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Graduate Programs in Myth?

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    Hello fellow JCF fans!

    My name is Bill and I’ve been a fan of Joseph Campbell since my introduction with Bill Moyers’ interview back in the late 1980s.

    I’m in the process now of seeking graduate programs that actually focus on Campbell and his work. An educational guide, perhaps, that might also be a part of a Master’s degree. I haven’t found anything to date, beyond the original works available with the JCF.

    Has anyone come across something that helps students better understand all of Campbell’s works? Preferably online?

    Many thanks,



    Welcome, Bill,

    Bless Bill Moyers for those six episodes of the Power of Myth, airing on PBS some six months after Joseph Campbell passed, which introduced his mythological perspective to so many. Though Campbell was well known among a relatively small circle of scholars and creative artists (from George Lucas to the Grateful Dead) while alive, it was his wife, award-winning dancer and choreographer Jean Erdman who was the famous member of the family (he occasionally joked about being referred to as Mr. Erdman). Joe had no idea he’d achieve fame after he died.

    As for your question, it can be difficult finding degree programs in myth. Rather than having its own field, mythology is generally treated as the bastard-child of academia, with courses in mythology usually part of some other  discipline: anthropology, folklore, comparative religions, art, depth psychology (heck, even Joseph Campbell himself spent his teaching career in the literature department at Sarah Lawrence).

    Here are a couple possibilities: Pacifica Graduate Institute, in Carpinteria (next door to Santa Barbara), California, has Master’s and Ph.D. programs in Mythological Studies (Joseph Campbell’s personal library of some 3,000 books is housed at Pacifica, and the OPUS Archives and Research Center located on campus includes the Joseph Campbell Collection)

    And the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco offers programs in Archetypal Mythology (Campbell, Jung, Hillman, etc.) and Applied Mythology. (I believe they might offer online as well as on campus courses). I’m not so sure about schools outside California.

    Hope that info helps.

    Feel free to poke around, check out the other forums (though I’ll admit I’m surprised at all the vibrant, interesting exchanges even here in the “Meet & Greet” forum). You can just read, jump into an ongoing conversation, or start a discussion on a topic that interests you (if you’re not sure where to post, try the Conversation with a Thousand Faces forum – it’s our catch-all category for whatever doesn’t seem to fit elsewhere).

    Bliss On!



    Thank you so much for this considerate reply! Yes, Pacifica is the most obvious choice. Unfortunately, when I followed up with them, they indicated that their courses were only available in-class (ie. you have to attend in person). Maybe that will change as time progresses, especially as more institutions migrate online as a viable alternative during and after ‘lockdown’.

    Also, from what I’ve discovered so far, I’d agree that the study of myth (especially the notion of ‘univerality’ as described by Campbell) seems to be ‘orphaned’ in the intellectual community.

    I’ll investigate your other recommendations.

    Thanks again!


Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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