Pre-Doctoral Clinical Internship

Determining Readiness to Apply for an Internship

The Western Clinical Psychology Program policy is that students must have had a successful dissertation proposal meeting, currently be making good progress on their dissertation research and any remaining course work, and also be deemed clinically ready, before the Director of the Clinical Program will sign that they can apply for internship. As such…

• Senior Ph.D. students considering whether to make application for internship should consult with both their dissertation supervisor and the Clinical Practica Coordinator well in advance of any application deadlines (i.e., consult by late Spring).
• These students should first consult with their dissertation supervisor to determine whether thesis research “readiness” can be realistically achieved prior to going on internship.  To assist in this discussion, the program requirements that should be completed prior to leaving on internship are detailed below.  In particular, the dissertation plans for the next year (i.e., until the August just before the start of an internship) should be documented in writing (e.g., indicate the date when all data will be “in hand”, when results will be completed, and when the final thesis draft will be given to the supervisor, etc.  This “thesis readiness” document should be signed by both the student and dissertation supervisor, and will then be given by the student to the Program Director by no later than June 15th.
• Students should next consult with the Clinical Practica Coordinator to determine whether “clinical readiness” can be realistically achieved.  In particular, the student and Clinical Practica Coordinator should review all practica training in terms of clinical readiness to undertake an internship.  This review would include consideration and brief documentation of appropriate depth and breadth of clinical training; along with hours accrued to date (and expected by October 15th). Following this review, the student should then provide the Clinical Program Director with the documentation pertaining to clinical readiness (stemming from their meeting with the Clinical Practica Coordinator).  This “clinical readiness” documentation should be received by the Director no later than June 15th.   

Please note that if no documentation is received by Clinical Program Director by June 15th, it will be assumed that the student is not considering applying for internship in the Fall.

• Both of the above meetings (between the student and dissertation supervisor, and the student and Clinical Practica Coordinator) should take place before the end of May.

• When considering “readiness” to apply for internship, students and supervisors should feel free to consult with the Program Director and/or Practica Coordinator, for additional input and guidance.

• The above documentation provided by the student to the Program Director will form part of the information that is discussed at a core clinical faculty meeting (held in mid to late June) to consider both thesis and clinical readiness to apply for internship. This decision is made by the Clinical Program Director and Clinical Practica Coordinator, in consultation with all core clinical faculty.  Current and past clinical practica supervisors may also be consulted, as part of this process.

• Following the June faculty review of thesis and clinical “readiness”, the students deemed ready to go on internship will be notified in writing by the Clinical Program Director.  This written permission is required to proceed with the internship application process (which starts approximately 10 months prior to the beginning of an internship). 

Clinical Program Requirements to be Completed Prior to Leaving On Internship

The pre-doctoral clinical internship is a full-time experience and students usually find that they have very limited time to complete other academic and thesis-related work during that year.  It is therefore important that students complete all of the program requirements listed below, before leaving on internship.   

• All Ph.D. comprehensive requirements

• A successful Ph.D. thesis proposal defense and collection of all thesis data

• All required course work

• The minimum required 600 hours (as per CPA) of practica experience.   Please note that data from our recent internship applicants suggests that students should aim to acquire significantly more than this minimum, in order to be considered for an internship.  That is, by the time they apply in November of the year preceding their anticipated internships, students should have logged an overall total of at least 1100 hours, of which at least 330 should be direct clinical contact hours. (see also Appendix A).

In addition to the above, students are strongly urged to submit an acceptable draft of their thesis to their supervisor, prior to leaving on internship.

Applying for An Internship

The internship application process requires considerable time.   As such, students should be prepared to block off the equivalent of 6 weeks (at a minimum) for putting applications together and the interview process.

Full details of the program’s policies regarding the internship application process can be found on the Clinical Program website.  This website also has links to other important internship resource material that should be reviewed (e.g., CPA link to “Match made on Earth”; info about APPIC, etc.).

Appendix A: APPIC Hours

Appendix A: APPIC Hours Clinical Practicum Hours (APPIC)
obtained by our students who recently applied to internships (2007-2014)


Table of Clinical hours accrued in the program as per student's APPI forms. *

 clinical hours accrued
   *Note:  Reported by November before students go on residency the following calendar year.

Figure of Clinical hours accrued in the program as her student's APPI forms. *

clinical hours accrued figure
  *Note:  Residencies begin July-Sept. of the year in question.