Graduate Admissions

MA in Counseling Admissions Deadline Spring Start: March 5, 2023 Apply on Psycas
MS in Psychology Application Deadline Apply by August 4, 2023 Apply on Psycas
PsyD Admission Deadlines Application review begins Nov 1, 2022. Apply by Nov 15, 2022 for early consideration
PhD Admission Deadlines Application review begins Nov. 1, 2022. Apply by Dec. 1, 2022 for early consideration
Fall Graduate Virtual Open House Register Today!

Which graduate program is right for you?

See how a degree from Palo Alto University is tailored to your professional goals and prepares you for a meaningful career in counseling, research, tech, education, or corporate settings.

PAU's flexible graduate programs are ideal for those with bachelor's degrees who wish to advance their opportunities, switch careers, or begin their path toward licensure.

Prospective PAU students can select a degree program or concentration based on their goals and interests. The average completion time is two years for our master's programs and five years for our doctoral programs (excluding clinical licensure).

Palo Alto University is committed to furthering education in the fields of psychology and counseling. 

Our accredited degree programs are led by credentialed faculty members whose specialized coursework prepares students for careers and continued education in their chosen field.

Achieve personal, academic, and professional excellence with counseling and psychology graduate programs at Palo Alto University.

Request more information about our programs today

Counseling and Psychology Graduate Programs

MA Counseling Cohort group
MA in Counseling

PAU's Master of Arts in Counseling program offers concentrations for those who wish to pursue careers as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC).

PAU MS Psychology Class
MS in Psychology

Our Master of Science in Psychology program is suitable for the student seeking a career in education or research or who plans to pursue a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.

students in front of PAU sign
PhD in Clinical Psychology

The PhD in Clinical Psychology program at PAU involves diverse curricula developed specifically for those who seek clinical careers in a specialized field of psychology.

Master's Programs

Palo Alto University offers two Master's degrees, the MA in Counseling and the MS in Psychology, designed for students with a bachelor's degree.

Both programs are accredited by the WASC Senior Colleges and Universities Commission (WSCUC), and are grounded in evidenced-based teaching. With online, hybrid and in-person options, these programs are designed to accommodate a variety of student schedules, including working adults.

Master of Arts in Counseling (MFT/LPCC)

Be part of a diverse and dynamic community dedicated to developing highly effective mental health counselors, future leaders, and innovators in the counseling profession. Our program is approved by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) with practicum requirements to help provide a strong foundation to pursue licensure after graduation as a Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) or Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).

Marriage, Family & Child Clinical Mental Health MA in Counseling Admissions Requirements
Master of Science in Psychology

This part-time, online graduate degree offers a wide range of career and education opportunities in psychology without relocating. Program alumni have gone on to pursue diverse careers as forensics specialists, management roles, UX researchers, teachers, clinical trial researchers, serving in the Department of Children and Family Services, and more. Choose one of three program options:

General Psychology Concentration (37.5 units)
Forensic Psychology Concentration (37.5 units)
Technology and Mental Health Concentration (39 units)
PhD Preparation Concentration (47 units)

MS in Psychology Admission Requirements

Doctoral Programs

Palo Alto University (PAU) offers two APA-accredited doctoral programs in clinical psychology.

Both programs specialize in PAU’s practitioner-scholar model that aims to produce graduates who are critically reflective and informed consumers of psychology and associated clinical services. 

Prospective students are welcome to apply to both the PhD Clinical Psychology and PGSP – Stanford PsyD Consortium programs simultaneously. In order to do so, simply select both programs within PsyCAS and complete the custom questions for both, or contact your admissions counselor for assistance. We strongly encourage students to complete distinct statements of purpose for each program that demonstrate an understanding of the difference between a PsyD degree and a PhD.
PhD in Clinical Psychology

The PhD in Clinical Psychology program is deeply committed to educating well-rounded psychologists who can excel as both clinicians and researchers. Students are taught to be science-minded while appreciating the larger role of psychology in alleviating suffering in the world.

Through a rigorous evidence-based curriculum, outstanding faculty mentorship, and rich opportunities in both clinical training and scholarly research, the PhD in Clinical Psychology program aims to provide the foundation for a distinctive psychology career integrating science and practice in the service of others.

The PhD in Clinical Psychology program is a unique program that offers several areas of emphases and elective courses for students to tailor their dyadic, clinical, and research training.

PhD Admission Requirements Learn more about our Areas of Emphasis
PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium

The PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium is a program intended for individuals seeking careers devoted primarily to the direct delivery of clinical psychological services. The program provides a generalist education in clinical psychology, relegating the pursuit of more specialized training to students’ later post-doctoral education. The Consortium training model emphasizes evidence based practice, and takes a bio-psychosocial approach to psychology striving for a balanced, integrated, contemporary understanding of the biological, social, and psychological factors affecting human behavior.

PsyD Admissions Requirments
On-Demand Open House Information Sessions
MA in Counseling (On-Demand Webinar)
MS and PhD Virtual Open House

Watch our on-demand graduate virtual open house to learn more about the MS and PhD program at PAU. Learn more about our faculty and meet our admissions team.

PsyD Virtual Open House

Learn more about PGSP - Stanford PsyD Consortium Training Model

Note: PAU would like to announce the closing of the Joint JD/PhD Program in Psychology and the Law with Golden Gate University Law School. The Joint Program has produced some of the best JD/PhD students in the country. This program is no longer being offered at this time.

Academic Programs


Required Entry Degree



MA in Counseling

Bachelor’s Degree

9 or 11 quarters, depending on track

  • Hybrid: Palo Alto, Mountain View and online
  • Online: 100% live remote classes with two required in-person residencies

MS in Psychology

  • PhD Prep Concentration
  • Generalist Concentration
  • Forensic Psychology Concentration
  • Tech and Mental Health Concentration

Bachelor’s Degree

6 or 7 quarters, depending on track

  • Online
  • Students in the PhD Prep Concentration have one required in-person residency

PhD in Clinical Psychology

Bachelor's Degree

5 years

  • Palo Alto & Mountain View

PsyD PGSP-Stanford Consortium

Bachelor's Degree

5 years

  • Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Stanford