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Minnesota Psychology Licensure Requirements

Gaining a license to practice psychology in Minnesota is a multi-step process. You will need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology, complete a certain number of supervised hours, and pass national and state exams. The Minnesota Board of Psychology (the Board) administers psychology licenses in the state. To help you navigate this process, we’ve prepared this guide with step-by-step instructions on becoming a licensed psychologist in Minnesota.

Table of Contents
How to Become a Licensed Psychologist
Licensure by Reciprocity
License Renewal and Continuing Education
Related Licenses
Jobs and Salary Information
Additional Resources
Frequently Asked Questions

How to Become a Psychologist in Minnesota

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

If you plan to become a psychologist in Minnesota, your first step will be to complete a bachelor’s degree. These degrees typically take four years (120 credit hours) to complete. Although majoring in psychology for your bachelor’s degree can provide a good foundation for your graduate studies, it is not required and many students major in other subjects at this stage. However, if you major in a subject other than psychology, you will likely have to complete prerequisite coursework before being admitted into a graduate program.

An optional step after you complete a bachelor’s degree is to enroll in a stand-alone master’s degree program in psychology. The length of these programs can vary, but they usually take around two years (30 to 40 credit hours) to complete. A stand-alone master’s degree can be a good option for anyone who did not study psychology for their bachelor’s degree or people who want more experience before applying to doctoral programs. However, most doctoral students in psychology earn master’s degrees during their programs, so this step is not usually required.

2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.

After completing your bachelor’s degree (and an optional master’s degree), your next step will be to complete a doctoral degree in psychology. The duration of these programs varies based on coursework, research, and clinical requirements, but they usually take four to seven years to complete. There are two types of doctoral degrees in psychology: a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology and a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). If you are not sure which type of program would be the best for you, please see our home page describing the differences between these degrees.

An applicant for licensure in Minnesota must have graduated from a program that meets a number of educational requirements including coursework in specific subjects and direct experience in the practice of psychology. Programs accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) are automatically approved by the Board. If you did not attend one of these programs, your transcript will need to reflect that your program met these requirements or you may be asked to provide additional information. Your training must also include a predoctoral internship that is at least one year (1,800 work hours) long, which you can apply to the supervised experience needed for licensure.

For more information about programs to consider, please visit our page on Psychology Schools in Minnesota.

3. Submit an application to the Board.

After completing your doctoral degree, the first step toward obtaining your Minnesota psychology license will be to submit an application for licensure to the Board through the online portal. Along with this application, you will also need to pay a total of $500 in fees to the Board. The online application contains instructions for all of the information you will need to provide during this step. You will need to have an official transcript sent from your school.

4. Gain two years of supervised professional experience in your area of training.

To be granted a psychology license in Minnesota, you must complete two total years of supervised postdoctoral work in psychology, in addition to the year (1,800 hours) of predoctoral experience you received during your doctoral program. These hours must be completed in no fewer than 12 months and no more than 30; also, you cannot count more than 50 hours of work in a given week towards this experience. Activities that count towards these hours include direct work with patients, administrative tasks related to clinical work, research, and teaching. You and your supervisor will need to complete a supervision agreement before you begin working.

While you are completing your supervised experience, you must receive at least two hours of supervision each week if you are working full time and at least one hour must be individual supervision. If you are working less than full time to earn these hours, the amount of weekly supervision can be adjusted so that you are receiving an equivalent proportion of supervision for your work hours. Your primary supervisor during this time must be a licensed psychologist or an individual with a doctoral degree in psychology who has the appropriate skills and knowledge to provide supervision. You will log your supervision hours using this log. Once you have completed your supervised postdoctoral hours, you will need to update your online application and upload all relevant documentation.

5. Pass the Minnesota psychology licensing exams.

Another requirement for licensure in Minnesota is to pass two exams: the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and Minnesota’s Professional Responsibility Exam (PRE). The Board will notify you when you have been granted permission to sign up for these tests, which is based on their review of your licensure application. Note that you can take these exams while you are still working on your supervised postdoctoral hours.

