Program Overview

Palo Alto University provides an entirely online degree opportunity for those interested in obtaining a Master of Science in Psychology. This distance learning program can be done as either a terminal degree, or as preparation for a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. The program is tailored to suit the needs of students who want to further their education without the hassle of moving. Likewise, study can be done part time so that if the applicant has a full time job they can continue to do so. Ideally, this program will ensure students who want to earn a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology that their M.S. credits from this program will transfer.

Students are instructed by faculty members with distinguished careers and who possess thorough knowledge as instructors. Graduates of the program have the opportunity to be interviewed with the potential to be admitted at Palo Alto University’s Ph.D. program in Clinical Psychology as a second year doctoral student. Conversely, those not interested in the Ph.D. program receive an education that provides career advancements in business, community college teaching, or research assisting.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Master

    Delivery Format: Mostly Online

    Accelerated Degree: No

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission


    Each applicant must be a graduate of an accredited undergraduate institution and provide official transcripts to document their undergraduate degree. Students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.3 (on a 4.0 scale). For students coming from a non-psychology background, there are four courses that are prerequisites: developmental psychology, physiological psychology, personality or abnormal psychology, and statistics. Many students come to psychology from other fields and might not have all the prerequisites, so PAU offers the ability to take these four courses online in PAU’s Bachelor program as a non-matriculated student.

    The program is a global online program  in which students take all classes online and come to the Palo Alto campus for one week during summer quarter of the first year.


    Students are required to attend a one week on-campus intensive course during a Summer quarter.

    School Overview

    Palo Alto University was founded in 1975 under the name of The Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. In 2009, the school officially reincorporated and changed its name from The Pacific Graduate School of Psychology to Palo Alto University and moved to a new campus. Palo Alto University works toward the mission of "generating knowledge through research and scholarship of the highest level and providing services to the community informed by science and scholarship." Palo Alto University is a four-year, not-for-profit, private, comprehensive research university. The Palo Alto University campus is located in Palo Alto, California.

    Palo Alto University has a number of degrees and certificate options available, including bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, several of which can be earned completely online.


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