Fielding Graduate University

Fielding Graduate University is an innovative global community dedicated to educating scholars, leaders, and practitioners in pursuit of a more just and sustainable world. We do this by providing exemplary interdisciplinary programs within a distributed and relational learning model grounded in student-driven inquiry and leading to enhanced knowledge.


Fielding was founded in March of 1974 by Frederic Hudson, Hallock Hoffman, and Renata Tesch. The founders envisioned a nationally recognized graduate school based on two notions:

  1. Changing demographics were altering the world of higher education: greater numbers of mid-career adults seeking advanced degrees to enhance already established academic and professional skills.
  2. Adults learn differently than adolescents and young adults: The traditional pedagogical method of education–active teacher, passive learner–would not be appropriate.

Fielding developed a rigorous, supportive learning model that is flexible, adult-centered, self-directed, practice-oriented, global, and competence-based.


Academic Excellence: We commit to the highest quality scholarship, research, and practice.

Community: We support a collaborative learning environment built on inclusion and mutual respect.

Diversity: We commit to having a faculty, staff, and student body that is diverse and inclusive. We embrace and celebrate the wisdom, knowledge, and experiences of our diverse community.

Learner-centered Education: We create an interactive experience that responds to the interrelated personal and professional lives of our students.

Social Justice: We commit to advancing equality and justice in our University, and in the local, national, and global communities impacted by our work.

Transformational Learning: We inspire a re-examination of one’s world view and underlying assumptions to enable a deeper understanding of self and society

The university offers graduate education in the fields of Psychology, Education, Leadership Studies, and Professional Coaching. Fielding is accredited by WASC, and its Clinical Psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The university has a deep commitment to examining and eliminating structural inequality in society.

Fielding Graduate University has a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) from our earliest beginnings in the early 1970s. With the founding focus of providing doctoral education to mid-career adults, we offered graduate experiences specifically designed for people who had been left out of traditional education. Since that time, diversity, equity and inclusion remain an active process that requires continuous commitment to promote collaborative learning and change through attracting, retaining, graduating and honoring a more diverse population of students, faculty, staff, alumni and community friends. Social and ecological justice is part of our explicit commitment to understanding, analyzing and acting to reduce inequality, oppression and social stratification, recognizing the linkages between economic, social and ecological justice. The university strives to ensure that DEI are embodied in all academic programs including course content, faculty, staff and student performance, assessment and accountability. We challenge our community to think boldly and take specific actions that are realistic and measurable.

Fielding Graduate University was founded on the values of equity, inclusion, and social justice. The university is a leader in higher education providing exemplary interdisciplinary programs for a diverse community of scholar-practitioners within a distributed learning model. Because Fielding is a distributed institution its students, faculty, and staff are located around the world. Thusly, the overall community the university serves is very much a global one. However, Fielding is also an active business leader in the local community of Santa Barbara, California, the location of the university’s main campus and administrative offices. In this role and in keeping with the university’s core values, Fielding actively supports several charitable organizations within the Santa Barbara community, such as the LGBTQ+ Pacific Pride Foundation, The Association for Women in Communications, The Fund for Santa Barbara, UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures, Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM), and the Environmental Defense Center.

In partnership with Pacific Pride Foundation, Fielding hosted a special Pride event brining into the Santa Barbara community, Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. Following the success of this event, Fielding hosted another civil rights event in the local community with Dolores Huerta, an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Cesar Chavez, is a co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association (later became the United Farm Workers). As the world, battled the global pandemic, Fielding hosted a free virtual symposium this summer with an international list of leading psychologists, media professionals, and other panelists to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on the world population.