Illinois Psychology Licensure Requirements

If you want to become a licensed clinical psychologist in Illinois, you must meet educational requirements, complete supervised practice hours, and pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). The Psychologists Licensing and Disciplinary Board (the Board) regulates all psychology licensing. This guide will help you understand each step of the psychology licensure process in Illinois.

Table of Contents

How to Become a Psychologist in Illinois

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) a master’s degree in psychology.

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree is the first step toward your journey to becoming a psychologist. You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology or another field. Bachelor’s degrees take about four years of full-time study to complete, with about 120 required credits. Your bachelor’s degree can be in any subject, but note that if it wasn’t in psychology or a closely related field, you may need to complete some prerequisites before beginning a master’s program in psychology.

After completing your bachelor’s degree, you may choose to pursue a master’s degree in psychology or a related field. Completing a master’s degree in psychology can take about two years of full-time study, with programs requiring between 30-40 credits for program completion. It is important to note that many doctoral programs include a master’s degree. If you choose to enter a doctoral psychology program that includes a master’s degree, you do not need to complete a stand-alone master’s program.

2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.

In order to be licensed in Illinois, you must earn a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology from an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited program or a program approved by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. For information about the primary differences between the PsyD and PhD, see our home page. Your program should include three years of full-time study and one year of residence in which doctoral students interact with psychology faculty and other students for additional hands-on training. The doctoral program must also include seven core content areas. In addition, one of the two years of supervised experience you will need for licensure must come from an internship completed during your doctoral program. Overall, doctoral degrees in psychology can take between four to seven years to complete depending on the program and school, whether a master’s degree is included, and other factors.

For a comprehensive list of the doctoral programs offered in Illinois, see our Psychology Schools in Illinois page.

3. Gain two years of supervised experience in your area of training

You will need two years of supervised experience before becoming a licensed psychologist in Illinois: one year should be an internship and one year should be postdoctoral experience. The internship can be completed during your doctoral program and should include a minimum of 1,750 hours completed within a 24-month period. Each week of your internship should involve one hour of face-to-face supervision and two hours of learning activities.

Your year of postdoctoral experience must consist of no less than 1,750 hours of supervised practice occurring after you’ve earned your doctoral degree in psychology, within a 36-month period. You can accumulate your supervised hours on a full-time or part-time basis. If you choose to work full-time you must work at least 35 hours per week in a single setting and you must remain in the same setting for a minimum of six months. If you choose to accumulate hours on a part-time basis, you must accumulate your hours by working 18 or more hours per week in a single setting and you must remain in the same setting for a minimum of nine months. This postdoctoral experience must be supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist for at least one hour per week, every week of your experience. Your supervision needs to be on a one-on-one basis and delivered face-to-face.

4. Submit your application to the Board.

Once you complete your SPE, you will need to submit an online or on paper to the Illinois Board. The application must include official transcripts from your doctoral program, the CCA form (Health Care Workers Charged with or Convicted of Criminal Acts), the ED form (completed by your university and affixed with an official seal), the VE-PSY form (Verification of Employment/Experience), the CT form (only if you have been licensed in another state), and a $50 fee. A list of supporting documents can be found on the Board website.

5. Pass the Examination for Professional Practices in Psychology (EPPP).

After the Board has reviewed your application and it has been approved, they will send you an examination registration form to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), along with further instructions. Taking the EPPP costs $450 plus a testing center fee of $65. You can schedule an appointment for EPPP testing once you have received instructions from the ASPPB. The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is used across most states in the US as the official psychology licensing exam. It is a computerized exam comprised of 225 multiple-choice questions developed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). A passing score of 500 is required, which means that you passed about 70% of the questions on the exam.The ASPPB offers a EPPP practice exam so that you can gain experience answering the exam questions in a timed setting.

6. Receive your license to practice psychology in Illinois.

After you have passed the EPPP, the Board will be notified by the ASPPB. If the rest of your application is complete and the Board determines your eligibility, you will receive your Illinois psychology license.

Illinois Licensure by Endorsement

If you are currently licensed in a different state with “substantially equivalent” requirements to those of Illinois and are seeking licensure in Illinois you can submit an Application for Licensure using the Endorsement instructions. Along with the application, you will need to submit a CCA form, ED form, official transcripts, CT form, and your EPPP exam scores (which must be sent directly to the Board). You can request an EPPP score transfer on the ASPPB website. Applying for licensure in the state of Illinois by endorsement requires a $100 fee. The Board will review applications for licensure by endorsement on a case-by-case basis and will let you know if your application has been approved.

License Renewal and Continuing Education

Clinical and prescribing psychologist licenses expire on September 30 of every even-numbered year. In order to be eligible for licensing renewal in the state of Illinois, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education (CE), with three of those hours dedicated to the ethical practice of clinical psychology. The deadline for completing continuing education credits is September 30 of the licensing renewal year. You can renew your license online and the fee is $80 per year, or $160 every two years. If it is your first time renewing your Illinois license, you do not need to complete CE requirements, but are required to complete them at every renewal thereafter. The Illinois Board provides a list of approved CE providers on its CE fact sheet under the Approved Continuing Education Sponsors and Programs section.

Prescribing Psychologist

To become a prescribing psychologist in Illinois, you will need to hold a current Illinois clinical psychologist license and have completed minimum educational requirements including specific undergraduate and graduate coursework along with a full-time practicum of at least 14 months of supervised clinical training, including a research project. You will also need a passing score on the Psychopharmacology Examination for Psychologists (PEP), administered by the ASPPB. Once these requirements have been met, you will submit the application for prescribing psychologist licensure, either online or on paper, and the accompanying $150 application fee.

As proof of meeting the requirements, you will need to submit the CCA form (Health Care Workers Charged with or Convicted of Criminal Acts), official transcripts, the AC-PP form (Academic Criteria), the TN-PSY form (Clinical Training Practicum), and your passing score on the PEP sent directly to the Board by the ASPPB.

School Psychologist

School psychologists are regulated by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). To become a school psychologist in Illinois, you will need a Professional Educator License (PEL). You can apply for your PEL once you have earned a master’s degree or higher in psychology or educational psychology with a specialization in school psychology from a regionally accredited institution, gained 250 hours of practicum in a school setting or child study center, completed a 1,200 contact hour internship lasting a full school year under the direction of a credentialed school psychologist, passed the Praxis school psychologist exam, and submitted an application through the Educator Licensure Information System.

Senior Psychologist

If you have been a licensed clinical psychologist for 20 years or more, you can apply by endorsement for licensure as a senior psychologist. Along with your application, you must submit the same supporting documents from as above. As part of your application, you must also include proof that you have lawfully practiced clinical psychology for at least 20 years, proof that you graduated with a doctoral degree in psychology from a regionally-accredited college or university, and a $100 fee.

Illinois Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2021, the state of Illinois had the third-highest number of clinical and counseling psychologists, the fourth-highest number of school psychologists, the second-highest number of all other psychologists, and the fifth-highest number of postsecondary psychology teachers in the country.1-4 On average, practicing psychologists in the state earned $92,023 per year as of May 2021.5 Postsecondary teachers in psychology earned an average of $85,420 annually in the state.5 Data from Projections Central predicts that the number of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Illinois will increase by 2.4% by 2030, while all other psychologist jobs are projected to decrease by 3.5%.6 Postsecondary psychology teaching jobs are expected to increase by 5.7%.6

OccupationNumber Employed1Average Annual Salary1
Clinical and Counseling Psychologists4,160$101,090
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN.Av.N.Av.
Psychologists, All Other870$99,740
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary2,100$85,420
School Psychologists3,380$75,240

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a psychologist in Illinois?

The length of time it will take to become a licensed psychologist in Illinois will depend partially on how long it takes to complete your education. A bachelor’s degree can take about four years to complete full time. You may opt to complete a stand-alone master’s prior to applying to a PsyD or PhD program in psychology, which can then take about two more years of education. Then, a PsyD or PhD can range from four to seven years to complete, depending on specialty, whether a master’s is completed as part of the program and other factors. After completing your graduate education you are also required to complete a year of supervised post-doctoral experience. Finally, you must study for and complete the EPPP and have your application approved by the state. The whole process may take about 10 years, although the exact length depends on your circumstances.

What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in Illinois?

The state of Illinois requires a doctoral degree–a PsyD program or PhD program in clinical, school, or counseling psychology–that is accredited by the APA or approved by the National Register.

How much do psychologists in Illinois make?

The BLS reports that, as of May 2021, clinical and counseling psychologists in Illinois earned an average annual income of $101,090, school psychologists earned an average of $75,240, postsecondary psychology teachers earned an average of $85,420, and all other psychologists earned an average annual income of $99,740.5

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Clinical and Counseling Psychologists: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193033.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, School Psychologists: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193034.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Psychologists, All Other: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193039.htm
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251066.htm
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Illinois: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_il.htm
6. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm