Note: The Fourth Edition of this book is coming out in August 2018

This authoritative, hands-on book provides doctoral-level psychology students with all the resources necessary to successfully navigate the internship application process.

Topics include

  • the most common reasons why people don't secure a position;
  • how many sites to apply to;
  • rank ordering your list of programs;
  • preparing essays, cover letters, and the curriculum vitae;
  • securing strong letters of recommendation;
  • preparing for interviews;
  • writing thank you notes;
  • receiving Match results, and more.

In addition to general guidance, the book provides numerous helpful checklists and samples, including several sample essays.

Since the second edition of this book was published, significant changes have occurred in the psychology internship application process. This edition offers updated and enhanced information to address these modifications, as well as a new chapter written specifically for directors of clinical training, offering suggestions on how best to assist students during this process.

Table of Contents



  1. Getting Started: General Overview of the Internship Application Process
  2. Completing the APPIC Application for Psychology Internships
  3. Goals, Essays, and the Cover Letter
  4. Curriculum Vitae and Letters of Recommendation
  5. The Interview
  6. The Match
  7. Frequently Asked Questions From Prospective Interns
  8. Advice for DCTs of Students in the Internship Application Process

Appendix: Additional Resources

About the Authors

Author Bios

Carol Williams-Nickelson, PsyD, earned her degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio and completed her predoctoral internship at the University of Notre Dame Counseling Center. She is a counseling psychologist and former associate executive director of the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS) at APA in Washington, DC, where she oversaw all operations for the organization as their chief executive.

Dr. Williams-Nickelson serves as a spokesperson and advocate for graduate students to various psychology credentialing, accrediting, educational, training, and governing boards. She now serves as the executive director and chief executive officer of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) and AMSA Foundation. Her background includes owning and presiding over a health service organization and a consulting business.

Dr. Williams-Nickelson has provided services in a variety of health care and forensic settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, residential treatment centers, community-based organizations, private practices, and counseling centers. Her professional interests, activities, and publications are in the areas of student advocacy and development, training and supervision, legislative advocacy, leadership, professional development, women's issues, stress, and mentoring.

Mitchell J. Prinstein, PhD, completed his doctoral degree at the University of Miami and his internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Brown University School of Medicine. He is currently Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished (Term) Professor and Director of Clinical Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Prinstein's developmental psychopathology research examines interpersonal models of internalizing symptoms and health risk behaviors. He has been strongly committed to professional service and professional development for many years.

Dr. Prinstein was first invited to speak about the internship application process in 1995; he served as chair of APAGS and as a representative to the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) in 1997. He also has served as the chair of the APA ad hoc Committee on Early Career Psychologists.

Dr. Prinstein is an editor of The Portable Mentor: Expert Guidance to a Successful Career in Psychology. He has been a presenter at the APAGS Preconvention Workshop on the Internship Application Process for the past 12 years.

W. Gregory Keilin, PhD, completed his doctoral degree in counseling psychology at Colorado State University and his predoctoral internship at The University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center, where he is currently the internship training director and associate director. He is the past chair of the board of directors of the APPIC. He led the effort to implement the computer-based internship matching program for APPIC. He currently serves as the APPIC Match coordinator and was involved in the development of the APPIC Directory Online and the AAPI Online services. He is continuously working to incorporate students' feedback into decisions and policies related to the application process and the computer match system.