Undergraduate Degree

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Earn a Bachelor's Degree With Our Psychology Undergraduate Programs

At Palo Alto University, we know that learning is a journey. We meet you where you are to help achieve your career goals on your terms. Our undergraduate degree programs are designed for transfer students interested in the intersections of psychology and other disciplines. You can complete the program in just two years with both online and on-campus experiences available, including day and evening classes.


BS in Psychology and Social Action 

This program is ideal for students with a passion for community advocacy and outreach. The curriculum includes classes in psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and economics, and 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.

Learn More About the Psychology & Social Action Program

BS in Business Psychology

This program combines strategic business practices with the study of psychology and social sciences. Students will develop a keen understanding of human behavior, motivation, and group processes, and learn how to apply that knowledge in a professional setting. Graduates will prepare for careers in sales and marketing, human resources, and management.

Learn More About the Bachelor of Science in Business Psychology
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How to Apply

College Transfer Made Easy

PAU's application process is designed with busy students in mind. No letters of recommendation or application fee are required.

If you've completed your first two years at a community college or university, it is easy to transfer and earn your degree with Palo Alto University. 

Additional Student Resources


Learn about our two-step process

Admission Requirements

Palo Alto University's two-year Bachelor degree completion programs are designed for transfer students who have completed approximately two years of college coursework at a community college, UC, CSU or other university, as well as the majority of their general education requirements. 

More information about requirements

General Education

Students should plan to complete most of their general education requirements prior ro enrolling at PAU. Most students have all of their general educations requirements complete before starting their PAU program.

Details here

Gain Professional Insights From Our Experienced Faculty Members

As a small nonprofit university, we care about each student's success and keep our class sizes small. The student to faculty ratio is 17-to-1 so we can provide one-on-one support as you navigate the program. Our faculty comes from diverse backgrounds and many remain active in their field, including clinical psychology, human resources, management, and consulting.

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Expert Faculty @ PAU

Thrive Beyond the Classroom

Palo Alto University offers career-driven programs that connect the study of psychology and social sciences to the real world. Human behavior has an impact on every professional role, whether in the business world or driving social change at community agencies.

As part of our programs, students complete internships and clinical research in collaboration with our graduate students. They develop the interpersonal skills essential for a successful career. To aid your decision, hear from graduates of our program who have achieved their academic and professional goals with PAU.

Alumni Success Stories
PAU Students in the Community
Alum Spotlight: Terell Sterling, BS in Business Psychology

Terell Sterling is the founder and CEO of Go Paladin a Silicon Valley nonprofit that connects underrepresented and underserved entrepreneurs to the vast startup ecosystem whose motto is “Entrepreneurship for Everyone.”

Read More about Terell
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Online and In-Person Options

PAU understands that most of its students are juggling work, family and many other responsibilities. Our courses are offered online (synchronously and asynchronously), with a full-time day program available once we can return to campus.

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Undergraduate Program Student Life

Students in PAU's undergraduate program have many opportunities to participate in the larger community.

Learn more about Student Life @ PAU

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Undergraduate FAQ's Toggle Accordion

Q. What is the difference between a BS (Bachelor of Science) and a BA (Bachelor of Arts) degree?

A. Palo Alto University (PAU) only offers Bachelor of Science degrees. A Bachelor of Science degree focuses more on science and mathematics courses and is opportune for achieving a psychology degree. A Bachelor of Arts degree, on the other hand, deals with more liberal arts courses and requires people to take courses not necessary for achieving a psychology degree, such as foreign language courses.

Q. How long will it take to get my BS (Bachelor of Science) degree at Palo Alto University?

A. All of the undergraduate programs at Palo Alto University are designed as bachelor completion programs. This means that students complete a focused two-year program. The curriculum is carefully arranged so that students are able to build a strong knowledge base as they progress through the sequence.

Q. What is the difference between the undergraduate "day programs" and the "hybrid programs"?

A. Palo Alto University offers programs that fit a variety of schedules. The undergraduate day programs are a more classic approach to college, with classes held weekdays in the mornings and early afternoons. For those with work, family, or other commitments, PAU offers an online program. This programs are structured such that students take most of their classes online, asynchoronously, with only one "live" class in the evenings once a week, per quarter. Both programs are a two years long, however day students do not take summer courses.

Q. How often does Palo Alto University accept students?

A. Students are accepted once a year for the fall term. This is allows the various programs to keep a cohort structure and tuition stabilization. PAU has a rolling admissions policy for accepting applications, and students may apply online at any time throughout the year. There is no application fee.

Q. What is rolling admissions?

A. PAU maintains rolling admissions when dealing with undergraduate applications. This means that applications are accepted throughout the year until the cohorts are full. As qualified applications are received, students are notified of their acceptance status quickly and efficiently. This allows students to apply early, plan ahead, and prepare for their educational plans.

Q. What is a cohort?

A. The undergraduate programs are structured in cohort systems. Entering a cohort will mean that students take classes with the same people throughout their two years in the PAU programs.  This allows students to get to know their peers personally, and helps create a strong network of friends and professional connections. The cohort system enhances a student's academic experiences by creating an environment that is more conducive to collaborative learning.

Q. What is tuition stabilization?

A. PAU's tuition stabilization policy ensures that tuition is predictable over the course of a student's academic program. 

Q. What are the requirements to transfer into the undergraduate programs?

A. Transferring into PAU's undergrad programs is easy and convenient. Students are required to have completed 84 units of transferrable credit, plus an Introduction to Psychology course.  Transfers from community colleges are welcome, as are students from CSUs, UCs, and other universities from around the country. Contact PAU's admissions office today to obtain more information and to meet with an admissions counselors and go over program options:

Q. Are there scholarships and financial aid available?

A. Yes!  Since PAU is an accredit institution, students are eligible to receive state, federal and institutional aid. This gives students both grant and loan options when paying for school. Private scholarships are also available through PAU. Check with the financial aid office for details and deadlines.

Admission RequirementsToggle Accordion

Palo Alto University's two-year Bachelor degree completion programs are designed for transfer students who have completed approximately two years of college coursework at a community college, UC, CSU or other university, as well as the majority of their general education requirements. Similar to a community college transfer to CSU, students should complete the majority of their general education classes before transferring into PAU’s undergraduate programs. Students who are ready to transfer from a community college to a CSU will find transitioning to PAU’s undergraduate programs quick and easy.


  • Completion of Intermediate Algebra or higher
  • Completion of most General Education requirements
  • For applicants to the Psychology and Social Action Online program, you must be located in a state in which we are authorized to provide online education.
  • Completion of Introduction to Psychology or higher
  • At least 84 transferrable quarter units completed at the time of enrollment. Only courses from regionally accredited institutions with a grade of C or higher are transferable, and must be at the 100-level (non-remedial) or equivalent in order to be eligible for transfer.
  • Transferable units may be:
    • Introduction to Psychology
    • General Education units
    • Lower-division or upper-division elective units
    • Upper-division transfer units applicable to major requirements
    • Alternative forms of general education or elective units, such as AP tests, IB tests, CLEP and US Military credit.


  • Pre-Application Transfer Evaluation Request

We recommend that prospective students interested in our undergraduate programs complete a pre-application transcript review, to determine if you have met all prerequisite requirements. You can request a transcript review online.

For any questions regarding transfer requirements please contact:

Office of Admissions and Outreach

Palo Alto University



Request a Transcript Review

Transfer Credit GuidelinesToggle Accordion

Credit Evaluation for General Education and Elective Units

  • Members of the Office of Admissions staff determine credit for general education courses or elective units.
  • Credit evaluation begins with review of transcripts. Classes that are already articulated (meaning already identified as completing CSU A-E requirements), and for which the student received a C grade or better, are automatically credited.
  • The Assistant Director of Admission evaluates non-articulated courses on a case-by-case basis. This process determine whether a course sufficiently matches the content and learning outcomes for a general education course. This evaluation is usually completed by reviewing the catalog entry for the course in question, but may require review of the course syllabus.

Credit Evaluation for Major Requirements

  • The Assistant Director of Admissions determines transfer credit for major requirements.
  • Students requesting transfer credit toward their major should complete the Transfer Credit Request form, and submit syllabi of the courses they wish to transfer. These requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with the Assistant Director determining whether a course sufficiently matches the content and learning outcomes for an upper-division degree requirement course.

General Guidelines

  • Courses that are not awarded as general education or major requirement transfer credit may still transfer as elective units, upon review and approval of the Assistant Director of Admissions.
  • A complete summary of transferable credits will be provided to admitted students before the deposit deadline.
  • College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams (MIN SCORE OF 50), High School Advanced Placement (AP) exams (MIN SCORE OF 3) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams (MIN SCORE OF 4) may be used as substitutes for some general education requirements.
  • Only courses from regionally accredited institutions with a grade of C or higher are transferable, and must be at the 100-level (non-remedial) or equivalent in order to be eligible for transfer.

Transfer Credit Policy for Veterans

Palo Alto University’s undergraduate programs will accept transfer credit awarded for courses taken in the armed services. In order to have your military educational experiences evaluated for credit, you must submit evaluated transcript(s) from the appropriate agency.

The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard now use the centralized Joint Services Transcript System, which will electronically send your official transcript to PAU upon your request. The transcript includes your military training and occupational experience along with American Council on Education college credit recommendations. The Air Force uses the Community College of the Air Force.

Palo Alto University considers both military service and military coursework for academic credit using the guidelines issued by the American Council on Education (ACE). We refer to the ACE “Guide to Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Services” when determining applicable transfer credit for military experience and training. Job specialties (MOS, AFSC, Rate) must have a recommendation evaluation by ACE (in the ACE Guide) for credit to be awarded.


Affordability & ScholarshipsToggle Accordion

Predictable Tuition and On-Time Graduation Mean Earning a Professional Salary Sooner.

PAU's tuition stabilization policy ensures that tuition is predictable over the course of a student's academic program. 

  • 2022-23 undergraduate tuition and fees for Palo Alto University are $23,230.
  • Additional academic costs per year include an average of $1,268 a year for books and supplies.

On-Time Graduation Means Lower Cost

Many students and their families assume that attending a public university is the most affordable option for undergraduate education. However, as state funding dwindles, public universities are often serving more students with fewer resources. At large public universities, students cannot always get courses they need to graduate on time.

Palo Alto University Does Things Differently

Palo Alto University places a high priority on student success and affordability:

  • PAU organizes its undergraduate course schedules so that degree programs can be completed within two years.
  • Students who complete the program will graduate and start earning a professional salary faster than many students attending state universities who often need 3 or 4 years to complete their degrees.
  • PAU's tuition guarantee ensures that students know the full cost of their education.
  • Students can relax about class registration (classes are guaranteed) or tuition increases (they never happen) and immerse themselves in the rigorous and engaging academic programs that PAU offers.

Grant and Scholarship Availability

  • 89% of PAU undergraduate students were offered grant or scholarship aid, significantly reducing the cost of attendance.
  • 51.4% of PAU undergraduate students were offered an average of $4,295 through Pell grants.
  • 79% of PAU undergraduate students were offered an average of $10,741 through federal student loans.


Financial Aid InformationToggle Accordion

Financial assistance is available to eligible undergraduate PAU students in the form of state and federal grants, PAU scholarships, loans (repayable with interest), and on-campus employment (work-study or non work-study). Undergraduate students should complete the FAFSA on or before March 2 to be considered for the California state Cal Grant program. 

  • FAFSA CODE: 021383

NEW Virtual Drop-In Office Hours Monday-Friday: 10:00 - 11:00 am via Zoom https://paloaltou.zoom.us/j/91659708010

Contact our Financial Aid team today
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