Palo Alto University
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (March 2014)|
|Palo Alto University|
|Motto||Engaging Minds, Improving Lives|
|Location||Palo Alto, California, United States
|Former names||Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (1975-2009)|
|Colors||Blue and Gold|
Palo Alto University (previously the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology) is a not-for-profit free-standing educational institution in Palo Alto, California. It offers two undergraduate degree programs (BS in Psychology and Social Action and BS in Business Psychology) and five graduate programs: a PhD in Clinical Psychology; a PsyD in Clinical Psychology as part of a consortium with Stanford University, and three masters' degree programs: an MA in Counseling Psychology, an MA in Counseling, and an MS in Psychology. Palo Alto University subscribes to the practitioner-scientist training model, a variation of the Boulder scientist-practitioner model, which emphasizes clinical practice along with scientific training.
One of the unusual elements of Palo Alto University's organization is its interconnected relationship with Stanford University and its School of Medicine. PAU maintains two prominent doctoral programs in conjunction with Stanford University, often employs its students in Stanford research laboratories, houses prominent faculty members who teach at both institutions, and employs one of Stanford's most famous emeriti professors, Philip Zimbardo. Furthermore, along with other prominent members of the Stanford University faculty, the chair of the Stanford Department of Psychiatry holds a membership on the PAU board of trustees.
The Pacific Graduate School of Psychology was founded in 1975 and has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), since 1988. The university is not affiliated with the similarly named Pacifica Graduate Institute, located in Carpinteria, California.
In August 2009, PGSP officially reincorporated and changed its name to Palo Alto University. In 2009, it moved to a new campus on Arastradero Road, formerly occupied by the American Institutes for Research, which it had purchased the previous year.
The undergraduate programs at Palo Alto University are offered in partnership with the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, which like Palo Alto is located in Silicon Valley. They are innovative Bachelor's degree completion programs created for community college students wishing to transfer to a Bachelor's program and for college graduates wishing to re-specialize in psychology or business psychology. The undergraduate programs are hosted at Foothill and De Anza Colleges, making Palo Alto University the first community college-private college partnership in California.
Palo Alto University offers three masters' degree programs: (1) M.A. in Counseling Psychology (California Residential/Blended), (2) M.A. in Counseling (Online), and (3) M.S. in Psychology – Ph.D. Preparation. The M.A. in Counseling Psychology trains students in preparation for licensure as Marriage and Family Therapists or Professional Clinical Counselors. The M.A. in Counseling, also prepares students to pursue licensure as counselors, but is taught primarily online with a one-week summer intensive. The M.S. in Psychology, designed to prepare students for Ph.D. programs or to enhance effectiveness as a business professional, is taught through distance learning (with the one-week summer intensive), attracting students from throughout the world.
Palo Alto University offers it’s M.A. in Counseling program to graduate students abroad through its Global Advancement of Counseling Excellence (GACE) initiative. In places like China and South and Central America, where the indigenous counseling professions are still developing, PAU educates students online with international faculty while providing locally based training on the ground with associated practitioners. In these locations, students take web-based classes along with other M.A. Counseling students. Through partnerships with local institutions, students have practicum sites where they can see clients. With these resources, students are able to earn PAU's M.A. in Counseling degree, while completing the practicum training necessary to become licensed clinicians in their home communities or elsewhere.
Palo Alto University's Ph.D. program has been accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) since 1988. The Ph.D. program consists of several specialization tracks ranging from Child and Family to LGBTQ areas of emphasis, among others. This includes a specialization in collaboration with the Stanford University School of Medicine, focusing on Neuroscience and Women's Mental Health. Similar to the PAU Psy.D. program, this 6-10 person cohort Ph.D. track utilizes training from the faculties of both institutions with courses taught on both campuses. The program requires admission from the faculties of both PAU and the Stanford University School of Medicine. Palo Alto University also offers a joint Ph.D-J.D. program with the Golden Gate University School of Law. 
According to a study by Stewart, Roberts & Roy of 166 Ph.D. programs in clinical psychology, PAU Ph.D programs rank among the top 25 in research productivity. According to a 2005 study by Johnny L. Matson and co-researchers from the Department of Psychology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Palo Alto University ranks 69th in the nation for Ph.D programs in clinical psychology based on mean numbers of publications and citations of full-time faculty.
PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium
The PGSP Psy.D. program, in conjunction with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in Stanford University's School of Medicine, and operating as the PGSP–Stanford Psy.D. Consortium Program, was accredited by the American Psychological Association in 2006. According to U.S. News & World Report, the PAU-Stanford Consortium ranks 79th in the nation for best health schools by category of clinical psychology.
Students from the PAU Ph.D, PAU-Stanford Ph.D. and PAU-Stanford Psy.D. programs receive initial clinical practical training at the Gronowski Center, a mental health clinic hosted and partially funded by Palo Alto University that provides low-fee services on a sliding scale to the Bay Area community.
Notable faculty and alumni
Although PAU is a small graduate community, it has a history of attracting notable clinical psychologists to its faculty, including:
- Larry E. Beutler, PhD, ABPP (Systematic Treatment Selection, Past President, Division 12, APA)
- Bruce Bongar, PhD, ABPP (an international expert on the study of suicide and psychiatric emergencies).
- Philip Zimbardo, PhD (a highly regarded behavioral psychologist)
- Ricardo Muñoz, PhD (one of the foremost authorities on web-based psychological interventions)
- Board of Trustees, About PAU, Palo Alto University, retrieved November 19, 2012.
- Will Oremus, "Palo Alto gets new psychology school", The Oakland Tribune, August 12, 2009 (online at Highbeam); "Palo Alto U. is now open, psychology school moves to foothills, prepares to expand", San Jose Mercury News, August 9, 2009.
- "Palo Alto University Makes Last Mortgage Payment to Become Debt-free", Biotech Week, October 17, 2012 (online at Highbeam)
- "Master's Degree Programs". Palo Alto University. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "PAU China". Palo Alto University. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Global Online M.A. in Counseling for Central and South America". Palo Alto University. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- Areas of Emphasis, Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, Palo Alto University, retrieved November 19, 2012.
- Neuroscience and Women's Health, Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, Palo Alto University, retrieved November 19, 2012.
- Center for Neuroscience in Women's Health, Stanford School of Medicine, retrieved November 20, 2012.
- Neuroscience and Women's Health, Ph.D in Clinical Psychology, Palo Alto University, updated 2009, retrieved November 20, 2012.
- J.D./Ph.D: Joint J.D./Ph.D. Program in Psychology and Law, Palo Alto University, updated 2009, retrieved November 20, 2012.
- About PAU, Palo Alto University, retrieved November 20, 2012.
- Johnny L. Matson et al., "Clinical psychology Ph.D. program rankings: evaluating eminence on faculty publications and citations", Research in Developmental Disabilities Volume 26, Issue 6, November–December 2005, Pages 503–13, doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2004.09.003.
- PGSP – Stanford Psy.D. Consortium, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford School of Medicine, retrieved November 20, 2012.
- Palo Alto University, Graduate Schools, U.S. News & World Report, updated 2012, retrieved November 20, 2012.
- Chris Kenrick, "'Unplug your kids,' psychologist advises", Mountain View Voice, November 16, 2012, p. 7.