Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology

The primary goal of the Doctoral Intership Program in Clinical Psychology is to train interns who will become licensed psychologists, prepared to practice independently in clinical and research positions or community-based human service programs.

These programs may include nonprofit outpatient clinics, community day and residential programs for individuals with disabilities, and public and private educational programs serving children with disabilities.

Our Doctoral Internship Program is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA)* and is a member program of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).

Program Philosophy

The Internship Program is based on the scientist-practitioner model of training. Our interpretation of this model holds that the scientist-practitioner is a psychologist who:

  • bases clinical strategies on empirical research
  • can reference research literature while developing an intervention plan
  • collects treatment data using a valid methodology
  • conducts research in the context of clinical work
  • shares findings at professional conferences or through publication
  • understands the scientific limitations of the field at this time

Training Model

The Internship Program prepares students for integrated science and practice through three principle training components: 1) structured field training, 2) a sequence of didactic training, and 3) mentored research projects. These components are described below. 

Structured Field Training

The Internship Program offers a range of placements in settings that provide psychological services. For 2017-2018 placements will be organized into three tracks: Applied Behavioral Services, Pediatric Service Specialty, and Autism Specialty.

Applied Behavioral Services placement sites deliver consultation and direct service, primarily for children and adolescents with severe behavior disorders associated with autism, brain injury, and/or other developmental disabilities. The primary clinical approach is based on the principles of applied behavior analysis.

Pediatric Service Specialty placement sites deliver outpatient, family, group and consultation services for children with special healthcare needs and health conditions across development. Clinical approaches include behavioral, cognitive-behavioral and applied behavior analysis in outpatient medical, clinic, and school settings. Primary diagnoses include developmental disabilities, behavior disorders, dual diagnoses (medical and psychiatric), and adjustment to chronic and complex medical conditions.

Autism Specialty placement sites deliver diagnostic assessment services and family consultation and education, primarily to children and adolescents and their families, who have not been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder in the past. Diagnostic services are applied utilizing a process approach to autism assessment, and are based on the established gold standard of autism evaluation. 

The field training component of our program is designed to capitalize on the diverse training opportunities available at the May Institute. Interns divide their time between two placement sites four days per week, and the fifth day per week is devoted to didactic seminars, peer and group supervision, and scholarly activities.


Seminars are an opportunity for interns to increase depth of knowledge in areas directly related to their clinical work.  There is a year-long seminar series that addresses the application of evidence-based methods to clinical and systems problems, issues of professional and career development, and critical topics related to assessment, treatment, and research.  In addition to didactic training, seminars enable interns to receive guidance and advice from practicing psychologists, peers, and recognized experts within and outside May Institute.

Mentored Research Projects

Further training occurs during the mentored completion of two research projects: 1) a demonstration of the application of the principles of scientific psychology to a clinical case and 2) a program evaluation project that uses established scientific methodologies to analyze a program outcome, process, or best practices issue. For the first project, interns usually take a single case from their caseload and write it as a single-case submission to a peer reviewed journal.

For the program evaluation project, interns usually select an issue at one of their placement sites where their analysis and consultation might lead to improved processes or service quality. In this project, interns learn to apply analytic skills and clinical knowledge to solve clinical systems problems, a task that will likely fall upon them as practicing psychologists.

Goals and Objectives of the Internship Program

The Internship Training Program in Clinical Psychology is focused on training interns in seven specific domains: clinical assessment, intervention, clinical research and its practical application, diversity, professional skills and ethics, and supervision, and consultation. Brief statements describing the competency domains are provided below.

Core Competency Model, Internship Program in Clinical Psychology

1. Proficiency in Clinical Assessment
A psychologist is proficient in the most appropriate and valuable assessment strategies for the individual being served and the clinical situation being addressed. Our faculty believes that clinical assessment is the cornerstone of psychological practice. As a matter of best practice and out of concern for the individual being served, a thorough and comprehensive assessment should precede all intervention design and implementation. Assessment methods and strategies vary, depending on the nature of the services being provided, the individual's needs, and the setting in which the services will be provided. In all cases, assessment precedes intervention and is an ongoing process.

2. Proficiency in Clinical Intervention
A psychologist is proficient in the planning and implementation of empirically supported interventions most appropriate for the individual being served and the setting where services are provided. A scientist-practitioner psychologist must be familiar with the research literature relative to the services she or he provides and the populations whom she or he serves. Intervention planning and implementation should be supported by the research literature. When a psychologist recommends certain interventions, she or he should be able to cite the literature base upon which clinical recommendations are formed. This is good practice and serves the interests of the client.

3. Proficiency in Clinical Research and Practical Application
A psychologist is proficient in the application of research knowledge and analytic skills to clinical services and clinical service delivery systems. Scientist-practitioner psychologists use the methods of science to further the effectiveness of their clinical work. For instance, they formulate measurable treatment objectives at the start of an intervention and design reasonable strategies to measure progress throughout treatment. In some cases and settings, this involves a valid, standardized self-report scale; in other cases and settings, this may involve single-subject research methods. A scientist-practitioner psychologist should be able to organize casework as a series of clinical findings that they share with other professionals.

4. Proficiency in Clinical Issues in Individual and Cultural Diversity
A psychologist is sensitive to the influence of culture, ethnicity, and other individual differences (such as gender, age, education, economics, etc.) in the delivery of clinical services. She or he is proficient at incorporating knowledge of individual difference and diversity into her/his practice. Further, a psychologist needs to be aware of her or his personal diversity and how these attributes affect their practice.

5. Proficiency in Professional Values, Attitudes and Behavior
A psychologist is proficient in the knowledge and application of the principles of the ethical practice of psychology. A psychologist is professional in conduct and demeanor while functioning as a psychologist. A psychologist is aware of standard paths to professional licensure and board certification. 

6. Proficiency in Supervision
A psychologist understands the standards for clinical supervision, ethical issues inherent in supervision, and the basic principles of effective supervision and management. Although a comprehensive training in management and supervision is beyond the scope of this internship, we provide interns with a review of these principles and their application. An open discussion of the managerial roles a psychologist will be assigned in the course of her or his career.

7. Proficiency in Consultation and Interpersonal Skills
A psychologist is proficient in the knowledge and application of consultation models and methods within diverse clinical settings and with diverse clinical populations. Evaluation of consultative skills will occur through supervisor observations, review of written reports, discussion within seminars, and completion of program evaluation and single-case research projects.

Each intern is expected to demonstrate achievement of specific clinical competencies by the program's end, thereby demonstrating the capability to function autonomously and responsibly as an entry-level professional psychologist. All three program components "field experience and practice, didactic seminars, and mentored projects" are used to train and evaluate interns in the six competency areas. By adhering to this set of competencies and outcomes, the program is capable of training interns to function independently as psychologists across multiple settings.

8. Proficiency in Communication and Interpersonal Skills
A psychologist is proficient in his/her ability to communicate effectively with clients and their families/caregivers, colleagues and collaborators, trainees, and others across settings.

Competent psychologists demonstrate an ability to communicate clearly and effectively in oral and written modalities to integrate and explain therapeutic concepts, evaluation results, research findings, etc. in a manner that is best suited for the recipient of the communication (e.g., family, colleague, providers in other disciplines, etc.).

9. Proficiency in Ethical and Legal Standards
A psychologist is proficient in the ethical standards related to the field of psychology as well as the laws in the jurisdiction in which they practice. Demonstrations of professional skills and knowledge of ethical standards occur in all contexts of a psychologist's work, from research to practice, and when discussing clinical cases in consult or training situations.

Admission and Application Requirements

Program Requirements

The program is designed for advanced-level doctoral students in accordance with the specific standards set by the American Psychological Association (APA). Applicants must be from an APA accredited doctoral program within the U.S. Those candidates specializing in clinical or school psychology are most competitive.

This internship site agrees to abide by the APPIC policy that no person at this training facility will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from and intern applicant.

Below is a summary of the program admission requirements and intern selection process.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must be in the process of completing a doctoral degree in professional psychology from an APA accredited, degree-granting institution in the United States.

Applicants must have completed appropriate practicum training (at least 700-1000 hours) that included delivery of professional psychological services appropriate for their targeted placement sites. Applicants must demonstrate ethical conduct and interpersonal skills appropriate to the professional practice of psychology. Applicants' interests and aptitudes must be in concert with our program's goals and objectives. Applicants should have an understanding of our program's philosophy and model of training.

If an applicant's doctoral degree is in a field other than professional psychology, the applicant must be certified by a director of graduate professional psychology training as having participated in an organized program in which the equivalent of pre-internship training has been acquired at an APA accredited, degree-granting institution in the United States.

Applicants are evaluated on the basis of academic preparation, practicum experience, letters of recommendation, and degree of fit between the applicant's goals and the goals of the program. May Institute considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, sex, religious creed, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, veteran status, age, or any other protected group status.

Interview Process

Typically, select applicants participate in a series of interviews with program faculty, usually conducted on one of three days in January, along with other applicants. This format allows applicants the opportunity to meet several faculty members and current and former interns and clarify their understanding of the program model and requirements.

Application Process

The deadline for application is November 10.

Applicants must submit the following through the APPIC online application process:

  • APPIC online application, available at
  • A letter of application listing the training track(s) to which they are applying
  • Appropriate APPIC Program Code on the letter of application (the correct code can be found on the Current Placement Training Sites pdf, available for download below)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A copy of their most recent Curriculum Vitae
  • All official graduate transcripts

Note: Once an individual has matched to this program, May Institute will conduct a criminal record check (CORI), as required by Massachusetts Law. In addition we require driving record checks of all employees. A final match is contingent upon the successful completion of the CORI and driving record check with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Stipend and Benefits

Interns receive a competitive stipend while participating in the program and the agency offers health and dental insurance, basic life insurance, a 403(b) plan and short term disability. Interns also receive 15 days paid leave and 10 paid holidays. All benefits are available on a pro-rated basis for interns who attend less than full-time.

Please submit all requested materials as instructed through the APPIC website (

Internship Program in Clinical Psychology
781.437.1205   |    


*Please only use this email address if you are interested in the APA-approved Internship in Clinical Psychology. All other inquiries may be sent to

*This program is fully accredited by the American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation (CoA); 750 First Street, NE; Washington, DC 20002-4242; (202) 336-5979