FAQs & Tuition/Fees

Q. What are the total tuition and fees for the program?

A. For the academic year 2014-15 tuition is charged at $447 per unit and fees are charged at $27 per unit. The total tuition and fees for the 90 unit program is $42,660. Because Palo Alto University (PAU) has adopted tuition stabilization once you are in the program, tuition and fees will not be raised. In addition to tuition and fees, students are responsible for textbooks and test proctoring.

Q. What can I do when I graduate?

A. Graduates who choose to pursue licensure may initially register as interns and work under the supervision of another licensed professional in a variety of practice settings. After licensure is achieved, which is after a minimum of 2 years as a registered intern and a total of 3,000 hours plus licensing examinations, the MFT graduate can work independently in their own private practice, assume wider responsibilities in a group practice, or provide leadership as a licensed practitioner in a mental health related agency. Students who defer intern registration and licensure may seek teaching, administrative, or further educational opportunities at the doctoral level. See also: Career Opportunities

Q. Do I have to have a Bachelors Degree in Psychology to apply?

A. No, a bachelor’s degree in any field is acceptable. PAU does encourage applicants to complete the following 5 Psychology courses or their close equivalents: Introduction to Psychology, Statistics or Research Methods, Abnormal Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Personality Theory. Admissions decisions will consider the entire degree and professional experiences to judge each applicant’s qualifications.

Q. Are there scholarships available?

A. At PAU, scholarships are not available at the master’s level; however, financial aid is available through student loans. Students need to apply through the financial aid office to see what they are eligible for.

Q. Can I transfer units I have taken at another university?

A. Yes, if the classes are similar to the courses offered in the program students can transfer up to 15 units of prior graduate work. Generally, the coursework cannot be more than 5 years old. Transfer coursework is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Students need to submit the course description with supporting documentation (e.g. a comprehensive syllabus). A PAU faculty member will review the documentation, and they will either accept or reject the course for transfer credit.

Q. How much of the program can I take online?

A. The M.A. Counseling Psychology is a blended program, meaning that it requires students to take approximately two courses live and in class and one course online each quarter. This format allows students to take three classes per quarter, but to only attend course sessions two evenings per week. Courses usually take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, in addition to occasional weekend workshops. Beginning in Fall 2014, the program will also be offered all day on Saturday at the Palo Alto campus.

Q. Can I maintain employment while enrolled in this program?

A. During the first year most students can maintain full-time employment during the day, and study in the evenings and on weekends. During the second year students should be aware that evening and weekend practicum placements are extremely hard to find. Most students will need to adjust their schedules in order to spend two days during the normal work-week to complete their practicum experience.

Q. What types of internships are available to M.A. Counseling Psychology students?

A. PAU works with a wide variety of mental health agencies in San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties. In these locations, PAU has placed students in a variety of settings including school districts, teen counseling centers, adult psychological service agencies, aging senior counseling centers, and with organizations such as the Salvation Army and the YMCA. Students have also been placed with groups serving specific communities such as Catholic, Jewish, Asian, and Latino community counseling agencies. PAU works with students to find an internship that matches their specific interests.

Q. When are applications due?

A. The application deadlines are listed below.

Fall Application Deadlines (September Start)

June 30th

Priority Deadline for admissions and early acceptance eligibility.  Applicants will be notified of acceptance by July 15 and receive priority acceptance for available slots.

July 31st

Final Deadline 

August 31st

Rolling Admissions on a space available basis


Winter Application Deadlines (January Start)

December 1st

Priority Deadline for admissions and early acceptance eligibility.  Applicants will be notified of acceptance by December 15 and receive priority acceptance for available slots.

December 15th

Final Deadline


Contact Us

1791 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Phone: (800) 818-6136 Fax: (650) 433-3888