Fall 2020 Plan and Covid-19 Resource Page.

Master's in Counseling On-Campus & Online

Photo of a building located at Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, CA


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Palo Alto University offers students access to an excellent education without uprooting their lives. PAU’s residential hybrid (on-campus) and distance learning (online) formats give students the ability to complete a master's degree in counseling while working, raising a family or managing the many responsibilities of their lives.

  1. Residential Hybrid (on-campus) format. On-campus students attend approximately two classes per quarter on-campus and one class per quarter online. In this format, students have the flexibility to take an extra class online if they need to. An important aspect of this format is face-to-face learning as a cohort of students, all taking the same courses in the same sequence together.
  2. Distance Learning (online) with Two Residential Training Experiences. This format enables students to take all classes online and complete practicum and master's-level internship locally, in their home community. Students attend two residential training experiences at the PAU campus location. The residency is an opportunity to meet professors and classmates face-to-face. It includes intensive study and competency based skill training and culminates in a clinical interviewing assessment that is a prerequisite for clinical fieldwork. Please note that online students must be located in a state in which we are authorized to provide online education.

Start Dates and Scheduling

Students can begin the program two times per year: Fall (September) or Spring (April). Each start term, an orientation is held for incoming students. This orientation is required so that students can learn the foundations of the program before classes begin

Students can enroll in a distance learning or residential hybrid format and complete the program in approximately 9 quarters. For Fall, distance learning admits can also select a slower paced 11 quarter program of study.

Enjoy state-of-the-art online virtual classrooms. All classes are held in the late afternoons or early evenings PST.

Zoom Virtual Classrooms Support Online Learning Experiences.

  • Palo Alto University utilizes the Zoom videoconference platform for weekly live virtual remote classes for all online courses.
  • Classes include real-time lecture, discussion and clinical skills training enabled by videoconference technology.
  • Online classes give students the opportunity to interact with a diverse student body and learn clinical skills through real-time interaction with instructors.

Field Placements in the Home Region Help Establish Students in Their Communities.

  • Palo Alto University assists students in finding suitable practicum/internship placements in their communities.
  • Students receive ongoing support throughout the practicum/internship experience.
  • Supervision takes place at the student’s field placement site and from Palo Alto University faculty online.

Get the Best of Both Worlds.

Staying local while participating in a distance learning (online) master’s degree program gives students the best of both worlds. Palo Alto University offers students a multicultural focus that emphasizes culture, social justice and families that students experience in weekly live virtual remote classes. Students benefit from the latest academic research and clinical approaches while tailoring their experience to the culture and community in which they live and practice, all in a program format that fits into their busy lives.

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