Graduate Admissions

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 and hybrid options, these programs are designed to accommodate a variety of student schedules, including working adults.

Master of Arts in Counseling (MFT/LPCC)

The MA in Counseling degree is a terminal Master's degree that prepares students to become licensed counselors. The program has two areas of emphasis. The Marriage, Family, and Child (MFT) emphasis fulfills all requirements for MFT licensure in the State of California. The Clinical Mental Health emphasis fulfills all requirements for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) licensure in California and many other U.S. states and countries. The program is offered in online and on-campus formats. The on-campus option is a residential hybrid format in which students take approximately two-thirds of classes on campus in Palo Alto and Los Altos. The online format enables students to take all classes online with weekly live videoconferences, and includes two on-site clinical training experiences at PAU’s Palo Alto campus.

Master of Science in Psychology

The MS in Psychology program has three tracks, designed to prepare students either for PhD study or for a variety of careers involving applied psychology in research, publishing, education, and other fields. 

  • PhD Preparation Track (47 units)
  • General Psychology Track (37.5 units)
  • Forensic Psychology Track (37.5 units)

Students complete all coursework online with weekly live video conferences. The PhD-prep track requires a one-week residency in Palo Alto.


Doctoral Programs

Palo Alto University (PAU) offers two APA-Accredited doctoral programs in 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.

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, those areas are:

  • Child & Family Psychology
  • Diversity and Community Mental Health
  • Forensic Psychology
  • LGBTQ Psychology
  • Meditations & Psychology
  • Neuropsychology

For more information, please explore our website:

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.

Applying to both programs:

  • 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. 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.

Note: PAU would like to announce the closing of the Joint J.D./Ph.D. 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.

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