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Student internship application process

Recruitment for potential interns begins at the end of January each year. The Student Intern Program accepts qualified students enrolled in an accredited university/college training program currently affiliated with Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department.

Application process

Recruitment for potential interns begins at the end of January each year. The Student Intern Program accepts qualified students enrolled in an accredited university/college training program currently affiliated with Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Services Department. Applications must be completed and submitted to the Student Intern Coordinator with the requested documents. If selected, you will be invited for interviews.

Application/selection process

A virtual Open House for interested students will be held on January 19, 2024 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Click here to view and download virtual Open House PDF flyer

The initial application deadline is February 2nd, 2024. Special note: Any application submitted after this date will be reviewed based on placement availability. Recommendation letters can be submitted by March 14, 2024.

Students may download the attached application, complete it with all the required information (resume, cover letter, statement of purpose, 2 letters of recommendation, and the Fall Semester Evaluation for MSW students) and submit it to the Intern Coordinator. If you need more information, please email [email protected]. Eligible applicants will be contacted for a preliminary interview. Selected students will be offered opportunities to interview at individual clinic sites.

Submit the entire application to the Program Manager.

Only completed applications with the following will be reviewed:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Current Resume
  3. Two Letters of Recommendations (1 academic and 1 non-academic professional who is familiar with your field related work) Due March 14, 2024
  4. Statement of Purpose (included in the application packet)
  5. Supplemental Questions (included in the application packet)
  6. Fall Semester Field Evaluation (for MSW Students)
  7. Indicate if you are requesting a stipend (Final year Master Students Only)

  • Be enrolled as a MSW, MFT, or PCC graduate level student in a BASW Program or in a university that holds a current Affiliate Agreement with Santa Clara County Mental Health Department for the entire academic year.
  • Commit to an intern/trainee placement for the entire academic year from September through May. 
  • Commit to attend the weekly Thursday seminar/training.
  • Be in “good academic standing” during full-time enrollment.
  • A minimum of 16 hours per week are required for 1st year graduate students.
  • A minimum of 20 hours per week are required for final year graduate students


We will have various internship sites throughout the BHSD, including Adult Outpatient Clinic, Children Youth Family Outpatient Clinic, Forensic Diversion Reintegration Program, Mobile Crisis Program, Juvenile Hall, and more.  Specific programs/sites will be introduced during the recruitment process. 

All the BHSD internship sites are comfortable meeting MFTT requirements (150 direct client hour plus 75 client advocacy hour).  However, meeting the PCCT requirement of 280 hours of direct client services at one site is challenging.  Please consult with us before applying.  

At this time, all the internship start in late August ~ early September 2024 as a cohort.  We are unable to accommodate internship schedule outside of this cohort schedule. 

Clinical Affiliation Contract is required before interview.  It usually takes 4-12 months for the contract to be finalized. If you would like us to explore a new clinical affiliation contract with your school, please have your school contact personnel contact us several months in advance.   Below are the schools/programs with current clinical affiliation.  

  • Cal State Monterey MSW Program
  • National University MFT Program
  • Santa Clara University MFT/PCC Program
  • San Jose State University BASW, MSW, MFT/PCC Program
  • University of San Francisco MFT Program
  • University of California Berkeley MSW Program
  • Palo Alto University MFT Program
  • William Jessup MFT Program
  • San Francisco State University MSW Program

The Virtual Open House scheduled on Friday, January 19, 2024, 1-3 pm is the best place to gather more information regarding our internship program and placement opportunities.  Please click the link for the flyer: FLYER 01.19.pdf (

Yes, you can. Attending the open house is strongly encouraged to gather more information, but it is not required. You may request a recording link and/or powerpoint presentation, if you miss it. 

Through the Open House and initial interview, you will identify 1-3 preferred placements to interview.  Then after the site interview, you will report back to BHSD Intern Program with ranking/preference of your placement.  We won’t place you in a program without your agreement. 

For the final year master’s student, 720 total hours (20-24 hours a week for 9 months) is required.  For the BASW student and the first-year MSW student, 480 total hours is required.  You will have to be available on Thursdays and some other days for required training and group supervision/consultation.  Most of the BHSD program hours are Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.  We do not have evening/weekend only placement.  

All our clinics/programs are in person.  You will have to report to our clinic/program site in person.  

Please first submit BHSD Application for Student Intern Program form and send it to [email protected], along with your cover letter, letter of interest and resume.  We will send you a link to sign up for an initial interview with the intern program.  Please see our website for forms.  Student Internship Application Process - Behavioral Health Services - County of Santa Clara (

*Two letters of recommendation and Fall Semester Field Evaluation can be submitted at later date.

Cover Letter (3-page limit)

A letter including reasons for applying, (e.g., personal interest, academic interest), areas of specialization and expertise and any other pertinent information in such a manner that proposal evaluators may reasonably formulate an opinion about the level of interest in providing services by Intern applicant.  Please include your name, email, mailing address, telephone number, name of the school & program enrolled and your signature.

BHSD Student Intern Program Application Form

BHSD-SIP-Intern-Application2024-2025_0_0.docx (

Please make sure all the items are answered on the application form.  Incomplete application won’t be considered.  

Resume (2-page limit)

A description of the intern applicant including skills, areas of specialization and expertise, and any other pertinent information related to the Intern applicant’s qualifications in providing services.

Letters of Recommendation (2 letters)

Two (2) letters of recommendation.  Include the name and address of the organization, the name, email and telephone number of a contact person, and a description of the relationship with the applicant. One (1) letter shall be academic and one (1) shall be non-academic professional.  These letters need to be sent to [email protected] by either directly from referees or a student applicant.

Fall Semester Field Evaluation 

For all the final year MSW students must submit a copy of the evaluation when available.  This document may come after the interviewing process as it may not be available at the time of application. 

This may not apply to some MFT students if there is no field experience during the first year. 

A Cover Letter, Letter of Interest, Resume, and Application Form are required before scheduling an interview.  The initial deadline for these application documents is February 2, 2024.  

We may continue accepting the application for vacant placements till all the placements are filled.  Two letters of recommendation and Fall Semester Field Evaluation can come later when available but must be submitted before the placement is finalized.  

We have limited Workforce Education & Training (WET) Stipends available for final-year master’s students.  The maximum amount of the stipend is $14,897.53 ($12,960 after Medicare/SS/Disability Insurance fee deduction) per academic year.  You will need to complete 720 hours of internship, and also work full-time in the Public Behavioral Health System in Santa Clara County for a minimum of 1 year after graduation.  Please clearly indicate your language capability, diverse cultural background, or personal or work experience with an unserved/underserved population in the application documents, and let us know your interest in applying for the stipends. 

You will have at least one hour of individual supervision from your site supervisor who is a licensed clinician.  You will also receive periodical group supervision/consultation with other student interns placed throughout the BHSD programs.  

For FY25, we plan to have 8 to 15 student interns throughout the BHSD department.