence on the three Doshas, and basic principles of Dravya Guna (Materia Medica) – Vedic herbology. This course includes public speaking exercises, as well as two field trips: one to local organic and natural food stores, and one to a local organic dairy production farm. Based on availability, Ayurvedic cooking demonstrations are included. Field trip fee: $20; Materials fee: $20 Prerequisite: PH 260 (4 credits)

Veda

Reading the Vedic Literature in the Sanskrit script is a technology of Maharishi’s Science and Technology of Consciousness for enhancing the development of higher states of consciousness. In this course, students learn to read the Vedic Literature in Sanskrit in the traditional way — for the value of the sounds, without studying grammar or meaning — and discover how this practice affects brain functioning. Students also learn the basic principles of Maharishi’s Science and Technology of Consciousness, Vedic Science, including the recent discovery of how human physiology forms a perfect replica of natural law, as embodied in the 40 aspects of the Veda and Vedic Literature. This historic discovery reveals that the natural laws governing the universe are the same laws governing our physiology — meaning that each of us has access, within our own physiology, to the total potential of natural law. (4 credits)
During this course, students read the classical texts of Upanga in the Devanagari (the original Sanskrit) script. Students read the texts for their sound value, which creates benefits in their consciousness and physiology. Prerequisites: MVS 102 and permission of the instructor (4 credits)
During this course, students read the classical texts of Upa-Veda in the Devanagari (the original Sanskrit) script. Students read the texts for their sound value, which creates benefits in their consciousness and physiology. Prerequisites: MVS 102 and permission of the instructor (4 credits)
During this course, students read the classical texts of Brahmana in the Devanagari (the original Sanskrit) script. The texts are read for the sound value, which creates benefits in their consciousness and physiology. Prerequisites: MVS 102 and permission of the instructor. (4 credits)

Transcendental Meditation teacher training module

This course comprises the Transcendental Meditation Program Teacher Training Course, providing the knowledge and experience of consciousness as the basis of life and preparing one to present the knowledge to others. It also gives an opportunity for personal development through deeper personal experience of the unified field of natural law and understanding of the Science of Creative Intelligence. Participation in the course does not automatically qualify a student to graduate as a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation program. Further training and fieldwork may be needed before graduation as a teacher. Students must have a minimum of at least one year of progress in a degree at Maharishi International University before taking MVS 490. The course must be appropriate to the degree the student is taking. Academic credit for the completion of this course is offered by Maharishi International University, Fairfield, IA, under a contractual agreement with Maharishi International University, Netherlands, who controls the acceptance to the course, the cost of the course, and the content of the course. (12 credits) Prerequisites: STC 108/109 or FOR 500 and completion of one year of MIU coursework. This course is taught under contractual agreement with a non-accredited, non-federal-aid-eligible organization. Students must apply to and be accepted by that organization.
During the lecture portion of this course, students learn the four parts of the standard lecture for introducing prospective students to the scientifically validated benefits of regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. During the checker training portion of this course, students are trained in the procedure of how to check the correct practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique. (variable units) Prerequisite: consent of instructor
In this course, students who have qualified as teachers of the Transcendental Meditation technique work full time for at least four months teaching these programs. Two credits are given for each month students are engaged in this internship. (Maximum of 8 credits during a semester; may be repeated for a second semester) Prerequisite: MVS 490

Study abroad

Rotating University courses offer opportunities to study Consciousness & Human Potential abroad. Students travel to a country that has sister institutions to MIU or plays a special role in worldwide Transcendental Meditation organizations — such as India, South Africa, Switzerland — to study the Science and Technology of Consciousness in that context. The course may include videotaped lectures of Maharishi, study of Sanskrit, and excursions to relevant locales. In some cases, the focus includes study of deep cultural traditions of a country such as China and how these traditions parallel the Science and Technology of Consciousness (4 credits). Prerequisite: consent of department faculty

To graduate, students must also satisfy the general requirements for a bachelor’s degree.

Cost & Aid, 2022-23

Annual Cost and Typical Financial Aid
Tuition and fees$16,530
Housing (single room) and meals$7,400
Health insurance (estimate)$3,506
Personal expenses, books, unexpected needs (estimate)$3,500
Cost Per Year$30,936

Full-time students may apply for up to $6,000 scholarship based on qualifying documented family income. Our undergraduate scholarship application form will be made available to you upon application to the university.


Tuition, other fees, scholarships, and financial policies are subject to change prior to the entry date.

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