The EPPP is given by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) and tests your knowledge of psychology across a variety of domains. It is a national exam that consists of 225 multiple-choice items and you need to earn a scaled score of 500 or higher to pass. You can find a practice exam on the EPPP practice exam on the ASPPB website.

The PRE is an at-home exam and consists of questions about the Minnesota Psychology Practice Act rules and statutes. EPPP and PRE scores should be automatically transferred to the Board after you pass these tests, so you should not have to provide any additional documentation for these.

6. Receive your psychology license from the Board.

When you have completed and documented all of the above steps, the Board will notify you when your license has been issued and you are eligible to practice psychology independently.

Minnesota Licensure by Reciprocity

If you are licensed as a psychologist in a different state, you may want to transfer your license to Minnesota. You are eligible to apply for licensure by reciprocity if you have a doctoral degree in psychology and have been licensed in another jurisdiction for at least five years with a clean record. If you meet these criteria, you can submit an application through the online licensure portal along with a $500 application fee. You will also need to take the Professional Responsibility Exam before becoming licensed.

School Psychologist

School psychologists are licensed under the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. To qualify for a Tier 2 license, applicants must not be a National Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) and have completed a school psychology program that is not NASP-accredited. Or, they can qualify with a master’s degree in a school psychology program, have two or more years of preparation in a school psychologist licensure program, and be currently enrolled in a school psychology program. For a Tier 3 license, applicants should have completed a NASP-accredited school psychology preparation program or hold an NCSP credential. For a Tier 4 license, applicants must meet Tier 3 requirements, have three or more years of experience working as a school psychologist in Minnesota, and not have been placed on an improvement plan.

License Renewal and Continuing Education

You will need to renew your Minnesota psychologist license every two years to keep it valid. The application for renewal is on Minnesota’s online licensing portal and you will need to pay $500 each time you renew your license.

During each renewal period, you also need to earn 40 continuing education (CE) credits. One hour of a Board-approved CE activity is equal to one credit, and any extra credits you earn cannot be carried over to the next renewal period. A variety of activities are eligible for CE credits, including attending presentations, teaching classes, or publishing an article. There are limits to how many CE hours you can earn from some activities (see the “eligible CEs” tab on this page for more details). CE activities that are approved by the APA or the ASPPB are automatically approved by the Board to count towards CE requirements. If you are interested in CE activities that are not approved by one of these organizations, you can request pre-approval from the Board to ensure that you will be able to count the hours. The Board also provides a helpful list of pre-approved CE activities on their website.

Minnesota Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as of May 2021, the average yearly salary across all types of psychologists in Minnesota was $84,753.1 Clinical and counseling psychologists had the highest average salary in the state, at $93,790.1 During the 10-year period between 2020 and 2030, the overall number of psychologist jobs is expected to increase by 4.6% in Minnesota, slower than the average national growth expected of 7.5%.2

OccupationNumber Employed1Average Annual Salary1
Clinical and Counseling Psychologists1,260$93,790
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN.Av.N.Av.
Psychologists, All Other610$81,150
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary780$88,450
School Psychologists1,090$79,320

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The minimum requirements for a psychology license in Minnesota are a doctoral degree in psychology, completion of two exams, and 1,800 hours of supervised experience. These steps usually take about 10 years to complete, but the amount of time can vary based on the requirements of the programs you attend, whether you earn an optional stand-alone master’s degree, and how long it takes you to earn your supervised postdoctoral hours.

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

To earn a license to practice psychology in Minnesota, you will need to complete either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. Before applying for for these programs, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree and may also choose to earn a stand-alone master’s degree in psychology, though this is usually optional.

How much do psychologists in Minnesota make?

The average salary for psychologists, including teachers, in Minnesota is $84,753.1 Specifically, counseling and clinical psychologists earned an average salary of $93,790, postsecondary psychology teachers earned an average of $88,450, school psychologists earned $79,320, and psychologists in the “all other” category earned an average salary of $81,150.1

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Minnesota: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm
2. Long Term Occupational Projections: https://www.projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm