Georgia Psychology Licensure Requirements
In order to practice as a clinical psychologist in the state of Georgia, you need to first obtain a license from the Georgia State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (the Board). The Board requires applicants to have a doctoral degree including an internship, and complete 1,500 hours of postdoctoral supervised work experience (PDSWE). The Board further requires candidates to pass three examinations: the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), the state Jurisprudence Examination, and an oral examination before the Board. Though the process of obtaining a license to practice psychology in Georgia can seem complicated, this step-by-step guide should make it more straightforward.
Table of Contents
- How to Become a Licensed Psychologist
- Licensure by Endorsement
- License Renewal and Continuing Education
- Related Licenses
- Jobs and Salary Information
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- License Renewal and Continuing Education
How to Become a Psychologist in Georgia
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) a master’s degree in psychology
A bachelor’s degree is the first step toward becoming a licensed psychologist in Georgia. Students with the goal of becoming clinical psychologists may choose to major in fields other than psychology without affecting their eventual chances of obtaining licenses. However, something to keep in mind is that some graduate programs require applicants who didn’t major in psychology as undergraduates to take additional prerequisite courses before they can be considered for admission. A bachelor’s degree typically takes around four years of full-time study to complete and usually comprises about 120 semester hours.
Some people pursue a master’s degree in psychology or a related field after earning their bachelor’s degree. Master’s degrees are offered as stand-alone programs, but some doctoral programs include a master’s degree as well. Stand-alone master’s degrees in psychology typically take around two years of full-time study to complete and require around 30-40 semester credits.
2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.
For licensure as a psychologist in Georgia, you need to complete graduate studies culminating in either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology. For information on the differences between the two degrees, read our home page. In Georgia, the doctorate must be earned at a professional training program in applied psychology that is also accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) from a regionally-accredited institution.
For an applicant’s PsyD or PhD to meet state licensure requirements, it must have included three full-time years of academic study and one year (2,000 hours) of supervised predoctoral internship, of which 500 hours must be in direct client contact. This can count toward the supervised work experience required for licensure. Georgia has an academic residency requirement, as well, meaning that degrees obtained via videoconferencing or from online programs will not be accepted by the licensing Board. Most doctorate in psychology programs take between four and seven years to complete.
Check out our Georgia psychology schools page to find programs that meet your needs.
3. Complete the required postdoctoral supervised work experience.
As part of earning their doctorate, a licensure candidate will have completed a 2,000-hour supervised internship. Following completion of the doctoral program, postdoctoral supervised work experience (PDSWE) is required. The PDSWE should consist of 1,500 hours of work and must include at least 500 hours of client contact. The PDSWE must be individually supervised by a current Board-licensed psychologist. If the supervisor’s license is not in Georgia, it must be in another state whose licensure standards meet or exceed those of Georgia. Note that different internship requirements apply to specialty areas such as industrial/organizational psychology, school psychology, and others. For the requirements for both pre- and postdoctoral internships, refer to Chapter 510-2 of the Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia.
4. Initiate an application with the Board.
When you have completed your SWE or have less than one year until completion, you may initiate a license application with the Board using the Application Initiation Form. The fee for filing is $100. Application initiation requires that you provide personal background information and details about your education and training as a psychologist. The form includes an Affidavit Regarding Citizenship that you will need to fill out and have notarized.
After you have submitted your initial application, the Association of State & Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), with whom the Board partners to process psychology license applications, will send you instructions for how to complete the Psychology Licensure Universal System (PLUS) online application. There is an additional fee of $200 for this application, to be submitted directly to ASPPB. After the ASPPB has reviewed and verified your application, they will confirm it with the Board, who will notify you that you may sit for the EPPP exam.
5. Pass the Georgia psychology licensing exams.
The first examination is the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), administered by ASPPB. Multiple choice in format, the examination requires a passing score of 500. There is a EPPP practice exam available to help you prepare. Georgia is also an early adopter of the EPPP (Part 2-Skills), which means that candidates must pass both portions of the exam to qualify for licensure. The passing score remains the same.
The second examination is the Georgia Psychology Jurisprudence (Laws & Rules) Examination, administered by PSI Exams LLC. After passing the EPPP, you will receive information with instructions for registering for the Jurisprudence exam. This exam takes one hour and covers matters such as competence, professional relationships, licensing and regulations, privacy, recordkeeping, and fees. The fee to take the exam is $85 and is paid to PSI.
The third examination is the Oral Examination before the Board. Once you have achieved passing scores on the EPPP and Jurisprudence exams, you will contact the Board to schedule your Oral Examination. This exam is approximately 30 minutes long. It covers diagnostic skills, intervention skills, awareness of limitations, professional ethical principles and practices, and knowledge of Georgia law. It will also include discussion of a Quality of Work Sample that you provide.
6. Receive your license from the Board.
When you have achieved passing scores on all three examinations and have submitted all required supporting documentation for your application, you may expect to receive approval of your application within 20 days.
Georgia Licensure by Endorsement
Licensure by reciprocity is not available in Georgia; however, iicensure by endorsement allows a professionally credentialed psychologist from another jurisdiction to obtain permission to practice as a psychologist in Georgia. The process of applying for licensure by endorsement is very similar to applying for licensure by examination, as described above. If you hold a currently valid license in a state other than Georgia, you may apply for licensure in Georgia. For details, see Section 510-3-.02 of the Georgia Rules. As is the case for application by examination, you begin by filling out an Application Initiation Form and submitting it to the Board together with a secure and verifiable document (SVD), an affidavit of citizenship, and a fee of $100. The ASPPB will contact you with instructions for completing the PLUS online application. You will then submit an additional fee of $200 directly to ASPPB.
The Board reviews these applications on a case-by-case basis. As with licensure by examination, you will need to earn passing scores on both the jurisprudence exam (for a fee of $85) and the Oral Examination administered by the Board. With regard to the EPPP examination, the Board may waive this requirement for applicants who have already passed the exam or who have been licensed, practicing psychologists since a time before the EPPP was required for state licensure.
When you have passed the required examinations and completed your application, you can check online for verification confirmation of your licensure. Additionally, any licensed psychologist holding a Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ) from the ASPPB is eligible for licensure in Georgia by submitting the application initiation form and fee of $110.
License Renewal and Continuing Education
In Georgia, the license renewal period is two years (from January 1 of odd-numbered years through December 31 of even-numbered years). A minimum of 40 credits of continuing professional education (CPE) must be completed during these two years. Your choice of educational activities must be relevant to your professional activities. Six of the credits must be in professional ethics and these must be earned at workshops that you attend in person. For details on the topics and types of activities that fulfill the remaining credit requirements, as well as a list of approved sponsors of continuing education, see Section 510-8 of the Georgia Rules. The license renewal fee is $250, payable to the Board.
In order to become a school psychologist in Georgia, you must obtain a Professional Certificate. To do so, you must receive at least a specialist-level degree in school psychology from a state-approved or National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)-approved certification program. You must also pass the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) exam. Once these requirements have been met, you will submit an application using the online portal.
Volunteer Service Psychologist
Those who are retired from psychology or hold an inactive license in good standing may apply for volunteer psychologist licensure. Psychologists practicing with this license may not be compensated for their services. Along with your application, you must provide proof of 20 hours of continuing education completed in the two calendar years immediately preceding your application, proof of licensure, and a $35 application fee.
Georgia Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, as of May 2021, clinical and counseling psychologists in Georgia earned an average of $73,350, school psychologists earned an average salary of $80,350 per year, “all other” psychologists earned an average of $98,360, and postsecondary psychology teachers earned an average of $79,020.1 Projections Central predicts significant growth in employment in the field of psychology, especially in Georgia. The number of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Georgia is predicted to increase by an average of 20.4% by the year 2030 and the number of all other psychologists by 10.2% in the same interval, both higher than the national average for those job categories2. Postsecondary psychology teacher jobs are expected to grow by 10.6%.2
|Occupation||Number Employed1||Average Annual Salary1|
|Clinical and Counseling Psychologists||830||$73,350|
|Industrial-Organizational Psychologists||N.Av.||N.Av.||Psychologists, All Other||370||$98,360|
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary||760||$79,020|
- Georgia Association of School Psychologists (GASP): Supports and connects school psychologists in promoting the learning, behavioral, and mental health of students.
- Georgia Psychological Association (GPA): Dedicated to advancing the profession of psychology in Georgia and a resource and advocate for Georgia psychologists.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to become a psychologist in Georgia?
You can expect it to take about a decade to become a licensed psychologist in Georgia. It depends partly on how quickly you complete the bachelor’s degree, which is typically four years of full-time study. The graduate degrees then typically take four to seven years to complete. In addition to these years of schooling, Georgia requires 1,500 hours of postdoctoral supervised work experience. This may be carried out over an interval of from 11 to 24 months and cannot commence until all requirements for the doctoral degree are completed.
What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in Georgia?
The Georgia State Board of Examiners of Psychologists requires that candidates have a doctoral degree in psychology in order to be licensed. This may be either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology. Though a master’s degree is often earned along the way to earning a doctorate, a master’s in addition to the doctorate is not a requirement for licensure in Georgia.
Where can I find out more about APA and CPA accredited psychology doctoral programs in Georgia?
The APA provides a searchable database of accredited programs, along with helpful suggestions for how to choose a program and guidance on many other topics of import for psychology students and license-seekers. The CPA lists accredited programs on their website. You can also visit our Georgia Schools in Psychology page for more information.
How much do psychologists in Georgia make?
The BLS reported in May 2021 that Georgia clinical and counseling psychologists earned an average of $73,350, school psychologists earned an average of $80,350 per year, psychologists of other types earned $98,360, and postsecondary psychology teachers earned $79,020.1
In Georgia, does everyone working in the field of psychology require a license?
No. See the Georgia Code, section 43, chapter 39-7 for information on this. School psychologists and social workers, among others, may not need to obtain a license from the Georgia Board of Examiners of Psychologists.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Georgia: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ga.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm