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Academic Programs

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Palo Alto University’s academic programs prioritize your student experience. We offer a variety of psychology and counseling bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs designed to deepen your understanding of the human condition and develop in-demand clinical, research, and interpersonal skills.

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World-Class Degree Programs in Psychology and Counseling

As a private, nonprofit university, PAU is committed to addressing pressing and emerging issues through research and training in psychology and counseling that equitably meet the needs of today’s diverse society. Firmly rooted in this mission, our degree programs prepare you to cultivate human well-being and promote inclusivity.

Whether you’re working toward your bachelor’s degree or pursuing a PhD, immerse yourself in a psychology-focused education and receive comprehensive training, in-demand skills, clinical research experience, and professional development, equipping you for success in the workforce.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Psychology

Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology and Social Action

The psychology and social action bachelor’s degree is ideal for students with a passion for community advocacy and outreach. Students dive into a rigorous curriculum covering psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and economics. To put their knowledge into practice, students complete a nine-month internship to gain real-world experiences. Graduates can find roles at nonprofits and community agencies or prepare for graduate programs in psychology.

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Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Psychology

As an ideal program for transfer students, the Bachelor of Science in Business Psychology offers an interdisciplinary education, blending strategic business practices with the study of psychology and social sciences. Students develop a keen understanding of human behavior, motivation, and group processes and learn how to apply that knowledge in a professional setting, preparing them for careers in sales and marketing, human resources, and management.

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Psychology, Counseling and Social Work Master’s Programs

Online Master of Science (MS) in Psychology

PAU designed the Master of Science in Psychology to prepare students for careers in teaching, research, and related business and nonprofit fields. With a choice of four tracks, students select the coursework that best prepares them for their future goals. Since this degree is offered part time and delivered entirely online, program costs are kept low, and students have added flexibility and can complete the program without relocating.

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Master of Arts (MA) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Our Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares students for the successful completion of professional counselor licensing exams and certification, equipping them to enter the workforce as highly skilled, culturally responsive practitioners. Students may attend online or through a hybrid format.

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Online Master of Social Work (MSW)

The Master of Social Work (MSW) program offers a specialization in Culturally Informed Behavioral Health Practice, with two tracks: Practice with Children and Youth in School and Community Settings (CY) and Practice with Adults in Public Behavioral Health Settings (PBH). The program prepares graduates for clinical practice and leadership roles in California’s public behavioral health system. The innovative curriculum is designed for practice with California’s diverse and underserved populations. The program has a full-time plan of study that is completed in two calendar years. Students attend synchronous online classes and several 3-day immersion residencies each year.

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Accelerate Your Career With a Doctoral Degree

PhD in Clinical Psychology

Our PhD in Clinical Psychology is a five-year, full-time doctoral program offered through a traditional on-campus learning experience. Accredited by the American Psychological Association, we use a practitioner-scientist training model to cover all aspects of psychological theory, research, and practice.

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PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision

The Counselor Education and Supervision doctoral program forges a new generation of leaders. Our PhD students play an active role in advancing the counseling profession by training new counselors and supervisors, researching effective clinical interventions, and providing influential leadership in organizations.

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PGSP - Stanford PsyD Consortium

In partnership with the Stanford University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium is for students interested in building a career in direct clinical psychological services. The curriculum focuses on evidence-based clinical psychology and covers topics in research, ethical standards, intervention, and assessment.

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CONCEPT - Continuing and Professional Studies

Commencement 2022 Photo of Students
CONCEPT| Palo Alto University's Division of Continuing & Professional Studies

PAU’s CONCEPT is the University’s Division of Continuing and Professionals, a not-for-profit providing transformative educational experiences. With over 350 self-paced programs, CONCEPT empowers working mental health professionals to deepen their specialized knowledge and earn CE credit.

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Palo Alto University Academic Programs

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Palo Alto University is a front-runner in psychology and counseling education, continuously pursuing academic excellence and equipping students as competent practitioners, researchers, and leaders in the mental health field. 

Since 1986, PAU has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), ensuring our academic programs provide students with a comprehensive, viable education and establishing PAU as a trustworthy institution.

Our doctoral programs received accreditation from the American Psychological Association (APA) to maintain the quality of education and clinical training. 

Lastly, to ensure PAU properly prepares students training to become counselors to serve the needs of individuals and their communities, the master’s and doctoral programs in counseling are accredited by Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Invest in a PAU Degree: Tuition & Financial Aid 

At PAU, we commit to helping you reach your full potential without letting finances stand in your way. As a student, enjoy competitive tuition rates and tuition stabilization, which maintains predictable tuition rates, allowing you to plan for the cost of attendance. Our Office of Financial Aid is ready to help you navigate the process of applying for financial aid and connect you with valuable resources. 

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PAU Faculty
Meet our Dedicated Faculty

As a tight-knit, private university, we care about each student's success and keep our class sizes small, so students and faculty can cultivate meaningful, collaborative relationships.

Our faculty come from diverse backgrounds, and many remain active in their field, including clinical psychology, human resources, management, and consulting.

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Join Us for a Campus Tour or Admissions Events

To showcase our transformative academic programs, student resources, and exceptional faculty members, the Office of Admissions organizes a variety of events, inviting students to experience PAU for themselves. From application deep dives to virtual graduate open houses and guided tours around our beautiful campus, students can discover all that PAU has to offer. 

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Discover All That Palo Alto University Has to Offer

Students at Allen Calvin Campus at Palo Alto University

At Palo Alto University, we prioritize our students’ success. Whether you are transferring to PAU, an international student, or a working professional, you can find a psychology and counseling program that suits your personal and professional goals.

Want to learn more about attending PAU?

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