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Doctoral Internship in Psychology

The Vanderbilt University Counseling Center (UCC) is a large, well-utilized multidisciplinary counseling center, with a staff of approximately 30 full and part-time mental health professionals. Our staff consists of psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed professional counselors, licensed clinical social workers, and psychiatric nurse practitioners. In addition to psychology interns, graduate-level practicum students from a variety of mental health disciplines train at the center. The UCC also trains postdoctoral fellows in health service psychology.  Working in this multidisciplinary setting provides interns with opportunities to cultivate and sharpen clinical consultation skills with a variety of mental health professionals, as well as provide clinical supervision throughout the training year to a graduate student who is at an earlier stage of training. The overall depth and breadth of training experiences offered make the UCC an excellent fit for those seeking a career in a variety of outpatient mental health settings.



The goals of the internship are to develop and refine comprehensive skills in the practice of health service psychology, including individual and group therapy and psychological assessment, and to develop professional identity as a psychologist. There is also a focus on developing supervision and case consultation skills. Professional identity emphases include demonstrating responsible professional behavior, knowledge and application of ethical and legal standards, and demonstrating a commitment to scholarly activity. Developing knowledge of and a sensitivity to cultural and individual diversity is a core theme in all internship activities, whether experiential or didactic. We recognize that developing cultural humility is a lifelong journey, and we expect interns to participate fully through discussion and dialogue about diversity, both formal and informal, as well as through fulfilling required internship activities during their time at the UCC.


All interns participate in structured training activities to ensure the development of core competencies.

The required activities include:

  • Providing individual and group therapy

    •      Conducting new client evaluations and completing documentation

    •       Conducting psychological assessments and writing comprehensive reports

  • Participating in campus outreach activities

    •       Receiving individual clinical supervision two hours per week

    •       Providing individual supervision to a practicum trainee

  • Participating in supervision of supervision
  • Participating in weekly group supervision with UCC postdoctoral fellows

    •       Attending weekly staff meetings

    •       Attending weekly case conference meetings and didactic seminars

Positions available

  • 3 positions available for the 2023-2024 academic year
  • National Matching Service (NMS) Number: 246211

Training Period:

  • Current Term: July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023.


Special emphasis is also placed on supervision. Interns are assigned to licensed psychologists with experience in direct client service, supervision, and training. Interns receive two hours of on-site, individual supervision per week and also participate in one hour of group supervision with their intern cohort facilitated by a licensed mental health professional as well as supervision that is as part of their group therapy experience.

Opportunities to provide ongoing supervision represent one of the distinguishing features of the UCC internship program. Interns at the UCC are matched with a graduate-level practicum student and serve as co-supervisors throughout the internship year. This experience provides interns with an opportunity to develop the foundational knowledge and skills associated with being a supervisor, which is facilitated through additional weekly supervision (i.e., supervision of supervision) by a licensed psychologist in a group format.


We are committed to an ongoing dialogue about individual differences in order to work effectively with the entire student body at Vanderbilt. We strive to offer culturally responsive and empirically supported services in a space that feels welcoming, safe and affirming to all students. Our therapeutic, assessment, and outreach services are delivered in a caring and compassionate manner that recognizes the unique characteristics, experiences, and identities of the individual student. We support and challenge each other’s understanding of our own biases and experiences through active reading and dialogue during monthly Diversity Alliance discussions and other staff trainings.

Given the diverse nature of the Vanderbilt student population, interns are expected to approach their work from a multicultural perspective. Knowledge of and sensitivity to individual and cultural diversity is essential in all areas of practice, including individual and group therapy, assessment, individual supervision, group supervision, campus outreach, and training seminars. Vanderbilt students are diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, and gender identity, allowing interns to gain exposure to the interplay between multicultural issues and mental health. There is also diversity in terms of presenting concerns, which typically range from moderate to severe in nature. Consequently, interns have an opportunity to work with more complex clients, assuming that these opportunities are consistent with experience and skill level.


All interns attend regularly scheduled case conferences and didactic seminars that are organized as part of the internship experience. Interns attend a weekly didactic seminar at the UCC focusing on various aspects of clinical service delivery and professional identity. In addition, interns attend a weekly seminar at the UCC focusing specifically on psychological assessment. In addition to the presentation of clinically or professionally relevant content, a major objective of these didactic training activities is to provide a structure within which members of the intern class may interact and learn from one another. 

Scholarly Project

Interns are expected to contribute to the center through the completion of a scholarly project. Like the clinical training at the UCC, this project is considered to be flexible enough to allow the intern to pursue particular areas of interest. The ideal project will be grounded in, or informed by, existing research/literature and will be undertaken with the aim of enhancing the clinical, administrative, and/or organizational goals of the center. Group therapy initiatives, outreach presentations, organizational assessment, and comprehensive literature reviews of pertinent clinical phenomena are only some examples of possible scholarly projects.

Telehealth Services

The UCC expects to offer individual therapy both in-person and via telehealth during the 2022-2023 academic year, and all interns are working in-person at the UCC office daily. Options for interns to work remotely two days a week may be available during the second half of the training year. While some group meetings (i.e., UCC Staff Meeting, UCC Case Conference) continue to be held virtually, individual supervision is being conducted in person at the UCC.  It is expected that campus outreach programming will be offered in-person and virtually. A number of in-person mental health services are currently available to students, including psychological assessment services and urgent/crisis care services.

Internship Director

  • Frances Niarhos, PhD, HSP

Primary Supervisors:

  • Mary Clare Champion, PhD, HSP
  • Nalini Conner, PhD, HSP
  • Melissa Porter, PsyD, HSP
  • Anabella Pavón Wilson, PhD, HSP

Training Period

  • Term: July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.


  • The current stipend for the 2022-2023 internship year is $35,600.00 (paid monthly).

Health Insurance

  • Vanderbilt offers health insurance as a benefit of employment with employee contribution.

Vacation and Sick Time

  • All interns accrue 24 days (192 hours) of Paid Time Off (PTO) to be used for vacations, personal time, and sick time (for intern’s own illness, injury, or for caring for eligible family members). Interns are allotted five professional days (to be used for professional meetings and workshops, dissertation-related activities, job interviews, etc.). Arrangements for leave should be negotiated in advance except in cases of emergency. Extended periods of absence due to serious illness, illness of a family member, etc., will need to be made up by extending the period of the internship in order to complete training requirements.

Additional Resources

  • All interns receive $1000.00 in professional development funds to be used to attend relevant workshops and conferences.
  • All interns have access to Vanderbilt University library resources, as well as the library and computer resources available at the training site.
  • The UCC training program adheres to the APPIC Match Policies, which can be found here.
  • The UCC participated in the APPIC 2022 match, and applications were submitted through the AAPI Online applicant portal.
  • National Matching Service (NMS) Number: 246211


  • The Vanderbilt UCC doctoral Internship in Health Service Psychology is accredited by the American Psychological Association (Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-4242; 202-336-5979). The anticipated date for program’s next site visit is 2022.
  • Three internship positions were available for the 2022-2023 internship year. The UCC will be participating in the 2023 APPIC Match. Applicants may submit their applications using the AAPI Online applicant system. The Vanderbilt UCC training program National Matching Service (NMS) Number is: 246211
  • The University Counseling Center is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) and the Association of the Counseling Center Training Agencies (ACCTA).
  • For more information please contact Dr. Frances Niarhos at or call the UCC at 615-322-2571.


Date Program Tables were updated: 08/25/2022

 Program Disclosures

As articulated in Standard I.B.2., programs may have “admission and employment policies that directly related to affiliation or purpose” that may be faith-based or secular in nature. However, such policies and practices must be disclosed to the public. Therefore, programs are asked to respond to the following question:

Does the program or institution require students, trainees, and/or staff (faculty) to comply with specific policies or practices related to the institution’s affiliation or purpose? Such policies or practices may include, but are not limited to, admissions, hiring, retention policies, and/or requirements for completion that express mission and values.


  ______ Yes


  __X___ No

If yes, provide a website link (or content from a brochure) where this specific information is presented.

Internship Program Admissions

Briefly describe in narrative form important information to assist potential applicants in assessing their likely fit with the program. This description must be consistent with the program's policies on intern selection and practicum and academic preparation requirements.

The Vanderbilt University Counseling Center Internship in Health Service Psychology seeks to train psychologists with the depth and breadth of the "Profession-Wide-Competencies" as defined by the Commission on Accreditation. Training is aimed at preparing interns for entry-level into the professional practice of psychology. The internship is located in a university counseling center setting and offers opportunities for involvement in scholarly activities related to clinical practice.  A number of sources of information are used to assess candidates for the internship, including the written application, letters of recommendation, and a statement of professional goals. Interviews (virtual only for the 2023-2024 recruiting cycle) are also a part of the application process and are scheduled by invitation. Selections are made without discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, age, ability, sexual/affectional orientation, or veteran status. Prior to beginning employment for the internship year, the interns who match with the Vanderbilt UCC internship must successfully complete a criminal background check, in accordance with Vanderbilt University policy.

