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Taos Institute Ph.D. Program

Welcome to the Taos Institute Ph.D. Program. The program is designed for mature professionals who wish to pursue a line of inquiry that will enrich their endeavors and speak to the concerns of a broader audience of scholars and practitioners. The grounding orientation of the program has its roots in social constructionist theory and practice. The relationship between the Taos Institute and several Dutch and Belgian universities provides the opportunity for students, whose work is approved by the matriculating university, to receive a Ph.D. The Taos Institute provides advisory and supportive services, including focused research and theory workshops where students can explore their dissertation topic in detail with Taos faculty and other students. The Ph.D. is ultimately conferred by the related university.

Participants in the program must enter with a Masters degree along with substantial experience in practice. The program of study is built around a thesis project, with readings and preparations designed to facilitate the achievement of a dissertation. The dissertation must be positively assessed by the matriculating university’s promoter, its doctorate board, and a defense committee. Dissertations may range broadly in topic. Many dissertations have been concerned with organizational development, therapeutic change, educational practices, healthcare, community building, and human development. Other topics are possible.

The Taos Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering productive dialogue at the intersection of social constructionist theory and societal practices. Through numerous workshops, conferences, web offerings, and distance learning programs, thousands of professionals from many organizations and nations have drawn sustenance. The present program extends the fruits of this ongoing dialogue to the domain of advanced education. For more information visit:

  • The Taos Institute Advisor

At the beginning of the program a Taos Institute Advisor will be assigned to each student. The important goal is to furnish a dialogic counterpart who can facilitate learning, research and writing in the area of focal concern to the participant.

  • The University Promoter

Each student and Taos Advisor will also be paired with a Full Professor from the matriculating University. Each cooperating University requires a University Promoter. The Taos Advisor, University Promoter, and student will negotiate a working relationship. Under specialized circumstances, the Taos Institute Advisor and the University Promoter are one.

  • The Teaching/Learning Process

Communication within the "Program Team" (Consisting of the Taos Advisor, a University Promoter, Professor McNamee, Professor Gergen and the candidate) will take place through the internet, telephone and the mail. However, the participant should anticipate occasional visits to his or her thesis advisor, especially during the planning and dissertation completion stages. The Advisor will also be available for informal meetings throughout the program. The final oral examination and degree award ceremonies (typically a single, joyful event) will require the participant's travel to the corresponding Dutch or Belgian university conferring the degree.


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