Students on the Pace Pleasantville Campus

Pre-Doctoral Externship

About the Pre-Doctoral Externship

The Counseling Center at Pace University's New York City campus offers four pre-doctoral externship positions in Health Service Psychology. The goal of the training program is to provide externs with the opportunity to experience, under intensive supervision, the diverse functions of a professional psychologist in a university counseling center. These functions include individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, crisis management, screening intake assessments, and outreach and consultation. Please visit our APA Externship portal for additional information.

  • Application

    Candidates must be enrolled in a master's or doctoral program in clinical or counseling psychology. Although we integrate interventions from a variety of theoretical orientations, our site is primarily psychodynamic. Supervision and training are provided primarily from a psychodynamic theoretical perspective. Another primary tenant of our externship is training in multicultural and cross-cultural competency and an awareness of social justice issues.

    • Applications should include those materials delineated on the portal:
      • Cover letter
      • Curriculum vitae
      • Letter of readiness from the applicant's Director of Training
      • Two letters of recommendation
    • Applications should be uploaded to the new APA externship portal - managed by NYJADOT/PSYDNYS.

    We accept applications in accordance with the dates set by the Psychology Directors of New York State (PSYDNYS) guidelines. Please check the APA externship portal for the dates of the upcoming application period.


    Interviews will be conducted virtually. If interviewed, please provide a copy of your current university transcript (if not already part of your application). Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

    • All accepted externs must provide a verification of enrollment in a professional liability insurance program. This requirement is needed prior to commencement of the externship but is not necessary in the initial application. Liability rates are very affordable. Applicants interested in applying for insurance can contact the American Psychological Association Insurance Trust.


    For any question, contact Dr. Richard Khan, Director of Training via email Please include 'Attn: Externship Search Committee' in address subject.

  • Individual Counseling and Psychotherapy

    The opportunity to provide short and long-term counseling/psychotherapy under intensive supervision is a unique feature of the training program. Each extern carries ongoing counseling cases and receives 2.5 hours of supervision per week. Individual psychodynamic therapy is offered to help students deal with personal, vocational and educational problems. Students are most often seen at the frequency of once a week though in some cases students are seen on a more intensive basis. Treatment length varies and it is common for students to be seen throughout the year.

    Group Therapy

    Externs have the opportunity to co-facilitate a stress management group with a fellow extern. Our stress management group is based upon Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) interventions. Externs will also have the opportunity to develop and co-facilitate a DBT-informed workshop and lead a 2-session DBT-Informed Assertiveness Training Workshop. While co-facilitating, externs receive 1 hour of supervision per week dedicated to group therapy.

    Consultation and Outreach

    This aspect of the training program is flexible. Group programs for international students, students on probation, resident assistants, and student organizations have been offered by our staff. Routinely, we consult on issues of substance abuse, eating disorders and body image, HIV and AIDS, rape prevention, sexuality, and wellness. Externs conduct 5 outreach programs at the start of the year. They are also encouraged to involve themselves in one or more consultation and outreach project they desire or to develop a program.

    Screening Assessments

    Externs typically conduct 2 screening intakes assessments per week. They are taught the fundamentals of interviewing and mental status examination. These assessments are conducted with another staff member until the time when the extern is ready to conduct screening assessments on their own.

  • Written evaluation of the extern's progress is conducted at the end of each semester by each supervisor. The extern actively participates in this process by responding to feedback, as well as by giving feedback about his/her supervisory experience.

  • Individual Supervision

    Externs receives 2.5 hours of direct clinical supervision per week. 1 hour of supervision is provided by a doctoral psychology intern. The intern staff have earned their master's degrees and are supervised on their supervision work by the Director of Training. Externs also receive 1 hour of individual supervision from a member of the Supervisory Senior Staff. One semester they are supervised by the Director of Training and the other from another senior staff. Supervision is psychodynamic and relational in theoretical orientation with an emphasis on an awareness of dimensions of the various dimensions of socio-cultural identities. Externs videotape all sessions which are reviewed in supervision.

    Training Seminars

    Three or four times each month consulting mental health professionals present topics of interest to externs, interns, and staff. These topics have included sexual orientation, dream analysis, ethics, licensure, eating disorders, addictions, psychological testing, personality disorders, and sex therapy.

    Please Note Mandatory Training Hours

    • Wednesdays 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
    • Fridays 10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. while co-facilitating the Stress Management Group).
    • The remaining hours that comprise 16 hours/week can vary dependent on externs preference.
  • The training program seeks to expose externs to the wide variety of functions that a psychologist can perform within a university community. The training program is noteworthy for the extensive consultation opportunities that it provides.

    Specifically, externs at the Counseling Center provide individual psychological services to the student population for 6 hours per week. Externs also conduct approximately 2 screening assessments per week and, with close supervision, provide walk-in crisis management. For one semester, externs co-facililitate, with a fellow extern, the Stress Management Group which is based upon Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). For the other semester, externs develop and co-facilitate a DBT-Informed Workshop and co-facilitate a DBT-Informed Assertiveness Training Workshop. Externs receive close supervision while co-facilitating. Another 5 hours per week consist of supervision, a staff meeting, and in-service seminars. The remainder of the time is spent on outreach prevention work on campus, special projects and administrative work.