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Iowa Psychology Licensure Requirements

For those who wish to get their license in order to practice psychology in the state of Iowa, this guide will provide key information on the required steps. The state of Iowa and the Iowa Board of Psychology have set up specific laws in order to protect the title of “psychologist.” If you are in the process of getting your license or have just started on the educational path towards becoming a psychologist, continue reading to learn more about the process.

» How do I become a Psychologist in Iowa?
» I have earned a PhD or PsyD and I am ready to learn how to get a Psychologist License in Iowa.
» What are Iowa’s Supervised Professional Experience Rules and Regulations?
» What Psychology Exams are required in Iowa?
» Where can I go to find required forms and additional information about becoming a psychologist in Iowa?

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in Iowa

Psychology Degree 411 can guide you through the steps to get your license and be able to practice psychology:

1. Earn a BA or BS in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Psychology. You will first need to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree to begin the process towards earning your license. There are various well-regarded psychology degree programs in Iowa. Psychology Degree 411 is your resource for navigating through the education options Iowa provides.

2. Earn a PhD or PsyD in Psychology. To practice psychology in the state of Iowa, or anywhere else, you will need a doctoral degree in one of the fields of psychology. It’s important to make sure that you earn your degree from a college or university that has been accredited appropriately. See our Iowa psychology schools page to find schools that are right for you.

3. Get Licensed to Practice Psychology in Iowa. Follow the below steps before applying for a license to practice psychology in the state of Iowa. Be sure to abide by the requirements created by the Iowa Board of Psychology and psychology licensing law.

Iowa Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete the Required Background Check and Fingerprint Process

To become a psychologist in Iowa, you need to have a clean criminal background. Before you apply for a license, you must first submit to a national criminal history background check.

You must have fingerprints taken in order to cross-reference your background for any criminal record. There are a variety of facilities that will be able to assist you with this procedure. The IdentoGO website can help you with finding a fingerprinting location. Contact offices near you in advance to learn about their hours of operation, fees, and procedures.

To find out more about these requirements, visit the Iowa Board of Psychology website.

2. Complete Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Requirements

Supervised professional experience, or SPE, is designed to give you practical clinical experience in psychology. Before you are able to work as a licensed psychologist in Iowa, there are SPE hours you will be required to complete.

According to rule 240.6(1) in the Iowa Board of Psychology Licensure Rules document, you must complete 1,500 hours of an approved internship. You must complete these hours within two years of earning your PhD or PsyD.

You can look at the Iowa Board of Psychology Licensure Rules to learn more about Iowa’s SPE requirements.

Predoctoral Professional Experience Requirements:
You are allowed to complete 1,500 hours of the required SPE as your predoctoral professional experience. This can only occur after you have completed 48 semester hours of psychological graduate coursework. These completed units cannot include time spent on your thesis, dissertation, or internship.

It’s typically recommended that prospective psychologists complete an American Psychological Association predoctoral psychology internship to complete SPE hours. To qualify for licensure, the SPE must follow the rules for licensure in Iowa and be accredited by the APA. To learn more about the SPE hours you need in the state of Iowa, refer to the Iowa Board of Psychology Licensure Rules document.

Postdoctoral Professional Experience Requirements:
You need to complete 1,500 hours of postdoctoral SPE which needs to be certified by the dean or registrar of your educational institution. Postdoctoral SPE must typically be completed through training programs approved by the APA or the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC).

Verification of Required Experience:
In order to facilitate communication between your supervisors and the state, make sure to fill out the following form. Once you have filled out the form, send it to:

Iowa Department of Public Health
Lucas State Office Bldg, 5th Floor
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

3. Pass the Iowa Psychology Licensing Examination

The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, otherwise known as the EPPP, is your next task. The exam consists of 225 multiple-choice questions that are administered by computer at testing centers located throughout Iowa. A score of 500 is required to pass, based on a scaled point system. Once you’ve applied for your license, register for the official EPPP, the national exam that is mandated in accordance with Iowa psychology licensing law. Then, register for the EPPP practice exam to study before the test.

To learn more about the test, additional examination requirements, fees that may be involved, or other similar types of questions, check the Iowa Board of Psychology website.

4. Submit an Application for Psychologist Licensure in Iowa

Make sure to review all of the requirements laid out on the Iowa Board of Psychology website before sending in your application for licensure. After you have completed the Application for Licensure to Practice Psychology in Iowa form, mail it to:

Iowa Department of Public Health
Lucas State Office Bldg, 5th Floor
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075

Additional Requirements and Information

The Iowa Board of Psychology provides the information you need to get your license to practice psychology. You will be able to find information regarding all you need to know, including:

  • Waiver of EPPP
  • Detection of alcohol or substance abuse
  • Spousal or Partner Abuse Detection and Intervention requirement
  • Aging and Long Term Care requirements
  • Child Abuse Coursework Requirement

References:
1. American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/internships.aspx
2. Iowa Board of Psychology: http://idph.iowa.gov/Licensure/Iowa-Board-of-Psychology