Illinois Psychology Licensure Requirements

Working as a psychologist is a rewarding career. Psychologists enjoy preserving and promoting the mental health and stability of clients everywhere, and the Illinois Board of Psychology and the state’s psychology licensing laws are dedicated to preserving this practice. This is why the process of becoming a licensed psychologist is so rigorous and demanding. While earning your licensure begins with completing your education, it culminates in internships and real-life training that finally results with an approved application for psychology licensure in the state of Illinois. Here are some of the most common questions prospective Illinois psychologists ask about the process:

» How do I become a Psychologist in Illinois?
» I have earned a PhD or PsyD and I am ready to learn how to get a Psychologist License in Illinois.
» Why does Illinois require fingerprinting and criminal background checks to become a licensed Psychologist?
» What are Illinois’s Supervised Professional Experience Rules and Regulations?
» What Psychology Exams are required in Illinois?

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in Illinois

Whether you’re just beginning your undergraduate career or are about to apply for licensure in Illinois, Psychology Degree 411 is your number one resource to help you take the next step:

1. Earn a BS in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Psychology.

With so many psychology degree programs in the state of Illinois, it can be difficult to choose the college or university to attend. Psychology Degree 411 is a resource for researching psychology programs in Illinois. Because these years are so formative in your professional career, you’ll want to choose a program that best suits your needs and can help you better understand your goals. You’ll be able to find a comprehensive list of Illinois programs to earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology, both of which are required before you can pursue a PhD or PsyD.

2. Earn a PhD or PsyD in Psychology.

In order to become licensed to practice psychology in Illinois, you must receive a doctorate degree in psychology or educational psychology. Once you complete the doctorate program, you must complete continuing education and may elect to further specialize in areas like educational psychology or counseling psychology. Committing to lifelong learning in psychology will ensure that you’re always aware of the latest theories, practices, and standards for the psychological field. Individuals with a doctorate in psychology have the responsibility of staying up-to-date to ensure the best possible care for their patients.

Be sure to use Psychology Degree 411 as your source to research the PhD or PsyD programs offered in Illinois. Because so many of these programs are dedicated to research and contributing to the field of psychology, Illinois is considered one of the best regions to obtain an education to qualify for psychologist licensure.

3. Get Licensed to Practice Psychology in Illinois.

Before you can work as a psychologist in Illinois, you must complete the licensure requirements after earning your PhD or PsyD degree. The following section explains the process in detail:

Illinois Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete a Background Check and Fingerprint Procedures

Because the state of Illinois recognizes the vital role that psychologists play in the lives of its citizens, both the DOJ and FBI must provide clearance before Illinois’ Board of Psychology can issue you a license to practice in the state. This basic background test will ensure that you have a clean criminal history relative to your ability to perform the duties and responsibilities of a psychologist. These standards maintain the moral obligations and standards that have defined the practice of psychology and protected clients throughout the state.

To complete this process, visit this comprehensive list of Live Scan locations in Illinois. Live Scan is the top resource for digital fingerprinting. Contact the closest location to learn more about this required procedure.

Review the General Assembly’s Illinois Administrative Code to learn more about the background checks associated with becoming a licensed psychologist in Illinois.

2. Complete Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Requirements

All psychology trainees in Illinois, both pre- and postdoctoral, must complete professional experience in a clinical setting. Otherwise known as SPE, this supervised professional experience provides structured learning in a controlled, real-life environment, thereby preparing trainees for independent work in the state. These experiences will combine theory with the ability to work hands-on with clients in a variety of situations and circumstances.

The SPE must integrate current psychological practices and incorporate the ever-evolving scientific principles and theories that define the psychological career. Your SPE fulfillment will present you with the real-life application of theories and ideas learned in the classroom. In accordance with the guidelines set forth in Section 1400.20 of Licensure Qualifications, a cumulative 3,500 hours of SPE must be accrued during both pre- and postdoctoral studies.

Review the General Assembly’s Illinois Administrative Code for the latest requirements regarding professional experience and any pertinent rules and regulations. Furthermore, refer to this document for Illinois’s Supervision Requirements.

Predoctoral Professional Experience Requirements

The professional experience program must be psychological in nature, relating directly to the focus of your studies and incorporating real-life practices that define the work of a clinical psychologist. Furthermore, the program must also integrate an organized sequence of study that provides hands-on learning experiences and mentorship. A one-year residency or its equivalent must be accumulated within 18 months as stated in the General Assembly’s Illinois Administrative Code.

The predoctoral SPE should typically be completed in a formal American Psychological Association (APA) internship or through an organization that is a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).

Postdoctoral Professional Experience Requirements

A minimum of 1,750 hours of postdoctoral SPE must be accrued after the doctoral degree is awarded. Keep track of all documentation of your experiences during your internships while meeting SPE requirements. This will ensure you have the documentation required to prove the completion of your postdoctoral supervised professional experience. Furthermore, the dean or registrar of your educational institution must also verify the completion of this requirement. Unless otherwise stated, the postdoctoral SPE should be completed in a setting or organization that is a member of the APPIC.

Verification of Required Experience

After downloadin the forms from the Illinois Clinical Psychology Board’s website, fill out the appropriate documents to verify your SPE requirements have been met. This bridges the line of communication between trainees, the supervisor, and the state and ensures that your experiences are accounted for. After completing the appropriate paperwork, mail it to:

Illinois Clinical Psychologists Licensing and Disciplinary Committee
Department of Professional Regulation
320 W Washington Street, 3rd FL
Springfield, IL 62786

3. Pass the Illinois Licensing Exam

In accordance with Illinois psychology licensing law, all applicants must take and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). The EPPP is a computerized test offered at multiple locations throughout the state of Illinois and throughout the nation. In order to pass this examination, a scaled score of 500 or more is required. You can prepare for the exam by signing up for the EPPP practice exam before registering for the final test. This provides you the opportunity to become accustomed to the rigorous demands of the examination. When you are ready to apply for licensure, you may register for the EPPP here. The EPPP is owned by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and is administered by Prometric.

For a comprehensive overview of the examination requirements, visit Illinois’s Clinical Psychologist Licensing Act.

4. Submit an Application for Psychologist Licensure in Illinois

Before submitting your final application, we suggest browsing through these additional requirements, procedures, fees, and other pertinent responsibilities.

After you’ve successfully completed the Application for Licensure as a Psychologist in Illinois, mail it to:

Illinois Clinical Psychologists Licensing and Disciplinary Committee
Department of Professional Regulation
320 W Washington Street, 3rd FL
Springfield, IL 62786

Additional Requirements and Information

The Illinois IDFPR details all the instructions needed to successfully complete the psychology licensure procedure as described above. It also includes pertinent information concerning additional information including:

  • Spotting drug or alcohol abuse
  • Child Abuse Coursework Procedures and Requirement
  • How to renew an existing license or add extra credentials
  • Additional specifics concerning the SPE requirements

1. American Psychological Association. http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/internships.aspx
2. Association of State Provincial Psychology Boards. https://www.asppb.net/