A private, nonprofit, accredited educational institution, founded in 1975 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP).

M.A. Counseling Locations/Online

Areas of Emphasis:
   -Marriage, Family, and Child
   -Clinical Mental Health

Palo Alto · San Mateo · Monterey Bay · Online


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Palo Alto University offers students access to an excellent education for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) or Mental Health Counselor (LPCC) without uprooting their lives. PAU's online and on-campus formats give students maximum flexibility to complete a master's degree in counseling while working, raising a family, or managing the many responsibilities of their lives.

Pursue A Master's Degree from Anywhere

  • On Campus Blended format. On-campus students attend approximately two classes per quarter at one of our Northern California locations and one class per quarter online.
  • Online with One-Week Residential format. This format enables students to take all classes online and do internships locally, in their home community. Students attend a one-week summer residency at the Palo Alto campus. The residency is an opportunity to meet professors and classmates face-to-face. It includes intensive study and competency-based skill training and culminates in a clinical competency examination that is a prerequisite for clinical fieldwork.
  • Global Online format. This format was designed for students who live and plan to practice outside the U.S. Palo Alto University's Global Advancement of Counseling Excellence initiative has well-established partnerships in several countries as well as contacts on all seven continents. Students enrolled in this program complete all coursework online and do all internships and clinical fieldwork in their home country.

Flexible Start Dates and Scheduling

Students can begin an online program in any quarter: Fall (September), Winter (January), Spring (April), or Summer (June). Each quarter, an online orientation is held for incoming students. This orientation is required so that students can learn the foundations of the online program before classes begin. On-campus cohorts are enrolled Fall or Winter quarter only.

Students can enroll either part-time or full-time, and the program can be completed in a little over two years as long as the desired fieldwork placement can be secured.

Virtual Classroom Supports Every Aspect of The Learning Experience.

  • Palo Alto University utilizes an online learning platform that supports all aspects of a student’s learning experience.
  • Classes include real-time lecture and dialog, discussion boards and clinical skills training enabled by multimedia technology.
  • Online classes give students the opportunity to interact with a global student body and learn clinical skills through real-time interaction with instructors.

Field Placements in the Home Region Help Establish Students in Their Communities.

  • Palo Alto University assists students in finding suitable practicum placements in their community.
  • Faculty advisers provide ongoing support throughout the practicum, and guidance about licensing requirements in each state or country.
  • Supervision takes place at the field placement site and from Palo Alto University faculty online.
  • For students outside the U.S. our Global Advancement of Counseling Excellence initiative provides culturally relevant clinical training and supervision that meets international standards of excellence.

Get the Best of Both Worlds.

Staying local while participating in a global Master’s degree program gives students the best of both worlds: global perspective with local roots.  Palo Alto University offers students a unique multicultural focus that emphasizes culture, social justice and families. Students benefit from the latest academic research and clinical approaches while tailoring their experience to the culture and community in which they live and practice.

Take the Next Step.

Apply now, learn more or contact the Master's program admission staff at mastersadmissions@paloaltou.edu or 650-417-2023.


Contact Us

1791 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304

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