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Palo Alto University

PhD in Clinical Psychology Program

Palo Alto, CA


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Palo Alto University


Palo Alto University

Palo Alto University (PAU) is a private university located in Palo Alto, California that offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in psychology. Founded in 1975 as Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, Palo Alto University is dedicated to improving lives through education and research anchored in psychology, clinical training, and practice in a diversity of cultures, and service to communities around the world.

PhD Clinical Psychology at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology

The PhD Clinical Psychology Program at Palo Alto University (PAU), Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (PGSP) is deeply committed to educating well-rounded clinical psychologists who are capable and competent as both researchers and clinicians. Students are taught to be science minded while appreciating the larger role of psychology in alleviating suffering in the world. This balance includes learning to value evidence-based clinical models while maintaining the responsibilities psychologists have to their community, society, and profession. An outstanding faculty of clinicians and researchers provides rigorous classroom instruction, clinical supervision, and research mentoring to help students find the right balance for them. Working within a training model best described as "practitioner-scientist," students systematically move through five years of coursework and practica to acquire PhD-level competence and capability in areas of psychological theory, research, and practice. The PhD Clinical Psychology program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Emphasis Areas

The PhD Clinical Psychology program provides broad and general preparation through the integration of scholarship, professional experience, and research in accordance with our practitioner-scientist training model. In addition, the PhD Clinical Psychology program offers optional Areas of Emphasis for students to gain additional knowledge and experience within a more focused field of clinical psychology. Palo Alto University's PhD in Clinical Psychology program offers areas of emphasis in Child and Family, Diversity and Community Mental Health, Forensic Psychology, LGBTQ Psychology, Meditation and Psychology, Neuropsychology, and Trauma.

Opportunities for PhD Clinical Psychology Students

Students have access to specialized research groups and clinical training opportunities through the Gronowski Center, a community-based psychology training clinic and treatment center dedicated to providing high quality, evidence-based, clinical services to adults, older adults, adolescents, children, and families in the community.

Students who pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology are defined by their curiosity and dedication to using psychology to improve lives. Many graduates go on to have successful and rewarding careers as clinical psychologists or in research-focused academics. Still others find their calling in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Regardless of their specific career outcome, PAU's PhD candidates benefit from an outstanding faculty of clinicians and researchers who provide rigorous classroom instruction, clinical supervision, and research mentoring.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Doctoral Degrees 64

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? No
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? Yes

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Doctoral Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required
2000-hour clinical internship


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline December 4th December 4th Yes

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Doctoral Degree Exam GRE General Test
Doctoral Degree Requirements Undergraduate or graduate degree in psychology or related area; 4 course prerequisites: biopsychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, and statistics

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required
IELTS: Required

Tuition & Fees

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Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fees
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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Types of financial support available Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
Not Reported
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 12.58%
Black or African American 5.3%
White or Caucasian 52%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.22%
Asian 9.93%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.44%
Two or more races 8.61%
Unknown 9.93%


Male (20%)
Female (79%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 33
Part-time - 37
Male (27)
Female (43)


Focus of faculty research: Forensic psychology, LGBT psychology, trauma, diversity and community mental health, neuropsychology
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 1791 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA  94304
United States
Contact Dr. Rowena Gomez
Director of Clinical Training
Phone: 650-433-3823