Internship - Ph.D. Students in School/Applied Child Psychology

Overview of the Internship Training

The internship is an integral component of the doctoral program in School/Applied Child Psychology. As such it represents the culminating experience of the training program and functions as a transition point where the student is now considered an independent professional.

In contrast to the Clinic Practicum and the Field Experiences, the internship is administered externally by the internship setting. Thus, internship supervision is primarily the responsibility of the internship supervisor.

The internship occurs after four years of course work, clinical practicum, and field experiences. A student is only permitted to apply for an internship placement once his or her comprehensive exams have been successfully completed and the thesis proposal successfully defended. The Program will not recognize an internship if the comprehensive exams were not successfully completed before starting the internship. Furthermore, completion of the dissertation research and at least a draft of the thesis, and (if at all possible) defense of the actual dissertation prior to the internship is strongly recommended.

The internship occurs prior to the granting of the doctoral degree, and following the guidelines of APA/CPA requires a minimum of 1600 hours that may be carried out over a period of one year or two half-time placements over two years. Students are strongly encouraged to apply to APA or CPA accredited internship sites. When such a placement is not possible, the Director of Clinical Training will assist students to make arrangements for an alternative internship that meets APA/CPA criteria.


Objectives for the Internship Experience


The internship is intended to provide experiences relevant to the following areas:

  1. Knowledge of effective psychological service delivery systems.
  2. Provide interns with diverse models of clinical interventions and treatments (e.g., psychodynamic, client-centered, behavioral, cognitive).
  3. Interns are evaluated on a number of dimensions. Critical areas of evaluation include competence, emotional awareness, identity, respect for individual differences, a sense of purpose and direction, autonomy, ethical behavior, and motivation. Evaluations are ongoing, and expressed during weekly, two-hour supervision sessions, and through more formal periodic evaluations (e.g., after each rotation).
  4. Continued development of communication skills and the ability to be part of a multidisciplinary team, and continued refinement and enhancement of diagnostic, consultation, direct intervention, and research and evaluation skills, and the effective use of community and institutional resources.
  5. Continued professional development through in-service training, attendance and/or participation at both local and provincial conferences, and self-study. It is recommended that days spent on professional activities that take the intern away from the internship site be viewed as professional days and not taken from the intern's vacation time.
  6. Continued development in the understanding of legal and ethical issues in applied psychology.
  7. Support of the intern's research activities.

General Range of Activities and Time Allocation
The following are general recommendations for management of the intern's time:

  1. At least 150 hours should be allotted to each of the following activities: assessment, direct intervention and therapy, and consultation. However the intern should spend no more than 75% of the time in any one of these activities.
  2. A minimum of 375 hours of the intern's time must be spent in direct client contact.
  3. The intern may spend up to 450 hours of the total time in secondary internship activities such as research (i.e., limited to dissertation research or research being carried out by the internship agency), supervision, education, and administration.
  4. An average of two hours per week should be spent on scheduled learning activities including: case conferences, seminars dealing with professional issues, in-service training, observing other agency units in service delivery activities, grand rounds, meetings with other professionals (e.g., psychiatrists, social workers, teachers), or professional meetings.

Credit Load
Full-time interns register for a total of two 6 credit courses (total 12 credits) in EDPE-725 (Internship 1) and EDPE-726 (Internship 2).


Internship Agency

Description of Appropriate Internship Setting
APA/CPA approved internship sites or those closely resembling such sites are required. Students must be supervised by a licensed psychologist, receive direct clinical supervision, and work directly with children or adolescents, or both. Placements with a large focus on adults are not acceptable. Students are referred to the Internship Placement Form delineating the appropriate types of activities. If there is any uncertainty about the eligibility of the setting contact the Director of Clinical Training before applying to the site. The Director of Clinical Training must approve all placement sites.

Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC)
Since 1976, APPIC has offered a professional psychology internship placement "clearinghouse", which provides information about internship positions which are still available. APPIC member internship programs are eligible to list vacancies in the APPIC Clearinghouse.

An internship Vacancy Report will be available on the APPIC Web site. The Vacancy Report will not be available in any other form or media. Click on the "Training Positions" menu items to access the clearinghouse. Vacancies will be listed alphabetically by state or province, city, agency, and then department. Vacancy information on the web site will typically be updated within 24 hours of receipt of changes in status of placements.

There will be no access restrictions, no applicant availability report, no clearinghouse statistics, and no summary reports. Anyone with Internet access may view the Internship Vacancy Report as often as desired. Frequent access is encouraged in order to be alerted to recent additions to and deletions from the Vacancy Report.

