Internship admissions, support and initial placement data

At Sharp HealthCare, our APA-accredited internship program is designed as a generalist site — meaning we offer broad and diverse training possibilities.

We offer both inpatient and outpatient rotations with serious mental illness and substance use disorders in child/adolescent, adult and senior settings, as well as rotations in a specialty hospital for treatment of substance use disorders.

Program disclosures

Does the program or institution require students, trainees, 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? No.

Internship program admissions

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

The APA Accredited Internship Program at Sharp HealthCare is designed as a generalist site. We offer broad & diverse training possibilities. Our rotations span the life-span with opportunities to work with serious mental illness and substance use disorders in child/adolescent, adult, and senior settings. We offer both inpatient and outpatient rotations with each of these populations, and we offer rotations in a specialty hospital for treatment of substance use disorders. You might choose to apply here so that you can obtain experience with a setting or population that is new to you or because you want to build on an area of expertise. We appreciate both types of applicant.

Interns who match with Sharp HealthCare are asked to rank order available rotations. Most years, interns are assigned to at least two of their top three choices. However, there are no guarantees and because we are a generalist site, applicants must be okay with assignment to ANY of our rotations. It is rare that interns would be assigned any "last choice" rotation, but it has happened. It's worth noting that interns often end up finding great value even in a rotation that they might not have initially ranked high.

We are frequently asked, "What are you looking for in your selection process?" Every APPI is thoroughly reviewed by at least two members of our psychology team, in addition to the training director. We carefully look at the rigor of university training, the depth and range of clinical experience, as well as other life experience. Interns who do well in our program arrive with advanced fluency in behavioral, third-wave, and traditional cognitive-behavioral theory and technique. Group therapy and psychological assessment experience is highly valued because these are both large parts of our training program and clinical services. We prize a devotion to empiricism (big E and little e) and evidence-based treatment. We also prize trainees who demonstrate emotional literacy, a desire to increase self-awareness, and an ability to communicate genuine respect for individuals who are similar to and different from them. Given the diversity in San Diego (e.g., in all components of the ADDRESSING model), and our desire to have an intern class that reflects that diversity, we appreciate learning about the individual diversity of our applicants. We prize applicants who demonstrate the abilities and traits required to thrive in a fast paced, interdisciplinary, collaborative, acute-care environment. Please refer to our doctoral psychology internship overview for additional details.

Does the program require that applicants have received a minimum number of hours of the following at time of application? Yes.
Required Minimum Direct Contact Intervention: 600 hours
Required Minimum Direct Contact Assessment: 100 hours

Describe any other required minimum criteria used to screen applicants.


  1. In good standing in an APA-accredited or CPA-accredited doctoral program in psychology

  2. Comprehensive exams passed by application deadline

  3. Dissertation proposal approved by start of internship

  4. Completed minimum of 3 years of graduate training by start of internship

  5. Able to attend a full-day virtual interview in late January on one of the dates identified by the program

We are also looking for a healthy sense of humor, a strong work ethic, a commitment to self-awareness and self-care, a belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all human beings, a devotion to empiricism (big E and little e), flexibility, humility, kindness, a strong commitment to cultural competence, a strong interest in assessment (you'll do a lot of it here), strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work effectively as part of a team, excellent time-management skills, interest in advancing your competence as a clinical supervisor, interest in leadership and organizational/systems level influence.

Financial and other benefit support for upcoming training year

Annual stipend/salary for full-time interns: 45760
Annual stipend/salary for half-time interns: n/a
Program provides access to medical insurance for intern? Yes
If access to medical insurance is provided:
Trainee contribution to cost required? Yes
Coverage of family member(s) available? Yes
Coverage of legally married partner available? Yes
Coverage of domestic partner available? Yes
Hours of annual paid personal time off (PTO and/or vacation): 200
Hours of annual paid sick leave (*additional leave for COVID-related absences not listed here): 56+*
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? Yes

Other benefits* (please describe):

  • Retirement savings plan with employer match (plus financial counseling and retirement planning resources)

  • $3000 education reimbursement

  • Annual intern retreat day, all expenses paid

  • Paid bereavement and jury leave

  • Paid sick leave extends to 1st degree relatives (e.g., if you need to take time off to care for ill child, partner or parent)

  • Employee Assistance Program (individual and relationship counseling)

  • Health coaching, mindfulness classes, gym discounts, wellness webinars and other employee wellness programs

  • Credit union membership

  • Flexible spending accounts

  • Group legal plan

  • Life and long term disability insurance

  • Discounted auto, home, and renters insurance

  • Daily free meal from SMV Cafeteria

  • Employee discounts through PerkSpot

  • San Diego location

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

Initial post-internship positions

Aggregated tally for the preceding 3 cohorts, 2017-2020:

  • Total # of interns who were in the 3 cohorts: 23

  • Total # of interns who did not seek employment because they returned to their doctoral program/were completing doctoral degree: 0

  • Community mental health center — PD: 3  EP: 0

  • Federally qualified health center — PD: 0  EP: 0

  • Independent primary care facility/clinic — PD: 0  EP: 0

  • University counseling center — PD: 1  EP: 0

  • Veterans Affairs medical center — PD: 4  EP: 0

  • Military health center — PD: 0  EP: 0

  • Academic health center — PD: 2  EP: 0

  • Other medical center or hospital — PD: 4  EP: 0

  • Psychiatric hospital — PD: 3  EP: 1

  • Academic university/department — PD: 0 EP: 0

  • Community college or other teaching setting — PD: 0  EP: 0

  • Independent research institution — PD: 0  EP: 0

  • Correctional facility — PD: 0  EP: 0

  • School district/system —  PD: 0  EP: 0

  • Independent practice setting —  PD: 2  EP: 1

  • Not currently employed — PD: 0  EP: 0

  • Changed to another field — PD: 0  EP: 0

  • Other (taking time off to start a family) — PD:  2  EP: 0

  • Unknown — PD: 0  EP: 0

Note: “PD” = Post-doctoral residency position; “EP” = Employed Position. Each individual represented in this table should be counted only one time. For former trainees working in more than one setting, select the setting that represents their primary position.