Online Master of Science (MS) in Psychology

Online Master of Science (MS) in Psychology

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The online Master of Science (MS) in Psychology degree at Palo Alto University empowers working professionals to explore new career options or pursue advanced leadership roles, effecting impactful change in the mental health field. 

To create a flexible learning experience, Palo Alto University offers the master’s in psychology program in a part-time, fully online format, with courses delivered in the evening. This enables students to enroll in our rigorous graduate program without detracting from their work schedule. 

Through engaging coursework and research and a supportive academic environment, graduate students earning their MS in psychology acquire in-demand skills, valuable insight into human behavior and mental processes, and professional development.

PAU's MS in Psychology

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Why Earn Your Psychology Master’s Degree at PAU?

  • Flexible, fully online format, allowing you to complete your degree in six to seven quarters
  • Four available concentrations to specialize your master’s degree for careers in forensic, mental health, or academia
  • Stabilized tuition so you can financially plan for your education
  • A 47-year legacy of being at the forefront of psychology and counseling

Who Should Consider the Online MS in Psychology?

The psychology master’s program is ideal for individuals seeking a career change to the mental health field or those already in the field and wanting to specialize their expertise, acquire more advanced skills, and elevate their career prospects.

With concentration tracks, graduate students have the option to take a broadened approach to their education by pursuing the general concentration, which covers the breadth of the psychology field. Or, students can tailor their master’s degree and select the forensic, tech and mental health, or the PhD prep tracks to support their specific career or doctoral education goals.


Graduate Courses Delivered Online

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Pursue your master’s degree in psychology without uprooting your life. Offered in a fully online format, the PAU graduate psychology program prioritizes flexibility, with all coursework delivered synchronously online via Zoom. Participate in live evening classes, which fosters a supportive learning environment and encourages meaningful interaction with both students and instructors.

MS in Psychology Concentrations


During their time in the MS in Psychology program’s general track, students take a wide range of psychology and research classes, establishing the foundation of their graduate education.

Graduate students examine essential topics, including human development throughout the lifespan, social and personality psychology, and biological, cognitive, and affective bases of behavior. Additionally, students dive into the history of psychology, psychopathology and psychodiagnosis, and the ethics of working in clinical psychology.

Because PAU’s general psychology concentration provides students with highly transferable knowledge and skills, they graduate equipped to work in fields such as higher education, business, technology, and teaching.

Forensic Psychology

The forensic psychology concentration is an excellent educational track for graduate students interested in careers in the criminal justice or legal disciplines. In addition to studying the fundamentals of psychology, human development, and research and statistics methodologies, students enroll in electives that give an overview of the interrelation of psychology and the law.

Students may also supplement their curriculum with free courses from PAU's Continuing and Professional Studies program. 

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PhD Prep

Planning on pursuing a doctorate in psychology? Students working toward their MS in Psychology may apply to transition into the PAU residential PhD in Clinical Psychology program when entering the program's second year. The PhD Prep concentration is an effective way to demonstrate academic readiness for graduate-level work.

The PhD program is selective; students must meet academic qualifications to receive an invitation to interview. Admission to the PHD program is not guaranteed.

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Tech & Mental Health

Designed for graduate students who want to use technology to improve mental health, this concentration offers a deep understanding of the interplay between psychology and rapidly changing technology. Students analyze the current trends in mental health and wellness, the changing demands of the technology workforce, the expansion of the mental health and technology venture and corporate sector, and how an understanding of psychology can benefit those who want to work in technology.

Through this concentration, graduate students can pursue technology-related careers in fields such as education, nonprofits, government, and more.

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For consideration for the online master’s in psychology program, applicants must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Be located in a state in which PAU is authorized to provide online education
  • Complete the following prerequisite courses if they did not earn their undergraduate degree in psychology:
    • Developmental psychology
    • Physiological or biological psychology
    • Physiological or abnormal psychology
    • Statistics

Once all application materials have been received and reviewed, the University invites applicants who meet admission requirements to one-on-one interviews with a PAU faculty member. Applicants typically receive their admissions decision four to six weeks after the interview. 



Learn more by visiting the MS in Psychology admissions page Review PAU’s general requirements for a graduate degree.


The MS Psychology program consists of 37.5 or 47 quarter units of coursework, depending on the chosen concentration. There is no thesis requirement. Courses are taken over six or seven consecutive quarters (including summer) beginning only in fall quarter.

PhD Prep Track477
Generalist Track 37.56
Forensic Psychology Track37.56
Tech & Mental Health396

Students take two or three courses during most quarters. Students in the PhD Prep Concentration are required to travel to Palo Alto for a one-week intensive course in clinical interviewing.

Tuition & Financial Aid

PAU commits to making graduate education affordable and accessible to all students. With our stabilized tuition, competitively priced tuition, and helpful financial aid resources, we empower students to invest in their education and earn their degree.

Visit our Tuition and Cost page or contact our Financial Aid department to learn more. 

Estimated Cost of Attendance

Application Materials

During the application process, applicants must submit:

  • PSYCAS application
  • Résumé or CV
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts

The program does not require GRE scores for admission nor reviews them if included in the application materials.

Learn From PAU’s Expert Faculty

MS Psychology Classroom
Meet our Dedicated Faculty

PAU’s faculty members leading the master’s in psychology program bring years of diverse experience in clinical, research, and pedagogical fields. With their guidance and insight, students achieve success in their graduate programs and future careers.

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PAU Alumni Success Stories

Jessica Tan, MS
Jessica Tan, MS

Developer Experience Researcher at Google

James Jewett, M.S., J.D
James Jewett, MS, JD

Director for the U.S. Department of State

Monica Done
Monica Done, MS

Researcher at UCLA

Related Program

Students seeking clinical practice and Marriage and Family Therapist (MST) or Licensed Clinical Counselor (LPCC) credentials should apply to PAU’s MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, which provides a path to licensure in many other states and countries.

Elevate Your Education With PAU’s Online MS in Psychology

Earn your Master of Science (MS) in Psychology online from Palo Alto University and discover a world of possibilities. With highly transferable skills and a deep understanding of human behavior and cognition, you can pursue fulfilling careers in a variety of fields and industries. 

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PAU's MS in Psychology

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