Does the program require that applicants have received a minimum number of hours of the following at time of application? If yes, indicate how many:


Total Direct Contact Intervention Hours





Amount: 425


Total Direct Contact Assessment Hours





 Amount: 20

Describe any other required minimum criteria used to screen applicants:

The applicant must come from an APA/CPA accredited Clinical Psychology or Counseling Psychology graduate program. Each applicant should have completed all pre-internship requirements of their university before the internship starting date. While the preferred number of total face-to-face Assessment and Intervention Hours is 445 for this program, applications are reviewed holistically and limitations in hours due to COVID-19 will be taken into consideration.



 Intern Support Table

              Financial and Other Benefit Support for Upcoming Training Year (2023-2024)*

  • Annual Stipend/Salary for Full-time Interns


  • Annual Stipend/Salary for Half-time Interns


  • Program provides access to medical insurance for intern?



If access to medical insurance is provided:

  • Trainee contribution to cost required?



  • Coverage of family member(s) available?



  • Coverage of legally married partner available?



  • Coverage of domestic partner available?



Hours of Annual Paid Personal Time Off (vacation, personal, and sick time)



Hours of Annual Paid Sick Leave


In the event of medical conditions and/or family needs that require extended leave, does the program allow reasonable unpaid leave to interns/residents in excess of personal time off and sick leave?




Other Benefits: University Holidays (8 Days) and Professional Development Funds ($1000) to assist with conference/workshop attendance costs.  Five days for professional or educational leave (for interviews, dissertation, etc).

*Note: programs are not required by the Commission on Accreditation to provide all benefits listed in this table.


Initial Post Internship Positions

(Provide an Aggregated Tally for the Preceding 3 Cohorts)




Total # of interns who were in the 3 cohorts


Total # of interns who remain in training in the internship program






Academic Teaching



Community Mental Health Center






University Counseling Center



Veterans Affairs Health Care System



Hospital/Medical Center



Psychiatric Facility



Correctional Facility



Health Maintenance Organization



School District/System



Independent Practice Setting






*PD = Post-doctoral Residency Position

*EP = Employed Position 

Each individual represented on this table is counted one time. For former trainees working in more than one setting, select the setting that represents their primary position




Minimum Requirements for Consideration:

1. The applicant must be actively enrolled in an academic program leading to a doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology or have completed a doctoral degree in a non-professional field of psychology and be certified by an appropriate official as being enrolled in an organized re-specialization program requiring the completion of the equivalent of pre-internship training in health service psychology

2. If in the United States, the academic program must be housed in a regionally accredited, degree-granting institution. If in Canada, the institution must be publicly recognized as a member in good standing by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

3. Applicants must be enrolled in an APA or CPA accredited graduate program. The applicant must have completed at least three years of graduate academic work in a program meeting the requirements described above.

4. It is preferred that applicants have a minimum of 445 Total Intervention and Assessment Hours as defined by the AAPI. This training must be of such a nature and amount as to provide the applicant with the experience needed to have a reasonable opportunity to succeed in the placement for which the applicant is being considered.  Given the breadth of training opportunities available, the breakdown between assessment and intervention hours varies across applicants.  As a general rule, applicants with at least 425 Intervention hours and at least 20 Assessment hours will meet the requirements for the Vanderbilt UCC training program, although limitations in accruing this number of hours due to COVID-19 will be taken into consideration.  Applications will be reviewed holistically with attention given to applicants who have not necessarily accrued this number of hours.  

5. The applicant must be certified by the program’s Director of Clinical Training as being ready for internship.

6. The applicant must pass a criminal background check. This will be performed after Match Day and before the first day of employment. Employment as a doctoral intern is contingent on passing the background check. No prospective intern has ever been refused employment as a result of the background check, but it is a possibility. Several have had difficulty, in all cases because of past legal problems they chose not to reveal during the application process.

Submission Details 

Applications are due on November 02, 2022.

All applications must be submitted through the AAPI Online applicant portal.

The Vanderbilt UCC National Matching Service (NMS) Number is: 246211 

Please email Frances Niarhos, PhD, HSP at with further questions about the application process.

Application Requirements List

1. Cover letter: Vanderbilt UCC training program: National Matching Service (NMS) Number: 246211               

2. Curriculum Vita.

3. Submit at least three and no more than four letters of recommendation from faculty members or practicum supervisors who know your clinical work as well as your research work well. At least one must be from an academic faculty member, and at least one from a clinical supervisor. 

Selection Process and Interviews

Interviews will be arranged following an initial review of applications by the UCC training committee.  All interviews for the 2023 recruitment cycle will be conducted virtually.  Applicants will receive notification of interview decisions on or by November 18, 2022.

Interview Dates: December 14, 2022; December 15, 2022; January 10, 2023; January 12, 2023.  Interviews will last the full morning from 8:00am - 12:30pm CST.