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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. 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.


Admissions Requirements
  • Completion of Intermediate Algebra or higher
  • 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.
Graduation Requirements
  • Completion of general education requirements
  • Completion of all classes required for the major
  • 180 quarter units in total
  • Completion of 90 upper-division quarter units
  • 45 units must be completed at Palo Alto University
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 units in their major at PAU, and must be enrolled at PAU during the last two terms prior to graduation.
General Education Requirements

Students are encouraged to complete all general education requirements prior to enrolling, but may complete them while enrolled at PAU through dual enrollment at an accredited college or university, or through PAU courses designated as general-education-eligible (see chart below). Palo Alto University's general education requirements largely mimic the A-E requirements for the CSU system. 

General Education Area Unit Requirements Options for Completion: Business Psychology Major Options for Completion: Psychology and Social Action Major
Area A1 – English Language
Minimum of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units
  • BUSI302 Business Writing Fundamentals
  • PSYC300 Psychological Writing
Area A2 – Communication Minimum of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units
  • BUSI303 Business Communication


Area A3 – Critical Thinking Minimum of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units
  • BUSI430 Business Ethics
  • PHIL310 Philosophy of Ethics
Area B1 – Physical Science

Minimum of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units



Area B2 – Life Science Minimum of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units  
  • BIOL350 Biological Psychology
Area C – Arts and Humanities

Minimum of 9 semester units or 12 quarter units. Select courses in at least two disciplines.

  • BUSI430 Business Ethics
  • ANTH351 Multicultural Studies
  • PHIL300 Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL310 Philosophy of Ethics
  • ANTH370 Ethnic Identity, Social Stratification
Area D – Social Sciences

Minimum of 9 semester units or 12 quarter units. Select courses in at least two disciplines

  • ANTH351 Multicultural Studies
  • ECON400 Global Economics
  • PSYC320 Social Psychology
  • PSYC381 Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC365 History of Psychology
  • PSYC440 Human Behavior/Interpersonal Effectiveness
  • PSYC331 Theories of Personality and Assessment
  • ANTH350 Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH370 Ethnic Identity, Social Stratification
  • POLI310 International Political Economy
  • PSYC360 Psychology of Gender
  • PSYC340 Research Design & Methods
  • PSYC375 Cross-Cultural Psychology
  • SOCI300 Social Problems
  • PSYC320 Social Psychology
  • PSYC380 Psychology of Lifespan Development
  • PSYC390 Abnormal and Clinical Psychology
  • SOCI320 Globalization
Area E – Human Understanding and Development

Minimum of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units.

  • PSYC325 Psychology of Leadership and Team Development
  • PSYC320 Social Psychology
  • PSYC440 Human Behavior/Interpersonal Effectiveness
  • PSYC381 Developmental Psychology
  • PSYC331 Theories of Personality and Assessment
  • BUSI381 Career Planning and Development
  • SOCI340 Fundamentals of Social Action
  • PSYC320 Social Psychology
  • PSYC310 Psychology of Learning and Memory
  • SOCI300 Social Problems
  • PSYC380 Psychology of Lifespan Development
Mathematics Minimum of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units of transfer-level (non-remedial) math.


Students who have taken and passed an Introduction to Statistics course prior to enrolling at PAU will not be required to take MATH320 or MATH325.

  • MATH325 Research Methods and Data Analysis
  • MATH320 Statistics for the Social Sciences
Introduction to Psychology Minimum of 3 semester units or 4 quarter units. Must be completed prior to enrollment Must be completed prior to enrollment


Completing General Education Units after Enrollment

Students will develop an Individualized Education Plan with their academic advisor, prior to the start of classes. This plan will outline:

  • Remaining general education requirements
  • Remaining major requirements
  • Additional elective units needed to reach 90 upper-division quarter units and 180 quarter units in total, if necessary
  • A reasonable enrollment load, personalized for each student. This is especially important if a student will dual-enroll to complete any requirements.
    • Options for completing the required units would include:
      • CLEP
      • Accredited community college courses
      • PAU courses at the undergraduate or graduate level
      • Classes at other accredited 4-year institutions
Transfer Credit Guidelines
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
  • Undergraduate program faculty determine 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 faculty 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.
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.

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



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