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Clinical Psychology

Naval medical officer reviews patient's medical file.

Clinical Psychology

The typical Sailor or Marine faces extraordinary – as well as ordinary – challenges every day. Responding whenever and wherever duty calls. Rushing to the point of action or humanitarian relief anywhere in the world. The Clinical Psychologists in America’s Navy help these servicemembers stay in top mental and emotional shape throughout their military service.

The typical Sailor or Marine faces extraordinary – as well as ordinary – challenges every day. Responding whenever and wherever duty calls. Rushing to the point of action or humanitarian relief anywhere in the world. The Clinical Psychologists in America’s Navy help these servicemembers stay in top mental and emotional shape throughout their military service.
Meet real Sailors & learn from their experiences.
US Navy serviceman holds hands with Haitian girl during an assessment visit by Sailors assigned to the USS Normandy.

About This Job

The Navy employs approximately 200 clinical psychologists - each one a critical resource for service members and their families who seek psychological evaluations and treatment to restore and maintain their mental health.

Navy Clinical Psychologists have the opportunity to conduct therapy, administer and interpret assessments, present at professional conferences, and pursue an array of continuing educational opportunities.

part time
full time
Full Time
Part Time

As a Clinical Psychologist and Officer in Navy Clinical Care, you’ll provide guidance and resources that positively affect both the on-duty and off-duty lives of servicemembers and their families in:


  • Relationship issues
  • Crisis intervention
  • Stress management
  • Depression
  • Grief after loss
  • Anger management
  • Financial issues and planning
  • Career, productivity and leadership issues
  • Balancing work and social activities

While you would work with many of the same issues as a civilian psychologist, your experience will broaden widely as you help patients deal with issues that are unique to or exacerbated by their call of duty.

Full Time
Part Time

Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Clinical Psychologists in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes. This gives you the flexibility to expand your profession in the Navy without compromising your civilian practice at home.

For annual training, Clinical Psychologists may serve anywhere in the world, whether at sea, in hospitals stateside, or on bases in countries around the world.

Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists.

Full Time
Part Time

Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent.

Clinical Psychologists in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with this job, initial training requirements must first be met.

For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.

For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET), as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial leadership training requirement by attending the 12-day Direct Commission Officer (DCO) School in Newport, R.I. This will count as your first Annual Training.


With flexible training options, Medical Service Corps Officers in the Navy Reserve can comfortably balance civilian and military schedules. You can maintain your own life and your own career – enriching both with the rewarding work you do for others.

The Medical Service Corps in the Navy Reserve offers you a truly diverse variety of operational venues. In some cases, you can even work in the same civilian location you work in now. What’s more, you will enjoy an unrivaled sense of pride and fulfillment known only to those who serve.

Full Time
Part Time

Practicing Health Professionals

As a Reservist in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you’ll receive your choice of any one of these three generous financial offers:*

  • Up to $50,000 in graduate school loan repayment assistance  
  • Up to $30,000 in specialty pay  
  • An immediate one-time sign-on bonus of up to $10,000

*Offers cannot be combined and depend on specialty. Sign-on bonus offer option available only to those with prior Navy experience (NAVET).

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Full Time
Part Time

To qualify for employment consideration as a Clinical Psychologist in the Navy Medical Service Corps, you must meet these basic requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen currently licensed in the U.S.
  • Be willing to serve a minimum of three years of Active Duty  
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 41  
  • Be in good physical condition and pass a full medical examination


You must also meet the following specific requirements:


  • Completion of all academic requirements for a doctoral degree in clinical psychology or counseling psychology from a university or professional school program accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Completion of all other requirements, including doctoral committee approval of dissertation topic
  • Applicants are encouraged to visit at least one of the two internship sites in Bethesda, Md., and San Diego, Calif.
  • Applications must be completed by December 1 (selection board meets in late January, with applicants informed of its decision the second Tuesday of February; date is set nationally for internships by the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers [APPIC])

Direct Accession (Officer appointment directly into Active Duty service):

  • Doctoral degree in clinical or counseling psychology from a program accredited by the American Psychological Association
  • Current state license to independently practice as a clinical psychologist  
  • Doctoral degree from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). A bachelor’s degree is required to enter this five-year program. Upon completion, you are commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Navy

You may also be expected to meet certain preferred requirements:


  • GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale
  • Completion of doctoral dissertation
  • Experience with inpatient and outpatient care (either as part of training or employment) as well as assessment (testing)
  • Health psychology/behavioral medicine experience

Direct Accession:

  • Inpatient and outpatient experience  
  • Experience in crisis intervention or disaster mental health, or working with individuals who have been traumatized
  • Health psychology/behavioral medicine experience  
  • Professional references that indicate superior clinical knowledge and supervisory/leadership skills

General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you intend to serve Active Duty or Reserve Duty, and whether you are currently serving, have served before or have never served before.


Paid training. Competitive salary. Comprehensive health coverage. Generous vacation. World travel. The list goes on.