Fall 2020 Plan and Covid-19 Resource Page.

Graduate Admissions

Master's Programs

Palo Alto University (PAU) offers two Master's degrees, M.A. Counseling and M.S. Psychology, each of which is accredited by the WASC Senior Colleges and Universities Commission (WSCUC). Master's programs are grounded in evidenced-based teaching and are designed to help accommodate a variety of schedules, from anywhere, for students with a bachelor's degree and an interest in counseling and psychology who are ready to take the next step.

Master of Arts in Counseling (MFT/LPCC)

The M.A. 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 attend a one-week residency at PAU’s Palo Alto campus.

Master of Science in Psychology

The M.S. Psychology program has three tracks, designed to prepare students either for Ph.D. studies or for a variety of careers involving applied psychology in research, publishing, education, and other fields. 

  • PhD Preparation Track (47.5 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.

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

The Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. Clinical Psychology program aims to provide the foundation for a distinctive psychology career integrating science and practice in the service of others. The Ph.D. 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

PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium

The PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. 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 have the option to apply to both the Ph.D. Clinical Psychology and PGSP – Stanford Psy.D. Consortium programs. In order to do so:
  • Select the “Both Ph.D. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology” option in the pull down menu in the application.
  • Only one application fee of $50 is required.
  • It is only necessary to submit ONE copy of the required documents for the applications.  
  • Please submit two statements of purpose - one for each program.

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 J.D./Ph.D. students in the country. This program is no longer being offered at this time.

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