Applicants FAQ


FAQs for Resident Applicants

How can I apply to an APPCN program?

Contact the director of the programs you are interested in, and ask how to apply.  Or, the links from our Member Programs page contain much information on applying to each individual program.

Does APPCN have a standard application form or a standard application packet?

No. However, most programs request a curriculum vitae, 3 letters of recommendation, and a graduate transcript. Some programs allow the curriculum vitae and letters to be submitted by email. A few programs may also ask that you submit samples of your work (e.g., evaluative reports).

Is there an application fee?

No, there is no fee to apply to specific programs. However, there is a fee to participate in the Match.

Do I need to have some clinical experience in neuropsychology in order to apply?

Generally, yes. The Houston Conference Guidelines, to which APPCN programs aspire, indicate that some education and training in clinical neuropsychology should occur prior to the residency, in the doctoral program and internship. However, there is no requirement for a specific number of hours or units of neuropsychology training. Still, the Houston Conference Guidelines were intended to be aspirational in nature, and not all programs may have fully implemented them. Thus, you may wish to check with the program you interested in. It is likely, however, that an application to an APPCN program from someone with experience in neuropsychology will be viewed more positively than one from a person without experience.

Do I need to have an internship in order to apply?


Is it necessary to be from an APA- or CPA-approved program in clinical psychology and have an APA- or CPA-approved internship in clinical psychology?

APPCN programs require that applicants have completed an APA- or CPA-approved graduate program. Some require the graduate program to be in clinical psychology, and some welcome applicants from other kinds of programs as well (e.g., counseling, school psychology). An APA- or CPA-approved internship is preferred by many programs but not required. In some cases, exceptions are made. If you do not have these qualifications, you should talk to the directors of the programs you are interested in. Also, you can get some information about specific program requirements and preferences from the

APPCN Member Programs links.

Do I need to have a neuropsychology internship in order to apply? What about an internship that meets INS-Division 40 or Houston Conference guidelines for internship training in neuropsychology?

APPCN does not require a formal neuropsychology internship, but some APPCN programs do prefer applicants who have this type of internship. To find out, you need to ask the directors of the programs you are interested in.


Can I apply if my doctoral degree is in a non-professional field of psychology, such as experimental psychology or developmental psychology?

APPCN requires that applicants have a doctoral degree in a health service delivery area or else have completed a "respecialization" program.

Do I need to complete requirements for the doctoral degree in order to apply?

You may apply if you will complete your degree requirements before the start date of training. However, the closer you are to completing these requirements, the more competitive your application will be. For most applicants, the major unmet degree requirement is the dissertation. Programs may ask applicants specific questions about the status of their dissertations (e.g., if data are collected). If you have not completed your dissertation, please have the Director of your graduate program complete the Document Verification Form and include it with applications to all programs.

Is it necessary for the doctoral degree to be awarded before the start date of postdoctoral training?

No. This is because some universities only award degrees once per year.

Do I need to have completed all degree requirements before the start date of postdoctoral training?

APPCN strongly encourages trainees to complete all their degree requirements before starting postdoctoral training. Otherwise postdoctoral training would be adversely affected by time spent completing doctoral requirements. Some programs may not offer the same stipend to non-degreed residents as those with their doctoral degree. State licensing boards generally will not credit time in a residency program toward requirements for postdoctoral supervised training until the degree is conferred. Thus, for a number of reasons it is desirable to have your degree before beginning your residency.

Do APPCN programs have a uniform start date?

There is no uniform date, but the start dates of most APPCN programs are from July to September. The exceptions are mostly when programs have positions that need to be filled at other times of the year.

Do APPCN programs have a uniform application deadline?

No. You should look at each APPCN Member Program to which you are applying or contact the program directors for their deadline. However, there is a deadline for all applicants and all programs to submit their rankings to National Matching Services. Therefore, no programs can accept applications after the deadline for submitting rankings. Applicants should apply early enough to avoid having their applications reviewed in a rush.

Do I need to interview at the International Neuropsychological Society (INS) meeting?

Interviewing at the INS meeting may be convenient, because it occurs just before the match, but is not required for applicants. For the 2013-2014 match, APPCN programs are not required to be present at the INS meeting in Seattle. Each residency program has its own policies regarding the timing and location of interviews. Some programs conduct interviews at the INS meeting in early February, some conduct interviews at their training site, some conduct interviews remotely (e.g., by telephone or video conference), and some may not conduct any personal interviews. The policies with respect to the timing and location of interviews for each residency site that participates in the Match will be provided as part of the Listing of Programs participating in the Match that will be posted on the NMS website by the end of November 2013. Please make note of whether or not a program will be interviewing at INS before making travel arrangements. The 2014 INS meeting in Seattle, Washington is February 12-15, 2014. The interview day is usually the Tuesday before, which would be February 11, 2014.

Do I need to interview on-site at each program I apply to?

There is no APPCN requirement for on-site interviews. However, some programs invite their top candidates to come for interviews. Some programs only interview at INS. Again, you need to ask each program director what is their policy.

Regarding the Match:


How do I register to participate in the Match?

