Palo Alto PGSP-Stanford Consortium Psy.D. Psychology Review

Founded in 1975 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, today the PGSP-Stanford Consortium, housed at Palo Alto University, brings to bear the expertise of that institution’s faculty with the outstanding reputation of instructors and faculty from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

What should interested students know about this rigorous Psy.D. program before making their educational decisions?

About the Program

Check out the vital signs of the PGSP-Stanford Consortium and the Psy.D. training it offers.


  • Institution type: Private, nonprofit
  • Campus: Palo Alto University
  • Accreditation: APA
  • First year of program: 2002, but program was first APA-accredited in 2006

Tuition and fees

  • Full-time, in-state tuition: $50,451
  • Full-time, out-of-state tuition: $50,451
  • Per credit-hour tuition for part-time students: NA
  • Institution fees: $6,495

Student outcomes

  • Median years to completion:96 (2009-2019)
  • Percentage completing in <5 years: 0%
  • Percentage completing in 7+ years: 3% (2018-19)
  • Degrees conferred, 2010-2019: 274
  • Percentage of students obtaining internships: 100% (2018-19)
  • Percentage of graduates earning professional licensure: 94% (2009-2017)

Degrees & requirements

  • Psy.D. degrees offered: Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
  • Non-Psy.D. degrees offered: None, but Palo Alto University offers Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
  • Program length: Five years, students must attend full-time


  • Application method: Online, though APA’s centralized application service
  • Application fee: $50
  • Admission requirements: Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.3 or graduate GPA of at least 3.5; GRE score of at least 305/1200; admissions interview; three letters of recommendation; statement of purpose
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Biggest Pros

What are the biggest points in favor of a prospective student considering the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium?

Stellar reputation

Drawing upon faculty expertise from multiple institutions of higher learning, including one of the most well-regarded schools in the world (Stanford University), the PGSP-Stanford Consortium puts students into direct contact with leaders in their field.

Though their degree will technically be from Palo Alto University, the connections students make and the evidence-based training they receive from Stanford faculty may prove the difference in a crowded professional marketplace.

Rigorous education

Though it’s not for everybody, there’s no doubt that a program that requires students to attend full-time gives learners a chance to become immersed in a topic in a way that more flexible programs can’t do, nor do they try. PGSP-Stanford students will spend at least four full-time academic years devoted to classroom experience, followed by an APA-accredited internship.

These factors combine to put students through the ringer, but those who excel find themselves licensed as psychologists nearly 100% of the time.

Modern education

Accredited as a Psy.D. program by the APA since 2006, this program is relatively new among the roster of popular Psy.D. programs, but what it lacks in a lengthy history, it more than makes up for with a slate of courses aimed at the heart of modern psychology. Classes in the biological basis of behavior are taken right alongside emerging areas like statistics and research methods or culturally competent counseling.

Biggest Cons

As we said, the PGSP-Stanford Consortium certainly isn’t the ideal program for every student, and there are definitely drawbacks to pursuing a degree in this particular program.


With a program lasting at least five years, students should expect to spend more than a quarter-million dollars to earn their Psy.D. from the PGSP-Stanford Consortium. Considering the high degree of professional licensure, it may be well worth it, but for a large percentage of students, the cost will be a non-starter.

Lack of flexibility

Especially for working professionals, the full-time requirement of this program could mean putting a great many things on hold, including jobs and personal matters. Now, we listed the fact that this program is full-time and intensive as a positive, which it is, if students are able to make that work, but since many Psy.D. students are already working full-time, having absolutely no ability to make a program fit their lives instead of the other way around is a knock overall for the majority of students.

The Bottom Line

So is the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium the right program for you? That’s a question only you can fully answer, but here’s a chart that might help.

Is the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium Right For Me?
I need to take my classes onlinex
I’m interested in clinical psychologyx
I want to focus on a particular population groupx
I’m interested in applied psychologyx
I’m interested in school psychologyx
I’m interested in industrial-organizational psychologyx
I have a very limited budget for a Psy.D. programx
A well-established program is important to mex
I want to work in a real-world mental health clinicx
I want to contribute to cutting-edge research projectsx
I don’t want to take the GREx
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This program is on the high end from a cost perspective, and the program offers only one Psy.D. degree, while many other schools offer multiple options for students who want to focus on a particular type of psychology. Still, for students who can make the financial and time commitment involved, the PGSP-Stanford Consortium is a rigorous, top-level program.

PGSP-Stanford Consortium Psy.D program made our Editors’ Choice Best Accredited Psy.D. Programs for 2020.

Learn more today.

Additional Resources