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How to Apply to USUHS Clinical Psychology


Applying to the USU program is a multi-step process that has two primary parts. You must gain acceptance to the graduate program itself, and you must qualify for appointment as an officer in the Navy Medical Services Corps (MSC). There are also additional requirements for current active duty applicants.

Typically, the graduate school application comes first. Successful applicants will then receive a conditional acceptance as they embark on the Navy qualification process. Once they complete all the steps required for commissioning in the Navy Medical Service Corps, they will then be granted full acceptance to the graduate program.

The application process can be confusing! For additional assistance at any time, please contact Dr. John Ralph, (National Director for Navy Psychology Training Programs) at john.a.ralph.civ@mail.mil.


Complete application information is available on the USUHS Admissions website: https://medschool.usuhs.edu/admissions. There are two phases to the USUHS application:

Phase I: Online Application

Applicants must complete the Graduate Education Office's ONLINE application for Admission to Graduate Study. The application includes a personal statement, as well as the submission of transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation.
Of note, due to constraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, The GRE will not be required for those applying in 2021 (for the 2022-2023 academic year).

Phase II: The Interview Process

Once all applications are received, USUHS faculty members will select a portion of applicants for the second phase of the selection process. This consists of a series of interviews with USUHS faculty members and with members of the Navy Psychology community. While USUHS faculty members are primarily interested in an applicant’s academic history, Navy psychologists will assess applicants’ aptitude for success as a military psychologist.

If you are selected for an interview, you will be invited to visit USUHS for interviews sometime in February (assuming that in-person interviews are permitted by that time). The department DOES NOT FUND any travel or expenses related to this visit. If you cannot attend an on-site interview, you may elect to do a telephone interview.

Those who are conditionally accepted to the USUHS program will then commence the second part of their application. In cooperation with Navy Recruiting Command, the USUHS staff will assist applicants in completing the requirements for appointment as an officer in the Navy Medical Service Corps.

There are two Navy openings per year for the USUHS Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program.

Additional Application Requirements for Prior-Service/Current Active Duty Applicants

In addition to completing all the above steps, there are several other requirements for applicants who are already serving on active duty. Most importantly, current military members must submit proof that they will be released by their operational community to attend graduate school if accepted into the program. Documentation of this “conditional release” must be included in your initial USUHS application. In addition:

Active duty Navy Officers: Must submit a Contingent Resignation to the Navy Bureau of Personnel (BUPERS).

Active duty officers in the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard: Must submit an Interservice Transfer Request through your parent service to the Secretary of the Navy. Requests are subject to the appropriate directives of your respective branch of service.

Active duty enlisted personnel: Must submit a package for a regular commissioning appointment in the Medical Service Corps via your local Navy Medical Programs Officer recruiter.

Questions? Please contact Dr. John Ralph at john.a.ralph.civ@mail.mil or (301) 295-2476.

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