Match Guidelines

Important Dates

Portal Opens, Sites Can UpdateMonday, October 30th, 2023 – Monday, November 13th, 2023
Application WindowMonday, January 8th, 2024 – Friday, January 19th, 2024
Sites Can Contact StudentsMonday, January 22nd, 2024
Phase I Interview PeriodMonday, January 29th, 2024 – Friday, February 23rd, 2024
Phase I Match DayMonday, March 4th, 2024
Phase II Wednesday, March 6th, 2024 – Thursday, March 21st, 2024
Phase II Match DayFriday, March 22nd, 2024
Phase III OpensMonday, March 25th, 2024

Pre-application Guidelines

For DCTs

  • Discuss and advise students regarding training needs and plans prior to preparing and submitting applications.
  • Introduce PENDELDOT externship directory ( and the PENDELDOT Uniform Timeline and Guidelines (
  • Inform students about the deadlines and reinforce rules in the agreement.
  • Let students know that they must sign the Match Agreement Letter and abide by PENDELDOT guidelines. This agreement should be included as the final page in each application submitted to the portal.
  • Make sure students have ranked their sites in order of preference before Match Day so they are prepared to make decisions regarding offers made.

For Students

  • Register for the online portal Students MUST use their school email when registering and in all communications. Students who do not use their school email will not be considered for a training site.
  • Research sites of interest and prepare your application materials as directed in the practicum sites listing. Note that some sites required additional information beyond the standard application material.
  • Sign the practicum Match Agreement Letter indicating you will not accept any offers (i.e. from participating and non-participating practicum sites) prior to Match Day.
  • Prepare one PDF document with all your application material for each site. This PDF should contain all the application materials for that site. Some sites will want you to include your letters of recommendation in this document. Other sites may request that your letters be mailed or emailed directly to them. If sites want these letters mailed or emailed, they must indicate where these should be sent in their profile description.

For Practicum Sites

  • Post up-to-dated information about your externship on the PENDELDOT APA Directory at on or before November 13th
  • Prior to the opening of the application window, sites are required to go into their site listing and clear out all applications from the previous year.
  • If a training site has a new training director/contact person, unfortunately, they will need to submit a new site description to the portal. The site can use the previous information and simply cut and paste the material. However, there is currently no mechanism for simply changing the name of the training director/contact person.
  • Please include any COVID-19 related updates in your site’s description if applicable.
  • Interviews are expected to be conducted virtually. If you require an in-person interview this must be specified in your site description.
  • Sites should make clear in their site description where Letters of Reference should be submitted (within the PDF or separate from the students application). If students can submit letters separately, it should be clearly indicated how such letters should be submitted (typically via email).

Application Guidelines

  • Students are required to use their official school E-mail address when registering and in all of their application material. This is required a) because communications via the portal can sometimes be filtered as spam and we want to make sure communications get to all relevant parties, b) it is helpful in identifying which parties to contact in the event that their are problems during the application and matching process.
  • Applications may be submitted between January 8th and January 19th at 5pm
  • Students have until the end of the application window to submit applications, and all students applying before the deadline will be given equal consideration. Sites should not penalize applicants for submitting their materials close to the deadline.
  • Applicants should not to wait until the last minute to submit applications; externship sites should not penalize applicants for submitting their materials close to the deadline.
  • Application materials are to be uploaded to the portal as ONE PDF document per site.
  • Each application should include (in the following order): a) the PENDELDOT Coversheet, b) cover letter, c) Curriculum Vitae (CV), d) Letters of Reference and e) the PENDELDOT Match Agreement.
  • Some sites may request a work sample (case study and/or assessment). If these are requested, the should be included following the PENDELDOT Match Agreement form in the PDF.
  • If a site requests that letters of recommendations are mailed or emailed (rather than being viewed and submitted by the student as part of their PDF), sites must indicate where these letters should be submitted by including an email or mail contact in their site descriptions.
  • Students may not submit early applications to sites. If they do, they will not be considered for that site in the current application cycle and they risk the possibility of their application being deleted by the site prior to the opening of the application window.

Interviewing Guidelines

  • Practicum sites may start contacting students to schedule interviews on Monday, January 2nd, 2024.
  • All interviews should be concluded by the end of the day Friday February 23rd 2024.
  • No offers may be made to students during the interview process.
  • Normative, enthusiastic and collegial communication indicating that a student is a good fit is allowed, but formal offers are not.
  • Students interviewing at participating sites may not accept any practicum placement offer prior to Match Day, including offers from non-participating sites.
  • Interviews are expected to be conducted virtually. If sites require an in-person interview this must be specified in the site description.

Some Commonly Asked Questions

  1. Should I send thank you notes after interviews? No, these are not required or expected of applicants.
  2. Should I send more information in my application than what is asked for? No. One goal is for applicants to be evaluated on the same material. Thus, sending more information than others send may provide an unfair advantage. (It could also work the opposite way…no one wants to read more than they have to!).
  3. One of my letter writers doesn’t want to send a letter in my packet, but there is no alternative address listed on the site description. Well…
  4. I still can’t find the answer to my question in these guidelines. What next? You can contact the current PENDELDOT chairperson directly to get answers.

Match Day Guidelines

Final Preparation for Match Day

  1. Students are encouraged to negotiate with their current training sites, professors, and DCTs to maximize their availability on Match Day. Regardless of other obligations, students are expected to be able to respond within a one-hour time frame to any offers made. Failure to do so may result in that offer being withdrawn and offered to another student.
  2. Students should rank their sites in order of preference before the morning of the match. This way, they can make decisions about accepting, declining or holding a site more decisively on Match Day.
  3. Likewise, sites should rank their students in order of preference before the morning of the match and make sure they have the appropriate contact information for the program’s DCT/Practicum coordinator to make sure they are cc’d on all offers.

On Match Day

  1. Students should check their Spam/Junk folders frequently on Match Day to ensure that they are not missing any important emails.
  2. The Match will begin at 9am EST on Monday, March 4th, 2024. All offers must be made by e-mail. Training directors may send emails out slightly earlier in the morning (e.g., 8:30 am EST.) to accommodate other responsibilities.
  3. All communications during Match Day between graduate students and practicum sites concerning the acceptance, decline, or hold of an offer must be conducted by e-mail.
  4. The DCT or Practicum coordinator at the university should be cc’d on all communications on match day.
  5. Sites may not make phone calls until an offer has been accepted.
  6. Initial offers ought to go out by 9am but offers can continue to be made up until 4pm, the student must make a decision about the offer within 3 hours of receiving it. They must either accept or decline the offer within three hours of when the offer was sent as indicated by the timestamp of the E-mail.
  7. Students cannot hold multiple offers. If a student receives more than one offer, the student must immediately decline the less preferred site and accept or put their more preferred site on hold. The only exception to this is that students who are hoping to secure multiple practicum placements. These students may hold the same number of slots that they hope to end up with. For example, a student hoping to obtain two part-time (single day) practica on different days may hold two such offers at a time.
  8. After holding an offer for 2 hours, students may email their top remaining choice to see if they are still under consideration at that site. However, if the student receives an offer from the preferred site as a result of this inquiry, they must immediately accept it and notify the other sites where they interviewed that they have withdrawn from the match.
  9. A student may only hold one offer at a time. A decision about a second offer must be made immediately upon receiving it.
  10. The rules will be suspended after 4 pm on Monday.

After All Spots at a Site are Filled/After a Student Accepts a Final Offer

  1. Once a site has filled all of its available spots, it should go into the portal and “suspend“ their site. The will temporarily remove the site from the Directory and inform the remaining applicants that they are no longer being considered.
  2. Once a student has accepted an offer, they should contact any remaining sites on their list. A simple email thanking a site for their consideration and noting that you have accepted another offer is appropriate.

When Does Match Day End Officially?

  1. The Match Day (Phase I) process will end on March 4th, 2024 at 4 p.m. Any outstanding offers that have been made prior to that time will become null and void, giving students, schools and sites time to prepare for Phase II.

Some Commonly Asked Questions

  1. Should I send Thank You Notes? NO, this is not required or suggested.
  2. It’s 3:30 and I haven’t heard from my favorite site, can I call/email them? First, students should check the portal to see if the site has been suspended. If so, this means all their spots are filled. If not, it would be appropriate to email the site and inquire about your status.
  3. It’s been an hour and a student hasn’t gotten back to me. Can I pull their offer? Sites are encouraged to send a reminder email and perhaps reach out to the DCT to find out additional information. However, according to our guidelines, the site can pull an offer at that point.
  4. I still can’t find the answer to my question in these guidelines. What next? You can contact the current PENDELDOT chairperson directly to get answers and, if its time sensitive, give them a call. The PENDELDOT chair will be available throughout the duration of the Match Day to field questions.

Phase II and Phase III Guidelines

Phase II

  • Phase II of the Match will begin at 9 am, EST on Wednesday, March 6th, 2024.
  • If a site has remaining openings, they are asked to email the PENDELDOT chair by Tuesday, March 5th at Noon.
  • A representative of the PENDELDOT Board will send a list of all available sites to participating DCTs/Program by 5pm on Tuesday, March 5th by 5pm.
  • What do students do here?
  • Interviews will take place from March 6th, 2024 until March 21st, 2024.
  • Match Day for Phase II will be on Friday, March 22nd, 2024 between 9 am EST and 4 pm.
  • All instructions for the interviews and Match Day guidelines for the first Phase of the match will be in place/the same for Phase II.

Phase III

  • Any training sites with open sites after Match Day II who are still interested in taking a student for the following year should contact the PENDELDOT chair by 5pm at the end Phase II Match Day. They should indicate that they are still willing to take a student for the coming year.
  • A representative of the PENDELDOT Board will send a list of all available sites to participating DCTs by Monday, March 25th, 2024.
  • At this time, students and programs should communicate via email to determine if their is mutual interest and a potential match.

Other Guidelines, Suggestions, and Helpful Tidbits

  • We recognize that some practicum sites are small, taking only one student every year or two and generally do not interview multiple candidates. These are often small practice settings with specialized expertise that is a particularly good match for a student’s unique research interests and training needs. Some graduate programs also have “in-house” practicum training with program faculty or external supervisors who are paid to teach a practicum course. Nothing in this consensus statement precludes students from pursuing such opportunities and such small and in-house practicum sites need not be required to participate in this uniform match timeline. However, graduate program DCTs and students are encouraged to inform such sites about this timeline. As more potential practicum sites become aware of these guidelines, the hope is that they will at least follow the same timeline and at best sign on to the agreement. Doctoral students who come from schools that do not conform to PENDELDOT may have different application processes and dates; however, PENDELDOT practicum sites are expected to abide by these guidelines. Please feel free to let PENDELDOT Board Members know if this becomes an issue or problems develop with a particular graduate program. Students should report any offers made prior to the beginning of Match Day or other inappropriate behavior by sites to their school’s DCT, who should feel free to involve the PENDELDOT board in informal resolution proceedings. Students should be aware that holding multiple offers simultaneously and any other comportment concerns will be reported to the school’s DCT.