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History of PAU

Palo Alto University has served its students, faculty, staff and community for over 45 years as a psychology-focused education institution.

Learn more about the growth and evolution of PAU:

1975 - Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP) founded in Palo Alto by prospective students and faculty who wanted to develop their professional knowledge of clinical psychology; Robert Kantor is its first President.

1984 - Dr. Allen Calvin joined PGSP as President.

1986 - PGSP accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

1988 - PGSP campus moves to East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto, CA.

- The Kurt and Barbara Gronowski Clinic opens in Palo Alto, CA.

- PGSP PhD program receives APA accreditation.

2002 - PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium program begins.

2005 -  The Gronowski Clinic moves to Los Altos, CA.

2006 - PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium receives APA accreditation.

2006 - The PAU Bachelor degree program in Psychology & Social Action (PSA) approved by WASC in the Spring and started at De Anza Community College in the Fall.

2009 - Second major in Business Psychology (BP) approved by WASC and enrolled its first cohort at Foothill Community College in the Fall of 2009.  The MA Counseling (originally MA Mental Health Counseling) program begins.

2009 - Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP) is re-incorporated as Palo Alto University (PAU).

2009 - The Sexual and Gender Identities Clinic opens at The Gronowski Center.

2011 - The Business Psychology and Psychology Social Action Hybrid (Evening/Online) format approved by WASC and started in Fall 2011. Both programs' evening classes are conducted at PAU campus. The M.A. Counseling Psychology program begins. The M.A. Counseling program begins serving students in China.

2011 - MA in Counseling Psychology program begins.

2014La Clinica Latina opens at The Gronowski Center.

2013 - PAU developed a new partnership with the College of San Mateo, to offer both its Bachelor degree programs.

2016 - Dr. Maureen O'Connor became the third president of PAU.

2017 - The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) awarded eight years of accreditation to both emphases in the MA in Counseling program; Marriage, Family and Child emphasis and Clinical Mental Health emphasis.

2021 – The COVID-19 Pandemic moves PAU to online operations for two years. 

2022 - PAU earns designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

2022 - Mountain View Campus opens. The Gronowski Center moves to the new campus.