Missouri Psychology Licensure Requirements

Missouri is a state with a thriving market for professional psychologists, according to the state’s Economic Research and Information Center. In fact, the employment forecast predicts the psychology industry will grow considerably in the following decade. No wonder so many aspiring psychologists are eyeing Missouri as a place to establish their practice.

As the industry grows, however, the Committee of Psychologists is working to uphold the standards and quality that have made the practice of psychology so renowned in Missouri. Navigating through the application and licensure process in Missouri can seem overwhelming, but with Psychology Degree 411 for help, you can easily take the next step on the journey.

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

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in Missouri

Becoming a licensed psychologist in Missouri is a complex and involved process that takes years to complete. With so many checklists to keep track of, it can be a confusing journey to navigate. At Psychology Degree 411, we’ve outlined the process of becoming a psychologist in Missouri so that you don’t have to:

1. Earn a BS in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Psychology. Earning your BS and master’s degree in psychology will expose you to broad ideas and theories in psychology. During your undergraduate years, you will have the opportunity to learn about the field of psychology and begin deciding what area you’d like to focus your doctorate studies in. A strong undergraduate career will open many doors throughout your career.

2. Earn a PhD or PsyD in Psychology. Earning your PhD or PsyD in psychology is your opportunity to focus on a particular field of interest. It’s during these studies where you’ll define your specialty and learn the specific practices that make that area of practice unique. This will combine both classroom learning with real-world experiences so that you can better understand what it will be like to be a practicing psychologist.

At Psychology Degree 411, we’ve composed a resource of doctorate programs offered in Missouri. Most professional psychologists find that their doctorate studies and experiences form the base for a highly successful lifelong career.

3. Get Licensed to Practice Psychology in Missouri. While you must complete the educational requirements to practice psychology effectively, there are many legal considerations from the state to remember as well. This includes:

Missouri Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete a Background Check and Fingerprint Procedures.

As a psychologist, you will be working with the mental health and hygiene of many people. It’s a unique opportunity that blends social work with medicine. It is for this reason that the Missouri Committee of Psychologists requires all applicants to complete a background check and have their fingerprints taken. The state will take your fingerprint and compare it to those found in criminal databases to ensure that you can work with the welfare of the state’s citizens.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol can fulfill the fingerprinting process for you. You can register on the official website for a background check and fingerprint scan.

If you’d like to learn more about the fingerprinting requirements feel free to review the Committee of Psychologists’ standards online.

2. Complete Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Requirements.

The Committee of Psychologists understands that as valuable as classroom learning is, it’s no replacement for real-life experience. SPE allows applicants to exercise psychology theories and knowledge in a safe yet professional environment. Because trainees will be working with real people, they’ll have the opportunity to work with a wide variety of personality types and deal with a myriad of situations.

SPE is designed to expose the candidate to various situations that are likely to arise in a real-life situation as a practicing psychologist. Learning from these experiences in a supervised setting allows the trainee to learn and grow under the guidance of a mentor. Two years of full-time SPE are expected by the state of Missouri.

To learn more about Missouri’s SPE requirements, review the statutes as set forth by the Committee of Psychologists.

Predoctoral Professional Experience Requirements
After 48 semesters or trimesters, a minimum of one year – or 2,000 hours – must be completed through an internship or other approved SPE.2 Because there are many types of internships and opportunities available for psychology students, the American Psychological Association has set forth specific SPE requirements that an internship must meet in order to qualify.1 Missouri’s Committee of Psychologists provides a comprehensive overview of the regulations for earning predoctoral SPE.2

Postdoctoral Professional Experience Requirements
At least one year, which again is equivalent to 2,000 hours, of SPE must be completed after earning your doctorate degree.2 The SPE must be verified by the Dean or Registrar of the institution from which you received your degree. This experience must have been directly related to your area of study and supervised by a licensed psychologist. By combining this on-the-job experience with classroom learning, you’ll be better equipped to transition into the career of a practicing psychologist.

Verification of Required Experience
Both your predoctoral and postdoctoral SPE must be verified by your supervisor in order for the experience to count towards the SPE requirement. The requirements, which the American Psychological Association supports, ensure that all applicants are experienced and knowledgeable enough to enter the workplace.1

3. Pass the Missouri Psychology Licensing Exams.

One of the final stages of qualifying for psychologist licensure is to pass a comprehensive test that covers a wide range of subjects in psychology. The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology – EPPP – is a multiple choice test that is administered in a timed setting of three hours and 20 minutes. In accordance with Missouri’s Rules and Statutes, a scaled score of 500 or more is required in order to pass.

4. Submit an Application for Psychologist Licensure in Missouri.

It is important to complete the education, experience, and examination requirements – this is a major milestone in your psychology career. Now, you are qualified to submit an application for licensure. Once you’ve reviewed that you have completed everything necessary, fill out the official Application for Licensure. Once completed, mail it to:

State of Missouri
State Committee of Psychologists
3605 Missouri Boulevard
Post Office Box 1335
Jefferson city, Missouri 65102-1335

Additional Requirements and Information

If you’ve done everything as detailed on Psychology Degree 411, you should be in a good position to receive your psychologist licensure. If you have any further questions or considerations, the Committee of Psychologists provides a comprehensive overview of the licensure process. Additional information includes:

  • Educational and coursework requirement
  • Being able to detect alcohol and substance abuse
  • Fees associated with licensure application, renewal, and applicable processes
  • Laws and requirements for practicing psychologists
  • The different kinds of licenses available to psychologists

1. American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/internships.aspx
2. State of Missouri Committee of Psychologists: https://pr.mo.gov/psychologists.asp