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Michigan Psychology Licensure Requirements

Licensure within the state of Michigan is granted by the Michigan Board of Psychology. Whereas limited licenses are provided at the master’s level for those graduating from qualifying institutions with approved degrees, full licensure requires a doctorate degree in addition to the completion of extensive psychology-related experience, an examination, an application, and accompanying paperwork. Because there are many steps to licensure that are specific to the state of Michigan, we have provided answers to several common questions that will help guide prospective candidates through the process:

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

Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in Michigan

Those seeking licensure within Michigan state must complete many years of education. The following three high-level steps will explain the academic background needed as well as additional requirements necessary to obtain a Michigan psychology license.

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

The first step towards becoming a practicing psychologist in the state of Michigan is to pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology or another field. Bachelor’s degree options include a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS), and the program type available varies by institution. A bachelor’s generally involves four years of full-time study, or around 120 semester credits to complete.

After earning a bachelor’s, some psychology licensure candidates choose to complete a master’s program to earn either a Master of Arts (MA) or a Master of Science (MS) degree, which will again depend on the school attended. Those who pursue an undergraduate major outside of psychology may be required to complete additional coursework as prerequisites for admittance to a master’s program. Master’s degrees in Michigan state can take from two to four years, depending on if they are pursued full- or part-time, as well as the specifics of the program, and may require from around 30 to upwards of 40 credit hours. Other candidates choose to complete a dual program where a master’s degree is part of the thesis portion of a doctorate and earned along with a PsyD or a PhD in psychology.

Michigan offers a unique opportunity for limited licensure at the master’s level if the educational institution where a master’s degree is earned is regionally accredited and the program taken is 75% primarily psychological content with at least one course in the areas of assessment techniques, treatment strategies, and ethics and standards. Programs must also include a 500-hour practicum to meet the requirements of the Michigan Board of Psychology. This limited license allows you to practice psychology while under the supervision of a licensed doctorate-level psychologist. Read more about the master’s limited license below.

2. Earn a PsyD or PhD in psychology.

Although Michigan offers limited licensure at the master’s level, doctorate degrees in psychology or a related field from an accredited educational institution are required for full licensure. Degrees that satisfy this requirement may be either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology and must have the accreditation of the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) or hold a National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (NR) and Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) designation. If you would like to learn more about which type of doctoral program is right for you, check out this article on the APA’s website. Verification of program criteria will be obtained once transcripts are sent from the institution attended to the Michigan Board of Psychology and must include both the date of graduation as well as the degree earned. In addition to meeting these education standards, full licensure will also require a total of 4,000 hours of experience, usually with 2,000 hours completed as part of a doctoral program internship and the other 2,000 hours finished post-degree.

Those enrolled in a psychology doctoral degree program and who are completing their first 2,000-hour internship will need to apply for a temporary Doctoral Educational Limited License (TLLP) and submit a Certification of Enrollment in a Doctoral Degree Program for Psychology form to the Board directly from their accredited institution of learning. This license costs $98.80, lasts two years, and is renewable three times. Overall, doctoral programs can take between four and seven years to complete.

Find a list of educational institutions within the state of Michigan that provide the psychology education background necessary for licensure.

3. Get licensed to practice psychology in Michigan.

Doctoral limited licensure is also a requirement before candidates can receive credit for any of the 2,000 post-degree experience hours required to obtain full licensure in the state of Michigan. Passing the EPPP with a set minimum score as determined by the Board is an additional mandatory step as is application submission and providing all necessary accompanying documentation. Continue reading for more detailed information about this process.

Michigan Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Submit your application for limited licensure.

Thousands of hours of experience are required for full psychology licensure, including 2,000 hours of post-degree training. If these will be done within Michigan state, doctoral program graduates must gain a Doctoral Educational Limited License before starting postdoctoral degree experience. Limited licensure allows psychology candidates to practice as psychologists while under the guidance of a supervising licensed professional. All completed work and documentation are reviewed by the supervisor at set intervals for the duration of the post-degree experience. The Board must be sent transcripts verifying doctorate degree completion from the granting accredited institution and payment of $93.60. Once obtained, this license may be renewed yearly up to five times.

2. Gain two years of supervised professional experience (SPE) in your area of training.

To be licensed as a psychologist in Michigan, you must complete 4,000 hours of psychology-related training. If done in Michigan, all hours must occur under the supervision of licensed psychologists in good standing, unless an alternative supervisor has gained prior Board approval. You will need to have supervisors fill out and submit Psychology Supervision Evaluation forms stating that you have worked at least 2,000 hours at an internship during your doctoral program and an additional 2,000 hours post-degree. Under certain circumstances, as determined by the Board, a postdoctoral internship can serve as an alternative to the doctoral program internship requirement.

The Board requires that applicants work a minimum of 20 hours each week at a qualifying internship to receive credit. The additional 2,000 hours of post-degree experience must be completed at a healthcare setting and within a 24-month timeframe, gained at a rate of between 16 and 40 hours per week with a minimum of four monthly hours of in-person meetings with an approved supervisor. On a case-by-case basis, the Board may consider extenuating circumstances and grant individuals time extensions to meet hour requirements.

3. Submit your application to the Board.

Michigan uses the same general application whether applying for master’s level limited licensure, doctoral-level limited licensure, or full licensure and requests that you check a box to specify which of the several available license types you wish to obtain. When seeking full licensure, select the Psychologist—By Examination option. Documentation to send to the Board in addition to an application include official transcripts from the school in which your doctoral degree was granted and Psychology Supervision Evaluation forms completed by supervisors for the 2,000 hours gained during an doctoral internship and the 2,000 further hours accrued during post-degree experience unless submitted previously.

Applications for full licensure in the state of Michigan can be accessed online and require payment of $156. Transcripts or forms may be emailed to bpldata@michigan.gov. Upon receiving your application, any necessary documents, and fee, applicants will be sent instructions including an ID number to be used for the fingerprinting and background check process. You must also have passed the EPPP examination before your application will be approved.

4. Pass the Michigan psychology licensing exam.

Candidates who hold a doctoral educational limited license or have fulfilled all other requirements and submitted an application for a full psychologist license may register for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Candidates must email the Michigan Board of Psychology to obtain further information. Around two to three weeks following your email you will be contacted directly by Pearson VUE with specific details for account activation. Activation must occur within 90 days of this email. Following registration, another email with Authorization to Test (ATT) information will be sent. The ATT will provide a 90-day window in which the exam must be scheduled. Those pursuing full licensure at the doctoral level must obtain a score of no less than 500. Find out more about the EPPP test on the ASPPB website.

5. Receive your psychology license from the Board.

Processing of completed applications will take approximately four to six weeks. Your psychology license will be issued in the mail seven to 10 business days later.

Michigan Licensure by Endorsement

To receive a license by endorsement in Michigan state, candidates must have been a licensed psychologist in another state for ten or more years, currently have an ASPPB Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ), or a National Register of Health Services Psychologists Health Service Provider (HSP) credential. Proof of credentialing must be sent to the Michigan Board of Psychology directly via the granting organization.

Complete the licensure application by providing information on other states or countries in which you held psychology licensure and the specifics of each relevant license. Full disclosure of any disciplinary actions or sanctions against you will be required, as well as documentation attesting that there are none present or pending. Following application submission and a $156 fee, you will receive information on the criminal background check requirement.

Master’s Limited Psychologist

For people who want to practice psychology under supervision and who only have a master’s in psychology degree, Michigan offers a limited psychology license for master’s degree holders. In addition to completing an approved master’s degree in psychology that is regionally-accredited and that follows coursework and practicum requirements listed in Step 1, you must complete 2,000 hours of post-degree experience within a 24-month period at an approved health care setting for limited licensure at the master’s level. To begin accruing experience hours, Michigan residents must hold a Master’s Educational Limited License (TLLP). This will be granted once the Board obtains a complete Temporary Limited License application, along with a Certificate of Education form, official transcripts, and a Psychology Supervision Evaluation verifying your 500-hour master’s degree practicum.

After completing 2,000 hours of supervised post-degree training, you may submit a Master’s Limited Psychologist by Exam license application. This license allows you to practice psychology while under the guidance of a licensed psychologist. In addition, you are required to pass the EPPP examination with a score of 450 or greater for application approval.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information

Details on license renewal and fees will be sent 45-60 days before your license expires. Renewals completed online require payment by credit card or e-check. Initial licenses are valid for from four months to a year, or until 9/1, the expiration date for psychologist licenses in Michigan state. Before renewal, initial licenses do not require continuing education. Once renewed, a license will remain valid for two years, during which time psychologists must have finished a minimum of 30 hours of approved continuing professional education (CPE). Extra credits gained during a renewal period cannot be used towards a future one.

Programs and activities must be varied to count. At least two hours must cover the topics of pain and symptom management and a minimum of three hours must cover ethics. Charts with examples of approved CE activities and the limitations for each may be found in the Michigan state administrative code for psychology.

Michigan Psychology Jobs and Salary Information

Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Michigan have an average annual salary of $82,570 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).1 All other psychologists earn a mean yearly pay of $83,930 and postsecondary psychology teachers earn an average salary of $87,790.1 Projections Central predicts that the numbers of psychologists (excluding teachers) will increase by 10% by the year 2016.2 Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists are expected to experience an even larger growth of 13.5% within the same time frame.2

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists2,320$82,570
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN/AN/A
Psychologists, All Other180$83,930
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary830$87,790

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 Michigan?

Undergraduate degrees generally take four years of study, and master’s can range between two to four years. Doctoral programs that include master’s may take five to six years or longer. In addition to this in-depth education, full licensure also requires 2,000 of post-doctoral degree experience. This can be completed in as little as one year or as many as two. The application process and EPPP exam may add even more time. After all educational and experience requirements are met, it will likely take over a decade to become a practicing psychologist within the state of Michigan.

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

You will need a doctoral degree from an accredited academic institution for full licensure. The program must also have APA or CPA accreditation or NR/ASPPB designation. Those pursuing limited licensure at the master’s level must have an approved master’s degree but do not need a doctoral-level education.

How much do psychologists in Michigan make?

The average yearly salary of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists is $82,570.1 Other psychologists in Michigan earn $87,790 a year, on average, and postsecondary psychology instructors make mean incomes of $87,790 yearly.1

Additional Resources

  • Michigan Psychological Association (MPA) – Made up of over 600 psychologists, the Michigan Psychological Association provides valuable resources for both members, potential psychology licensure candidates, and the general public. Quick links to continuing education requirements, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, the general rules for the practice of psychology within Michigan state, and more are all available on their main page.
  • Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) – This resource provides all of the necessary information, applications, and forms for psychology licensure within the state, as well as the most recent Board information and answers to frequently asked questions.
  • The Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL) – The Bureau of Professional Licensing website provides both telephone and fax numbers for its main office as well as enforcement, licensing, and I&I divisions. Mailing addresses and maps for the Bureau are included as well.
  • The American Psychological Association (APA) – The national organization for psychologists in the United States.

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