For the first time, the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) has released data on how individual psychology programs are faring in its internship Match process: The 100-page report, released in August, is an effort to inform students about how well programs are preparing students for internship and aims to shed light on the growing imbalance between the number of intern applicants and internship slots.
Since 2003, the number of applicants in the APPIC Match has been rising faster than the number of internship slots. As such, the number of students not matching to an internship in the initial round of the APPIC Match has steadily increased: 16.8 percent did not match in the initial round of the 2003 Match compared with 21 percent in 2006.
The report includes each APPIC-registered doctoral psychology program grouped by program type-such as clinical and counseling--and lists the total rates from 2000 to 2006 of students who matched with an internship in the initial round of the APPIC Match, did not match in the initial round or withdrew from the Match. Overall, 75 percent of the 22,751 students in that seven-year period matched; 18 percent did not match; and 7 percent withdrew from the Match. The report does not cite how many applicants later found internships through APPIC's Clearinghouse, where students vie for internships after the Match.
APPIC officials hope the data will aid current doctoral students readying to apply to internship as well as undergraduate students applying to grad school.
"This is truth in advertising," says APPIC Match Coordinator Greg Keilin, PhD. "We wanted to make sure students have as much information as possible."
When considering program Match rates, APPIC advises students to consider factors that may affect how programs fare in the Match, such as a program's APA accreditation status. Some intern programs prefer students from accredited doctoral programs, which must undergo regular reviews to ensure they meet basic training standards (see below).
Nevertheless, eight programs saw 100 percent of their students match during the initial round each year, the report found. By contrast, 10 graduate programs reported student match rates of 25 percent or lower; two of those programs saw none of their students match in each of the years reported.
-M. Dittmann Tracey
Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a writer in Chicago.