Delaware Psychology Licensure Requirements
To become licensed as a psychologist in Delaware, you must meet all of the licensure criteria developed by the Board of Examiners of Psychologists (the Board). These criteria include earning a doctoral degree in psychology, completing a year of supervised postdoctoral work, and passing a national licensure exam. The process of becoming a licensed psychologist in Delaware can be complex, but we’ve prepared the following guide to help you through it.
Table of Contents
- How to Become a Licensed Psychologist
- Licensure by Reciprocity
- License Renewal and Continuing Education
- Related Licenses
- Jobs and Salary Information
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Become a Psychologist in Delaware
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) a master’s degree in psychology.
Anyone planning to become a psychologist in Delaware should begin by completing a bachelor’s degree, which typically takes four years of full-time study to complete. Although it is helpful to take at least some psychology courses while you are an undergraduate, you can major in any subject for your bachelor’s degree. If you do not major in psychology, however, you may need to take additional prerequisites before being admitted into a graduate degree program in psychology.
After you have earned your bachelor’s degree, you can consider earning a stand-alone master’s degree in psychology. This is often a good option for people who have not taken many psychology courses or those who want more experience before applying to doctoral programs. Psychology master’s degree programs usually take about two years to complete (30 to 40 credit hours). Note that earning a stand-alone master’s degree is an optional step, as many doctoral programs include a master’s in their course of study.
2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.
Doctoral programs in psychology generally take between four and seven years to complete and award either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. There are some differences between these degrees that you should become familiar with before applying to doctoral programs.
The Board states that you must earn your doctoral degree from a program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), or one that is determined by the Board as providing equivalent training. This program must include a predoctoral internship that is at least 1,500 hours long, with at least 50% of that time spent in clinical settings, and 25% of those clinical hours being spent in direct face-to-face contact with clients.
Check out our Delaware Psychology Schools page for a list of institutions that will meet your needs.
3. Register as a psychological assistant.
For psychology licensure in Delaware, you will need to complete a year of supervised experience. Before you can begin earning these hours, however, the supervisor you will be working under will need to submit an Application for Psychological Assistant Registration on your behalf. You will need to provide some of the information for this application and your supervisor will complete other portions. Note that you will also need to submit to a background check for a fee of $65, request that your graduate transcripts be sent to the Board, and complete a Psychological Assistant Report of Initial or New Supervisor, which will be submitted by the supervisor, and a $104 application fee. The Board will notify you when your application has been accepted and you have been licensed as a psychological assistant.
4. Complete one year of postdoctoral supervised experience.
Once you have registered as a psychological assistant, you must complete one year (1,500 hours) of postdoctoral supervised experience to earn a license to practice psychology. At least 25% of these hours must be earned from direct contact with patients or supervision of graduate students. For every 10 hours you work, you must receive one hour of in-person supervision. Your supervisor for your postdoctoral experience must be a psychologist who has been licensed for at least two years with no disciplinary actions.
5. Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).
When the Board grants your psychological assistant license, they will also give you permission to sign up for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), the national psychology licensure exam administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). You may take the exam while you are still working on your postdoctoral SPE. There are 225 multiple-choice questions on the EPPP that cover a variety of domains in psychology, and you must earn a score of 500 or higher to pass. There is a EPPP practice exam to help you prepare.
6. Submit an application to the Board for your full psychology license.
After you have successfully completed your supervised experience requirements and passed the EPPP, you can apply for your full psychology license. To do this, complete the application online. Note that your postdoctoral supervisor will need to complete the Supervisory Reference Form and submit it directly to the Board. There is a $55 fee to upgrade your active psychological assistant license to a full psychologist license.
7. Receive your license from the Board.
Before issuing your license, the Board will need to review and approve your application. They estimate that this process can take four to eight weeks. After you receive your license from the Board, you can begin practicing psychology without supervision.
Delaware Licensure by Reciprocity
The Board allows some psychologists who hold licenses in other states to apply for licensure in Delaware by reciprocity. To be eligible for this, you must hold an active psychology license in another state and have been in active practice for the past two years, hold a Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ) from the ASPPB, or be credentialed by the National Registry of Health Service Providers in Psychology (NRHSPP). To apply for licensure by reciprocity, complete the Board’s Application for Licensure as a Psychologist by Reciprocity, have it notarized, and submit it to the Board with a $291 processing fee. If you do not hold a CPQ or credential from the NRHSPP, you will also need to complete a background check, which costs $65, and submit your official transcripts, EPPP scores, and license verification. If your application is approved, you should receive your license in four to eight weeks.
License Renewal and Continuing Education
All Delaware psychology licenses expire on July 31 of odd-numbered years, so you will need to renew your license every two years to keep it active. In the weeks leading up to the renewal date, the Board will email you a notice that informs you of the renewal fee for that period and provides instructions for renewing your license. Applications for renewal are completed online through Delaware Licensee Online Services.
During each two-year renewal period, you must also complete 40 hours of continuing education (CE) activities. At least 10 of these hours must be earned from attending activities in person or watching live webinars. In addition to attending seminars or workshops, you can also earn CE credits through activities such as taking a graduate course, authoring scholarly works, or presenting at conferences (though there are limits to how many credits can be earned from these types of activities. CE activities sponsored by the APA are automatically approved by the Board, but you will need to request approval for any other activities by submitting the Request for Approval of Continuing Education form to the Board. While practicing as a psychological assistant, you must complete 20 hours of CE during the renewal period, three of which must be in ethics.
School psychologists are regulated by the Delaware Department of Education. Certification is required for all specialists working in public schools, including school psychologists. Delaware certification is a two-step process; both a license and at least one certificate is required. For your Initial License and school psychology certification, you will need to submit official transcripts of your bachelor’s degree and master’s degree, which is the minimum required for school psychologist certification. You will also need to have completed a program in school psychology from a regionally-accredited school and approved by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) or the APA, culminating in a master’s with an additional Educational Specialist (EdS) degree or a doctoral degree in school psychology along with a supervised internship. You may also meet this requirement if you hold a current Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential from NASP or a valid and current license or certificate in school psychology from another state. You must also take the Praxis School Psychologist exam. The Initial License is good for four years and is non-renewable.
A Continuing License is good for five years. Eligible candidates must meet the requirements of the Initial License and and have successfully completed an approved mentoring program, which is required during the term of the Initial License. For renewal of a Continuing License, you must complete 90 hours of professional development.
Delaware Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that, as of May 2021, the average salary for counseling, clinical, and school psychologists was $101,835.1 Salaries for the other psychology groups were not reported. It is expected that additional psychology jobs will be created in Delaware between 2020 and 2030. The number of counseling, clinical, and school psychology jobs is expected to increase by 9.7% during this time, while the number of postsecondary psychology teaching jobs is projected to increase by 10%.2 These numbers suggest a good outlook for anyone seeking a position as a psychologist in Delaware during that 10-year period.
|Average Annual Salary1
|Clinical and Counseling Psychologists
|Psychologists, All Other
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary
- Delaware Psychological Association (DPA): Holds an annual conference and offers other CE opportunities in an effort to promote the profession of psychology and improve the quality of life for the people of Delaware.
- Delaware Association of School Psychologists (DASP): Advocates and provides resources for school psychologists in Delaware in order to improve the academic, mental, and social lives of Delaware students.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to become a psychologist in Delaware?
Before earning a license to practice psychology in Delaware, you will need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology, obtain a year of postdoctoral work experience, and pass a national licensing exam. The entire process of becoming a psychologist usually takes about 10 years. However, this can vary based on a variety of factors, including whether you choose to pursue a stand-alone master’s degree and how much coursework your doctoral program requires.
What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in Delaware?
In Delaware, you must earn a doctoral degree in psychology, which will be either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. This degree will need to be awarded by a program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS) or provides training equivalent to these standards.
How much do psychologists in Delaware make?
On average, counseling and clinical psychologists in Delaware earned $129,450 per year as of May 2021, while school psychologists earned an average of $74,220 per year.1 The BLS is missing data for postsecondary psychology teachers, “all other,” and industrial-organizational psychologists.1
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Delaware: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_de.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm