students on computers


Internship is a critical step on any practicing psychologist’s path to success. But what do you do when there aren’t enough positions for the class of graduates who need them?

Because psychology doctoral students need to complete an APA-accredited internship to graduate, failing to obtain an internship through the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) match system can be a major obstacle to career advancement. In 2012, 22% of applicants went unmatched.

APA met this imbalance with a $3 million effort to create accredited internship opportunities for psychology students in graduate programs, just one component of a multifaceted effort.

In 2016, for the first time in 20 years, more internship positions (3,800) were offered than registered applicants (3,725). For 2016 interns, 95.3% of students from an APA-accredited program matched to an internship.

The numbers continue to improve for students entering the internship match. . . . Things are shifting from a landlord’s market to a renter’s market.
—Ian Gutierrez, MA, APAGS 2017 Chair

APAGS, along with the APA Education Directorate and the Practice Organization, has worked to end the internship crisis. They advocate within and outside of APA for the development of new internship sites, increasing the accountability of graduate programs and increasing federal funding of graduate and postdoctorate training. APA and the Practice Directorate are also advocating on behalf of students for the reimbursement of intern services through Medicaid, which could help alleviate the crisis and greatly serve the public.

Match Rate of Students From APA-Accredited Doctoral Programs

Internship year ANY internship APA-accredited internships
2011–2012 83.1% 51.9%
2012–2013 88.8% 54.6%
2013–2014 90.1% 57.7%
2014–2015 93.0% 60.1%
2015–2016 95.3% 68.4%

Adapted from C. Jehu (2016, Feb. 16), Match day: May the odds be ever in your favor [gradPSYCH Blog post].