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Navy Doctoral Internships In Clinical Psychology

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD


The Navy doctoral internships at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD and Naval Medical Center, San Diego, CA are 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 APPI 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 in July or August. Initiating contact with a recruiter after 1 October increases the risk that the application will not be completed by the application deadline. (The Navy application includes a medical evaluation, and there are frequently delays in getting those appointments scheduled).

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for submitting APPI’s to the Navy internships is 9 November 2020. The deadline for completing the Navy commissioning application is 11 December 2020.

To locate the Medical Programs Officer Recruiter nearest you, go to http://www.navy.com/careers/healthcare/ - Click on “Find a Recruiter” located at the bottom of the page. Type in the zip code where you will be located at the time you would like to work with a recruiter. Click on “Officer Recruiter.”

When contacting the recruiting office, ask specifically to speak with a Medical Programs Officer Recruiter. Small recruiting offices may not have Medical Programs Officer Recruiters, but they can easily direct you to the nearest one. 


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

Internship applicants who match with a Navy internship are commissioned as Lieutenants in the Medical Service Corps and serve a total of 4 years on active duty - 1 year as a clinical psychology intern and 3 years as a staff psychologist.

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, sex, religion, creed, color, national origin (Article 1164 Navy Regulations), or sexual orientation.


The overarching aims of the 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 of the internships. Applying to one of the internships does not automatically make the applicant eligible for 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., Bethesda 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 APPI: 9 November 2020 for both internships.

Deadline for Navy commissioning application: 11 December 2020 for both internships

Internship Start Dates:
Walter Reed, Bethesda: 30 August 2021
NMC, San Diego: 7 September 2021

Officer Development School (Newport, RI): Officer Development School (ODS) is a five-week orientation course that all interns must attend prior to starting the internship. ODS runs from 25 July 2021 to 27 August 2021. 


Naval Medical Center, San Diego, California

  • San Diego. In-person interviews will be conducted at NMC, San Diego on 1, 2, and 3 December 2020. Applicants who are selected for interviews will be contacted via phone or email by the Training Director no later than 16 November 2020 to schedule an interview. 

  • Walter Reed. In-person interviews will be conducted at Walter Reed on 8, 9 & 10 December 2020. Applicants who are selected for interviews will be contacted via phone or email by the Training Director no later than 16 November 2020 to schedule an interview.

  • An in-person interview at one of the Navy internship training sites is required. Applicants who are applying to both Navy sites are only required to interview in-person at one of the sites, but they are encouraged to visit and interview at both sites if they can. For those who cannot visit both sites, a phone interview with the Training Director at the site not visited is required. Alternate dates for interviews can be arranged if necessary


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

  • Didactics

  • Trans-rotational psychotherapy experiences (including treatment of patients with PTSD)

  • 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

View the Navy Psychology Internship Brochure.


Internship graduates are usually assigned to Navy hospitals and clinics, predominantly within the continental United States and Hawaii. Graduating interns may also be assigned to Navy hospitals in Japan or other overseas locations, provided that post-doctoral supervision is available for licensure purposes.

Contact Us


(301) 319-2997

Training Director NMCSD: (619) 532-6065

Office of Program

Consultation & Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242


(202) 336-5979
(202) 336-6123 TDD

Additional Information

WRNMMC Navy Training Manual
NMCSD Training Manual

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