APPIC Rank Order List

Phase I of APPIC Match

  • The Rank Order List Submission Deadline is February 7, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.
  • Results of the Match will be released on APPIC Phase I Match Day, February 21, 2020.

As internship interviews are starting to wrap up, you should have a much better sense of how you want to rank the internship programs you interviewed at – the order may not have shifted very much from when you started the application process, or the order may have shifted a lot more than you expected! Hopefully, you gained more insight into how well you would fit at the various programs you talked with.

Some things to consider before you enter your Rank Order List:

  • Be sure to review the 2019-2020 APPIC Match Policies
  • If you haven’t already, talk with current interns at the internship programs you’re most interested in to learn about their experience.
  • Results of the electronic match are binding for all parties. Therefore, do not rank an internship site that you do not want to attend. The APPIC Match IS A FINAL RESULT. (i.e., you do not have the option to “accept” or “decline”. Submitting your rank order list means you will accept whatever match you end up with.)
Ranking strategy & FAQs

Rank your sites in order of your preference. Each applicant will have different priorities in helping them determine their rank order – training opportunities, agency type, geographic location, family situation. Do not overthink the process (i.e., does the site seem to want me? how many openings does the site have? how many people did the site interview? did the interviewer like the fact that I love dogs?) – you do not know what a site’s process is, so don’t spend too much time trying to figure it out. Not sure? Go with your gut – try not to talk yourself into or out of a particular ranking. Still not sure? Do not overthink the process!

Q: What can I say or not say to an internship program?

A: It is acceptable to email the training director to say thank you for the interview and to say that you think you would be a good fit there. You may not say how you plan on ranking the program (directly or indirectly). If the internship site has multiple programs or tracks (i.e., each track has its own APPIC match number), then you may be specific in saying, “I continue to be interested in both the Adult Track and Adolescent Track”. It is important to clarify which tracks you are ranking as you and the internship site have to rank each other on the same track in order for you to match.

Q: I’m thinking about not ranking a site – is that okay?

A: If you decide you are no longer interested in an internship site, then you simply should not include the site in your ranking list. I discourage you from informing the site (without an inquiry from the site) that you are no longer interested (you may change your mind in the future, or the training director might move to another agency you’re interested in working at in the future, etc.). The APPIC Match Policy permits (but does not require) internship programs to communicate to the applicant if they are still under consideration (i.e., if you will be ranked). It doesn’t seem like there is a rule allowing or prohibiting an internship program asking an applicants if the applicant plans on ranking the internship site. Thus, if an internship program asks you if you are planning on ranking it, honesty is preferable in this case. You don’t need to go into detail about why you don’t plan on ranking them; you can simply say that you determined the site was not a good fit for what you’re looking for (and truly, this could apply in terms of training interests or personality match with supervisors).

Q: Should I rank a site I did not interview at?

A: This is a personal preference; however, it’s hard to tell if you are a good fit with a site if you did not interview with them.

Q: How does the match work?

NMS provides this nifty video to explain the match algorithm. Here is another helpful video (although references medical residencies – same algorithm). APPIC’s advice is to rank in order of your preference, and it won’t decrease your chance at matching at one of your choices (i.e., if you don’t get rank 1, it doesn’t mean you are missing out on your chance at rank 2).

Q: Since the match is electronic, why do I have to wait 2 weeks until I find out the results? I’m dying here!

APPIC and NMS work together to review data to “ensure the accuracy and integrity of the Match results”. See the official APPIC Match News email (2019) for more details.


Final Thoughts

I encourage you to discuss your rankings with your faculty advisor, clinical supervisors, and family to help you determine what works best for you and your situation.

I highly recommend you have a self-care plan for Match Day (Feb. 21) – either to celebrate a match or to process not being matched. The internship application process is an emotional journey, and Match Day is the start of another leg of the journey!

If you do not match in Phase I, do consider participating in Phase II as many happy matches occur during this phase as well. Give yourself a couple of days to process/recover from not matching in Phase I – it is one point in a timeline of many experiences you have had in graduate school. <Take some deep breaths> Reach out for support and guidance from faculty advisors and clinical supervisors.

Best of luck to everyone in this process!