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PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision Admissions

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The PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program will enroll its first class for the fall 2024 term, which starts in September.

Program Delivery

Our curriculum has in person and online components. Students must reside in California within sufficient proximity to the University to permit participation in all in-person activities and utilization of campus resources.


Application Deadlines

Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis.

Admissions Requirements

  • Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution or the international equivalent.
  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree in counseling. Additionally, applicants must have successfully completed masters-level core curriculum aligned with CACREP curriculum standards as well as content in at least one CACREP-aligned specialty area.
  • Applicants must be a licensed mental health counselor, or be license-eligible.
  • In addition to the required degrees, we recommend applicants have work experience in the counseling field and experience with research.
  • GRE scores are not required and will not be considered in the review of applications, even if students provide them.

Applicants are encouraged to review the information below carefully, and to plan plenty of time to complete the application process.

Quick Application Checklist

  • Online Application via PSYCAS
  • Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • Resume or CV
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose


How To Apply

PAU uses the American Psychological Association’s (APA), Psychology Centralized Application Service (PSYCAS). In preparation for applying, you will need a copy of your transcript(s) available for your review. All materials should be submitted through the PSYCAS system, not directly to the PAU Admissions Office.

Frequently Asked Questions: PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision Admissions

Recommended GPA

We strongly recommend applicants have at least a 3.0 GPA.

Who should apply?

  • Licensed professional counselors
  • Graduates of CACREP-accredited counseling programs
  • School counselors
  • Marriage and family counselors
  • Associate professional clinical counselors or post-graduate counselors working towards licensure

Unfortunately, PAU cannot issue I-20s for the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, due to the portion of the program that is delivered online. International students who are in the US on another type of eligible visa are welcome to apply. 


Applicants must have successfully completed the masters-level core curriculum for CACREP accredited programs as well as content in at least one CACREP specialty area.

Professional and Academic References

  • Applicants for the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision program will provide three (3) professional references from individuals who have served in a supervisory, evaluative (e.g., professor/advisor), or managerial relationship with the applicant.
  • References must have a current or recent (within past two years) relationship with the applicant.
  • Of the three references, one must be from a current or most recent clinical supervisor.
  • References from colleagues, friends, personal counselors, and/or family members are not permitted.

Admissions Communication

  • The primary form of communication in the admissions process is email, and we will use the email address you list on your application.
  • All students will receive a decision, and we will provide updates as often as possible.

Work Study

  • Work-study awards are part of the financial aid package. Once awarded work-study, students may apply for any work-study job on the PAU campus.

Transfer Credit


  • Graduate Level: 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).
  • Acceptable Grades: A grade of “B” or better is required in the graduate level course to be eligible for transfer credit.
  • Accreditation: Previous graduate work must have been completed at a CACREP  accredited Counselor Education and Supervision program.
  • Deadline for Requesting Transfer Credit: Requests for review of transfer credit must be submitted by Aug 1 of the year the student plans to enroll in the CES program.
  • Maximum Credit Awarded: A maximum of 13.5 quarter units or 9 semester units may be transferred into the CES program.
  • Transfer Unit Equivalencies: A student will be awarded the number of units the transferred course is equal to at Palo Alto University, which uses a quarter system. A 3 semester unit course will be awarded as a 4.5 quarter unit credit. A transferred course must be equal to or greater than the number of units of the corresponding CES course.
  • Time Limit for Transfer Credit: In order to be eligible for transfer credit, the course must have been completed within five years of the student’s matriculation at Palo Alto University.
  • Transferable Courses: Students applying for review of transfer coursework should indicate which course(s) they are applying to waive. It is not guaranteed that a course will be eligible for transfer credit.
  • Appeals and Exceptions: A student may appeal transfer credit decisions in writing to the Department Curriculum Committee. Appeals must be submitted within one week after the incoming student is notified of the outcome of their transfer credit application.
  • Please note that because the CES program is billed on a flat-rate, quarterly tuition schedule, transfer or waiver of units will not result in a reduced tuition rate. Additionally, because of our cohort model with required courses in each quarter, your time to completion of the program will not be reduced; however, students who are allowed to waive required coursework may have the luxury of more time available for supplemental internship, research assistantships, paid employment, etc.

International Students

Unfortunately, PAU cannot issue I-20s for the PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, due to the portion of the program that is delivered online. International students who are in the US on another type of eligible visa are welcome to apply. 

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Office of Admissions and Outreach

You may direct general inquiries to: or call 650-417-2039

Please note that due to remote work, our phone line is not staffed live. Please leave us a message and we will return your call shortly.