Palo Alto University
Home Program Overview
Program Overview
Are you interested in becoming a practicing mental health counselor who helps to serve mental health needs? Are you looking for systematic education and high quality clinical training and supervision to prepare you for this career?
Consider PAU’s Online Master’s degree program in Counseling as an excellent way to reach your goals.
What are the advantages of this program?

Palo Alto University’s M.A. Counseling program prepares students to serve their communities as licensed mental health professionals. This master's in counseling degree can expand career options or retool a career in a profession that makes a difference to the community. The M.A. Counseling program became CACREP accredited in January 2017.

It provides a cost-effective way to receive high-quality, systematic training that meets international standards of excellence without the expense of studying abroad.


It is possible to continue working and studying. The program can be completed on a part-time basis in approximately 3 years. Students take 2-3 courses each quarter, and practicum starts at the fall of the third academic year.


At its core is a systematic Distance Learning curriculum that has been carefully designed to meet the highest international standards for counseling education to prepare you with the breadth and depth of knowledge you need to practice counseling in an ethical, competent way.


Online students who are in China will be encouraged through periodic informal seminars to discuss practical ways to apply what they are learning to the Chinese context.


Tuition includes clinical supervision and practicum training at carefully selected sites in China, including Shanghai Mental Health Center, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the Students Mental Health Education and Counseling Center of Peking University, Peking University 6th Hospital, etc. Clinical training methods are designed to meet world-class standards of excellence.


Its online courses are flexibly set. Online students in China can take the courses on Saturdays via live video conference or during the week days if their schedule permits.


It exposes students to up-to-date books and articles (in English) from the U.S. and valuable, stimulating interaction with fellow students from around the world.


Students interested in having a brief experience of studying in the U.S. have the option of choosing, at their own added expense, to take a course on Clinical Interviewing at the Palo Alto University campus in California.


It provides at graduation a Master’s degree from an accredited American university to distinguish you from other counselors in China and even gives you the education you need to apply for a U.S. license in professional clinical counseling.
How much does this program cost?

For students entering Fall quarter in the 2017-2018 academic year, tuition and fees are a total of $50,406 USD. Work-study opportunities are available for Chinese students who have financial needs.


If you are interested in this program, don’t let the cost involved stop you from applying.
Who should apply?

You are encouraged to apply if you have

1)  a clear career goal of becoming a practicing mental health counselor,

2)  an undergraduate university bachelor’s degree, and

3)  strong English language skills to benefit from instruction in English.


You are not required to have an undergraduate degree in psychology, but previous study of developmental, biological, and abnormal psychology, as well as statistics, will be considered during the admission process.

When shall I apply?
The regular application due day for academic year 2017-2018 is July 31st and a priority application date of June 31. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible. We are currently making decisions about which students to admit to our programs. Once we have filled our quota of students for the academic year, any additional applicants will not be considered until the following year.  



  • How much is tution?
  • What are my career prospects?
  • When does it start?
  • First name:
  • Last name:
  • Phone number:
  • Email:

Sorry. You have to be a student to participate in the discussions.

Retrieve password

Please submit your account’s email address.
We will send your password to that email address.