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  • Deep knowledge and experience of your developing consciousness
  • Study 12 areas of national life, including the deepest principles that unite them all
  • Consciousness-Based Programs to achieve the goals and solve problems in these 12 areas
  • Fieldwork in an area you select from these 12, guided by an expert
  • The foundation of this curriculum is the traditional knowledge and practical applications of the full development of human consciousness, as brought to light in a scientific framework by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and verified by 70 years of experience and more than 700 scientific studies.

Why this program?

We face major challenges today — in the areas of global health, climate change, social justice, food insecurity, divisions within and between countries, and more.

Increasing numbers of young people are becoming involved and committed to meaningful change to solve problems in these areas.

Even so, more is needed to address the challenges – new approaches to problem-solving, with new and effective leadership to implement them.

The MA in Enlightenment and Leadership meets this need, providing new approaches:

  • Developing uniquely effective leadership through the Technology of Consciousness, to develop their own fullest potential from within – their limitless creative intelligence. Students become increasingly inspired and motivated. Repeated scientific research indicates that students steadily grow in vitality, creativity, broad perspective, and compassion.
  • Training leaders to recognize the source of societal problems and applying effective and proven Consciousness-Based programs for addressing these problems in the most all-encompassing way
  • Developing higher consciousness naturally results in an increasingly positive, progressive influence on your surroundings, irrespective of your position or activity. This is the deepest meaning of leading others through growing enlightenment.

Structure of the program


You’ll dive into 12 fundamental areas of society, studying (a) their distinctive principles, (b) the deeper principles they all have in common, and (c) the deepest reality of all areas — the field of pure consciousness, pure intelligence, which is your own Self.

These 12 areas are—

  • Law
  • Education
  • Health
  • Agriculture
  • Economics
  • Administration
  • Architecture
  • Defense
  • Communication
  • Music and Arts
  • Religion and Culture
  • Political Science

For example, one deeper principle found in all areas of study is that every discipline is structured in layers, with the deepest layers having the broadest application and explanatory power for that discipline.

Example of this principle from the field of education:

  • A surface understanding of education, for example, consists of the teacher presenting information, concepts, and assignments to the student.
  • A deeper understanding aims for education to expand the students’ creativity and intelligence so that they can learn any subject with greater mastery, and apply it with greater originality and success.
  • The deepest level of education is achieved when the student’s awareness is established in pure consciousness, from where anything can be known and applied for the good of everyone.

Example of this principle from the field of health:

  • A surface understanding is that good health consists of no symptoms of disease, and the most effective way of treating disease is through using of medicine.
  • A deeper understanding is that health involves preventing disease through strengthening of the body and taking responsibility for one’s own health.
  • The deepest level of health consists of enlivening the body’s total intelligence through the regular experience of pure consciousness, resulting in preventing disease and enjoying maximum physical and mental well-being.

Through the deep experience and understanding of pure consciousness, the 12 areas of study become most complete, with scientifically verifiable solutions to their challenges.


You’ll study the Consciousness-Based programs that have proven effective in addressing the issues and achieving the goals in each of the 12 areas.


This is the fieldwork semester: You’ll select one of the 12 areas, go more deeply into it, and spend 8 weeks working with an expert in that field. You’ll explore the range of possible career paths available to you in applying Consciousness-Based programs.


You’ll participate twice a day in group practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique and its advanced program. This gives you the foundation for steady growth toward enlightenment, increasingly effective leadership, and the transformation of your nation.

This growth of consciousness produces wide-ranging positive results. More than 700 scientific studies, conducted at over 200 universities and research institutes in 30 countries, document the benefits of these programs. These benefits include:

holistic-improvement in intellectual performance through the Transcendental Meditation technique, including improvement in creativity, practical intelligence, field independence, mental efficiency, and fluid intelligence

Three randomized controlled studies among Chinese students found that, in contrast to controls, those who learned the Transcendental Meditation Technique showed significant improvement in five measures of intellectual functioning; they also showed decreased anxiety. Reference: Intelligence 29: 419–440, 2001

  • increased creativity and increased intelligence
  • increased happiness and confidence
  • increased success in achieving one’s goals
  • improved health
  • broader comprehension with sharper focus
  • more satisfying personal and work relationships
  • more coherent and integrated brain functioning

