After six months of searching out dream opportunities, honing application essays, and prepping for interviews—not to mention another two months of waiting—clinical psychology doctoral students nationwide found out on February 24 if and where they would complete their clinical internships.

“Match Day” brought rewarding news to Suffolk. The University’s match rate exceeded the national average by 22 percent, and our doctoral students were matched with some of the most prestigious sites in the country—Yale University’s Department of Psychiatry, the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and Princeton House Behavioral Health, among others.

This success is not surprising given the growing prestige of Suffolk’s doctoral program in clinical psychology. The program received a record 361 applications for the fall 2012 cohort of 10 students, and typically admits fewer than 10 percent of applicants.

Suffolk’s program is distinguished by a scientist-practitioner model. “Our research component is front and center,” says Gary Fireman, professor and chair of the Psychology Department. “Our PhD students are trained to be active researchers, clinical practitioners, and teachers. Our training and supervision in all three areas sets our program apart.”

“We’ve done beautifully this year in terms of both quantity and quality,” says Fireman. “Our students are publishing peer-reviewed journal articles and presenting papers at conferences, and our faculty is recognized for closely mentoring and working collaboratively with students in their scientific research.”

The year-long internship is the culmination of a doctoral candidate’s clinical training. Before interning, students must first complete three years of Suffolk’s intensive coursework, as well as many hours of supervised work in clinical practicum settings. Suffolk has strong practicum affiliations with institutions such as Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard University’s Judge Baker Children’s Center. “They love our students,” Fireman says. “Suffolk’s students do consistently outstanding work in their practica.”

“Our program and our graduates are deeply integrated into the healthcare community,” adds David Gansler, associate professor and director of clinical training. “And they are thriving.” Suffolk’s doctoral alumni work as post-docs, clinicians, researchers, and academics in such arenas as Children’s Hospital Boston, New York University Medical Center, and McLean Hospital.

Britt Carlson Emerton, a current neuropsychology intern at Massachusetts General Hospital, is poised to become one such success story. She previously completed a practicum in pediatric neuropsychology at MGH, and has already accepted a two year post-doctoral fellowship through the Harvard-Partners Consortium in Clinical Neuropsychology.

Britt was drawn to Suffolk because of the doctoral program’s elective concentration in neuropsychology. The program also offers a clinical child elective concentration. Such options—along with the program’s longstanding reputation for helping underserved populations; producing cutting-edge, relevant research; and preparing students to pass demanding licensure exams—have led to the program’s success.