A year of fulltime internship experience in an APA/CPA-accredited internship program is required of all students. Internship normally takes place in the fifth year and is an academic requirement of the program; the doctoral degree will not be awarded until after a student successfully completes the internship. Virtually all students obtain their internship by participating in the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) match. Information about APPIC and about the match can be found at http://www.appic.org/

The overall process is as follows:

Spring Semester Before You Apply
Discuss this with your Guidance Committee. The program will not certify you as having met the minimal criteria to apply for internship without approval of your Guidance Committee. This should be clearly noted in writing in your annual Guidance Committee form that is submitted to both university JDP offices.

As noted earlier, the JDP is a member of CUDCP. CUDCP has developed a list of minimal standards its students must meet before they apply for internship. You must meet these standards before you will be certified as ready to apply for internship:

Council of University Directors of Clinical Psychology: Expectations for Internship Eligibility (Adopted January 22, 2011)

  1. Trainee meets or exceeds foundational and functional competencies as outlined by the Assessment of Competency Benchmarks Work Group.
  2. Trainee successfully completed a master’s thesis (or equivalent); for JDP students, the second year independent research project qualifies for this.
  3. Trainee passed program’s comprehensive or qualifying exams (or equivalent).
  4. Trainee’s dissertation proposal has been accepted at the time of application to the internship.
  5. Trainee successfully completed all required course work for the doctoral degree prior to starting the internship (except hours for dissertation and internship).
  6. Trainee completed an organized, sequential series of practicum experiences supervised by at least two different clinical psychologists that involve formalized practicum experience in evidence-based assessment and therapy. The Trainee completed at least 450 face-to-face hours of assessment/intervention and at least 150 hours of supervision by a clinical psychologist who routinely employed individual and/or group supervision models and at least one or more of the following intensive supervision methods (e.g., direct observation, co-therapy, audio/videotape review). During early formative years, the ratio of face-to-face hours to supervision hours approximated 1:1 and increased to around 4:1 as the Trainee developed intermediate to advanced clinical skills.
  7. Trainee has contributed to the scientific knowledge within psychology, as evidenced by:
    1. Publishing an article in a refereed journal or a book chapter as an author or co-author, or
    2. Presenting at least three papers/posters/workshops at regional, national, or international professional conferences or meetings.
  8. Trainee was enrolled in a program that conducts formal annual evaluations of each student for purposes of monitoring trainees’ developing competencies and assuring that only students making satisfactory progress are retained and recommended for doctoral candidacy and entry into the profession. This annual program review of each student utilizes evaluations obtained from different faculty and supervisors and covers the full range of competencies including academic, research, clinical skills, and ethical professional behavior. Trainee has been rated as meeting expectations and possessing the required competencies at the time of applying for internship.

In late Spring of each year, the SDSU Co-Director and the Clinic Director/Practicum Coordinator meet with students who anticipate applying for internship the following fall. The purpose of this meeting is to begin to prepare students for the process of applying. The application process is discussed, and the necessary steps that must be taken to allow the application to move forward are reviewed. Whenever possible, students who participated in the match during that academic year are invited to attend and describe their experiences. Because this is an information-sharing meeting, all students, even those who are not yet sure if they will be applying for internship, can attend; attendance does not mean a student definitely will be applying for internship in the fall, only that he/she is interested in finding out about the process. In addition to describing the application and match process, two things are accomplished at this meeting:

  1. Each student’s progress is reviewed so that each potential applicant knows what he/she still has left to do to be Advanced to Candidacy. Errors in the documentation of or problems in meeting program milestones, if identified, can be corrected at this meeting. Again, no student will be allowed to apply for the internship match unless he/she has been Advanced to Candidacy prior to the first application due date (which is most typically November 1st), and this meeting provides one preliminary check to see that this requirement is met.
  2. Form CI-1 must be completed and signed. Form CI-1 is a release of information form that allows members of the JDP faculty to communicate with representatives of possible internship placements about students. This form gives the JDP permission to share information with internship sites during the application process and while you actually are on internship. Each internship site is required to provide the JDP with on-going assessments of students’ progress at least twice a year. When issues, problems, or concerns come up during the internship, sites may contact the JDP to discuss possible remediation efforts or steps.

Summer Before You Apply
This is one of the best times to spend thinking about and planning for your internship. You need to consider what may still be lacking in your doctoral preparation, the kinds of experiences you want to obtain, where you might want to live, and your future post-graduate goals. You can gain access to the APPIC website and explore internship options. This is an important part of the application process and requirements. The match process is a professional contract between you and the internship sites that are considering you. Remember, once you list a site on your match list, if you match there you will be going there, even if you later decide that you did not want to live in that city, the internship did not offer what you wanted, you didn’t like it, or any other reason, regardless of how legitimate you may think that reason is. You will not be able to renege on your commitment to go where you match without serious negative consequences to your professional career. So spend time exploring sites; talk to your family and significant other about where you might want to end up living; explore with your mentor what kinds of opportunities there might be at each location you are considering applying to; and, in general, do a good job of doing your homework. Also, use this time to make sure you have completed all other requirements necessary to Advance to Candidacy.

Be sure to select sites that are appropriate for students from programs like such as ours. For example, we are less successful when competing for slots at University counseling centers and community mental health centers than for slots at major medical centers, medical schools, or Veterans Administration Hospitals. Remember, however, that if you are not a U.S. citizen you are not eligible to apply for internships at Veterans’ Administration Hospitals or facilities or other federal sites. Both Co-Directors and the Clinic Director/Practicum Coordinator are all available to discuss your selection options with you.

