About Us

Navy Psychology Health Professions Scholarship Program

Navy Psychology HPSP is an educational support program for individuals pursuing doctoral degrees in clinical or counseling psychology, who have a desire to serve in the United States Navy following degree completion. HPSP provides financial assistance to students enrolled in APA-accredited doctoral programs (Ph.D. or Psy. D.) in clinical or counseling psychology.

IMPORTANT! All scholarships are three years in length (years 2, 3, and 4 in most programs). In order to be eligible for HPSP, applicants must be able to complete three years as a full-time student on the scholarship before starting the pre-doctoral internship. For example, scholarship students selected in 2022 will be full-time students in their doctoral programs for three years, and will start their pre-doctoral internship in 2025. Students in their second year of study are eligible for HPSP, but they must commit to remaining in their program for three additional years prior to starting internship.


  • Must be a United States citizen (dual citizenship not permitted)
  • Must be less than 42 years of age when starting the pre-doctoral internship (which will commence around August of 2025).
  • Must be medically qualified.
  • Must meet height/weight standards.
  • Must be able to pass a security background check (be eligible for a Secret security clearance).
  • Must be a full-time student.


  • For guidance on the application process, please contact the Head of Student Programs for HPSP at (301) 295-1594 or (301) 295-1217. You can also contact the National Director, Navy Psychology Training Programs (Dr. John Ralph) at (301) 295-2476 or john.a.ralph.civ@mail.mil.
  • Students should apply for HPSP during their first (or in some cases, second) year of graduate school. Students who have not yet started graduate school should not submit an application.
  • Interviews conducted as part of the application process will be scheduled during the second half of the academic year (usually in early February). This is to provide the interviewers with maximum information about applicants’ graduate school performance up to that time.
  • Selection of scholarship students takes place annually in March. Receipt of the scholarship is contingent on the successful completion of one’s first year of graduate school.

Benefit Start Date

Benefits start on the latest of the following three dates:

  • Oath of Office
  • HPSP Contract
  • Academic Start Date


Oath of Office 21 July 2023
HPSP Contract 21 July 2023
Academic Start Date 14 August 2023
Benefit Start Date is 14 August 2023

Tuition is backdated to the start of the semester in which the student is currently enrolled. Your stipend (see below) will begin on the Benefit Start Date.


  • Full tuition (no upper limit) paid via contract between the Navy and your school. (If you are brought into the program prior to the last day of the term, the Navy can pay tuition for the entire term)
  • Stipend: $2,540.00 per month (this represents 2022 figures, and might increase for 2023)
  • All required fees with some exceptions (e.g., parking, cap and gown, student union fees, etc.)
  • All required books and equipment
  • Reimbursement for student’s health and dental insurance, if required by school
  • Full pay and allowances of an Ensign (0-1) for 45 days per year (~$4,500), which is completed during Annual Training (AT). HPSP students may complete one sponsored AT per year. Travel and per diem are paid by the Navy if the AT is performed in a location other than your school. However, AT can also be completed at your school under “School Orders.”

HPSP Obligated Service

  • The service obligation is 3 years post-internship. Students are obligated to serve one year of active duty (not counting training years) for each year of scholarship, with a three-year minimum. So scholarship recipients who receive 3 years of tuition will serve three years on active duty after their pre-doctoral internship.

Entry Grade Credit (EGC) (OPNAVINST 1120.4)

  • Scholarship students receive 4 years of “entry grade credit,” so they start the pre-doctoral internship as Navy Lieutenants (O-3). 
  • Entry Grade Credit determines Date of Rank. It does not affect pay. 
  • Applicants with prior commissioned service earn EGC at a rate of ½ year for every year of service


  • Scholarship students must apply for the pre-doctoral internship at Naval Medical Center (NMC), Portsmouth, Virginia. 
  • Applications for the NMC Portsmouth internship are due around the 1st of November in the year prior to internship. 
  • Internship application results will be released by mid-November. In the unlikely event that a student is not accepted to the Portsmouth internship, this early date allows them time to submit an application for the national match (through which they could apply to the Navy internships at Walter Reed and Naval Medical Center San Diego).

Coming on Active Duty: Orders

  • Scholarship students attend a 5-week Navy orientation program (Officer Development School [ODS]) at some point during the three years that they are on scholarship. ODS is a one-time training, and can be attended during the first, second, or third year of the scholarship. Students are strongly encouraged to complete this requirement in the first or second year of the scholarship if possible. ODS must be completed prior to starting internship, and there are a limited number of seats in each class.
  • Arrangements to attend ODS are made through the HPSP Accessions Program office.
  • Once orders to internship are in hand, students can arrange to have their household goods moved to the Portsmouth area.

Coming on Active Duty: Superseding

  • Prior to starting the pre-doctoral internship, students supersede from Ensign, Individual Ready Reserve, to Lieutenant, USN.
  • Students are not eligible for active duty pay until they report to ODS.

For additional questions, please contact the National Training Director for Navy Psychology, Dr. John Ralph, at john.a.ralph.civ@mail.mil, or by phone at (301) 295-2476.

Additional Information

John A. Ralph, Ph.D., ABPP
CAPT, MSC, USN (ret)
National Director
Navy Psychology Training Programs
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Bethesda, MD 20889


(301) 295-2476



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