M.A. in Counseling Psychology

M.A. Counseling Psychology (California Evening Residential/Hybrid)

Palo Alto University’s M.A. in Counseling Psychology is designed to prepare students to serve their communities as licensed Marriage and Family Therapists or licensed Professional Clinical Counselors in the State of California.  The program’s format provides for evening classes and allows some classes to be taken online.  During the first year, most students can maintain full-time employment and study in the evenings and on weekends.  

The program is offered on three campuses and you can choose the location that is best for you:

  • Palo Alto Area (at the Los Altos Clinic Campus)
  • Monterey Bay (at the Scotts Valley Campus with Optional Study Groups in Monterey/Carmel)
  • San Mateo (at the College of San Mateo)

Our professors draw from their academic backgrounds and professional experiences to provide students with the training they will need to be successful and practice professionally.  Students learn through lecture, discussion, and evidenced-based learning material, then put their new knowledge to work in their internships, all guided by their professors.  The program also has a unique multicultural focus with an emphasis on culture, social justice and families. Instructors equip students to serve individuals from different backgrounds and with widely different needs.

The M.A. in Counseling Psychology program also involves innovative and creative collaborations with a rich variety of institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Monterey Bay Area.  The program combines an emphasis on scientific research with an intensity and breadth of clinical training to produce graduates and clinicians whose practices are grounded in science and meet the highest professional standards. That scientific and professional rigor makes our M.A. in Counseling Psychology uniquely suited to attract and train students at all levels who aspire to help families in need of care.

This program will specifically prepare students to:

  • Acquire, refine, and demonstrate appropriate Master's level knowledge and skills as a clinician, researcher, and academic.
  • Develop a professional identity as a counselor and the personal qualities intimately related to effective practice including integrity, sensitivity, flexibility, insight, compassion, and personal presence.
  • Become an organizational leader, expert in group process and a positive force in achieving high levels of participation, cooperation and cohesion.
  • Develop the ability to work cross culturally in both the United States and elsewhere on the world stage.
  • Develop an understanding of various cultures and the implications for social justice.
  • Develop an understanding of the social and psychological implications of socioeconomic position, and how poverty and social stress impact an individual's mental health and recovery.
  • Incorporate the principles of mental health recovery-oriented care and methods of service delivery in recovery-oriented practice environments.
  • Manage the risks of a professional counseling practice, to ensure client safety and to remain compliant with all laws, regulations, moral and ethical guidelines.
  • Integrate the principles and practices of marriage and family therapy throughout the professional practice of counseling and mental health.
  • Become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist or Professional Clinical Counselor.
1791 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
(800) 818-6136
(650) 433-3888 FAX