March 31, 2022
Professor Sandra Barrueco meets with psychology students

National “Match Day” came out big this year for Catholic University’s clinical psychology Ph.D. students, with 100% being selected or “matched” with internships accredited by the American Psychological Association in the first round of matches.

This compares to a national match average of 87% in the first phase of matches for all doctoral psychology applicants across the nation this year. The process for matching students with internships is similar to the process used for medical residency and uses the same national software program. 

“As director of the clinical psychology Ph.D. program for the past eight years, I am thrilled to see these outcomes as they reflect what I experience on a daily basis at Catholic University,” said Sandra Barrueco, professor of psychology and director of the doctoral program in clinical psychology. 

A full-time, one-year internship in clinical psychology is a required part of doctoral studies and typically is completed in the fifth or sixth year of studies. 

The internships in clinical psychology provide Ph.D. candidates with advanced training while they work in assessment and intervention with individuals, families, and communities in hospitals, counseling centers, and clinics.

“The 100% match is proof of the strength of our clinical psychology program,” says Brendan Rich, chair and associate professor of psychology.

“It speaks to our national reputation and how talented our students are. Internships across the country know our students receive exceptional clinical training in conducting therapy with and assessment of individuals with mental health difficulties,” he added.

The five Catholic University students matched with full-time internship sites across the nation, including Albert Einstein College/Montefiore Medical Center, University of Minnesota Medical School, Veteran Affairs-Salt Lake City Health Care System, University of California-Los Angeles, and Yale University’s Child Study Center.

Catholic University’s clinical psychology doctorate program is highly competitive, with an acceptance rate of about 5% for prospective students. Recently, the Ph.D. program successfully completed a rigorous external re-accreditation review process, receiving the highest level of re-accreditation for 10 years. 

A recent report from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology boards found that 100% of the program’s alumni passed the national licensing examination on their first attempt (2015-2017), far above the national average of 81%. Additionally, 100% of the eligible alumni over the past 10 years have obtained their licenses.

After completing their doctorates, alumni usually complete post-doctoral fellowships and enter the clinical, research, and academic fields.