Parapsychology Degrees

Can you get a degree in paranormal research?Parapsychology Degrees – or a degree in Paranormal Studies – can open the door to many ghost hunting opportunities.

As Gertrude Schmeidler said in her 1972 report to the American Society for Psychical Research, “The Ph.D. is the union card.” It doesn’t assure you that people will take you seriously… but it can help.

However, most universities edge away from controversy by calling their programs something other than “paranormal studies.”

Catch phrases include “consciousness” and “alternative psychology.”

Some colleges study psychic phenomena, including ghosts, “luck,” remote viewing, etc.  Those activities are usually sponsored by departments like psychology, biology, or social sciences.

Ivy League universities conduct similar research. That is not advertised and they do not offer degrees in the field.

Choose a related major

In other words, your major might be in physics, biology, psychology or engineering, or some other field. You may study parapsychology, but your diploma will look more mainstream. This can be useful in career terms, if you don’t find a full-time career in paranormal studies.

Note: Even with a parapsychology degree, you’re unlikely to find full-time research work in this field.

Most full-time ghost hunters are self-employed, and find income from a variety of sources. That’s very different from the luxury of doing serious, full-time research in a respected scientific setting.

Some universities and research groups offer workshops and symposia related to paranormal studies. Some include academic credits or certification.

Remember, you can take free ghost hunting courses at Hallowfields. com

Some accredited colleges offer degrees that are custom-designed for the individual. They may also include credit for life experience. But, they aren’t likely to award a formal degree in parapsychology.

As of mid-2006, when I first wrote this article, no accredited American college or university offered a formal parapsychology or paranormal studies degrees.  The topic is too controversial.

Beware predatory “degree mills”

Many “degree mills” have sprouted up since the late 1960s. Their letterhead may look impressive. They may claim a 30+ year history in the field. They’re still degree mills. They have no accreditation, and very little respect in the professional community. Don’t waste your time and money.

Likewise, any certified course – including mine – isn’t a degree.  It provides a basic background in paranormal research. What you’ll learn gives you credibility among ghost hunters. My course is free.  The last time I checked, it was the only free, comprehensive ghost hunting course, online.

Others charge money for similar courses.  I can’t recommend spending more than $100, no matter how good the training.

Educate yourself

Instead, invest that money in events, and any books you can’t find at your public library.  Read books by ghost hunters. Study regional folklore. Go on as many ghost hunts as possible. That’s the education you really need.

I know that people like to see “official” credentials. If you’re helping frightened people deal with ghosts in their homes, they’re more likely to trust you if you’ve been trained and certified in the field of ghost hunting.

Ghost hunting courses can save you years of “reinventing the wheel” when they tell you honestly what ghosts and hauntings are really like. For example:

  • Ghosts don’t usually look like dead people.
  • They rarely moan or rattle chains.
  • Many ghosts think they can turn back the clock and resume their lives, or make retroactive changes.

However, that’s practical information.  It’s different from college courses that given you an overview from a psychological standpoint. It’s not a laboratory study of psi-related phenomena.

Here are a few universities that – in the past – have offered related courses and degrees.

Important: This list may not be current.  Curricula change steadily, sometimes from one semester to the next.

Universities that may offer courses in paranormal studies and parapsychology degrees


  • Edinburgh – The University of Edinburgh is among the most highly respected in the field of parapsychology, and has awarded parapsychology degrees. Their Koestler Parapsychology Unit hosts considerable psi-related research.
  • Hertfordshire – Professor Richard Weisman researches luck and paranormal-related phenomena at the University of Hertfordshire.


    • Arizona – The Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona offers many courses that focus on issues related to alternative and paranormal studies. These include web-based courses as well as on-campus resources.
    • New Jersey – Princeton University takes a slightly different approach with Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR). It’s focused on the “Scientific Study of Consciousness-Related Physical Phenomena” including innovative paranormal studies and remote perception.
    • North Carolina – Duke University’s Rhine Research Center has been “an Institute for the Study of Consciousness,” and has offered many psi-related courses, workshops, and seminars.


    • At one time, the International Society of Life Information Science (ISLIS) offered academic symposia and parapsychology research opportunities. As of early 2016, ISLIS seems to be offline.


    • Amsterdam – The Psychology department at the University of Amsterdam has — in the past — offered courses in paranormal studies. In July 2006, parapsychology courses were not featured at their website, which is in Dutch. With further research, you may find their courses, or they may feature them later. (Also see the nearby University of Utrecht courses, below.)
    • Utrecht – Professor Dick J. Bierman at the University of Utrecht (UU) offered an Internet-based introduction to parapsychology. (As of late 2016, his name wasn’t at the UU site.  However, the University (on-campus) may offer courses — formal or as “clubs” — in related fields.