These qualities are all valuable for most effective and fulfilling leadership.

optimization of brain functioning through the Transcendental Meditation technique, evidenced by EEG coherence

High levels of EEG coherence measured during Transcendental Meditation are significantly correlated with higher creativity, greater efficiency in learning new concepts, more principled moral reasoning, higher verbal intelligence (IQ), less neuroticism, higher academic achievement, clearer experiences of Transcendental Consciousness, and greater neurological efficiency (faster spinal reflex recovery). References: International Journal of Neuroscience 13: 211–217, 1981; 15: 151–157, 1981; Scientific Research on Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Programme: Collected Papers, Volume 1: 208–212, 1977; Volume 4: 2245–2266, 1989.

Many research studies also show that when a large number of people practice these programs as a group, together in one place, they create a powerful effect on the whole society. Positive trends increase and negative trends diminish. The larger the group, the more widespread the effect. If the group is large enough, it can transform the quality of life in society.

Thus, as part of a large group practicing these Technologies of Consciousness at the university, you’ll be quietly achieving something that even top government leaders have often been unable to achieve.

Examples of fieldwork possibilities
(12 areas to select from – see Semester 1 above)

Architect tutoring student

Fieldwork in Architecture – “Vastu” architecture: Students may assist with the building and community designs in accord with the principles of natural law-based architecture, upholding good health, harmony, progress, and inner happiness.

students assisting video production of lectures and courses

Fieldwork in Communication: Students may assist in video recording, promoting courses; and website development.

  • Education — Work with a team to implement the Transcendental Meditation program in a school.
  • Health — Assist in a Maharishi AyurVeda® clinic, helping with consultations, seminars, lectures, and workshops.
  • Vastu architecture — Assist with the building and community designs in accord with the principles of natural law-based architecture, upholding good health, harmony, progress, and inner happiness.
  • Communication — Assist in video recording and promoting courses or website development.
  • Economics — Work with financial officers in a Transcendental Meditation organization, helping create and oversee budgets for national and international projects.

Other special features

Student presenting and pointing to chart

Teaching methods include students presenting what they are learning with their own insights, both individually and in groups.

Two students practicing presentation

The weekly professional skills seminars include communication and leadership. Developing speaking skills includes students taking short videos of each other making presentations, and then evaluating them.

  • The dynamic and interactive classes create a joyful learning environment and expand your creativity.
  • The weekly professional skills seminars are in scientific research methods and design, computer applications, academic writing, and communication and leadership.
  • One of the unique opportunities of this program is to prepare you for leadership positions in Consciousness-Based programs in your country or internationally.
“The unfolding of unlimited creativity through the development of consciousness is the basis for achieving what one wants in daily life and any great goal, irrespective of the student’s choice of discipline.” — Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Founder of Consciousness-Based education

What is enlightenment?

Human brain

One’s level of consciousness directly relates to the level of development of the brain. In the state of enlightenment, all parts of the brain are highly integrated, resulting in highly effective, mistake-free thought and action.

In the tradition of Yoga and meditation, enlightenment refers to the highest level of human development, the highest level of consciousness. This means, in daily life—

  • deep, unshakeable inner happiness and peace
  • exceptional creativity and intelligence, applied in a way that always benefits others and the community as well as one’s self
  • complete clarity in setting goals, which are always appropriate for every age and stage of life; and natural effectiveness in achieving them
  • an all-positive, nourishing, and helpful influence on others and on society
  • the inner experience of being connected with everyone and everything in the universe

These are some of the wide-ranging qualities that develop with regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique and its advanced program, as verified by the hundreds of scientific studies over the past 50 years.

As these qualities grow, one naturally leads others with increasing creativity, wisdom, and compassion. Such leaders create a powerful influence for a harmonious, progressive, and peaceful society.

Growing enlightenment promotes ideal leadership

Based on these positive, more enlightened characteristics of mind and body, one naturally leads others with increasing creativity, wisdom, and compassion.

This level of leadership, based on growing enlightenment, creates a steady influence for a problem-free, harmonious, progressive, and peaceful society

Whether we are in a position of authority or not, we lead others through this influence.

