MS in Psychology Program Admissions
The MS in Psychology program admits students on a rolling basis for the fall term, which starts in September.
The program offers four concentrations, all offered in a synchronous, online format.
- Technology and Mental Health Concentration (6 quarters)
- Generalist Concentration (6 quarters)
- Forensic Psychology Concentration (6 quarters)
- PhD Prep Concentration (7 quarters)
All four concentrations require the same application materials and process.
- Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution or the international equivalent. A GPA of 3.3 or higher is recommended. However, we do a comprehensive review of all your application materials.
- For applicants to the MS in Psychology program, you must be located in a state in which we are authorized to provide online education.
- GRE scores are not required for admission to PAU master's degree programs. GRE scores will not be considered in the review of applications, even if students provide them.
- International students may apply for the program if they plan to remain in their home country while enrolled. PAU is unable to enroll students on a student visa into this program.
- Online Application via PsyCAS
- Application Fee
- Official Transcripts
- Resume or CV
- Three Letters of Recommendation
- Statement of Purpose
Once Your Application is Complete
After applications are received, applicants who satisfy admission requirements are selected for a one-on-one interview with a faculty interviewer via video Zoom. Complete applications will be reviewed within a few weeks of completion. Interviews are scheduled on a rolling basis and applicants typically receive an admission decision 4-6 weeks after interviewing.
Acceptance and Enrollment
Students accepted into the MS in Psychology program receive an official acceptance letter by e-mail. To enroll in the program, students who have been accepted must submit an enrollment agreement after receiving their acceptance letter to secure their place.
For students who wish to secure financial aid, it is important to begin that process as soon as possible by completing the FAFSA. Once the FAFSA is complete, the PAU Financial Aid office will send the student a PAU financial aid application.
START YOUR FAFSA
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements to apply?
Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution (or the international equivalent) and a suggested minimum 3.3 GPA. If you have questions about your GPA, reach out to an admissions counselor.
- PsyCAS Application
- Application Fee
- Resume or CV
- Statement of Purpose
- 3 Recommendation Letters
- Official Transcripts
If the undergraduate major was not psychology, four prerequisite courses are required for the MS in Psychology program:
- Developmental psychology
- Physiological or biological psychology
- Personality or abnormal psychology
Can I complete this program online from anywhere?
Students can complete the MS from any authorized US state. Please review our list of unauthorized states. If you are located in an unauthorized state, we will not be able to consider your application for admission. If you live outside of the US, you may apply and complete the program from your home country.
What are you looking for in the statement of purpose?
The most important piece of advice is to respond to the questions asked in the prompt and to adhere to length and style requirements. Beyond that, the statement of purpose is the primary way for the Admissions Committee to hear your voice. There is no need to rehash your resume – take the opportunity to talk about your passions and interests specific to psychology.
You are welcome to address personal circumstances or hardship in your application if it helps frame your interest in the field. Please remember, however, that your statement of purpose is not a diary entry or a counseling session. Oversharing can raise concerns about boundary issues and personal judgment. If you address a past hardship, we encourage you to provide analysis and self-reflection of the situation, rather than just a description of what happened. If the situation is too fresh, and you feel you cannot distance yourself enough to provide analysis yet, it may be best to choose another topic for your statement of purpose.
Are there any required prerequisite courses?
Yes, the following courses are required for entry into the MS Psychology program.
Applicants who majored in Psychology do not have to complete the prerequisites.
- Biopsychology (e.g. Sensation and Perception, Brain and Behavior)
- Abnormal Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
Learn more about the prerequisites here.
What should I include in my statement of purpose?
- 2-3 pages
- 1.5 line-spaced
- 12-point font
- 1-inch margins
The paper should include:
A brief autobiographical sketch, including what led to an interest in a psychology graduate program. Details of goals and purpose in applying to Palo Alto University and how this applies to future career goals. Strengths and accomplishments thus far that have prepared the applicant for graduate psychology education.
Personal qualities that will be important assets as a psychologist or in your chosen career field.
What is the GPA requirement?
We recommend a 3.3 cumulative GPA. However, we do a comprehensive review of all your application materials.
What is the transfer policy?
Only graduate-level courses are acceptable for transfer credit. A graduate-level course is any course for which a student received graduate credit at their previous institution(s). This may include graduate-level courses the student took as an undergraduate.
A grade of “B” or better is required in a graduate-level course to be acceptable for transfer credit.
Previous graduate work must have been completed at a regionally accredited institution. International coursework must be in English in order to be evaluated for transfer.
Time Limit for Requesting Transfer Credit
Requests for transfer of units must be completed by the posted deadline.
A maximum of five units may be transferred into the MS program. If a student receives a waiver of courses beyond the transferable units, they must take elective units to meet the total unit requirement for graduation from PAU.
Any course can only transfer in the number of transfer units equal to the comparable course at Palo Alto University, despite the number of units previously assigned to the course. The number of units of a course the student wishes to transfer must be equal to or greater than the units of the corresponding Palo Alto University course. Palo Alto University operates on quarter academic terms. Semester credits will be converted to quarter units for evaluation using a 1.5 quarter unit per 1.0 semester unit conversion.
Theory (T courses) may be considered for transfer if they have been completed within ten years prior to the time of matriculation at PAU. For all other courses, courses must have been completed within five years prior to the time of matriculation at PAU.
Students must provide a syllabus/syllabi for the course(s) they would like to transfer. Course descriptions are not acceptable.
Appeals and Exceptions
Credit transfer decisions may be appealed in writing to the Curriculum Committee.
|MS Total Applicants||92|
|Final Cohort Size||36|
Demographic Summary: Fall 2022 Deposited MS in Psychology Students
|Two or More Races||25.00%|
|Decline to State||2.78%|
|Average Cumulative Undergraduate GPA||3.23|
|Average Age at Application||27.6 (Range: 21-43)|
|Native Languages||Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese, English, Spanish|
Palo Alto University’s Office of Admissions and Outreach is eager to answer all your admissions questions and connect you with helpful resources as you embark on your application process.
Please direct all general inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call 650-417-2039.
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