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M.S. Psychology Admissions


Quick Application Checklist

  1. Online Application in PSYCAS
  2. Application Fee
  3. Official Transcripts
  4. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  5. Letters of Recommendation
  6. Statement of Purpose

Application Deadlines

The M.S. Psychology program begins in fall quarter only. Classes typically begin after Labor Day weekend in early September.

Fall Quarter Admission Deadlines
  • April 30, 2020: Priority Deadline
  • August 14, 2020: Regular Deadline

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications well in advance of deadlines. Be sure to allow plenty of time for transcripts and letters of recommendation to arrive at Palo Alto University. Applications submitted closer to the deadline frequently cannot be reviewed because supporting documents are not received in a timely manner.

Where to Send Documents

Please note: Beginning September 15, 2016, PAU will begin using PSYCAS for all graduate applications, and materials should be submitted through PSYCAS, not directly to the PAU Admissions Office. Instructions on how to submit materials through the PSYCAS system can be found here. The PSYCAS Transcript Processing Center mailing address is as follows:

PSYCAS Transcript Processing Center
P.O. Box 9138
Watertown, MA 02471

Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution or the international equivalent.

Admissions Recommendations

A GPA of 3.3 or higher is recommended. If the undergraduate major was not psychology, four prerequisite courses are required for the M.S. Psychology program: 

  • Developmental psychology
  • Physiological or biological psychology
  • Personality or abnormal psychology
  • Statistics

GRE scores are not required for admission to the Master's degree program. 

For overseas international applicants remaining in their home country to apply for the program, the TOEFL exam is required (  For international students who earned their bachelor's degree in the U.S. or other English-speaking countries, the TOEFL is not required. 


Application Details

1. Online Application

Applicants must complete the online application for the M.S. Psychology Program in PSYCAS.

2. Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee must be paid to complete the application. In PSYCAS, the first application fee is $50, and subsequent application fees for additional programs are $35 each. The APA offers a fee waiver opportunity for students who qualify.  

3. Official Transcripts

College transcripts verifying a Bachelor's degree are required. Only official, sealed transcripts from the Registrar's office of each institution are acceptable. Official transcripts should be mailed by the issuing institution directly to the PSYCAS Transcript Processing Center. Instructions for submitting transcripts can be found on the PSYCAS website.

International Applicants
If you attended an institution outside of the US, PAU requires that your transcript be evaluated and, if applicable, translated. You may select any vendor that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluations Services (NACES). Please visit for a complete list of members. Your course-by-course evaluation should be sent directly to PSYCAS.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most vendors have ceased operations and/or expect significant delays in their services. International Education Evaluations, LLC is currently accepting and processing requests. Please visit for more information on placing an order.

4. Resume or Curriculum Vitae

The resume or CV should list professional and academic experience, education, awards, publications, etc.

5. Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation from academic or professional references should be submitted through the PSYCAS system. 

6. Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose serves as a sample of the applicant's ability to write in an academic and professional manner. It should be two to three 1.5- line-spaced pages and should represent the highest quality of expression and scholarship.

Points to cover in Statement of Purpose:

  • A brief autobiographical sketch/background, including what led to an interest in a psychology pre-doctoral 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 practicing psychologist.



After applications are received or in progress, applicants will be scheduled for a 30-minute online interview with program faculty.


Acceptance and Enrollment

Students accepted into the M.S. in Psychology program receive an official acceptance letter by e-mail and mail. To enroll in the program, students who have been accepted must submit a $350 tuition deposit within two weeks after receiving their acceptance letter to secure their place. The tuition deposit can be submitted online, or mailed to the address above.


Transferring Credit

Students can transfer up to five units of prior graduate work. Coursework cannot be more than five years old. Transfer coursework is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The student must submit a course description and supporting documentation (e.g. a comprehensive syllabus) for each transfer course. A Palo Alto University faculty member then reviews the documentation, and either accepts or rejects the course for transfer credit.


Financial Aid

Students who wish to secure financial aid after being accepted into the program should begin that process as soon as possible after being accepted into the program by completing the FAFSA. Once the FAFSA is complete, the PAU Financial Aid office will send the student a PAU financial aid application.


Admissions Contacts

Application Questions

Contact the PAU Office of Admissions toll-free at (800) 818-6136.

Financial Aid Questions

Contact the Financial Aid office,

Questions About M.S. Psychology Program Academics, Locations and Formats

Email or call one of the Master's Program Contacts.

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017