If visiting the APPIC site you think there may be a newer document than the one you are viewing (or if you want to be sure that you are viewing the most recent revision), please click the "Reload" page ("Refresh" button) on your browser's toolbar. This will cause your browser software to reconnect to the APPIC site and request the most recent version of the page that you are viewing. This will work with any site and is a good strategy when you are looking for recent updates of information, particularly if you are checking a site on a regular basis. This is necessitated by the caching feature of browsers (storing copies of recently visited pages on your local hard drive, which may result in your viewing out-of-date pages, particularly those that are frequently revised).

The APPIC application form is quite detailed and can be time consuming. As such, students are advised to begin completing this form early.

Please feel free to contact the APPIC Clearinghouse Coordinator if you have any questions about the Clearinghouse process:

APPIC Central Office
10 G Street, NE Suite 440
Washington DC 20002
Appic [at]
Phone: 202-589-0600
Fax: 202-589-0603

Office Hours: M-F 9:00-5:00 EST

These twelve items are published on the APPIC Web site:

  • Agency (Institution)
  • Department
  • City
  • State/Province
  • Number of Vacancies
  • APA Accreditation
  • APPIC Membership
  • Page number in the current APPIC Directory that lists your program
  • Does the program have a Web site listed on APPIC's web site
  • CPA Accreditation
  • Training Director's name
  • Area Code and Phone Number

These four items will not be published, but must be provided:

  • Your name (the person submitting the request)
  • Your email address ("none" if you do not have one)
  • Your area code and phone number
  • Your fax number (the Department fax is 514-398-6968 if you do not have one)

NOTE: Requests which do not include a response to all 16 items will be discarded.

An email or fax notification will be sent to the person submitting the request after the information is verified and placed on APPIC's Web site.

Please keep the APPIC Clearinghouse informed of any changes to your information.

Approval and Selection by the University
All internship sites must be approved by the Director of Clinical Training who is also required to sign all APPIC internship forms.


Internship Activities

Specification and contracting of internship placements
Once an internship site has been approved, the student shall contact the internship site and provide all necessary documentation. Upon acceptance, the student is required to ascertain a letter indicating the terms and conditions of the internship and submit a copy to the Director of Clinical Training. The Director of Clinical Training shall discuss with the internship supervisor any possible changes as to the responsibilities and duties.

N.B.: There is a common or stated date (for APPIC, it is Uniform Notification Date, February 9th, at 2 PM; non-APPIC sites may have another date or time) for the announcement of many internships appointments. You will know this information from the sites where you have applied or been interviewed. Be available at your phone and check your email many times throughout that day.


Supervision of the Internship

Qualifications of the intern supervisor
The supervisor(s) must be a certified psychologist. Where possible, the supervisor should hold a doctoral degree in Psychology. All supervisors are required to submit a C.V. to the Director of Clinical Training.

University personnel
The Director of Clinical Training is responsible for the overall supervision of all students. The site supervisor is primarily responsible for student supervision while they are on internship. All problems should be reported immediately to the Director of Clinical Training who shall intervene appropriately.

Nature of contacts and communication between department and internship agency
School/Applied Child Psychology Internship Placement Weekly Log [.pdf]
Students are responsible for completing the internship log , have it co-signed by the site supervisor, and submitted to the Director of Clinical Training every three weeks. Failure to comply with the regular submission of these logs will result in the student not receiving credit for their internships. Site supervisors shall be responsible for completing the intern evaluation form and discussing the results with the intern. These forms must be submitted to the Director of Clinical Training. The Director of Clinical Training shall maintain contact with all site supervisors.


Evaluation of the Internship

The overall evaluation of the internship experience is based on the separate written evaluations from the field supervisor in consultation with the Director of Clinical Training.

Written evaluation from intern supervisor
School/Applied Child Psychology Intership Student Evaluation Form [.pdf]
Students are required to submit every three weeks their signed internship log to the Director of Clinical Training (fax and courier provide proof of delivery). Be sure to keep a copy of your logs. At the end of each university semester, internship supervisors are required to provide the Director of Clinical Training with a written evaluation of the intern's performance (see Intern Evaluation Form) and an open-ended evaluation generated by the supervisor reviewing general areas of the intern's performance specified in the internship plan.

Appeal process
In the event that the intern wishes to appeal the evaluation that has been given by the field supervisor, appropriate channels should be followed within the internship agency and the intern should then advise the Director of Clinical Training of such circumstances in writing. In addition, should the intern disagree with a grade from the Director of Clinical Training, the McGill process should be followed, beginning with a meeting with the Program Director, if necessary proceeding to the Department Chair, Associate Dean of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies, the Ombudsperson for Students, and ultimately the filing of a formal grievance Handbook of Student Rights and Responsibilities.


Internship Forms


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