Select the link "For Applicants" at the top of the page on the NMS website, then select the option to "Register for the Match" from the menu on the left side of the screen.

What percentage of present APPCN members will definitely participate in the Match?

All the APPCN member programs that have positions available for the upcoming year are required to participate in the Match.

Will other sites that are not members be eligible to participate?

Yes, programs that are not members of APPCN may participate in our Match, provided they meet certain minimal qualifications and agree to abide by the APPCN Match Policies. However, participation in the Match does not imply that a non-member program complies with the training guidelines and standards for membership set by APPCN. There are some non-APPCN programs that are probably of similar quality to APPCN programs. But unless they apply for membership and allow peer review of their programs, their compliance with APPCN standards cannot be determined. There are almost 60 programs in APPCN now so it is fair to say that the vast majority of the high quality, organized residency programs in clinical neuropsychology are in APPCN.

What are the benefits of the match to applicants?

APPCN supports the Match because it allows for a level playing field by which recruiting can take place in a manner that respects the wishes of programs and applicants. The Match is designed to eliminate the way that programs seeking to get a "leg up" on other programs can pressure applicants to accept offers without allowing applicants to be considered for a wide range of programs.

If I receive a pre-emptive offer from a non-Match program, what should I do?


One option would be to simply state assertively to any non-participating program that asks you to commit before the Match date that you are participating in the APPCN Match and would prefer not to accept another position until the Match results are out.

If the offer is from your most preferred program, you can accept the offer and withdraw from the match. However, if you have a preference for other positions that are in the Match you should hold the preemptive offer and participate in the Match by submitting a Rank Order List for the Match that includes only the programs that you prefer to the preemptive offer. By holding the preemptive offer and participating in the Match for your preferred programs, your best interests are served as you are able to consider all training opportunities according to your true preferences.


Applicants who receive pre-emptive offers from non-match programs that are not their preferred choice should be honest and tell the program director that they will be honored to accept the non-match offer the day after the match results are released provided that they do not match with another program.


Additionally, programs that participate in the Match may be able to provide candidates receiving preemptive offers with additional information regarding those candidates’ prospects of matching with them. Therefore, if you have received a pre-emptive offer, we encourage you to contact programs in the match and inform them of the preemptive offer.

Please see Match Policies on the NMS website for more information.


If I accept a pre-emptive offer from a non-APPCN program, what should I do?


If applicants want to withdraw from the Match (perhaps because they have accepted a position elsewhere), they can do so up to the deadline for submitting Rank Order Lists, which is specified in the Schedule of Dates on the Match web site. Once processing of the Match begins, withdrawals are no longer accepted. Applicants are encouraged to stick with the match in order to maximize their chances of obtaining their preferred residency position.  


If NMS is not notified that I am NOT submitting ranks, how does that affect the remaining participants and programs?

You may decide not to submit any ranks for a number of reasons (e.g., accepted a position at a non-Match program, received no interviews, do no like any of the programs where you interviewed, decided not to do a residency at this time, etc.).  When you witdraw, you must indicate your reason for withdrawing by selecting from a predefined set of choices.  NMS has to follow up with any applicant who does not submit ranks or a withdrawal to ensure no one "falls through the cracks", and your neglecting to notify NMS requires extra, unnecessary effort.  Once you withdraw, programs in the Match can choose to not list you on their Rank Order Lists, and as a result the may be able to provide additional information to applicants remaining in the Match regarding their prospects for matching.  So, if you plan to not submit ranks, your withdrawal may benefit other applicants as well as programs in the Match.  Please note that withdrawn applicants are still permitted to seek positions after the Match.  They will be able to access information from the Match website on positions that remain available after the Match.

What are the consequences if I take part in the Match but then renege on the outcome of the Match?

An applicant reneging on a Match commitment has potentially harmed another applicant in the Match who may have preferred the vacated position and been desirable to the program, but has now matched elsewhere. The program has also very likely been harmed because other applicants it may have wanted to fill the position may now be matched elsewhere. The Match result is "final." Applicants and programs must accept the Match result, and the results are not adjusted because of "violations."

Remember that to participate in the Match, each applicant must accept the terms of an Agreement that states, among other things, that the applicant agrees:

1. Not to make any commitments to or contracts with any participating program prior to the release of the Match results. 

2. That if I receive an offer in advance of the Rank Order List deadline ("preemptive offer) from a program that is not participating in the Match, I may hold that offer and participate in the Match; however, the Rank Order List of programs I submit for the Match must include only programs that I prefer to the preemptive offer. If I am matched to a program, I must decline the preemptive offer and accept the results of the Match. If I am left unmatched, I can accept the preemptive offer after 12 noon on Match day.

3.  To accept appointment to the program with which I am matched. I understand that I cannot avoid accepting appointment to the program with which I have been matched without a written release from the program concerned; also, that another program participating in the Match cannot offer me a position unless I have this release.

APPCN is responsible for enforcing this Agreement, and violations of the terms of this Agreement will be reported to the APPCN Board of Directors.


In summary, in order for the Match to function, it has to be binding for programs and applicants.

Updated 09/18/2013