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Online Master of Science in Psychology

The Master of Science in Psychology program at Palo Alto University is designed for working professionals who are changing careers or pursuing advancement in their field. Specialized master's degree options and a fully online format make our graduate psychology program convenient and accessible no matter where you live.

The MS in Psychology is an online program that provides three options for students:

  • MS in Psychology - PhD Preparation Track (47 units): Upon satisfactory completion of the program requirements, accepted and qualified students may apply to transition into the PAU residential PhD program entering the second year of the PhD program.
  • MS in Psychology - General Psychology Track (37.5 units): Students take a wide range of psychology and research classes.
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology Track (37.5 units): Students take a wide range of psychology and research classes, along with two elective courses in forensic psychology.


  • All classes are graduate-level.
  • All coursework is delivered synchronously online via Zoom, requiring live evening meetings that allow students to interact with instructors and other students.
  • Students in the PhD Prep Track attend a one-week, in-person intensive course at the Palo Alto campus during the spring break of the second year.
  • The program is highly structured, but its part-time format enables students to continue working while in school.

In addition to its flexibility, the MS program provides some cost savings for students planning on transitioning to the PhD program:

  • Approximately $6,000 in tuition savings compared to the equivalent courses in the full-time PhD program.
  • Savings on cost of living for those planning to relocate to the Bay Area.
  • Most student can continue to earn an income while in the program, as courses are delivered in the evening.

Why Choose This Program?

  • For students who are career changers, or those who have been out of school for some time, the MS program is an excellent opportunity to ramp up for the rigor of graduate-level work within a supportive academic environment.
  • The MS program is an ideal way to demonstrate academic readiness for graduate-level work for students who may have had a rocky academic undergraduate experience.
  • No GRE is required for entry to the MS program, and no GRE is required for students transitioning from the MS to the PhD program.
  • An MS in Psychology may support career advancement in fields that require social science research capability and an understanding of human behavior.
  • An MS in Psychology with a forensic area of emphasis may support career advancement in forensic settings.
  • Students who successfully complete all coursework are awarded a terminal MS in Psychology degree that can be applied to careers in human services and related non-profit causes, publishing, technology, assisting in psychological research, teaching at the community college level, or other professions and businesses.
  • The MS in Psychology degree does not include clinical coursework and does not qualify graduates for licensure to practice clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy, or clinical mental health counseling.
  • Students seeking a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) or Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) credential should apply to Palo Alto University's MA in Counseling program, which leads to licensure in many of the 50 U.S. states and other countries.

Program Leadership

Dr. Eduardo Bunge is the Director of the MS in Psychology program at Palo Alto University.


Achieve your academic and career goals with a Master of Science in Psychology from Palo Alto University. Apply now to our online program to get started.

Students at Palo Alto University's 2019 graduation


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