Featured faculty

Cathy Gorini

Catherine Gorini, PhD

Cathy Gorini

Co-Director, MA in Enlightenment and Leadership • Teacher of the Science of Creative Intelligence • Executive Editor of the International Journal of Mathematics and Consciousness • Author of several books and many papers in mathematics and consciousness • Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics, Mathematical Association of America, 2001 • Voted Outstanding Professor by MIU students, 2021

terry fairchild

Terry Fairchild, PhD

terry fairchild

Co-Director, MA in Enlightenment and Leadership • Twenty-year Department Chair of the English Department at Maharishi International University • Editor of the University Journal Modern Science and Vedic Science • Teacher of the Science of Creative Intelligence • Author of numerous papers on Literature and Consciousness • Voted by MIU students Outstanding Professor

susie dillbeck

Susan L. Dillbeck, PhD

susie dillbeck

• President of the International Foundation of Consciousness-Based Education • International Professor of Education at MIU • former Dean of the Graduate School, and International Vice President of MIU • Recipient of several teaching awards and Maharishi’s Medal of Enlightened Leadership • Develops and teaches courses, and gives international presentations, on Consciousness-Based education

ashley deans

Ashley Deans, PhD

ashley deans

International lecturer and teacher of Consciousness-Based Education in over 100 countries • Former Acting Pilot Officer in the British Air Force • Professor of Education and Physics, Maharishi International University • Director of Maharishi School, USA, for 17 years

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 the program director or faculty.

Contact Jess >

Contact Jess >

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

Cost & Aid, 2024-25

US On-Campus MA in Enlightenment and Leadership

This estimate is for 12 months (two semesters + summer) based on the current year rate but crosses multiple academic years subject to rate change in the future year.

One Academic Year Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees$19,030
Housing (single room) and meals$10,250
Federal student loans-$29,280
Your payment$0
Federal student loans are also available for approximately $10,000 for personal expenses.

Additional Financial Aid Information

Your FAFSA automatically qualifies you for the majority of federal student loans for this program. The remaining portion is composed of Federal Graduate PLUS loans that require “no adverse credit” or an endorser. Repayment begins after your enrollment ends.

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 MA in Enlightenment and Leadership

This estimate is for 12 months (two semesters + summer) based on the current year rate but crosses multiple academic years subject to rate change in the future year.

One Academic Year Tuition and Fees
Tuition and fees$19,030
Housing (single room) and meals$10,250
Health Insurance (estimate)$3,506
Personal expenses, books, unexpected needs (estimate)$3,500
Estimated net price$36,286

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

Entrance Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree or the equivalent
  • Regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique for at least four months
  • Practice of the advanced program of Transcendental Meditation. Those who have not yet learned will be able to apply to learn it on campus, offered one month before the MA program starts
  • Ability to participate in the twice-daily group practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique and its advanced program, as part of the required course, “Research in Consciousness as a Field of All Possibilities”

International applicants must submit official English proficiency test scores within the past 2 years of at least 110 on Duolingo, 6.5 on IELTS Academic, 90 on TOEFL iBT or 58 on PTE.

What our students say

The MA in Enlightenment and Leadership program has truly been transformational for me; both in terms of the knowledge gained and its practical application. The course fully prepares the individual to offer Maharishi’s Vedic Science and Technology programs in all 12 areas of governmental concern, thereby fulfilling that particular area’s goals. The program’s content is informative and inspirational, allowing the student to easily and joyfully complete any in-class or at-home assignments. —CC

This program is on a different level than what you would expect from an academic program. It is holistic and structured to grow not only a student’s intellectual knowledge, but also their understanding of the structures of that knowledge. It makes you become more of who you are: I always knew how much I loved art, and now not only do I love it even more, but I have the knowledge and confidence that I understand the mechanics of creation much more deeply. —RM

The Enlightenment & Leadership Program at MIU has greatly exceeded my expectations. I feel primed and ready to make a lasting impact on the world with more ease and joy than I knew possible. I highly recommend the program to anyone seeking to integrate deep spiritual growth with deeply practical real-world applications. —NDO

It is a unique program that develops leadership in the most profound way, taught by the most experienced experts in 12 areas of society, plus more. When you participate in this program, you will feel that these 12 areas of society are all your areas. —HH

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