About Us

Navy Doctoral Internships In Clinical Psychology


Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD

Naval Medical Center San Diego


The Navy doctoral internships at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD and Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA are fully accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) as clinical psychology internships. Inquiries regarding accreditation may be addressed to the APA's Commission on Accreditation at the following address or phone number:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C., 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979


VERY IMPORTANT: There are two parts to the Navy internship application: the standard AAPI and an application used to determine eligibility for commissioning as a Naval officer.

The Navy application is completed with the help of a Navy Medical Programs Officer Recruiter.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact a recruiter as early as possible, preferably by September of 2023.

If later than this date, applicants are still encouraged to apply. However, initiating contact with a recruiter after 1 November increases the risk that the application will not be completed by the application deadline below. (The Navy application includes a medical evaluation, and there are frequently delays in getting medical appointments scheduled).

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for submitting AAPIs to the Navy internships is 13 November 2023. The deadline for completing the Navy commissioning application (with the help of your recruiter) is 15 December 2023.

Finding a Recruiter: Unfortunately, there is no master list of Navy Medical Programs Officer Recruiters, so finding one can be challenging at times. There are two options for locating the Medical Programs Officer Recruiter nearest you:
  1. Go to the following website: U.S. Navy Clinical Psychology Careers | Navy.com, - Click on “Find a Recruiter” located at the bottom of the page, then type in your zip code. You can also call or use the chat feature to find a Medical Programs Officer Recruiter in your area. Not all recruiting stations have Medical Programs Officer Recruiters, but they should be able to easily direct you to the nearest one.

  2. Contact the Navy Clinical Psychology National Training Director (Dr. John Ralph), who can connect you with a recruiter in your local area. Dr. Ralph can be reached at John.a.ralph.civ@health.mil


The Navy’s doctoral internships in clinical psychology are organized around a Practitioner-Scholar model. They provide an intensive, twelve-month period of clinical, didactic, and leadership experiences.

Prior military experience is neither a requirement nor an expectation for applicants. Most applicants for the Navy internships have no prior military experience. Applicants do not have to be in the military to apply, and there is no military service obligation unless an applicant matches with the internship through the APPIC match.

Internship applicants who match with a Navy internship in 2024 will be commissioned as Lieutenants in the Navy Medical Service Corps, and will serve a minimum of 4 years on active duty - 1 year as a clinical psychology intern and 3 years following their internship training.

It should be noted that the Navy Clinical Psychology community is gradually moving toward compliance with a DOD regulation that requires an individual to be licensed before fulfilling their post-internship service obligation. In support of this, we are currently piloting a postdoctoral training year for new psychologists. This training will focus on the provision of psychological services in Navy and Marine Corps operational settings, and it will provide the time and resources necessary for trainees to become licensed in the state of their choice. It is expected that this postdoctoral training year will be fully implemented within the next two to three years, and will then become mandatory for most new psychologists. This will essentially increase one’s service obligation to 5 years (one year as a psychology intern, one year as a postdoctoral fellow, and three years as a licensed psychologist).

However, while those applying for internship in 2024 will have the opportunity to participate in this pilot program if they wish, doing so will not change their service obligation. For those applying for internship in 2024, the total service obligation will remain 4 years on active duty, which includes the internship.

There is no military obligation for applicants who do not match with a Navy internship.

The Navy internships give careful consideration to all available information about each applicant, and select
interns on a competitive basis without regard to race, gender, religion, creed, color, national origin (Article 1164 Navy Regulations), or sexual orientation.


The overarching goals of these internships are to produce highly qualified, resourceful, and autonomous professional psychologists who are prepared to function effectively in traditional settings (e.g., hospitals and mental health clinics) and in military-unique settings (e.g., on aircraft carriers, with Marine Corps units, etc.).

Interns are trained to employ critical thinking and an empirical orientation in their clinical work. This is accomplished by modeling, encouragement, and constructive feedback as interns encounter a range of clinical conditions, patient populations, and settings.


The two Navy internships are not a consortium. They are separately accredited by the APA and are listed separately on the APPIC website. Applicants have the option of applying to one or both internships. Applicants who wish to be considered for both internships must apply to them separately on the APPIC website. Interns will attend the specific internship program with which they match (i.e., Walter Reed or San Diego).


