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BA in Consciousness & Human Potentialon-campus

The BA in Consciousness & Human Potential 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
Watch the video introducing the BA in Consciousness & Human Potential, 10 minutes

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.

Contact Jess >

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International applicants may connect with us through our international inquiry form.


Dive within

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.

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

dreasonclass118750

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

eeg2

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.

      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. 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 (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). faculty

Degree requirements

A minimum of 128 credits (semester hours) is required for students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. This may include up to 90 transfer credits.

Undergraduate degree students can apply transfer credits to cover electives, some general education requirements, and up to half the course work in the major, for a maximum of 90 total credits. General transfer credits are accepted for courses completed with a grade of “C” or higher.

To graduate with a bachelor’s degree, students must satisfy the following general education requirements:

    This course introduces students to three fundamental sources of knowledge that can be used together to evaluate any idea: personal experience, scientific reasoning, and traditional wisdom. On the basis of evidence from all three sources, a new consciousness-based framework is introduced as a new way of viewing the world and addressing its challenges.
    The course will explore the new paradigm in science that the “Physiology is Consciousness.” Current concepts of mind and body will be understood in terms of this new paradigm. This course will present our facts of brain structure and function in light of Maharishi Vedic Science and the discovery of Veda and the Vedic Literature in human physiology done by Tony Nader, MD, PhD. We will examine how our brain constructs reality at every moment and how the experience of unboundedness – the Self of every individual – can transform our physiology and awaken the total creative potential of the brain in enlightenment, which is the birthright of every human being.
    This course gives a deep and non-mathematical understanding of the differences between classical and quantum physics. It explains the meaning and mechanics of unification and symmetry, and the main concepts of unified quantum field theories and superstring theory. It shows that at the basis of the universe lies a completely unified field, a self- interacting entity from which all particles and forces arise through the process of spontaneous symmetry breaking. The course gives students experience and understanding of the interconnectedness between the laws of physics, the universe, and themselves.
    Composition 2 develops the student’s ability to use language for a variety of purposes, subjects, and audiences. It focuses on both exposition and persuasion to strengthen those skills that will assist the student in succeeding academically. In this course, we read and discuss a range of prose models that reflect the diversity of thinking and writing across the disciplines. This course may be waived through transfer credit.
    This course explores the unfoldment of higher states of human consciousness — the full realization of your own limitless potential — as described by Maharishi and as experienced naturally and spontaneously by Transcendental Meditation practitioners and by people throughout history. The course examines the experiences belonging to each state, the developmental processes that culture each state, pertinent research, and practical outcomes of these experiences in daily life, thereby providing an overview of the range of possible experiences on the way to full enlightenment. This course is question and discussion-driven, with an emphasis on connecting this understanding of higher states to your own experiences.
    This course presents the latest knowledge from Western science and the Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care program concerning the optimum daily routine for establishing the foundation for lifelong excellent health and growing enlightenment. The major focus is on the details of the ideal routine of sleep, diet, exercise, meaningful activity, recreation, and the importance of the regular experience of pure consciousness for optimum health and evolution.
    A Forest Academy studies interdisciplinary themes from the Exploring Consciousness course, together with deep rest and rejuvenation. Students can explore more deeply the principles associated with developing their own inner intelligence and understand how that intelligence can be practically applied to specific areas of life. The goal of these academies is to connect the knowledge of the rest of the curriculum with universal principles of natural law and transform it into a living and useful dimension of the students’ lives. Fit for Life and Higher States of Consciousness are examples of forest academies.

Cost & Aid, 2024-25

    US On-Campus Undergraduate

    This estimate is based on one year for a typical on-campus Federal Pell Grant recipient (represents 80% of our onsite undergraduates). File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and then contact our financial aid office for questions on variables.

    Annual Cost and Typical Financial Aid
    Tuition and fees$16,530
    Housing (single room) and meals*$7,400
    Grants and Scholarship (typical)-$14,400
    Net cost per year$9,530
    Federal student loans-$9,530
    Your payment$0

    *Applicable only to students living on campus

    Additional Financial Aid Information

    $2,400 Federal Work Study is available toward your estimated $4,800 out of pocket costs.
    Scholarship from MIU described above consists of the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Education Grant and is based on (1) full-time enrollment and (2) financial need based on expected FAFSA outcome.
    Repayment begins after your enrollment ends. Unique repayment plans are available such as income-based, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and deferments based on low income or unemployment.

    There are a variety of money-saving tax benefits to assist in reducing the cost of education expenses. More about education tax benefits.
    Veterans should contact the VA for information on Veterans Education Benefits. Veterans eligible for BAH monthly benefits: The VA utilizes a scale of credits per block of courses; therefore, the VA sometimes pays part-time benefits for an individual month while the university delivers full-time federal aid for an entire semester. Our Veterans Certifying Official is our Director of Financial Aid.

    Loan Repayment Options

    Payments are a fixed amount that ensures your loans are paid off within 10 years (within 10 to 30 years for Consolidation Loans).
    Payments may be fixed or graduated and will ensure that your loans are paid off within 25 years.
    Payments are lower at first and then increase, usually every two years, and are for an amount that will ensure your loans are paid off within 10 years (within 10 to 30 years for Consolidation Loans).
    Your monthly payments will be either 10 or 15 percent of discretionary income (depending on when you received your first loans), but never more than you would have paid under the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan.
    Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income, family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Any outstanding balance will be forgiven if you haven’t repaid your loan in full after 25 years.
    Your monthly payment is based on annual income, but your loan will be paid in full within 15 years.

    Tuition, other fees, scholarships, and financial policies are subject to change prior to the entry date. For more information, contact us at finaid@miu.edu for a quick reply — normally one business day — or see more about financial aid.

    International On-Campus Undergraduate

    Annual Cost and Typical Financial Aid
    Tuition and fees$16,530
    Housing (single room) and meals$7,400
    Health insurance (estimate)$1,992
    Personal expenses, books, unexpected needs (estimate)$3,500
    Cost Per Year$29,422

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