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Step 1: Planning Your Field Experience Journey

The first step to your field experience journey is planning.  As part of your plan, you should know; 

  • The difference between practicum and internship.
  • The course(s) in your degree plan that require field experience.
  • Prerequisites that need to be completed before approval is provided to register for field experience.
  • What term you take your field experience course(s).
  • How to access the Feld Experience Manual. 
  • The application deadline dates for the terms you plan to take your course(s).
  • Resources available for professional preparation.

Field Experience Introduction: Practicum vs Internship

As a Walden PhD in Clinical Psychology student, you will participate in practicum and internship, collectively called "Field Experience". Practicum is an intense, entry-level focused practice experience. Internship is an intensive, broad-responsibilities experience. Field experience helps merge classroom education, skill building, and research skills to the field of practice. 

You will identify field sites that can offer growth that enhances your professional skills, knowledge, and attributes. You will establish relationships with site supervisors and establish an agreement for vertical growth and development. Developmental progress is achieved by ongoing evaluation, feedback, and interaction as you develop levels of competencies and capacities not previously attained.

Adequate preparation is essential to the success of the field experience. You must ensure your practicum and internship meet your specific state board standards and requirements as this may differ from your programs requirements.

Required Practicum Courses & Prerequisites

Required Practicum Courses

CPSY 8290 - Psychology Practicum I
CPSY 8291 - Psychology Practicum II


Practicum Prerequisites

  • ALL PhD PSYC-CLNP Batch AYR (“General AYR 2”) Courses
  • Clinical: PSYR 8704, 8340, 8350, 8421, 8232L, 8240/8345L, 8117L, 8346L
  • Completion of All of the Blended AYR Residencies (BAYR)



Note: You can find a full list of your curriculum requirements in the Walden Catalog

Required Internship Courses & Prerequisites

Required Internship Courses

CPSY 8292 - Psychology Internship I
CPSY 8293 - Psychology Internship II
CPSY 8294 - Psychology Internship III
CPSY 8295 - Psychology Internship IV

Internship Prerequisites

  • Completion of Practicum: 200 therapy hours, 200 assessment hours for a total of 750 hours of practicum. 
  • Completion of all coursework (except dissertation)
    • Some states require an approved dissertation proposal.

Read the PhD in Clinical Psychology Field Experience Manual

The PhD in Clinical Psychology Field Experience Manual outlines policy and procedures for the field experience. You are required to read the manual in detail and adhere to the policies included within. You will need to confirm that you have read and understand all the policies in this manual when you apply for field experience.

Know your Timeline and Application Deadlines

Field experience takes place near the end of your program. Practicum is first and is taken over a minimum of two quarters (6 credits). Internship is taken next and is a minimum of one full calendar year and four consecutive quarters (12 credits). 

To determine your specific timing of field experience you should:


To begin practicum and internship, you must submit an application and receive approval. Applications are due one quarter prior to each field experience course. The process is lengthy and applying by the deadline is critical. Failure to submit your applications by the deadline may result in a delay to the next quarter and a delay in your graduation date.

  • Approved applications are required for registration, which is handled by the field office.
  • You must submit an application for practicum and then a separate/new one for internship. 
  • To ensure registration for your future practicum and internship quarters, you must copy your approved application in Meditrek on a quarterly basis and await approval.

Field Experience Application Deadlines

Winter Quarter Start: November 27, 2023
Application Deadline: September 1, 2023

Spring Quarter Start: February 26, 2024
Application Deadline: December 1, 2023

Summer Quarter Start: May 27, 2024
Application Deadline: March 1, 2024

Fall Quarter Start: Date TBD
Application Deadline: June 1, 2024

Utilize Professional Preparation Resources

These Professional Preparation resources may assist you in your search for a practicum/internship site. While they are not a required part of your application, it is recommended you review the resources.

Approach your field site and supervisor search with the same diligence you would when looking for a job. The search for a practicum and internship site and supervisor can benefit from the resources provided below.

Polish your professional brand

Take steps to polish your image and shine through your professional brand. Watch this video to learn more:

Transcript Presentation Slides Professionalism Resources

For more information and career resources visit the Career Planning and Development's School of Psychology Hub.

Update your resume 

Build an impactful resume to communicate your academic and professional skills to employers:

  1. Review these Psychology samples for ideas on how to create or improve your resume (IMPORTANT: these templates are here to guide you; remember to use your own language when creating your documents):
  1. Visit SkillsFirst to view additional resume samples.
    Tip: Refer to the SkillsFirst Resume and Cover Letter Guide for instructions on how to get started.
  2. Explore the Resumes & More tab for additional resume-writing tips, outlines, and videos. 
  3. Learn how to become a resume expert by completing the career workshop, Build a High-Impact Resume.

You should begin the process of identifying potential field sites and supervisors for practicum and internship early. Networking options include, but aren't limited to:

Marketing yourself 

These tools can help you communicate with psychology professionals and potential field sites.

  1. Practice your elevator pitch.
  2. Learn how to share the benefits of being a Walden psychology student.
  3. Prepare to communicate with potential field experience sites via phone, email, in-person, and online.

Marketing yourself to Potential Field Sites 

  1. Register on the Walden Job and Internship Search Locator job board.
  2. Access the GoinGlobal job search system using your Walden credentials.
  3. Use interest-specific job boards for Social and Behavioral Sciences to expand your field experience site search.
  4. Search for potential supervisors using the Meditrek database
  5. Review the Career Planning Resources for Field Experience page.
Practice interviewing

Get ready to show potential field sites that you are the best candidate for the opportunity you are seeking.

  1. Log into SkillsFirst and use its Interviews module to practice your interviewing skills. Refer to the step-by-step SkillsFirst Interview Questions Guide to access 12,000+ interview questions.
  2. Learn more about effective interview strategies on the Interviews tab.
  3. Read a blog story on preparing for a variety of interview formats including one-on-one, group, and panel interviews.
  4. Watch the Interview Strategies video below to learn how to tackle tough interview questions.

Transcript Presentation Slides

Get Started with Meditrek

Meditrek, a product of HSoft Corporation, is the user-friendly online tool that you will use to apply for, track, and manage your field experiences.