APA/APAGS Statement on the Latest APPIC Internship Match

For students in clinical, counseling and school psychology programs, the APPIC Internship Match Day is a critical milestone in their academic careers. The American Psychological Association (APA) and American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) are encouraged that, during the first phase of the 2014 internship match process, 156 fewer students looking for an internship in Phase I failed to match than did so at this same time last year. This trend continues for a second year. At the same time, we emphasize that the imbalance between the number of students seeking internship and the number of internship positions, particularly accredited internships, is unacceptably high. Helping to resolve the internship crisis is one of APA and APAGS's highest priorities — and will remain so until it is no longer a crisis. 

The Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internships Centers (APPIC) released this year's match statistics today:

  • 4,335 students registered for the 2014 match.
  • 3,974 students submitted a ranking list.
  • 2,588 positions were available at APA- and CPA-accredited internship sites.
  • 913 positions were available at APPIC member, non-APA/CPA-accredited internship sites.
  • 2,474 students matched to APA- and CPA-accredited internship sites.
  • 699 students matched to APPIC member, non-APA/CPA-accredited internship sites.

These data indicate a match rate of 79.8 percent to any internship, and 62.3 percent to APA- and CPA-accredited internships. 

These numbers reveal that the field is continuing to experience an internship crisis, one that in many cases haphazardly affects students who are otherwise qualified and prepared to be interns. We reiterate that this crisis is complex and requires the continued focus of many stakeholders devoted to short- and long-term solutions, such as the ones APAGS outlined in July 2012 with our official position on the crisis and published in Grus et al. (2012). 

For those who did not match to an internship this year, the APAGS committee extends its uncompromising support and encouragement. We understand that no matter how many times you have braced yourself for the possibility of not matching, the reality still stings. This news may also lead you to doubt your abilities and feel let down by others. These are natural feelings, and you are not alone. APAGS is pained to hear stories of students in these predicaments. They are happening far too frequently and affect students who would very likely match in a system that had no shortage. We hope you find constructive ways to further your professional development in the upcoming year. APAGS and APA continue to fight for students in these situations where ever possible. 

APAGS recently updated its article describing the next steps for students who did not match. The article contains links to further sources of support. 

Those who secured an internship have reason to celebrate the opportunity to continue your professional training and goals without interruption. We hope that you are pleased with your outcome and that you have a great internship training year. 

For all students — present and future — APA is extremely concerned about the APPIC internship match imbalance. We have been involved in a number of steps to address it in recent months, specifically:

  • APA funded an internship stimulus package, designed to help currently non-accredited internships achieve APA accreditation. As a result of the advocacy of APAGS and other training groups, APA agreed in August 2012 to fund up to $3 million over three years for this program.

  • We are advocating for reimbursement for services provided by clinical interns. Internship sites in numerous states have had difficulty getting reimbursed for services provided by interns. Reimbursement for such services could make it easier to create and fund internship positions.

  • APA's Commission on Accreditation is at a historic moment in considering revisions to its guidelines and principles, providing APAGS with several opportunities (Dec. 2012, May 2013, July 2014) to outline our concerns and recommendations related to the internship crisis. We consider each question and comment an opportunity to advance our goal of an APA-accredited internship position for every student in an APA-accredited doctoral program.

  • APAGS asked doctoral training councils to encourage doctoral programs to provide financial assistance to students who do not match in the APPIC match. This support could include an assistantship with a stipend or free tuition to students who need to stay enrolled to document full-time status.

  • In an effort to help prospective applicants make fully informed decisions about their education and training, we are educating applicants to doctoral programs about the internship match and other factors to consider when attending graduate school. 

  • APAGS committee members will be filming a video that gives key stakeholders statistics, student perspectives and calls to action related to the internship match imbalance.