Master's in Counseling Curriculum

The curriculum below - including courses and required units - is subject to change as new offerings emerge. Please check this page periodically for updates.

This MA in Counseling program is an academically rigorous program consisting of 93 quarter-units as well as mandatory fieldwork, workshops and intensives. The curriculum is progressive and designed to prepare students for fieldwork culminating in a capstone project.

Palo Alto University is on the quarter-unit system:

  • Fall quarter: September to December
  • Winter quarter: January to March
  • Spring quarter: April to June
  • Summer quarter: June to August

Distance learning (online) and residential hybrid (on-campus) students complete the program in 9 quarters. For fall, distance learning admits can also select a slower paced 11-quarter program of study. Course sequences vary somewhat depending on when students start their practicum/internship fieldwork.

Students are expected to be enrolled continuously and to complete their degree on schedule with their cohort.

Residential Hybrid (On-Campus) Format Course Sequence

Click the links below to view and download the specific course sequence for the quarter in which students can start the on-campus program. Students receive their official degree plan for their cohort prior to beginning the program.

Distance Learning (Online) Format Course Sequence

Click the links below to view and download the specific course sequence for the quarter in which students can start the online program. Students receive their official degree plan for their cohort prior to beginning the program.

For course descriptions, please see the Palo Alto University Catalog.

Practicum/internship fieldwork is a required part of the master's in counseling program. Students complete a minimum of 700 hours, including a minimum of 280 face-to-face client hours with the student working in the role of Counselor Trainee or Therapist Trainee, over a minimum of three academic quarters (typically 9-12 months). These courses are held online, for both residential hybrid and distance learning students. 

Free Continuing Education Courses for all Students

Students in all programs are encouraged to supplement their curriculum with courses from PAU's Continuing and Professional Studies Division. This extensive catalog of on-demand courses is free to students!

Continuing & Professional Studies Forensic Courses Counseling Practice and Essentials
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