The Summer Institute: Preparing for a Military-Focused Career

Summer Institute: Welcome Class of 2017 19-23 June at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU)


Nearly 2.8 million US Service members have deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although most military members have acclimated well since returning, a number of them experience behavioral health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, traumatic brain injury (TBI), insomnia, chronic pain or substance abuse.

As a result, there is a great need for behavioral health providers to be trained well in military psychology. However, some graduate psychology students who are interested in this specialization may not feel adequately prepared to succeed as a pre-doctoral intern at a military treatment facility. Others may not be aware of the unique opportunities afforded by a career in military behavioral health.

To raise awareness of military psychology careers and increase students’ competitiveness for military internships, the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) will host its third iteration of The Summer Institute: Preparing for a Military-Focused Career, June 19-23, 2017. Based on overwhelmingly positive feedback from the past iterations, the CDP is pleased to offer this unique educational opportunity once again.

The Summer Institute is a five-day course for third- or fourth- year doctoral students in clinical or counseling psychology who anticipate applying for a military internship in 2017 or 2018. This intensive program will strengthen trainees’ backgrounds in military behavioral health in preparation for an internship and career serving the military population. Students will gain firsthand knowledge of military culture, the work of military psychologists, and evidence-based strategies to treat military members.

Through didactics, experiential exercises and panel sessions led by CDP faculty and other experts, students will receive training on topics including:

  • Types of clinical and assessment opportunities for military psychologists
  • Deployment cycle stress and common clinical problems
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy used with military patients  
  • Ethical dilemmas faced by uniformed providers

Course Content 

The first phase of the course will provide an overview of military culture and the deployment cycle, as well as the roles and activities unique to military psychologists. In addition, students will become familiar with key assessments used in military settings. The course will then highlight the more common clinical conditions experienced by military members. Students will explore military culture experientially by touring the war memorials on the National Mall and hearing from former military psychologists.

In the second phase of the course, students will gain knowledge about PTSD, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other evidence-based treatments, which will be applied to military cases. Trainees will also have a rare opportunity to learn about military internships from a panel of training directors from military treatment facilities. The course will conclude with an overview of situations that expose military psychologists to unique ethical dilemmas and problem-solving strategies.

Click here for an abbreviated agenda of the course content

Click here for the extended agenda of the course content


Please carefully review the following eligibility requirements. If you do not meet all the requirements listed, your application will not be considered.

  1. Enrolled in a doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology
  2. A current second-, third- or fourth-year doctoral student at the time you submit you application for the Summer Institute*
  3. Will apply for a clinical internship that would start in 2018 or 2019
  4. A U.S. citizen
  5. Enrolled in an APA accredited doctoral program.

* Where all other qualifications are equal, third- or fourth-year students will receive priority consideration.

Date and Location

The course will be held June 19-23, 2017 in Bethesda, MD on the campus of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), where many of the nation’s military medical staff are educated. Students are required to attend all five days in their entirety.


The CDP will offer the course free of charge and will assist with lodging costs. Attendees are responsible for covering all of their travel, transportation, and daily expenses.

Application Process

  1. The application must be submitted online
  2. Applicants are required to write two essays (instructions included in the application)
  3. Applicants are required to provide one academic/professional reference and ensure that the individual identified completes the form online
  4. Applicants must email their curriculum vitae (CV) to the identified CDP staff (see application) 

The application period has closed. Questions can be submitted to