More parapsychology study links

  • Cognitive Sciences Laboratory – government-funded STAR GATE research, etc. (Apparently, this link – –  has stopped working. That’s not a big surprise.)
  • In France, see the Institut Metapsychique International.
  • The Institute of Noetic Sciences (No. California) was started by astronaut Edgar Mitchell and fellow scientists.
  • Saybrook Graduate School (San Francisco) has offered parapsychology among its studies.
  • Union Institute and University (Ohio) has allowed some students to design their own degree programs.


For nearly 20 years, I’ve offered a free “Ghost Hunting for Beginners” course, previously called Introduction to Ghost Hunting. It’s an overview of ghost hunting, and – on the honor system – offers a free certificate to anyone who completes the course.

IMPORTANT: Do not confuse my free “Introduction to Ghost Hunting” course with someone else’s IGHS Home Study Course which – in several parts – used to sell for over $350. (As of 2020, it appears they’re selling those same courses for $10 to $20.)

I have never endorsed that course or the people who offer it.

My past, field courses

Between 2002 and 2008, I taught ghost hunting courses in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Washington, and Florida.

All of my students received certificates of completion upon completing their respective courses.  (I have never claimed to “license” ghost hunters, and I’ve always been frank about certification and what it means.)

I had a great time and met wonderful people. Now, I’m dedicating more time to research and writing, and less to public appearances.

Find my free courses – regularly updated – at

19 thoughts on “Parapsychology Degrees”

  1. I am so pleased to find your free course which i am going to do asap (properly not just skip otherwise why bother tbh) i have always been around my mums friends as a child as one was a medium and i was took to but never really understood spiritualism or the churches mainly being too young but now in my 40’s i still have this fascination or as my friends describe a ‘morbid liking of death’ but all are total sceptics so i expect nothing more but whats really got me searching deeper is this ‘shadow people’ or to be precise ‘the hat man’ phenomenon not because ive seen it or had any kind of encounter but my mother has when i was a child and i have no reason to doubt her as the story has never changed in all this time and now it’s more prominent on the internet i have lots of questions but no answers so by leaving this comment here i’m hoping the right person will see this and contact me using [email protected]

  2. I have been spending a lot of time studying themail paranormal. I believe itso my calling.)

  3. I have been interested in parapsycology at a young age now i am in my 50’s still interested and trying to do a internship here at home and what you wrote helped me out alot thanks

  4. I am a nurse but am interested in taking as many course as I can in the paranormal

  5. I would really be interested in taking one of your courses. How would one find info?

  6. Hi my name is stacey i have been told that I was born with a gift as a child lots of things through out my life have happened but i just ignored it…as i got older it got stronger…i have some evidence of paranormal activities on my laptop and a photo..i live in toowoomba Queensland and im wondering who i could see about my experience…thank you…stacey

  7. Hi, Im a psychology graduate and i have studied parapsychology in my graduation from Bangalore (NMKRV College, India.) Im interested in paranormal and psychokineticks that might be useful in ghost hunting. Your course is very interesting; as we human beings are always attracted to mystry and someting that is above our level of reach and understanding.
    Thank you, bye.

    1. Archana, I’m very interested in the scope of parapsychology studies available where you are. If you have recommendations for people seeing parapsychology training at the undergraduate or graduate levels, I hope you’ll share your advice. Thanks!

  8. I took the free course.. It was amazing experience..Most of the things was basic but was worth it..Mam , I just wanted to ask if there will be any of of such free courses in future..

    1. Thanks, Shree! I’m glad you enjoyed the course.

      I’m still refining that course, with plans for more videos. Also, I want to complete the dowsing rod course. And, after that, more courses. All of them will be free.

      It’s important to me to share what I know with people who want to explore haunted sites. I want you to have some fascinating experiences, and know – with little or no doubt – whether what you encountered was paranormal.

      I’m also hoping more people will continue to research ghosts and haunted sites. Someone – or perhaps a lot of people, sharing their results – will find new answers to everyone’s biggest questions about ghosts. If I can support that in any way, I’m delighted!

  9. how do i sign up? because i’m very interested in the paranormal because ever since i was young i could sense and sometimes hear spirits call my name.

    1. Carla, if you’re looking for a degree in paranormal research, you may need to focus on a related study – anything from science to spirituality. For most researchers, that’s a lot easier than finding a university with a program dedicated to paranormal studies.

  10. I want to be contacted to learn more about getting the info for my degree and if not at least start out getting my info for “certification”

    1. Kris, you’ll have to reach out to the universities and schools yourself. Getting a degree related to paranormal studies is like any other. Harvard won’t call you. Your local community college won’t send a salesperson to your door. It’s up to you to contact likely colleges, and so on.

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