Missouri Psychology Licensure Requirements
To become a psychologist in Missouri, you must apply for licensure through the State Committee of Psychologists (SCOP or the Board). Applications will not be approved unless candidates meet a series of requirements including obtaining a doctoral degree in psychology, accumulating 3,500 hours of supervised experience, and passing a series of exams. This guide will walk you through all the steps necessary for licensure in Missouri.
Table of Contents
- How to Become a Licensed Psychologist
- Licensure by Reciprocity and Endorsement
- License Renewal and Continuing Education
- Related Licenses
- Jobs and Salary Information
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- License Renewal and Continuing Education
How to Become a Psychologist in Missouri
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) a master’s degree in psychology.
Those hoping to practice psychology in Missouri as licensed professionals should first earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. Keep in mind that if your bachelor’s degree is not in psychology, you may be required to take additional coursework before entering a graduate program. On average, bachelor’s degrees take approximately four years of full-time study and around 120 credit hours for completion.
After earning a bachelor’s, many psychology candidates get a stand-alone master’s degree in psychology in psychology or a similar area. Stand-alone master’s degrees in psychology usually take around two years and from 30 to 40 credit hours to finish. Many doctoral programs include a master’s degree as part of their curricula, so it is not necessary to complete a stand-alone master’s in some cases.
2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.
To become a licensed psychologist in Missouri, you must complete a doctoral program in psychology that includes a year of related supervised professional experience. Acceptable programs may result in either a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology degree. You can read about the differences between these two psychology degree types on our home page. Your program will need to be either fully- or provisionally- accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA), or the Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS), and include supervised training or be provisionally or fully designated or approved by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) or the Council for the National Register of Health Services Providers in Psychology. The Board may approve programs without such accreditation given they meet a long list of additional state-specific standards. Doctoral programs can be completed in four to seven years, depending on the school and the rate at which it is pursued. To meet the professional experience requirements for licensure in Missouri, students will need to have accrued a minimum of 1,500 internship hours during this time.
Find psychology schools in Missouri that offer programs to help you meet education requirements for licensure.
3. Submit your application for a provisional license to the Board.
Psychology licensure candidates in Missouri must complete an application for provisional licensure in order to complete their supervised experience hours. The application must be signed and notarized, and include a $150 fee, a 2×2 passport-style photo, a Supervision Agreement, a Post-Degree Supervision Plan, a Social Security Number Disclosure Notice, three mental health professional references, proof of submission of fingerprints for the background check, and an attestation of having completed two hours of training in suicide assessment, referral, treatment, and management. SCOP will require universities where graduate degrees were earned to send in a final official transcript. Under your provisional license, you will be able to complete the supervised experience described in the next step. Provisional licenses expire after one year and are not renewable.
4. Complete the required 3,500 hours of supervised experience in your area of training.
Missouri requires a total of 3,500 hours of supervised professional experience. At least 1,500 hours must be obtained during your doctoral internship over a period between one and two years. The remaining 2,000 hours of experience can be completed as part of a preinternship, internship, predoctoral postinternship professional experience, or postdoctoral training. Preinternship and predoctoral postinternship experience must take place after the initial year of a doctoral program unless you have successfully completed a psychology (or closely related) master’s degree. As many as 750 internship hours may also be applied to the 2,000-hour requirement as long as the initial 1,500 hours of the internship have already been met. The director or supervisor in charge of the experience must confirm all hours for them to count.
Postinternship and postdoctoral experience must take place under the supervision of a primary or secondary supervisor who takes full professional responsibility for work and who will have one-on-one in-person meetings with applicants for at least one hour a month. Those who wish to provide health services must be supervised by a licensed psychologist and health service provider. Postdoctoral supervised experience must be completed within 24 months, occur at a maximum of 50 hours per week, and be in areas related to the applicant’s area of focus. You will need to send SCOP an Attestation of Post-Degree Professional Experience form for all postdoctoral experience after it has been completed, in order to complete your application for full licensure and become eligible to take the exam.
5. Pass the Missouri psychology licensing exams.
After the application and accompanying documentation are reviewed, an authorization-to-test (ATT) document with registration information for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) will be emailed to candidates. The test should be scheduled within 60 days of getting an ATT letter, either by calling Prometric’s testing center or through the ASPPB website. Scores will be sent from the testing agency to SCOP twice monthly and then will be sent out to licensure candidates as soon as possible. A minimum score of 500 is required to pass. An EPPP practice exam can be found on the ASPPB website.
