How to Apply

Application Deadlines

The PhD program uses rolling admissions. Students who submit an application early will have their applications reviewed first. This usually means that early applicants are also invited to interview early in the interview cycle, which begins in January. 
The priority application deadline is January 3rd, 2022, however students who wish to interview during our first interview weekends are strongly encouraged to submit their applications by the end of November. 
Rolling admissions also means the admissions cycle may end at any time after January 3rd, 2022, should our spaces fill. It is advantageous to apply early in the cycle to be assured there is still space available. 

PsyD and PhD Admissions Deep Dive Webinar Recording

Application Checklist

Please note: All materials should be submitted through the PSYCAS system, not directly to the PAU Admissions Office. 

1. Application Form

Complete an application online in the PSYCAS system.

2. Application Fee

The application fee is $80.00 for the first program application in PSYCAS, and $40 for subsequent applications to additional programs. The APA offers a fee waiver opportunity for students who qualify. PAU does not require an additional application fee.

3. Resume/Curriculum Vitae

Please include a resume or CV that lists all employment, training, and any volunteer work relevant to the field of psychology as well as other full-time employment.

4. Official Transcripts

Transcripts from undergraduate and graduate institutions attended must be sent directly from the institution, even if a degree was not awarded. Official transcripts should be mailed or electronically delivered by the issuing institution directly to the PSYCAS Transcript Processing Center. Instructions for submitting transcripts can be found on the PSYCAS website.

PSYCAS Transcript Processing Center

P.O. Box 9138

Watertown, MA 02471

After enrolling in the program, conditionally admitted students must submit final official transcripts directly to the Office of Admission as soon as possible. Failure to submit final official transcripts by the frist day of classes will result in a registration hold. Any student who does not submit final transcripts by the end of the first quarter will be dropped from their courses.

International Applicants

If you attended an institution outside of the US, PAU requires that your transcript be evaluated and, if applicable, translated. You may select any vendor that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Please visit for a complete list of members. Your course-by-course evaluation should be sent directly to PSYCAS. More information on submitting foreign coursework to PSYCAS can be found within the application and via the Applicant Help Center.

Palo Alto University has partnered with the following agencies to provide applicants with convenient ordering sites and direct delivery of evaluations to the Office of Admission. If choosing one of these agencies, applicants are encouraged to use the links below. (*Discount available via link.)

International Education Evaluations, LLC SpanTran: The Evaluation Company *

5. GRE Test Scores

The GRE will not be required of applicants for the 2022 admissions cycle. Our process will be test-blind: test scores will not be considered by the Admissions Committee even if submitted by the student. 

6. Statement of Purpose

  • Formatting: Double space, and limit to 1,000 words.
  • Provide a brief autobiographical sketch, including what led to your interest in the practice of clinical psychology.
  • Discuss your goals and purpose in applying to Palo Alto University.
  • Discuss your future career goals as a clinical psychologist, why you want to become a clinical psychologist, and how the PhD program will help you reach these goals.
  • Address your strengths and accomplishments which have prepared you for graduate psychology training. This might include: your professional development, including course preparation for research projects; history of publications and presentations at professional conferences; experience with diverse populations; and clinical training.
  • Discuss the qualities you possess that you think will be important assets as a practicing clinical psychologist.

7. Letters of Recommendation

Please provide three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with the applicant's ability and/or potential for rigorous graduate study, clinical work, and/or research. Whenever possible, they should be faculty members in psychology or practicing professionals in psychology or other mental health discipline. Letters of recommendation should be submitted through the PSYCAS system.  

8. International Students

For students whose first language is not English, a demonstrated proficiency in English is required for admission. PAU recognizes the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as measures of English language proficiency.

If you are submitting a TOEFL score to PSYCAS, please be sure to use the code #B515.

If you are submitting the IELTS, please be sure to have it mailed to our main campus located at:

Palo Alto University Admissions Office
1791 Arastradero Rd
Palo Alto Ca, 94304
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