Fall Semester When You Apply
In late August-early September, the SDSU Co-Director and the Clinic Director/Practicum Coordinator will meet again with those who will actually be applying for internship. At that meeting, the final process will be reviewed and the steps students need to complete in order to apply will be described. Prior to the first application due date (which is usually around November 1st each year), each student must do the following:

  1. Meet individually with the Clinic Director/Practicum Coordinator to review your practicum hours. The Clinic Director/Practicum Coordinator must be able to verify each hour you claim under each category. He/she will report these hours to the SDSU Co-Director, who will use these in the final verification procedure for APPIC.
  2. Meet individually with the SDSU Co-Director to discuss overall internship goals and objectives and potential sites or places to apply. Students cannot assume they will match with their first choice, so they must apply to and ultimately be prepared to rank multiple internship programs/sites. No student will be certified as ready to apply for internship without completing both steps (a) and (b).
  3. Submit an electronic copy of your most current curriculum vita and your strengths and weaknesses (discussed at the Fall internship meeting) to the SDSU Co-Director. This must be completed before your application will be verified to APPIC.

During the time between the fall meeting and your actual application to sites, make sure you have your vita and your essays reviewed by other people for clarity, conciseness, and professionalism. The SDSU Co-Director will be happy to review drafts of any and all essays, as well as the format for your vita, cover letters, and so forth before you actually submit them through the electronic application process. However, do not wait until the very last minute either to request a review or to submit your materials for verification. Near the November 1st deadline the server often gets very slow, and you would hate to not be able to apply to sites in which you were interested because of slow processing. Also, although the SDSU Co-Director is now able to verify your application electronically from anywhere with internet access, it is good to submit your internship application well in advance of the deadline so that he/she has time to complete the verification process so that there is still time if there are questions or problems before it is finalized.

Once you have completed both parts of the APPI, download the pdf file and send it electronically to the SDSU Co-Director and JDP Program Coordinator. We need to report data from the APPI to the Commission on Accreditation (CoA) for our annual accreditation review so we need to keep this information in order to do that.

Students are expected to secure internships away from San Diego. This is particularly important with respect to the UC San Diego/San Diego-VA Healthcare System consortium internship. Students are encouraged not to apply for this internship. If too many JDP students are accepted, the Commission on Accreditation might consider this a “completely affiliated internship” and it could affect accreditation of the internship and reflect negatively on our program.

Course Enrollment During the Internship Year
While on internship, students are required to enroll at SDSU for a total of 6.0 units (3 units of PSY 894: Clinical Internship and 3 units of PSY 899: Doctoral Dissertation, both under the SDSU Co-Director) each semester. Enrollment at UC San Diego for 6.0 units of independent study (CLIN 296) under the name of the UC San Diego Co-Director in fall, winter and spring quarters also is required in order for you to remain eligible for travel awards and other possible UC San Diego-related benefits. Make sure to check ALL enrollment deadlines as you will still be subject to late enrollment fees if enrollment is not done on time. A complete listing of deadlines for the JDP can be found on the JDP website, but you need to be sure that you double check the most important dates (e.g., when you have to pay fees, when you have to complete enrollment, when you have to apply for graduation in order to get your degree).

Malpractice Insurance
The JDP purchases clinical malpractice insurance for each student in the program on an annual basis. Students making acceptable progress are covered from the time they first matriculate until they begin internship both for their clinical work and for their research (as long as it has been reviewed and approved by the appropriate authority, typically the Institutional Review Board). The university also provides liability coverage for actions that may be associated with the completion of coursework or research. When on internship, however, neither university nor clinic malpractice coverage will be in effect; that coverage ends the first day of internship. Internship agencies may or may not provide interns with separate coverage. If the agency is unable or unwilling to cover a student, or a student wants additional coverage, student liability insurance may be purchased for a nominal annual fee from one of a number of carriers, including APA. Information about APA insurance coverage for students can be found at: https://trustinsurance.com/Products-Services/Student-Liability

Student Loans During Internship
While on internship, students with student loans will still need to have deferment forms processed. Deferment forms should be sent to the JDP Program Coordinator as usual and they will be processed. Please remember to fill out as much of the form as possible and indicate which semester deferment is needed. The deferment form will be forwarded to the Graduate Division with an official request for certification by the Registrar. Most lenders will defer loans only one semester at a time.

California Residency During Internships
A student must remain in continuous registration until all requirements are completed unless having requested and having been granted an official leave of absence. Therefore, if a student leaves the state for internship, PLEASE BE AWARE THAT RESIDENCY CAN AFFECT FEE SCHEDULES. If a student establishes residency in another state he/she will have to pay non-resident tuition/fees for the remainder of the program, as the JDP cannot afford the difference between resident and non-resident tuition.

If a student establishes residency in another state and then decides to reside in California again, he/she will have to go through the one-year waiting period to reestablish residency in California. Therefore, during the one-year internship it makes sense to maintain your status as a California resident until you are certain where you will be for your first post-doctoral position, and that position has begun.

These guidelines will help students maintain California residency through the internship year.

  1. Do not register to vote in another state. You can vote in California by absentee ballot.
  2. A student may not be able to avoid getting a driver’s license while on internship out of state. A student may be able to list a permanent California address on the new license.
  3. If possible, retain the California vehicle registration for that year. (It may be mandatory to register in the internship state.)
  4. If possible, maintain a California bank account.
  5. Pay California resident state income tax.
  6. If a student leaves any possessions in storage here in California, keep the storage fee receipts showing the California location of the storage facility.

For questions or detailed information, continuing students can call the SDSU Residency Office at the Office of Admissions and Records at 619-594-7800.