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Palo Alto is a private nonprofit university. The university is dedicated to providing a higher education to its students while placing emphasis in social and behavioral sciences. They strive to create leaders ready to aid society, and provide their students with knowledge through research and scholarship. They also work hard in providing services to the community with their science and scholarship.
The school is involved in many local and international collaborations. PAU also sponsors several academic centers devoted to child mental health, evidence-based care for LGBTQ clients, excellence in diversity and community care and internet-based global healthcare.
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Palo Alto was originally founded in 1975 under the name Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP) by prospective students and faculty who were interested in developing a professional knowledge and understanding in psychology. Robert Kantor was the first president of the school. In 1984, Dr. Allen Calvin joined the school as the new president. Two years later the school was first accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). A couple years later the school moved to East Meadow Drive in Palo Alto, CA. That same year the Kurt and Barbara Gronowski Clinic opened, and the Ph.D. program at the school received APA accreditation.
In 2002, the PGSP-Standford Psy.D Consortium program was started. Three years later it was decided to move the Gronowski Clinic to Los Altos, CA. One year after moving the clinic, the PGSP-Standford Psy.D Consortium program received APA accreditation. In 2006, the PAU Bachelor degree program in Psychology and Social Action was approved by WASC in the spring and started in the fall. Three years later a second major in Business Psychology was approved by WASC and started in the fall. That same year the M.A. Counseling program was started. In 2011, evening and online formatted classes were approved by WASC for the Business Psychology and Psychology Social Action. In 2013, PAU partnered with the College of San Mateo to offer both Bachelor degree programs.
Palo Alto University Accreditation Details
PAU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
Each academic program in psychology and counseling have been individually accredited by The WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC.) The Ph.D Clinical Psychology and PGSP-Standford Psy.D Consortium are APA accredited.
Palo Alto University Application Requirements
Application requirements vary depending on degree program of interest. For the BS in Business Psychology and BS in Psychology and Social Action, students must have 90 quarter units or 60 semester units of transferable coursework from a regionally accredited university or community college. Students must also have a minimum of a 2.0 GPA. For the MA in Counseling, students must have a Bachelor degree in any field from a regionally accredited university or the equivalent international degree. Students must also have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. For the MS in Psychology students must have a Bachelor degree in any field from a regionally accredited university or the equivalent international degree, and a minimum of a 3.3 GPA. For the Ph.D in Clinical Psychology and Psy.D PGSP-Standford Consortium students must have a BA or BS degree.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The university differs from many of its competitors by offering a Tuition Stabilization Plan, which guarantees students will not have a fluctuation in tuition from year to year. Their tuition and fees will be the same each year they are enrolled at PAU. Students enrolled in BS in Business Psychology and BS in Psychology and Social Action will spend 2 years working on their BS degree program and pay $21,348 per year. Students enrolled in the MA in Counseling will spend 2 years and 3 months in school and will pay $19,960 per year. The MS in Psychology will take 2 years to complete and $20,150 per year. The Ph.D in Clinical Psychology will take students 5 years to complete and costs $47,841 per year. The Psy.D PGSP-Standford Consortium will take students 5 years to complete and cost $50,853 per year.
Both undergraduate and graduate students at PAU have financial aid options available to them. Students have financial aid available to them in the form of federal grants, state grants, federal student loans, scholarships and federal work study employment. Visiting the PAU financial aid office can assist students in applying for the financial aid they are eligible for.
Psychology and Counseling Degree Programs at Palo Alto University
The BS Business Psychology degree program is a 2-year program. It involves a lot of research aiding in getting to the core foundation of psychology and how it applies to professional business practices. Some of the courses include: Organizational Behavior, History of Psychology and Social Psychology.
The BS in Psychology and Social Action degree program is a 2-year program. This degree program provides a solid foundation in psychology with a strong emphasis on social issues and social action. Some of the courses include: Sociology: Social Problems, Theories of Personality and Fundamentals of Social Action.
The MA in Counseling degree program is a 2 year and 3 month program. This program offers two areas of emphasis: Marriage, Child and Family, and Clinical Mental Health. This program, under either emphasis, prepares students in dealing with clients as a licensed therapist or counselor. Some of the courses include: Counseling Theory, Clinical Interviewing and Crisis and Trauma Counseling.
The MS in Psychology degree program is a 2 year program. This degree program will prepare students for pursuing a Ph.D in Clinical Psychology degree or in careers in community college teaching, research, and other related business and nonprofit fields. Some of the courses include: Cognitive Bases of Behavior, Ethics in Clinical Psychology, Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology.
The Ph.D in Clinical Psychology degree is a 5-year program. This degree program uses a training model to provide students with a doctoral-level of understanding and application in psychological theory, research and practice. Some of the courses include: Psychological Sciences I: History and Systems, Research Methods and Statistics I and Psychopathology and Psychodiagnostics I.
The PGSP-Standford Psy.D Consortium degree is a 5-year program. This degree program prepares students for supported psychological interventions, psychological assessments, ethics, the impact of diversity and culture, psychopathology, evaluating research and solid foundations of psychological science. Some of the courses include: Learning Psychotherapy: An Integrated Approach I, Critical Issues in Clinical Psychology and Lifespan Development.
Each student will have their own idea of how far they wish to take their education in psychology and counseling. However, with all of the degree programs starting at a Bachelor level all the way up to a Doctorate level, Palo Alto University has each student covered.