Match Day 2018: The Forecast is Looking Good!

As your APAGS Chair, I wanted to reach you on one of the most important days of the year for the psychology training community. The 2018 Match Day is upon us, and the forecast is looking good for students. We continue to make advances toward resolving the internship crisis, and we are always excited to see students progressing in their training. For those that did not match, we continue to be your ally in this struggle, and aim to support you through our advocacy efforts to ensure everyone has access to the training opportunities they deserve.

Let’s Talk Data

Here is today’s APPIC data about applicants seeking a 2018 internship:

  • 3,779 applicants participated in the Match, of which 3,727 were from accredited programs. A smaller student pool is likely because APPIC is now using stricter accreditation requirements for doctoral programs that send students into the Match.
  • 3,163 applicants matched in Phase I: An 88% overall match rate.
  • 85% of applicants who matched got one of their top three choices.
  • This is the first time there were fewer applicants than internship positions available (i.e., 3,906 positions available), which is a promising trend for future internship cohorts. For the 432 students that remain unmatched, 457 APA/CPA-accredited internship positions remain open. 

Although many students are celebrating the opportunities that await them on internships, many today remain unmatched, and we hope that the number of APA/CPA-accredited sites available in Phase II provides ample opportunity to secure a quality training experience this summer. We also hope that the 184 students who did not submit a rank list or withdrew their applications for reasons related to site availability advocate for their best outcomes and fare well.

I know that the pains of not matching can be personally burdensome, and the uncertainty about the coming year can be equally as draining. Be reassured that, just as there are terrific training opportunities available in Phase II, there are many terrific applicants that sites will be ecstatic to recruit. I know many high-quality, well-trained colleagues who matched in Phase II to terrific training opportunities, and I wish you all the best of luck as you continue the application process for this cycle.

Change is on the Rise

The internship crisis has improved over the years, and many more stakeholders are beginning to call it an imbalance. In its advocacy efforts, the APAGS Committee is always mindful of the training opportunities available to students. In our 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, we aimed for an APA/CPA-accredited internship for every student from an APA/CPA-accredited program. We are close to reaching that goal.

My belief is that greater emphasis will need to be placed on specialty training opportunities in the coming years. The substantial increase in APA/CPA-accredited internships has helped to resolve the internship crisis, but many students miss out on specialty training opportunities when they match to sites that are not the best fit for their training goals. Certain fields such as school psychology have fewer APA/CPA-accredited programs. Although many sites offer neuropsychological training at the internship level, when applicants fail to match to a site with such training opportunities, they become less competitive when securing postdocs within that specialty. Rehabilitation, health, forensic, and more — specialty tracks and training opportunities at the internship level are becoming increasingly prevalent, and we as a field should be aware that the crisis is about both supply and fit.

Our Advocacy Efforts

For those in the student community concerned about advocacy, the APAGS Committee has been actively working with the internship crisis at the forefront of our minds. Our past advocacy efforts have pushed for a $3 million internship stimulus package approved by the APA Council of Representatives, which  has been highly successful in the development of new training sites. Medicaid reimbursement for internship services has also helped to secure funding for additional training sites. We also produced an informative video and resource page on the internship crisis to spread awareness of the impact that not matching has on the lives of students. The APAGS Committee continues to focus on graduate and internship training opportunities for our constituents. If you have any perspectives on additional advocacy efforts, we are always appreciative of your input. Contact your APAGS Committee officers for additional information. Further, if you would like to have a place at the table, we encourage all APAGS members to consider applying for positions on the APAGS Committee.  Students of all backgrounds, subfields, and interests are encouraged to apply. These positions are the most effective way to advocate for your student peers within APA, as we strive for the highest quality training experience for all psychology graduate students.


Justin E. Karr, M.Sc.

2018 APAGS Chair

Join the conversation! Please comment.