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Illinois Psychology Licensure Requirements

If you are in the process of pursuing a career in psychology, you can start working towards obtaining a license to practice in Illinois through the Illinois Clinical Psychologists Licensing and Disciplinary Board. In order to gain licensure in the state of Illinois, you must meet educational requirements and complete supervised practice hours prior to completing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Below you will find a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you navigate how to become a licensed psychologist in Illinois. Some common questions that come up during completion of the licensure process in Illinois include:

» 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.
» What are Illinois’s supervised professional experience rules and regulations?
» What psychology exams are required in Illinois?
» I am already a licensed psychologist in another state; how do I become licensed in Illinois by endorsement?
» What other psychologist licenses are available in Illinois?
» How do I renew my psychology license in Illinois?
» How much do psychologists in Illinois make?

Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in Illinois

The road to becoming a licensed psychologist in Illinois can be arduous, but attainable. Prior to being eligible to take the licensure test in the state, you must obtain the adequate educational background. Here are the four high-level steps to becoming a psychologist in Illinois:

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

Obtaining a bachelor’s degree is the first step towards your journey in becoming a psychologist. You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology or another field. Bachelor’s degrees include Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees and take about four years of full-time study to complete, with about 120 required credits for completion.

After completing your bachelor’s degree, you may choose to pursue a master’s degree in psychology or a related field. Master’s degrees can be Master of Science (MS) or Master of Arts (MA) degrees depending on the university. Completing a master’s degree can take about two years of full-time study, with programs requiring between 36-54 credits for program completion. If your bachelor’s degree wasn’t in psychology, you may need to complete some prerequisites before beginning a master’s program in psychology. Many master’s programs in psychology require that applicants submit their GRE or GMAT scores as part of their applications. 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. Visit our Psychology Schools page for more information about schools for prospective psychologists.

2. Earn a PsyD or PhD in psychology.

The next step towards becoming a licensed psychologist is to earn a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or approved by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. For information about the primary differences between the two degrees, read this article on the American Psychological Association’s (APA) website. To be licensed in Illinois, you must have completed about 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. Overall, doctoral degrees in psychology can take between four to seven years to complete depending on the program and school, if 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. Get licensed to practice psychology in Illinois.

The journey to becoming a licensed psychologist in the state of Illinois is complex but rewarding. After completing the educational requirements, you can go ahead and begin the process of licensure. In the following section are the steps towards becoming licensed by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations Psychologist Licensing & Disciplinary Board.

Illinois Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Gain a year of post-doctoral supervised professional experience (SPE).

If you are aiming to become a licensed psychologist in the state of Illinois, you must complete a year of supervised postdoctoral experience under the supervision of a licensed clinical psychologist after obtaining your PsyD or PhD in psychology. This year is in addition to the one year of residence required during your doctoral program in psychology. In some cases, depending on the doctoral program you are enrolled in, you can begin this one-year requirement after completing your required coursework and are awaiting graduation. During this one year of postdoctoral experience, you are expected to complete 1,750 hours or more of supervised practice. You could take longer than a year if needed (e.g., completing hours on a part-time basis), but need to complete all 1,750 hours within 36 months to meet the licensing rules for the state of Illinois.

2. Submit an application for examination to the Board.

Once you complete SPE, you can submit an Application for Examination to the the Illinois Department of Professional Regulations Psychologist Licensing & Disciplinary Board. The application must include: official transcripts 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. 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.

3. Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).

The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is used across most states in the US as the official psychology licensing exam. The EPPP is a computerized exam comprised of 225 multiple choice questions. A passing score is 500, which means that you passed about 70% of the questions on the exam. 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.

4. Submit your application to the Board.

The final step towards obtaining your psychology license in the state of Illinois is to submit your Application for Licensure to the Illinois Board. If you have received a passing score on the EPPP, you will file your submission as an acceptance of your examination. You will use the same application form and your exam scores must either be reported directly from the Interstate Reporting Service. There is an additional $50 fee due with this final part of the application process.

5. Receive your license to practice psychology in Illinois.

After the Board reviews your licensure application and determines your eligibility, you will receive your Illinois psychology license.

Illinois Licensure by Endorsement

If you have been licensed in a different state with “substantially equivalent” requirements to those of Illinois and are seeking licensure in Illinois you can submit a Application for Licensure using the Endorsement of License instructions found on page 4. Along with the application, you will need to submit the same accompanying documents from Step 2 of the Licensing Process section above and your EPPP exam scores must be sent directly to the Board. You can request an EPPP score transfer here. 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.

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 Step 2 of the Licensing Process section 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 college, university, or school recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or a similar predecessor entity, and a $100 fee.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information

In order to be eligible for licensing renewal in the state of Illinois, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education, 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. The fee for renewing your psychology license in Illinois is $80 per year. 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 here under the Approved Continuing Education Sponsors and Programs section.

Illinois Psychology Jobs and Salary Information

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the state of Illinois has the fifth-highest number of clincial, counseling, and school psychologists.1On average, clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Illinois earn $76,150 annually based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).2 Postsecondary teachers in psychology earn an average of $89,680 annually in the state and all other psychologists earn an average of $75,060.2 Data from Projections Central predicts that the number of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Illinois will increase by 5.8% by 2026.3 Comparable data regarding growth in other jobs in psychology in Illinois (not including those in teaching) is unavailable.

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists3,990$76,150
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN/AN/A
Psychologists, All Other460$75,060
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary1,220$89,680

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.2

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 speciality, 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 graduate degree in a PsyD program or PhD program in clinical, school, or counseling psychology accredited by the American Psychological Association or approved by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists.

How much do psychologists in Illinois make?

The BLS reports that clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Illinois earn an average annual income of $76,150, postsecondary psychology teachers earn an average of $89,680, and all other psychologists earn an average annual income of $75,060.2

Additional Resources

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 19-3031 Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193031.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Illinois: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_il.htm
3. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm