Celebrating this year’s psychology internship match results and what we need to be doing now

Celebrating This Year’s Psychology Internship Match Results And What We Need To Be Doing Now

In previous years, the day that the psychology internship match results were released brought a range of emotions: happiness for those who were moving on to the next phase in their training and a deep sense of frustration that so many students did not get matched because there were not enough positions available. Early on, this “imbalance” seemed localized and only a concern for the programs whose students did not match. However, the imbalance soon grew large enough for it to been seen by some as a crisis. In the period from 2002 to 2012 the number of students who did not match grew from just over 400 to over 1000.  In a series of ongoing conversations and actions, leaders in the education and training community agreed it was a problem for psychology and worked together to find ways to create more internship positions.

In 2016, after two years of modest improvement, the match was very different.  Although 87% of students matched in the first phase, in total, there were 75 more positions offered than applicants who submitted rankings. This welcome news highlights how groups working together can make a difference.    In a series of ongoing conversations and actions, leaders in the education and training community agreed it was a problem for psychology and have worked together to find ways to create more internship positions.  Their efforts should be celebrated based on the 2016 match.
internship comparison chartHere is a look into a 3 year comparison of the internship match (2012- The number of applicants decreased by 188 (-4.2%), there were 499 (+15.6%) additional positions of which 374 (+15.8%) of which were APA- or CPA-accredited.  Overall, 2,716 (64.0%) applicants matched to an accredited position (compared to 53.3% in 2012).

But there is more to do.

We need to support these new programs and positions by advocating for funding for training.  This includes the ability for programs to be reimbursed by Medicaid for services provided by interns under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.  We also need to continue efforts such as the APA grants for internship program that offers support to internship programs seeking to become APA accredited. This accreditation is so important because it protects students and offers access to federal training grants.

Click below to learn more about the imbalance and what you can do:


Jeff Baker, PhD, Executive Director, APPIC:

“APPIC continues to be encouraged by the trend towards bringing the psychology internship match into a more even balance.  APPIC is still committed to assist our members to achieve accreditation through the use of APPIC’s Accreditation Readiness Project (ARP).  The profession and public will be better served when the number of accredited psychology internship slots are available for all graduates of accredited doctoral training programs.”

Jason Williams, PsyD, Chair, CCTC: 

“The current trends in the match imbalance are very encouraging.  The training community’s efforts have been monumental to gain these results – it truly has taken a village.  However, there is still work to be done, as the gap for accredited internships remains and the training community will need to turn their attention towards closing that gap.”

About the Author

Cathi Grus
Cathi is the Deputy Executive Director for Education at the American Psychological Association and has been on the staff of the APA since 2005. She Grus received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Nova University in 1993 and completed her doctoral internship at the University of Miami, School of Medicine and a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At APA she works to advance policies and practices that promote high quality education and training at the doctoral, postdoctoral and post-licensure levels. Areas of focus for Cathi include the expanding the number of accredited internships and positions, development of models and tools for competency assessment in professional psychology, supervision, and primary care psychology practice. Prior to coming to APA Cathi was an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Miami School of Medicine where she served as the director of an APA accredited internship program.
  • RobertZ

    Doesn’t feel like a celebration for those of us from APA accredited programs that did not match this year