Applicants must meet all age, security background check, and medical requirements for commissioning as Naval officers prior to being placed on the internships’ APPIC match lists.

Deadline for AAPI: 13 November 2023 for both internships.

Deadline for Navy commissioning application: 15 December 2023 for both internships (this is the portion of your application that is completed with the help of a Navy Medical Programs Officer Recruiter).

Officer Development School (Newport, RI): 14 July – 16 August 2024. Officer Development School (ODS) is a five-week orientation course that all interns must attend prior to starting the internship. ODS marks the point when interns first enter active-duty status.

Navy Medicine 101 Course: 19 - 23 August 2024. NM101 is a 1-week in-person course held in Bethesda, MD. This course was created in 2021 to provide new officers with an introduction to the Navy Medical Department. Incoming interns will attend NM101 immediately after ODS.

Internship Start Dates:
Walter Reed, Bethesda: 26 August 2024
NMC, San Diego: 3 September 2024 (after the Labor Day holiday)


Applicants will be required to participate in virtual interviews for each site to which they are applying. These virtual interviews will be offered to all applicants in accordance with the schedule below. This year, applicants will also be provided opportunities to participate in optional in-person visits to each internship site. These in-person visits will enable applicants to get a more complete picture of our training programs, but they are entirely optional and will not impact internship selection decisions.

Interviews will be conducted for the San Diego internship between 28 - 30 November 2023.

Interviews will be conducted for the Walter Reed internship between 5 -7 December 2023.

Applicants who are selected for interviews will be contacted by mid-November (following the AAPI submission deadline) to schedule an interview.

Information about the optional in-person visits will be promulgated later in the year.

Applicants who are applying to both sites will be required to participate in interviews at both sites.


Both programs are organized around a core of sequential clinical rotations that are augmented by:

  • Didactics
  • Trans-rotational psychotherapy experiences
  • Out-of-hospital training at Navy and Marine Corps bases and with military operational units.
The two internships are similar in many respects, but they are not a consortium, and the on-site Training Directors are free to create a curriculum that takes optimal advantage of the patient populations, faculty strengths, and clinical services available at their individual sites. More information is available at the following links:

Naval Medical Center San Diego Internship

Trainee Admissions, Support, and Outcome Data – San Diego

Training Manual - San Diego

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Internship

Trainee Admissions, Support, and Outcome Data – Walter Reed

Training Manual – Walter Reed

Trainee Admissions, Support, and Outcome Data - Portsmouth

Training Manual - Portsmouth

Internship Brochure 2024


As mentioned previously, the Navy Clinical Psychology community is piloting a post-doctoral training year that is being made available to interested interns. This training allows participants to become more familiar with operational psychology, and with the practice of psychology in various military settings (such as aircraft carriers, submarine squadrons, Navy Special Warfare units, etc.). This training also provides a more structured program through which trainees can complete all requirements for licensure. We plan to expand this program every year. It will be optional for those who match with us in 2024 and complete their internship in 2025, but it will likely be mandatory for those who apply in future years.

Those who choose not to participate in this operational training will be assigned to a Navy hospital or clinic following internship. Most of these hospitals/clinics are located within the continental United States, but overseas assignments are also available, particularly in areas like Hawaii and Japan. All graduating interns will be assigned to positions where post-doctoral supervision is available for licensure purposes. Again, the minimum service requirement for those starting internship in 2024 is 4 years, which includes the internship.

Contact Us

Navy Psychology Internships:

William M. Hunt, Ph.D., ABPP
Acting Internship Training Director
Naval Medical Center San Diego
San Diego, California
Phone - (619) 532-6209
Email – william.m.hunt.civ@health.mil

Richard D. Bergthold, PsyD.
Internship Training Director
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Bethesda, Maryland
Phone - (301) 319-2997
Email – richard.d.bergthold.civ@health.mil

John A Ralph, Ph.D.
National Training Director
Navy Clinical Psychology
Phone - (301) 295-2476
Email – john.a.ralph.civ@health.mil

American Psychological Association:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C., 20002-4242
(202) 336-5979

Additional Information:

WRNMMC Navy Training Manual
NMCSD Training Manual

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