Clinical Psychology Internship & Postdoctoral Fellowship

Clinical psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows at Northwestern Unversity receive training in an environment which is multidisciplinary, conceptually pluralistic, multidimensional, and scholarly.  Trainees work closely with clinical psychologists, physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, and social workers throughout the year.  An emphasis is placed on evidence-based clinical practices, and on understanding the ways in which empirical research and clinical practice mutually inform one another.

Program Overview

Our internship program in clinical psychology is sponsored by the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. The internship is the second in the United States to be accredited by the American Psychological Association on October 1, 1955. It is designed to prepare trainees for careers as professional psychologists in academic and medical center settings. Like our doctoral program, the internship and postdoctoral fellowship program develops critically-minded psychologists who are, at the same time, exceptional clinicians and creative clinical scholars.

The Internship Program in Clinical Psychology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine is designed to train the next generation of leaders in clinical psychology.  We endeavor to develop professional psychologists who are clinically perceptive and technically skilled, and who demonstrate a comprehensive and critically minded knowledge of psychological theory, treatment, and applied research. Our internship program is based on a scientist-practitioner model. It is designed for individuals who wish to pursue careers in clinical practice, teaching, and research. Trainees are immersed in clinical programs that emphasize expert diagnosis, early intervention, continuity of care, and access to a broad range of evidence-based treatments; an educational curriculum that is programmatic, integrative, and individualized; and research programs of national standing.  Opportunities for generalist training during the internship year abound as the patient population served is demographically, socioeconomically, and diagnostically diverse.  Trainees acquire the theoretical, empirical, and methodological knowledge necessary to treat a wide range of complex clinical problems within a multidisciplinary setting.  Steeped in a rich tradition of training, and supported by a wealth of clinical and scholarly resources, Northwestern, offers trainees an exceptional environment to complete the final preparations for their professional careers.

Year One - Internship

Our internship program is organized in two tracks - 1) Psychopathology & Psychotherapy, and 2) LGBTQ Health. Each track accepts three interns per year. Interns must identify their preferred track at the time of application.

  1. Psychopathology & Psychotherapy Track: Interns in the Psychopathology and Psychotherapy Track receive broad and intensive generalist training in assessment, diagnosis, psychological testing, case formulation, consultation, and individual and group psychotherapy with outpatient adults. They receive training in several evidence-based treatments, including CBT, DBT, CBT for Psychosis, CBASP, and Mindfulness-Based CBT/ACT. They also receive training in psychodynamic psychotherapy and intergrated dual-diagnosis treatment. Training is provided throught the Stone Mental Health Center, a CMHC associated with Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and several multi- disciplinary, community-based clinics. Interns receive both individual and group supervision, complemented by an extensive curriculum of case conferences, workshops and seminars. Although the focus of the internship year is clinical, participation in research in strongly encouraged and supported.

  2. LGBTQ Health Track: Interns in our LGBTQ Health Track also receive broad and intensive generalist training in assessment, diagnosis, psychological testing, case formulation, consultation, and individual and group psychotherapy. Rotations are completed at the Center on Halsted, a clinic serving Chicago's LGBTQ community, the Infectious Diseases/HIV Clinic of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and our Department's Consultation/Liason Service. LGBTQ Health interns conduct clinical research with faculty in the Department of Medical Social Sciences (MSS) at Northwestern. Along with trainees from the Psychopathology and Psychotherapy Track, interns in the LGBTQ Health Track participate in a range of didactic seminars, workshops, and case conferences. Participation in research is an intergral component on this track.

Year Two – Postdoctoral Fellowship

Interns from both tracks are encouraged to apply for post-doctoral fellowship positions with our department. Our post-doctoral fellowship program is designed to build on the foundation of general skills developed during the internship year.  Fellows receive specialized clinical training and are actively involved in basic, translational, or clinical research with a senior research mentor.  Post-doctoral fellows are supported in developing an area of clinical expertise as well as a program of research over the course of the fellowship year.  Fellows are well-positioned, then, to pursue careers in clinical or academic settings.  It is worth noting that opportunities to work in specific clinics or research labs can vary from year to year.

Go to Internship Brochure 2014-2015 for more information.

Application Procedure

Our program participates in the national match, and uses the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) standard application form. We strongly support the goals of APPIC and endorse their guidelines. Northwestern University agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at the Feinberg will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any intern applicant before the day of uniform notification.

National Matching Services, Inc. conducts the matching program for internship programs that are members of APPIC. All applicants to our program must obtain a Request for Applicant Agreement Package from National Matching Services, Inc. and register for the match. For participation rules, a schedule, a process description, or to download an Applicant Agreement, go to the National Matching Services, Inc. website. You may also request an agreement be mailed to you from their main office: National Matching Services, 20 Holly Street, Suite 301, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4S 3B1. The match code number for the program is 126211.

Our application deadline is November 1. Invitations for interview are made no later than December 15. Interviews will be held during early January.

Selection Process

We accept graduate students who are enrolled in American or Canadian clinical or counseling psychology programs. A strong preference is given to applicants from APA-accredited training programs in clinical psychology founded upon a Scientist-Practitioner or Clinical Scientist model

Six students are accepted each year. Minority applicants and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applicant Requirements

Applicants must have:

Selection of interns is overseen by the Internship and Fellowship Training Committee. All applications are screened by the Director of Training. Those applicants who meet requirements are independently rated by at least two faculty members on the Internship and Fellowship Training Committee, including the Chief Psychologist and Director of Training. Education, clinical training, research, competency, and fit with the program are considered.

Approximately 30 to 32 applicants will be invited for a day-long set of meetings where they are provided with an overview of the program, interviewed by faculty, offered an open forum with current interns and fellows, and given the opportunity to ask questions. Interviews are conducted by the Chief Psychologist, Director of Training, and at least three other members of our faculty. Applicants are independently rated on a number of foundational and functional competencies: professionalism, reflective practice, scientific knowledge, individual and cultural diversity, interdisciplinary systems, assessment, intervention, and research/evaluation. Applicants are also assessed for the fit between their stated internship needs and career aims with the goals, objectives, training plan, and resources of the program. The Internship and Fellowship Training Committee then meets and generates a final ranking by consensus.

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Mark Reinecke, PhD

Contact Us

For more information about our internship and fellowship program, contact Cleo Powell.

Cleo Powell
312-908-1465