Pathways to Military Internships: Preparing for a Career in Military Psychology

The Center for Deployment Psychology’s Pathways to Military Internships is a program aimed at doctoral students in clinical or counseling psychology who are seriously considering applying for military internships at one of the ten training programs located throughout the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. The program’s vision is to be a valued training resource for military psychology by preparing top psychology students for a military internship.

Pathways to Military Internships comprises two training programs, The Summer Institute and The Winter Institute. Both training programs are designed to raise doctoral students’ awareness of what it would be like to serve as a military psychologist, as they gain first-hand knowledge of military culture and the work of psychologists serving in uniform. The programs also give students the opportunity to network with like-minded participants from all over the country. In addition, students gain valuable military insights that increase their competitiveness for a military internship.

To qualify, students must:

  • be a U.S. citizen,
  • complete an application with an essay and short answers,
  • and be enrolled in an APA-accredited clinical or counseling psychology doctoral program.

The Summer and Winter Institutes provide students with the unique opportunity to:

  • Gain knowledge about military culture and military psychologists’ clinical activities, roles and responsibilities
  • Learn about presenting problems most common among military personnel and evidence-based strategies to treat them
  • Develop skills for working with military clients consistent with evidence-based practice and conceptualizing cases through a cognitive-behavioral framework
  • Discover how military life affects not only the service member, but also the family system

Curriculum includes:

  • Didactics on military values and military- and deployment-related psychology topics
  • Interactive panels with military psychologists and training directors from DoD psychology internships
  • Discussions about ethics and clinical practice unique to military providers
  • Networking opportunities with others pursuing a military psychology career

Should I apply to The Winter Institute or The Summer Instiute?

The Winter Institute The Summer Institute
Exploring an interest in a military psychology career Seriously considering pursuing a military psychology career
Prefer to complete the course in three days Prefer a more detailed five-day course
Prefer to attend the course online and/or not to travel Prefer to attend the course and network in person (hotel and tuition are covered but individuals are responsible for travel, meals, parking, and incidentals)
Standard topics covered Standard topics covered plus more in-depth and additional topics

The Summer Institute is an intensive five-day course held in person during a week in June or July at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) in Bethesda, MD (on the same campus as the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center). The course is offered at no cost and provides lodging for the duration of the course (students are required to pay for their own travel, meals, and incidentals). It is intended for students who are:

  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year doctoral students in clinical or counseling psychology
  • Seriously considering applying for military internships at one of the ten training programs located throughout the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force

THE WINTER INSTITUTE
Course Dates: 9-11 Jan. 2023

The Winter Institute is a three-day course hosted online via Zoom.  The course is offered at no cost.  It is intended for students who are:

  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year doctoral students in clinical or counseling psychology
  • Exploring the idea of applying to a military internship at one of the ten training programs located throughout the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force
  • Designed to strengthen trainees’ backgrounds in military behavioral health as they gain first-hand knowledge of military culture and the work of military psychologists who treat active duty service members

To qualify for either course, students must be U.S. citizens, complete an application with short answers, and be enrolled in an APA-accredited clinical or counseling psychology doctoral program.

Questions can be emailed to Hakimah Campbell at hakimah.campbell.ctr@usuhs.edu.