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Louisiana Psychology Licensure Requirements

If you are interested in becoming a licensed psychologist in Louisiana, you will need to fulfill the criteria set forth by the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, which is the organization that issues psychology licenses in the state. These requirements include completing a doctoral degree in psychology, obtaining supervised work experience, and passing multiple exams. To help you through the process of becoming a licensed psychologist in Louisiana, we’ve prepared a guide with detailed information on each of these steps. On this page, you will also find answers to questions you may have, such as:

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

Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in Louisiana

There are three main steps to becoming a licensed psychologist in Louisiana. First, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree in any subject, and may also choose to complete a master’s degree in psychology (though this is optional). Next, you will need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology. After that, you can begin the process of applying for licensure.

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

The first step to becoming a psychologist is to complete a bachelor’s degree. These degrees usually require at least 120 credits and take about four years to complete if you are attending school full-time. You do not have to major in psychology at this stage, and depending on what school you attend and the subject you study, you may be awarded either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.

After you finish your bachelor’s degree, you may choose to complete a master’s degree in psychology. Earning a master’s degree is optional and can be done as a stand-alone program or as part of a combined doctoral program. A stand-alone master’s degree program can give you more experience in psychology and help you decide whether you are ready to apply to doctoral programs (see Step 2 below). To be admitted into a master’s degree program, you will likely need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and may need to meet certain educational prerequisites, particularly if you did not major in psychology for your bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree programs usually take about two to three years to complete, though this can vary depending on the requirements of the program. When you finish, you will earn either a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) degree.

2. Earn a PsyD or PhD in psychology.

After you have earned a bachelor’s degree (and a master’s degree, if you have chosen to complete one), your next step will be to earn a doctoral degree in psychology. Doctoral programs in psychology typically take between four and seven years to complete, and award either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology to graduates. Either of these degrees will prepare you to become a licensed psychologist in Louisiana, but there are some important differences between them. If you are unsure which one would be a better fit for you, the American Psychological Association (APA) has a page describing the differences between the two degrees.

In Louisiana, you must earn your doctoral degree from a program that meets certain educational requirements set forth by the Board. If you attend a program that is APA-accredited or listed in the National Register of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), your degree will be automatically accepted by the Board as meeting the required criteria. If you attend a program that is not approved by one of these organizations, the Board will need to review information about your program to ensure that it meets their standards. If your doctoral degree is in an area of psychology that involves working directly with patients, your training must also include at least 300 hours of supervised practicum experience and 1,500 supervised internship hours in a healthcare setting.

Please visit our Psychology Schools in Louisiana page for more information about programs to consider.

3. Get licensed to practice psychology in Louisiana.

After you have earned a PsyD or PhD in psychology, you can begin the process of applying for licensure in Louisiana. Below are step-by-step instructions for each part of this process, including submitting application forms to the Board, submitting to a background check, completing your supervised work experience, and taking several exams. The Board also provides a flowchart outlining this process.

Note that the steps described below assume that you will be completing your postdoctoral supervised experience hours in Louisiana. If you are applying for licensure and have already earned all of these hours (for example, if you completed a postdoctoral program in another state before applying), please see this alternative flowchart outlining the steps you will need to take to become licensed.

Louisiana Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Submit your application for provisional licensure to the Board.

The first step in Louisiana’s psychology licensure process is to submit an Application for License form and indicate that you are applying for a provisional license. During this step, you will also need to have all of your graduate transcripts sent to the Board and pay a $200 application fee.

In addition to the application form and fee, you will need to include the Specialty Declaration Form, which asks you to identify the area of psychology that you plan to practice in. If you choose one of the applied healthcare specialties on this form (counseling, clinical, school, or neuropsychology), you will also need to include the Practicum Documentation form with your application and have your internship director submit the Internship Documentation form. Finally, you will need to include the Supervised Practice Plan so that the Board is aware of your arrangements for postdoctoral supervision.

2. Complete a background check.

After your application materials have been received and approved by the Board, they will inform you that you can complete the criminal background check (CBC) that is required for licensure. Once you are eligible for this step, you will need to complete the CBC Package and submit it with a $50 fee.

3. Pass the Louisiana psychology licensing exams.

You will need to pass several exams to become fully licensed as a psychologist in Louisiana. The first exam is the jurisprudence exam discussed below in Step 4, followed by the EPPP exam in Step 6 and the oral exam in Step 8. The EPPP and oral exam are taken after you receive your provisional license, while the jurisprudence exam must be taken when you apply for the provisional license.

4. Pass the Louisiana jurisprudence exam.

The only exam that is required for your provisional license is Louisiana’s jurisprudence exam. After the Board has processed your application for a provisional license, they will send you the exam. You must complete and return the exam within 30 days. Items will cover ethical and legal standards related to the practice of psychology in Louisiana. The fee for the jurisprudence exam is $75.

5. Gain two years (4,000 hours) of supervised professional experience (SPE) in your area of training.

Louisiana requires all applicants for psychology licensure to earn 4,000 hours of supervised professional experience (SPE). Up to 2,000 hours of a predoctoral internship can be counted towards SPE requirements if the program you attended meets the Board’s criteria. Among other requirements, a qualifying internship must be an organized program that provides two hours per week of individual supervision, two hours per week of didactics, and at least 375 hours of service-related activities.

The remainder of your SPE hours must be earned after your degree has been completed and your provisional license has been issued. During this time, you must receive at least one hour of supervision each week from a psychologist who has been licensed for at least one year. Once you have completed these postdoctoral hours, have your supervisor submit the Postdoctoral Supervision Documentation form to the Board.

6. Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.

When your provisional license is issued, the Board will also give you permission to register for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), which costs $687.50. The EPPP is a national exam that covers many different domains of psychology. There are 225 multiple-choice questions on the EPPP and you must earn a scaled score of 500 or higher. You can take the EPPP at any time after the Board has given you permission, including while you are still earning your SPE hours.

7. Submit an application for a full psychology license.

After you have completed all of your SPE hours as well as the EPPP, you will need to submit an application to the Board for a full license. For this, complete the Application for License form and submit it to the Board with a $200 application fee.

8. Complete the Board’s oral examination and receive your license.

After the Board has reviewed your application for a full psychology license, you will be given permission to schedule your oral exam, which is the last step towards licensure. The exam costs $250 and covers topics related to competence and knowledge in psychology. If you pass this exam, you will receive your license later the same day.

Louisiana Licensure by Reciprocity

If you are licensed in another state and are considering working in Louisiana, you will likely be interested in applying for licensure by reciprocity. To be eligible for this, however, you must have held a license for five years with no disciplinary actions against you and must have either a Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ) from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards or be certified by the American Board of Professional Psychology. To apply for licensure by reciprocity, complete the Application for Licensure Via Reciprocity and submit it to the Board with a $200 application fee. You may need to submit supplemental forms with this application, all of which can be found on the forms page of the Board’s website. Before your license is issued, you will also need to pass the Louisiana jurisprudence exam, which costs $75.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Development Information

Each year, you will need to renew your license to keep it active. Licenses expire on July 31 every year, and must be renewed before that date. The Board keeps a current renewal form on their website. You can either complete this form and mail it in or renew your license online. License renewal fees are $350 each year (filing a paper application costs an additional $15).

Every two years, you will also need to complete 40 hours of continuing professional development (CPD). You will need to report completion of these hours on either even- or odd-numbered years, depending on your license number. During each two-year renewal period, at least two CPD hours must be in ethics or law. You must also earn credits in at least two of the following three categories: professional activities (e.g., peer consultation, conferences), academic activities (e.g., taking a graduate course, publishing academic works), and traditional activities (e.g., workshops, self-study). To qualify towards CPD requirements, activities must be sponsored by Board-approved entities such as accredited universities, national or regional psychology associations, or the Louisiana Department of Health.

Louisiana Psychology Jobs and Salary Information

The average salary for psychologists in Louisiana (with the exception of postsecondary psychology teachers) is $73,975, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1 There is no data available for the average salary of postsecondary psychology teachers.

There is expected to be an increase in the number of psychology jobs in Louisiana between 2016 and 2026. Across all fields of practicing psychology, the average amount of growth is projected to be 11.35%.2 Counseling, clinical, and school psychology positions are expected to grow by 11.5% during that time period, while psychology positions in the “all other” category are expected to grow by 11.2%.2

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists490$72,490
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN/AN/A
Psychologists, All Other23075,460
Psychology Teachers, PostsecondaryN/AN/A

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.1

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The entire process of becoming a practicing psychologist in Louisiana usually takes about 10 years. However, this is influenced by factors such as whether you earn a master’s degree before enrolling in a doctoral program, how many courses your programs require, and how much postdoctoral experience you need to earn before applying for your license.

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

To be able to earn a psychology license in Louisiana, you must earn either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. This must be earned from an APA-accredited or equivalent program, and must include 300 hours of a supervised practicum and a 1,500-hour supervised internship in a healthcare setting.

How much do psychologists in Louisiana make?

The average salary for practicing psychologists in Louisiana is $73,975.1 However, the amount any single psychologist makes is dependent on factors such as their area of specialty, professional experience, and proximity to metropolitan locations.

Additional Resources

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Louisiana: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_la.htm
2. Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm