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Palo Alto University

Palo Alto University

Palo Alto University


Palo Alto University (PAU), a private, non-profit university located in the heart of Northern California’s Silicon Valley, is dedicated to addressing pressing and emerging issues in the fields of psychology and counseling to equitably meet the needs of today’s diverse communities.

Who We Are

PAU offers undergraduate and graduate programs with online, hybrid and residential options. An engaged faculty, who make significant contributions to their fields and thrive as teachers and mentors, prepare practitioners, researchers and leaders through rigorous educational programs, research and extensive hands-on clinical practice opportunities. When you put all of this together, PAU creates a legacy of confident, competent, and compassionate professionals who are at the forefront of psychology and counseling and make a difference every day in the lives of others.

PAU offers doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s programs, as well as hands-on clinical training.

History of PAU

PAU was founded in 1975 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP), an independent, professional school and re-incorporated as Palo Alto University in August 2009. Continuously accredited since 1986 by WASC, PAU’s doctoral programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and its master’s in counseling programs by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

PAU in the Community

PAU has many collaborative partnerships with community organizations and institutions, including Stanford School of Medicine, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other mental health care organizations.

PAU’s Gronowski Center teaching clinic delivers low-cost mental health services to the local community while also providing valuable, supervised training to PAU graduate students. In addition, PAU sponsors several academic research centers devoted to child mental health, evidence-based care for LGBTQ clients, excellence in diversity and community care, and internet-based global healthcare.

Vision, Mission, Strategic Pillars

PAU’s Path to Inclusive Excellence: Strategic Plan 2021–2026


A world in which insight into human behavior improves well-being and contributes to just and inclusive communities.


Through education, research, and training in psychology and counseling, PAU prepares its students to address pressing and emerging issues that equitably meet the needs of our ever-changing human condition.


PAU’s values have been reaffirmed through lived experience, group discussions, surveys, and focus groups. The five values described below express PAU as an organization that nunderstands its distinctive culture that supports a world in which insight into human behavior improves well-being and contributes to just and inclusive communities.


At PAU, students experience the following:

  • Faculty with rich, research-based backgrounds, and excellent teaching methods.
  • Clinical training with licensure options.
  • High internship placement rate including:
    • 99% APA-accredited match rate for 2020-21 for the PhD program
    • 100% APA-accredited internship match rate for the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium program (in 2013 and 2014; see APA Data)
    • 98% practicum placement rate for the MA Counseling Program.
  • Tuition stabilization, guaranteeing no tuition increases for the duration of a student's program.
  • Regional accreditation by the WASC Senior Colleges and Universities Commission (WSCUC) for all degrees.
  • American Psychological Association (APA) accreditation for the PhD and PsyD programs

Founded in 1975 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, Palo Alto University (PAU) is a non-profit, regionally accredited institution dedicated to improving lives through education and research anchored in psychology, counseling, clinical training, and practice in a diverse society.

Palo Alto University (PAU) offers a high-quality, tailored, competitive education with world-renowned faculty and instructors, at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels.


  • Palo Alto

    Arastradero Road,1791, 94304, Palo Alto