Open Master's Beginnings is a lightly-guided and heavily co-created group learning adventure that will give you all of the structure and support you need to fully design and launch your Open Master's journey over three months.

Along the way, you will be challenged to reflect deeply on what you want to learn, how you learn best, what your biggest guiding questions or dreams are and how you want to make the come to life

Through weekly challenges, peer mentoring, and simply by holding each other accountable to make real time for learning in our lives each week for three months, our ultimate goal is to develop strong habits and practices for a lifetime of community-supported, self-directed learning, well beyond our Open Master's journeys.

The Experience

Structure to organize your learning

The Wayfinder Kit + Open Master's Workbook, to guide yourself and your peers in finding your way as we explore the wilderness of your why and then get into the nuts and bolts of your Open Master's plan.

First, Radical Pause.
For the first six weeks of the journey, we do something extraordinary; give ourselves permission to slow down and let our past and dreams catch up with us, finding in them a powerful guiding purpose for your Open Master's.

Then, Getting Moving.
The Learning Plan Jam, Sprint, and Showcase make up the second half of the time together, when you will hone your focus and get started with your Open Master's journey.


Support to inspire and motivate

Small Group. We meet as a small group weekly for twelve weeks, so that we have the greatest opportunity to build close relationships to continue to support and hold each other accountable on our journeys.

Learning Buddies. You will work more closely with a partner for deeper reflection and practice being peer mentors to each other through life's biggest questions.

Personal Support. The whole time you will be working with Sarah Bradley and Alan Webb, the main organizers of the Open Master's community globally since 2012.

Next Group Starting Soon

Structure & Important Dates

  • Weekly Group Call: 90-minute group activities & discussion
  • Learning Plan Jam: a full weekend at our midpoint, working together virtually on our learning plans.
  • Learning Showcase: culminating in a private launch party for your Open Master's; your first opportunity to teach and share what you are learning on your journey with others in the Open Master's community.
  • Personal, partner, or small group reflection: plan on 3-6 hours of additional time each week, between calls.

Cost: $899. This includes the experience and also your own Wayfinder Kit and Open Master's Workbook. If you are thinking about real grad school, this is less than you will spend on tests and application fees alone. If cost is a barrier, apply anyway, and we'll do everything we can to work with you to make it possible for you to join.

Join with a buddy or small group: You are encouraged to sign up together with a friend or small group for greater accountability and support outside of calls. As a bonus, you may each deduct up a $100 off the signup cost for each person in your group who joins together (up to $300).

Application: The group size is limited by application so that we have the opportunity to really get to know each other. Applications are rolling. The application includes three short questions that should take you less than 15 minutes to complete. We will follow up with you soon for a short interview to answer any questions you may have.

Ready to make progress on what matters most in life, and to walk away with tools to build structure and supportive community around your most important learning goals?

Apply now!

Most people who are considering doing an Open Master's are choosing between a range of options for how best to continue their learning, including other informal programs and formal programs. 

They are often already engaged in self-directed learning of some kind, and are hoping to give their self-directed studies more structure, community, and credibility. People who are ready to start an Open Master's often say that they:

Feel a deep shift or question emerging

Maybe you can't quite name it yet, but you feel that a big change is brewing—maybe you are hungry to turn a side project into your next career, or maybe you are finally admitting that the thing you spend your nights and weekends dreaming about is more than an interest.

Aren't sure about grad school

You see a clear destination for yourself, but, for a variety of reasons, you are not sure you'll get what you're looking for from conventional school. You care about learning, having learning community, and making your learning credible, but are not sure you need the piece of paper (or the debt).

Work in the intersections

You are pointing yourself towards emerging fields, or the intersections between fields (such as buddhism and neuroscience, or art and big data), and haven't found a graduate program that would serve your needs.

Want a "third space"

You generally want to bring more intention, reflection, and sense of direction into your life, and more specifically, doing that by holding intimate space with others dedicated to supporting each other's growth.  

Doing an Open Master's isn't for everyone.

Completing a self-directed master's means going outside of the box in a big way; you aren't relying on curriculum being designed for you and community being curated for you, and that is a formidable challenge. It takes patience, creativity, self-discipline, and a heavy dose of courage.

But for those who complete an Open Master's, it is often one of the most transformative learning experiences they have ever had. It asks you to get to the bottom of some of the biggest questions we get to ask as humans. It asks you to be the creator of your own experience. 

It also open doors. Completing an Open Master's shows that you are self-directed, can take initiative, and that you can take ownership of where your life is going. It is an excellent way to lay claim to the skills, knowledge, and person you are becoming through your learning. Employers have told us it even stands out on a resume more than a conventional master's degree; it takes guts and ingenuity to do this.