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Online Format

Online Virtual Classroom 

The MS in Psychology program is a part-time, online program. The schedule is planned for students who are working part-time or full-time, with coursework that can be completed during evenings and on weekends.

One-Week Residency

Students on the PhD Prep Concentration come to the Palo Alto campus for one week for an intensive course in Clinical Interviewing. 


Online Teaching Methods

Palo Alto University uses a number of methods to accomplish the program's educational goals. Every class includes real-time interaction in a virtual classroom as well as materials that students read and complete on their own. Instructional techniques include:

  • Weekly evening remote classes in a virtual Zoom classroom. Instructors share a screen with all students simultaneously and the class members can engage in discussion while viewing the same materials.
  • Threaded discussion groups, where students discuss course materials with each other and the instructor.
  • Chat rooms or conference calls hosted by the professor that provide a forum for questions and dialog.
  • Audio and video conferencing.

Location Restrictions

Applicants for the MS in Psychology program must be located in a state in which we are authorized to provide online education. 

Online Format Zoom Meeting
Online Orientation

An online orientation for new students, held before classes begin, ensures that all students understand the basics of Palo Alto University's unique online format.

More Available Student Resources


Some portions of each course are completed on the student's own time, at their convenience via Canvas, an educational technology company that hosts courses and course materials in a web-based learning management system. Many classes use PowerPoint slides accompanied by lecture notes. A number of classes include an audio track so students can listen to the instructor. Readings in PDF format and streaming or video downloads for all classes are available through the learning management system.

Interaction at Scheduled Times

Courses also include chat rooms, video conferences or conference calls, which individual instructors schedule at times that work for their enrolled students. Real-time classes typically take place after 4 pm Pacific time on week days. 

Assessing Online Coursework

Student performance is assessed in a number of ways, including exams, papers, and project assignments.

Computer and Equipment Requirements

A computer with internet connection is the virtual campus for this program. Students will need access to a reliable computer with an internet connection to participate. A powerful computer with a DSL or cable modem connection is recommended to participate in online classes and download course materials. Students also need a working microphone and speakers to join video and phone discussions.