Overview of the Matching Program

Introduction

The APPIC Internship Matching Program (the "Match") provides an orderly process to help applicants obtain positions in psychology internship programs of their choice, and to help internship programs obtain applicants of their choice. Similar matching programs are in use in many other health professions, including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, podiatry, optometry and others.

The Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) is responsible for establishing the policies of the Match and for monitoring the implementation of the Match. The Match is administered by National Matching Services Inc. (NMS) on behalf of APPIC.

How it Works

Apply to and Interview with Internships

With the Match, applicants must still apply to internship programs they are interested in using the AAPI Online service, and applicants and programs interview and evaluate each other independently of the Match. However, no offers are made by programs during the interview period. Applicants and programs can evaluate each other fully before the programs must decide on their preferences for applicants, and before applicants must decide on their preferences for programs.

Submit Your Rank Order List of Preferred Placements

After all interviews are completed, each applicant submits a Rank Order List on which the applicant lists the desired programs, in numerical order of the applicant's preference (first choice, second choice, etc.). Similarly, each internship program submits a Rank Order List on which the program lists the desirable applicants, in order of the program's preference. Each program also indicates the number of positions the program has available.

The Matching Algorithm is Run

The Match then places individuals into positions based entirely on the preferences stated in the Rank Order Lists. An example and description of the matching algorithm is provided in another section of this web site.

Get Your Result

The result of the Match is that each applicant is placed with the most preferred internship program on the applicant's Rank Order List that ranks the applicant and does not fill all its positions with more preferred applicants. Similarly, each program is matched with the most preferred applicants on its list, up to the number of positions available, who rank the program and who do not receive positions at programs they prefer.

Phase I and Phase II of the Match

The Match is conducted in two Phases. All eligible applicants that intend to participate in the Match must register for the Match prior to the Rank Order List deadline for Phase I of the Match. The two Phases of the Match then proceed as follows:

Phase I: All applicants and programs must submit their Rank Order Lists by the Rank Order List deadline for Phase I of the Match. The matching algorithm will be processed using those Rank Order Lists to place applicants into positions. The results of Phase I of the Match will then be distributed; applicants who submitted ranks will be told whether or not they matched and to which program they matched, and internship training directors will be told which applicants matched to their program. The list of programs with positions available in Phase II of the Match will be provided on this web site beginning shortly after the distribution of the results of Phase I of the Match.

Phase II: Programs with positions available will offer those positions to applicants in Phase II of the Match. Applicants who register for the Match prior to the Rank Order List deadline for Phase I of the Match and who do not obtain a position in Phase I (e.g., those who withdraw or remain unmatched) will be eligible to participate in Phase II. Those applicants may apply to programs that are participating in Phase II. All applicants and programs must submit their Rank Order Lists by the Rank Order List deadline for Phase II of the Match. A second match will be carried out using those Rank Order Lists, and the results of Phase II of the Match will then be distributed.

It is possible that, after completion of both Phases of the Match, some programs will be left with unfilled positions and some applicants will remain without internship placements. APPIC will operate a Post-Match Vacancy Service for unplaced applicants and programs with available positions, which will begin operation shortly after the distribution of the results of Phase II of the Match.

Advantages

Since all offers, acceptances, rejections and final placements occur simultaneously, the Match is an effective and fair means of implementing a standardized acceptance date. It allows programs and applicants to evaluate each other fully before determining preferences, thus alleviating the pressures to make premature decisions based on incomplete information. Furthermore, the Match alleviates many common adverse situations from the recruitment process, such as applicants hoarding multiple offers, and applicants or programs reneging on a prior acceptance in order to accept a more preferred program or applicant that has subsequently become available. Also, a program can be assured that it will not be matched with more applicants than it has available positions.

In the Match, both applicants and internship programs should list choices in order of preference, without consideration for how they will be ranked by the other party. Decisions by applicants and programs regarding rankings can be based on the applicants' and programs' true preferences for each other, without the need to speculate on the likelihood of subsequent offers being made or accepted.

Applicants and internship programs do not receive information about the rankings submitted by other applicants and programs. Each applicant is given only the final result the applicant obtains in the Match. Each program is provided only with the names of the applicants that it obtains in the Match, as well as the results of the Match for the other applicants ranked by that program.