Practicum & Internship Information

Overview of Training Opportunities

Students conduct their first practica in assessment and psychotherapy in the Department of Psychology’s Virginia I. Douglas Center for Clinical Psychology. Beginning in their third year, students have the option to participate in external practica in public-sector sites in Montréal. In recent years, our students have completed practica in a number of clinics at the McGill University Health Centre, including the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Unit and the Mood Disorders Program, and the Teenage Health Unit at the Jewish General Hospital. Note that the program cannot guarantee the availability of specific external practica.

Please note that we do not have a neuropsychology track, and we cannot guarantee that students in our program will be able to meet the requirements for licensure as a neuropsychologist by the Ordre des Psychologues du Québec. Students whose primary goal is to practice as a neuropsychologist would be better served by a different training program.

Practicum Hours

Students must complete a minimum of 700 hours to satisfy the practicum requirements.

ACTIVITY Cumulative Hours
Direct client contact 300
Supervision 150
Support activities 250

Yearly Practicum and Internship Timeline

The following timeline describes the typical flow of practicum and internship experiences.

The First Year

In their first year, students enroll in several courses teaching basic assessment and interviewing skills, i.e., Psyc 615/616, 617/618, and 780. Each course has a didactic, classroom portion though students also practice skills with other students. As well, they are introduced to their first clinical cases and receive supervision preparing them for psychotherapy training in the second year.

The Second Year

In their second year, students enroll in Practicum 1 (Psyc-620). This psychotherapy practicum is completed in the department’s in-house clinic, allowing us to sequence, monitor, and individualize activities for maximum educational benefit.

The exact number of hours varies somewhat across students depending on their activities but this is viewed as a one day/week practicum totaling approximately 256 hours, calculated as: 32 weeks x 1 day/week x 8 hours/day = 256. The breakdown of hours is approximately (see below for definitions):

ACTIVITY Hours % Total HRS
Direct client contact 80 31
Supervision 78  30 
Support Activities 98 38

The Third Year

In their third year, students enroll in Practicum 2 (Psyc-706) that involves approximately 256 hours of training (32 weeks x 1 days/week x 8 hours/day). To provide breadth of training and initial specialization, this occurs in an external hospital or clinic site. Students discuss their training goals with the practicum/internship coordinator during the fall of their second year and apply for an external placement for the following year. Placement offers are made early in the new year on APPIC match day. Students are expected to display a greater sense of confidence and autonomy in their clinical work in Practicum 2. The breakdown of hours is approximately (see below for definitions):

ACTIVITY Hours % Total HRS
Direct client contact 80 31
Supervision 78 30
Support Activities 98 38

The Fourth Year and Above

In their fourth year, students enroll in Practicum 3 (Psyc-732) that involves approximately 256 hours of training (32 weeks x 1 days/week x 8 hours/day). This practicum is also completed in the department’s in-house clinic but with a greater focus on the development of supervision skills by supervising junior practicum students.

If their research is sufficiently advanced, additional practicum training is consistent with their career goals, and they have permission of the Practicum and Internship Director, a student can also enroll in the optional Practicum 4 (Psyc-733).

Alternatively, a student can begin their one-year predoctoral internship (Psyc 707 & 708). This can be completed either as one full-time one-year experience or two half-time one-year experiences. If they want to complete their internship in the McGill Psychology Internship Consortium (MPIC), they need to discuss their training goals with the internship director and apply for placements. By virtue of being in the Clinical Program they are already accepted into the general MPIC program though acceptance by specific consortial sites is not guaranteed.

On the other hand, if they want to complete their internship locally outside the MPIC network or outside Montreal, this is done usually via the APPIC match program. Application for an internship obtained through APPIC is more complicated but a number of students have successfully obtained internships this way in recent years.

Overall, the internship is a minimum 1600 hours experience with at least 650 hours of direct client contact and 200 hours of supervision, 150 of which should be individual supervision.

Common Practicum/Internship Terms:

Direct client contact refers to face-to-face clinical activity (e.g., assessment, intervention, or consultation conducted in-person or virtually) with a client OR a member of their personal network (e.g., teacher, parent, employer). Other forms client contact such as electronic chats and talking on the telephone can count if the activity involves the delivery of psychological services.

Individual supervision refers to one-on-one supervision provided by a licensed psychologist or other licensed health care professional who has the primary legal responsibility for the clinical activity.

Support activities refers to tasks such as note keeping, report writing, file management, case presentations, and consultation that aren’t included as part of supervision, as well as attending rounds, treatment planning, reading and learning about new testing and treatment methods, etc.

Back to top