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MS in Psychology Curriculum

Program Structure

The MS Psychology program offers several concentrations that require between 37.5 - 47 quarter units of coursework. There is no thesis requirement. Courses are taken over six or seven consecutive quarters (including summer) beginning only in fall quarter.

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.

 UnitsQuarters
PhD Prep Concentration  47   7
Technology and Mental Health Concentration   39.5   6
Forensic Psychology Concentration  37.5   6
No Concentration (Generalist)  37.5   6

 

Didactic Coursework

With the exception of the summer clinical interviewing course in Palo Alto, the courses are didactic in nature and do not include an applied clinical component. That is why the specific degree associated with the program is an MS in Psychology, not clinical psychology, even though some of the content is relevant to clinical psychology.

The curriculum for this online program is similar to the first year of Palo Alto University's residential PhD program, and many courses are taught by the same faculty members as the on-campus program. This ensures high-quality instruction in both the online and on-campus programs. PAU's institutional data indicate that the performance of students in the online PhD Prep Concentration is comparable to that of students taking the same curriculum on campus.

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.

More on Admissions

Sample Schedules

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

Sample MS Schedules
 

PhD Prep

47 units

Tech and Mental Health

39.5 units

Forensic

37.5 units

No Concentration

37.5 units

Fall

MTHD509 Research Methods and Statistics I (4)


 

PSYS501 Child & Adolescent Development (1.5)


 

PSYS507 Adult Development & Aging (1.5)

MTHD509 Research Methods and Statistics I (4)


 

PSYS501 Child & Adolescent Development (1.5)


 

PSYS507 Adult Development & Aging (1.5)

MTHD509 Research Methods and Statistics I (4)


 

PSYS501 Child & Adolescent Development (1.5)


 

PSYS507 Adult Development & Aging (1.5)

MTHD509 Research Methods and Statistics I (4)


 

PSYS501 Child & Adolescent Development (1.5)


 

PSYS507 Adult Development & Aging (1.5)

Winter

ASMT500 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis I (3)


 

STAT510 Research Methods and Statistics II (4)

ASMT500 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis I (3)


 

STAT510 Research Methods and Statistics II (4)

ASMT500 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis I (3)


 

STAT510 Research Methods and Statistics II (4)

ASMT500 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis I (3)


 

STAT510 Research Methods and Statistics II (4)

Spring

STAT511 Research Methods and Statistics III (4)


 

ASMT501 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis II  (3)

STAT511 Research Methods and Statistics III (4)


 

ASMT501 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis II  (3)


 

PSYS540 Technology and Mental Health for Children and Adolescents: Screen Time, Digital Interventions, and Teletherapy (1.5)

STAT511 Research Methods and Statistics III (4)


 

ASMT501 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis II  (3)

STAT511 Research Methods and Statistics III (4)


 

ASMT501 Psychopathology & Psychodiagnosis II  (3)

Summer

PSYS511 Social & Personality Psychology (3)


 

Research Competency Exam

PSYS511 Social & Personality Psychology (3)


 

PSYS541 Evidence-based Internet Interventions to Reduce Health Disparities (1.5)

PSYS511 Social & Personality Psychology (3)

PSYS511 Social & Personality Psychology (3)

Fall

CLIN500 Ethics in Clinical Psychology (3)

 

PSYS500 History & Systems (3)

CLIN500 Ethics in Clinical Psychology  (3)

 

PSYS 543 Mental Health and Design in the Digital World (User Experience) (3)

CLIN500 Ethics in Clinical Psychology  (3)

 

PSYS 520 Introduction to Forensic Psychology (3)

CLIN500 Ethics in Clinical Psychology  (3)

 

PSYS500 History & Systems (3)

Winter

PSYS502 Cognitive Bases of Behavior (2.5)

 

PSYS504 Affective Bases of Behavior (2.5)

 

PSYS 505 Psy Sci II: Biological Bases of Behavior (2.5)

PSYS502 Cognitive Bases of Behavior (2.5)

 

PSYS504 Affective Bases of Behavior (2.5)

 

PSYS542 Using Evidence-Based Principles of Multimedia Learning for Product Design (1.5)

PSYS502 Cognitive Bases of Behavior (2.5)

 

PSYS504 Affective Bases of Behavior (2.5)

 

PSYS 525 Assessing and Managing Risk (2.5)

PSYS502 Cognitive Bases of Behavior (2.5)

 

PSYS504 Affective Bases of Behavior (2.5)

 

PSYS 505 Psy Sci II: Biological Bases of Behavior (2.5)

Spring Break

CLIN515 Clinical Interviewing. (In-person intensive week.) (3)

   

Spring

PSYS509 Psychopharmacology (2.5)

CLIN508 Introduction of Psychotherapy: Evidence-Based Approaches (3)

CLIN 501 Professional Standards I (1)

   

Summer

Transition to PhD Program

Psychometrics

Practicum 2A

Students are billed the MS per-unit rate for these courses.  

   

 

 

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
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.

Learn about our Online Format
Program Format for Online Classes
MS Psychology Classroom
Expert Faculty

The MS in Psychology program at PAU is an online program led by highly qualified professors with extensive knowledge of their concentrations.

Jessica Tan, MS
Jessica Tan, MS in Psychology, Developer Experience Researcher at Google

"The MS program at Palo Alto University contributed to my career by giving a strong foundation of knowledge in experimental research methods, statistics and clinical interviewing. I have been able to use these areas of knowledge in my day-to-day work as a UX Researcher through analyzing qualitative and quantitative user data as well as during user interviews. The MS program also taught me how to balance multiple projects at once, since I was attending the MS program while working full time."

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