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Michigan Psychology Licensure Requirements

Divided into two peninsulas, the state of Michigan is an attractive area to study and practice psychology. With competitive average pay and an excellent environment to raise a family, more and more professionals are eyeing the Wolverine State to earn their psychology license and establish a career.

Because the psychology industry is growing so quickly in the state, the Michigan Board of Psychology defines and protects the integrity of the title “psychologist.” To earn your license and practice professionally as a psychologist, it’s important to understand the education and legal requirements to practice in the state. At Psychology Degree 411, we’ve compiled and answered some of the most common questions pertaining to earning your license in Michigan:

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

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in Michigan

To ensure the top level of professionalism in the practice of psychology, the Michigan Board of Psychology outlines three required steps to practice in the state. You must finish your education, earn professional experience, and pass the licensing examination. No matter where you are in the process of accomplishing these three steps, Psychology Degree can help you take the next one.

1. Earn a BA or BS in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Earning your bachelor’s and master’s degrees lays the foundation for your doctorate education, which will allow you to thrive in a career as a psychologist. You will gain a broad understanding of the field of psychology and will have the opportunity to begin narrowing down your field of focus. Both an undergraduate and master’s program are required prerequisites to earning your doctorate degree in psychology.

2. Earn a PhD or PsyD in Psychology. Psychologists blend medicine and counseling in their careers. They diagnose, evaluate, and treat emotional and mental issues in a variety of patients. This work requires expertise in not only medicine but in psychological disorders and overall mental health as well. It is for this reason that a doctorate in psychology from an accredited institution is required before you can earn your license in Michigan. On top of the years that you spend earning your bachelor’s and master’s degrees, you can expect to continue studying an additional two to six years to earn your PhD or PsyD. The educational journey is long, but worth it for those who are passionate about the field.

There are many PhD and PsyD programs in Michigan, and it’s important to find the doctorate program that best suits your goals and career aspirations. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list here at Psychology Degree 411 of psychology doctorate programs in Michigan. With leading universities and research institutions based in the Wolverine State, you can find the right school to accomplish your psychology goals.

3. Get Licensed to Practice Psychology in Michigan. Once you’ve completed your education, it’s time to begin the process of acquiring your license to legally and professionally practice psychology in Michigan:

Michigan Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete a Background Check and Fingerprint Procedures.

The state of Michigan acknowledges the vital role that psychologists play in citizens’ lives. The professional responsibility is considerable for psychologists, and the state of Michigan is dedicated to ensuring the protection and welfare of its citizens. It’s for this very reason that a background check is required to earn your license.

This basic background check includes a fingerprinting procedure, which will reference your fingerprint with criminal databases at the state and federal levels. To fulfill this requirement, you may use MorphoTrust to have your fingerprinting process completed. Here is the complete list of MorphoTrust locations in Michigan. We suggest calling your closest provider to learn more about their hours of operation and to schedule an appointment.

If you’re interested in learning more about the background check and fingerprinting process, we recommend checking out the psychology license application packet published by the Michigan Board of Psychology.

2. Complete Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Requirements.

The Michigan Board of Psychology requires all applicants to earn a minimum of two years of supervised professional experience (SPE).

This may be completed in the form of an internship, residency, or research, as long as the experience meets the standards set by the American Psychological Association (APA). The SPE must incorporate the latest practices in psychology and be completed with the guidance of a licensed psychologist.

The Michigan Board of Psychology website fully covers all the expectations and standards for SPE.

Predoctoral Professional Experience Requirements
During your doctoral studies, you must complete a minimum of 2,000 hours worth of internship credit.2 This experience must be supervised by a fully licensed and practicing psychologist in the state of Michigan. The predoctoral SPE will be certified to show that the experience occurred in an organized health care environment. To do this, the supervisor must submit the form directly to the Board of Psychology. Any SPE confirmation forms sent by the applicant will be invalid.

Professional psychology-based experience may fulfill the SPE requirement as long as it meets the standards defined by the American Psychological Association.1 The Michigan Board of Psychology further details the requirements and accepted methods to earn predoctoral SPE.

Postdoctoral Professional Experience Requirements
Once you’ve earned your doctoral degree, an additional 2,000 hours of postdoctoral SPE must be completed and verified to the Board of Psychology.2 This SPE requirement must be fulfilled within no more than two years following the completion of your doctorate. You will be expected to work for a minimum of 16 hours per week in the field of psychology in which you intend to practice.

Verification of Required Experience
To ensure that you get credit for both your predoctoral and postdoctoral SPE, be sure to complete the documents provided by the Michigan Board of Psychology. The dean or registrar of the institution at which you received your doctoral degree should also verify your experience.

For any further questions concerning the SPE requirement, see the Michigan Board of Psychology website.

3. Pass The Michigan Psychology Licensing Exams.

Now that you’ve completed your education and SPE requirements, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Before you can apply for licensure in Michigan, you must first pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. Otherwise known as the EPPP, this test ensures that you have the basic knowledge and understanding necessary to work as a professional psychologist in the state. The exam consists of 225 multiple-choice questions that are administered via computer.

Unlike many states that require a score of 500 as the passing point, Michigan sets a score of 450 or higher on the EPPP to qualify for licensure. Because passing this examination is crucial to proceeding to the next stage of the licensing process, you are encouraged to sign up to take the EPPP practice exam.

4. Submit an Application for Psychologist Licensure in Michigan.

Achieving your licensure as a psychologist in the state of Michigan is right around the corner. Once you’ve met all of the requirements you can submit your Application for Psychologist Licensure in Michigan. Mail the completed application to:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Board of Psychology
PO Box 30670
Lansing, MI 48909

Additional Requirements and Information

If you’d like to learn more about the licensure process, visit Michigan Board of Psychologists, which details additional information including:

  • How to verify whether a psychologist has a license
  • Being able to detect alcohol and substance abuse
  • Coursework focusing on child abuse
  • Waiver of EPPP examination
  • What to expect during the application process

References:
1. American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/internships.aspx
2. State of Michigan Board of Psychology: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-72600_72603_27529_27552—,00.html