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Home › Graduate › Master's Degree Programs › M.A. Counseling (MFT/LPCC) › FAQs & Tuition/Fees

Master's in Counseling FAQ and Tuition/Fees

Areas of Emphasis:
   -Marriage, Family, and Child
   -Clinical Mental Health

On-Campus · Online

Palo Alto University's Tuition Stabilization Plan guarantees no tuition increases for the duration of your M.S. in Psychology or MA in Counseling program.

 

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What are the tuition and fees?

Palo Alto University's Tuition Stabilization Plan guarantees that students pay the same tuition and fees each year they are enrolled with no tuition rate increases.

For students enrolled during the 2018-19 academic year total tuition and fees for the full 93-unit program is $51,894*. This is based on:

  • Tuition charged at $523 per unit
  • Fees charged at $35 per unit

*Students who take additional units of practicum in order to meet the program fieldwork requirement are billed for additional units at the same per unit rate.

In addition to tuition and fees, students are responsible for textbooks, online computer equipment, parking passes and American Counseling Association Student Membership fees. They also are responsible for their travel expenses to the one-week residency, if applicable. 

Is a psychology Bachelor's degree required to apply?

No. for students whose undergraduate major was not psychology, four additional courses are strongly recommended: developmental psychology, physiological or biological psychology, personality or abnormal psychology, and statistics. These classes can be taken at a community college or state university extension. However, these are not required for admission to the M.A. Counseling program.

Does PAU accept transfer units taken at another university?

Yes. If the classes are similar to courses offered in the PAU program, the student can request to transfer up to 15 units of prior graduate work.  Prior coursework cannot be more than 5 years old.  Transfer coursework is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Students 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.

Are there fellowships available?

PAU fellowships are not available at the Master's level. However, financial aid is available in the form of student loans. Students can apply for aid through the Palo Alto University Financial Aid Office to see what aid they are eligible for.

Can students maintain employment while enrolled in this program?

During the first year of the program most students can maintain full-time employment during the day, and study in the evenings and on weekends. During the second year (on-campus format) or third year (online format) when students complete their clinical fieldwork, students are typically at their fieldwork site 20-25 hours per week or more. Students should be aware that evening and weekend practicum placements are extremely hard to find. Most students will need to adjust their schedules during the clinical training year in order to spend at least two to three full days during the normal workweek to complete their clinical fieldwork training.

When are application deadlines?

The M.A. Counseling program admits students on a rolling basis. Applications are reviewed and admissions interviews are scheduled as soon as the application is complete. Applicants are typically notified of their admissions decision within a few weeks after applying.  The deadlines listed below are final deadlines, but applicants are encouraged to apply early for early consideration.

Fall (September Start) 

  • Priority Deadline: June 30
  • Regular Deadline: July 31

    Rolling admissions on a space-available basis until full.

Spring (April Start) 

  • February 28

    Rolling admissions on a space-available basis until full.

Do online formats take place entirely online?

The distance learning online format includes a one-week residency that requires all students to attend a one-week residency at the Palo Alto campus. Students outside California (U.S. and International) can fulfill practicum/fieldwork requirements in their home city, state or country. 

How much of the on-campus format is online?

The PAU residential hybrid on-campus option is a blended format that requires students to attend approximately two-thirds of classes on campus and one third online. Taking two courses per quarter on campus and one course per quarter online enables students to take three classes per quarter. Classes take place on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, in addition to occasional Friday and weekend workshops.

I'm an F-1 student, can I apply to a PAU Masters program?

F-1 International students who plan to be in their home country while being enrolled in an online PAU Master's program are eligible to apply. International students currently living in the U.S. in F-1 status and those interested in becoming F-1 international students for studying in the U.S. are not currently able to apply to PAU Master's Programs. PAU has a pending application on file with U.S. immigration/DHS, that if/when it is approved, will allow F-1s to apply. Please contact your PAU admissions staff for updates on this issue.

What types of practicum placements are available?

Palo Alto University works with students to find practicum placements that match their specific interests. For students in the residential hybrid format of the program, PAU works work with a wide variety of mental health agencies in San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties, where students have been placed in school districts, teen counseling centers, adult psychological service agencies, aging senior counseling centers, and with organizations such as the Salvation Army and the YMCA.

For students living outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, the program faculty and staff work with students to find individual practicum sites near their home communities. 

What can I do after I graduate?

Graduates who choose to pursue licensure must work as a registered intern and accumulate a specified number of hours or supervised work experience before taking their licensing examinations.

  • California MFT Licensure requires a minimum of two years (104 weeks) as a registered intern and a total of 3,000 hours of supervised work experience.
  • California LPCC licensure requires a minimum of two years (104 weeks) as a registered intern and a total of 3,000 hours of supervised work experience.

Pre-licensure experience requirements vary from state to state.  To find information on state boards and requirements, visit the AASCB website.  

Graduates of the program initially register as post-master's interns (or associates) in their state, and then work under the supervision of another licensed professional in a variety of practice settings in order to accrue the necessary hours to be eligible to sit for licensure exams.

After achieving licensure, graduates can work independently in their own private practice, assume wider responsibilities in a group practice, or provide leadership as a licensed practitioner in a mental health-related agency.

Students who defer intern registration and licensure may seek teaching, advising, or administrative positions in an educational setting, or continue their education at the doctoral level.

Will I have an advisor?

Yes. Students are assigned a faculty advisor upon entering the program. 

 
 
 

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1791 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Phone: (800) 818-6136 Fax: (650) 433-3888

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