Psychology licensure candidates in Missouri must also complete a written jurisprudence examination on ethical conduct and the rules for psychology practice in the state. There are 100 questions that should be completed within three hours and a score of 70% is required to pass. This written examination is given monthly. An oral examination, given every couple of months, will also be required for Missouri psychology licensure candidates.
6. Receive your license from SCOP.
Once your application has been received and accepted, you will wait until the Board grants you your license to practice psychology in Missouri.
Missouri Licensure by Reciprocity and Endorsement
To gain a license by reciprocity or endorsement of EPPP scores, individuals must send SCOP an application along with a $150 fee, a Social Security Number Disclosure Notice, three mental health professional references, a Verification of Licensure form, and proof of submission of fingerprints for a background check. A final official transcript should also be sent directly from the school, a Post-Degree Supervision Plan, and Attestation of Post Doctoral Supervised Experience if they are not practicing in a state with ASPPB reciprocity, are not listed as a provider by the National Register of Health, are not a diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), do not hold CPQ qualification, and have not taken an accredited program and completed more than five years of professional experience. While you are waiting for your license, you may receive a temporary license allowing you to practice under some restrictions. You will use the same application to receive your temporary license.
Out-of-state applicants cannot have violations, suspensions, or revocations of their licenses and must pass a written jurisprudence examination on psychology regulations in Missouri. Applicants may be required to take an oral examination as well. Those wishing to obtain certification as a health service provider must be an American Board of Professional Psychology diplomate in an area of approved specialty, a National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology member, or have completed satisfactory academic, training, or professional experience as determined by the Committee.
License Renewal and Continuing Education
Registration renewal notices will be mailed to licensed psychologists and registration must occur before or upon the given date. For renewal, applicants must provide documentation of 40 hours of continuing education (CE) within the prior two years. At least two hours must be completed in suicide assessment, referral, treatment, and management training. Starting in January 2024, three hours must be in ethics. Acceptable CE hours include the completion of educational seminars, graduate-level coursework, or independent studies and the presentation of educational seminars or graduate-level courses.
Psychological Health Service Provider
Psychologists who wish to be certified or registered as a psychological health service provider (HSP) must have a graduate degree in psychology in an approved APA area related to health service delivery or have finished a respecialization program in such an area in addition to completing a minimum of a year of post-degree supervised experience. Postdoctoral supervised experience hours can begin as soon as educational requirements for the doctoral degree have been completed as verified by an educational institution or upon conferral of a degree.
School Psychologist/School Psychological Examiner
In order to become licensed as a school psychologist or a school psychological examiner in Missouri, you will need an Initial Student Services (ISS) Certificate from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). A master’s degree from a school with a student services program approved by DESE is required, as well as a recommendation for certification from a designated official at your school. School psychologists must also pass the Praxis exam in school counseling. Applicants will complete the initial application online.
Missouri Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for all psychologists (including teachers) in Missouri was $$83,890 as of May 2021.1 Clinical and counseling psychologists earned an average yearly salary of $72,530; postsecondary psychology teachers earned $882,380 per year; school psychologists earned an average of $81,520; and all other psychologists earned $97,620 yearly on average.1 Projections Central predicts that the largest growth will be among postsecondary psychology teachers at 11.6% through 2030, followed by clinical, counseling, and school psychologists at 6.8%.2.
|Occupation||Number Employed1||Average Annual Salary1|
|Clinical and Counseling Psychologists||1,290||$72,530|
|Psychologists, All Other||160||$97,620|
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary||670||$82,380|
- Missouri Association of School Psychologists (MASP): Promotes increased communication among educators, works to improve the practice of school psychology, and aims to increase student access to services.
- Missouri Psychological Association (MOPA): Aims to advance psychology as a profession, science, and means to benefit society and to improve the qualifications of those entering the field.
- Mental Health America of Eastern Missouri (MHA): Strives to improve the mental health of the general public and offers educational and supportive programs for those within the field seeking to improve their skills.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to become a psychologist in Missouri?
Undergraduate degrees are often four-year-long programs of full-time study. Master’s may be pursued alone (and require from two to three years for completion) or be included within a doctoral program. Doctoral programs vary in length from around five to as many as seven years. Post-degree experience will lengthen the process further. It will take many licensure candidates at least, if not more than, a decade to become psychologists in Missouri.
What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in Missouri?
Candidates for psychology licensure in Missouri will need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology or a related area that meets certain accreditation standards as determined by the Committee or else a series of additional requirements.
How much do psychologists in Missouri make?
In Missouri, the average annual salary for psychologists, excluding educators, was $83,890 per year as of May 2021.1 Factors that influence salary include location, proximity to an urban area, and years of experience.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Missouri: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mo.htm
2. Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/projections/longterm