Louisiana Psychology Licensure Requirements

Louisiana might best be known for delicious Cajun food, Mardi Gras, and timeless Southern charm, but it’s also a great place to practice psychology – the mental health industry in Louisiana is a strong one. If you’re dreaming about helping to improve the quality of life for patients and taking part in this competitive industry, you’ll have to follow the procedures set forth by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Below are some of the most common questions people have about becoming a psychologist in Louisiana.

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

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in Louisiana

Becoming a psychologist in Louisiana is a lifelong process – after all, once you become licensed, it’s natural to want to perfect your craft so you can better serve citizens of the state. The process of getting your license, however, can be a complex and lengthy one. At Psychology Degree 411, we’ve outlined all the necessary steps to help you better understand the credentialing process.

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

Just like anything else in life, becoming a licensed psychologist requires strong groundwork on which you can establish your career. Here, the groundwork that must be set is receiving your both your BS and master’s degrees in psychology before pursuing your doctorate. At Psychology Degree 411, we provide the nation’s most comprehensive resource for psychology programs at any level.

2. Earn a PhD or PsyD in Psychology.

In the state of Louisiana, you must be at least 21 years old and possess a doctorate degree from an accredited institution before you can practice as a licensed psychologist in the state. While BS and master’s programs will give you a broader overview of the field of psychology and its practices, pursuing your doctorate will allow you to narrow your career focus and study areas pertinent to your chosen field. If you are currently in the undergraduate phase of your education or are acquiring your master’s degree, it would be wise to seek counsel from one of your professors or a role model psychologist to learn more about the opportunities available to you.

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of PhD or PsyD programs offered in Louisiana. Aside from recognized universities and institutions for higher learning, the growing industry and internship opportunities makes Louisiana one of the best places in the nation to study.

3. Get Licensed to Practice Psychology in Louisiana.

After you’ve earned your doctorate degree and have fulfilled the state’s educational requirements, there are still a few more steps you must take to become a licensed psychologist. Below, we’ve detailed the Louisiana licensing process and the resources necessary to help you accomplish your goal.

Louisiana Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete a Background Check and Fingerprint Procedures.

The State of Louisiana is serious about protecting the well being and safety of its citizens. It’s for this reason that the state requires basic background checks and fingerprint processing for certain areas of employment. For instance, working at a day care, social services, or in the medical industry all requires criminal history screenings. And yes, to become a licensed psychologist in the state of Louisiana, you must also complete a basic background check with fingerprint processing.

As you apply to receive your license in Louisiana, you must work with the state’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information to fulfill this requirement of the licensure process. Be sure to visit the Louisiana State Police website to learn more about how this process should be completed. While this process may sound intimidating, keep in mind that it is required to ensure not only your safety, but the safety of those who need mental and medical help.

If you’re interested in learning more about the background check and how this fits into the process of receiving your license to practice psychology, be sure to visit the Louisiana State Board of Examiners webpage.

2. Complete Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Requirements

As required by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners, you must earn at least two years of supervised professional experience – or SPE. These two years of SPE require a minimum of 4,000 hours. Up to 1,500 hours may be completed pre-doctorally and may even include your experience in an internship setting.2 The remaining hours, however, must be completed post-doctorally and be completed with the supervision of an approved professional. It is preferred that the SPE occurs in a location related to your aspired field of practice.

Your SPE will allow you to see the theories and principles that you’ve learned in the classroom in a real, working environment. Through SPE, you’ll be able to interact with different types of people and experience the nuances of working as a psychologist. This opportunity also allows you to learn from a practicing psychologist, who may become a mentor and role model as you fulfill your SPE requirements.

Many applicants find that they return to their supervisors to use as references when they apply for their licensure to practice psychology in Louisiana. Whether it’s an internship or post-doctoral opportunity, at Psychology Degree 411, we strongly encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunity to work on the field with a licensed, practicing psychologist.

Predoctoral Professional Experience Requirements

According to the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, you must submit a supervised practice plan to the state before you can earn this experience. Failing to do so could mean that your hours aren’t counted towards your SPE requirements, so it’s vital to ensure that you not only meet Louisiana’s Supervision Requirements, but that you follow the guidelines below:

An APA pre-doctoral psychology internship qualifies for the first 1,500 hours of your SPE Requirements. As long as this internship follows the guidelines presented by the American Psychological Association, you may use this as part of your licensure process. 1 Of course, the Louisiana Psychological Association as well as the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychology detail the specific requirements and guidelines for this process.2

Postdoctoral Professional Experience Requirements

As part of your undergraduate experience, you’re required to complete 1,500 hours of qualified SPE.2 This can include any internships and other professional opportunities throughout your undergraduate years as long as they’re approved by the state of Louisiana.

Verification of Required Experience

Remember to use the American Psychological Association as a resource that can help you understand the mandates concerning the verification of required experience.1 Furthermore, use the official internship document to verify your post-doctoral experience. This must be completed by the director or supervisor of your internship training.

3. Pass The Louisiana Psychology Licensing Exams

One of the final steps of becoming a licensed psychologist in the state of Louisiana is passing the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology – EPPP. This is a test that you must complete in 3 hours and 20 minutes or less. It is administered via computer and is composed of 225 questions. In order to pass this licensing exam, you must achieve a scaled score of 500 or more.

Because this test is so important to working as a licensed psychologist in Louisiana, we suggest studying for and taking the EPPP practice exam. The Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists details the entire examination process and the requirements for becoming a licensed professional in the state.

4. Submit an Application for Psychologist Licensure in Louisiana

Again, at Psychology Degree 411 we strongly advise all applicants to check with the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists for rules, opinions, fees, and legal procedures before submitting the completed application. Remember that the application itself costs $200 to file with the state and that an application for Temporary Licensure costs a little less at $125.

After filling out the Application for Psychologist Licensure in Louisiana, be sure to mail it to:

Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists
8280 YMCA Plaza Drive, Bldg. 8-B
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70810
(225) 763-3935

Additional Requirements and Information

If you are still unsure about any aspect of the process of becoming a professional psychologist in Louisiana and the licensing procedure, be sure to review the official Board of Examiners of Psychologists’ official website, as it explains the entire process and legal requirements in great detail. Other aspects that are covered include:

  • Fees and costs of becoming a licensed psychologist in Louisiana
  • Being able to detect alcohol and substance abuse
  • Requirements for SPE
  • Frequently asked questions concerning the education process
  • Statutory Reference Compilation

1. American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/internships.aspx
2. Louisiana State Board of Examiners: http://www.lsbep.org/