FAQs about the Predoctoral Fellowship in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (MHSAS) Program

Predoctoral MHSAS fellows

Funded by a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the MFP has created the Predoctoral MHSAS fellowship to support the training of practitioners in behavioral health services and prevention. This fellowship program is designed for students in clinical, counseling and school psychology, and other psychology doctoral students whose training prepares them for careers in behavioral health services.

MHSAS Policy Fellowship: Applicants who have experience or an interest in behavioral health public policy may request to be considered for the Policy Fellowship on the online application. Fellows on this track will have an opportunity for a paid summer internship at SAMHSA. Please refer to the application instructions (PDF, 160KB) for more information.

Basic Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or noncitizen nationals.
  • Have a strong commitment to a career in ethnic minority behavioral health services or policy.
  • Be enrolled full-time in an APA-accredited doctoral program during the fall term immediately following the application deadline.
  • Not be interns; no fellowship support is available during a student's internship year.
  • It is not required for applicants to identify as ethnic minorities; however, African-Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asian-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are especially encouraged to apply.

MFP Benefits

  • Financial support — three years maximum. This must be renewed annually, and is not available during internship.
  • Travel support (limited availability)
  • Potential dissertation support (limited availability)
  • Ancillary training opportunities and enrichment experiences
  • Assistance with internship application process
  • Access to information and resources
  • Lifetime network of professional association with psychologists and other professionals focused on ethnic minority behavioral health issues 

Frequently Asked Questions About the MHSAS
Predoctoral Fellowship

Q: If my program is not APA-accredited, can I still apply for the fellowship? 

A: Yes. However, it may make you less competitive.

Q: Do I need to have successfully completed my bachelor’s degree to apply? 

A: As long as you are applying to a doctoral program, you are eligible for this fellowship.

Q:  Are GRE scores required in order to apply for the MFP?  

A: GRE scores are required; however, if you do not have access to your GRE scores, or if your institution did not require you to take the GRE, then there is a place on the application for you to provide an explanation.  Refer to the application instructions for details.

Q: I do not have an advisor. Can I still apply, and if so, who should fill out my advisor recommendation form and letter? 

A: If you do not have an advisor because you are not yet enrolled in a program or because your doctoral program does not require you to have one, you may explain this in your application and ask an additional faculty member to complete your third recommendation.

Q: What are the criteria used to select fellows? 

A: Selection of an applicant is contingent upon the applicant’s:

  • Commitment to ethnic minority behavioral health services or policy.
  • Knowledge of ethnic minority behavioral health services.
  • Applicant’s current training site/environment is in line with his/her career goals.
  • Potential as a future leader in ethnic minority psychology, demonstrated through accomplishments and goals.
  • Scholarship/grades.
  • Letters of recommendation.
Q: Do I need my undergraduate transcripts? 

A: We will need a transcript from every institution that you attended for at least one year in the past ten years. If that includes your undergraduate years; then we will need your undergraduate transcripts.

Q: Should I include citations in my essays, and if so, does the list of references count against the page total? 

A: Citations are not necessary. If they are included, they do not count toward the page limit.

Q: If I apply to the policy fellowship, do I have to submit a separate application for the predoctoral fellowship? 

A: No, you do not. If you apply to the policy fellowship, then you are automatically considered for both the policy and the predoctoral fellowships.