Nebraska Psychology Licensure Requirements
In Nebraska, psychologist licenses are issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). To obtain a license to practice psychology in Nebraska, you will need to meet educational requirements, earn a certain number of supervised professional hours, pass two exams, and submit an application to DHHS. Because this can seem intimidating to many people, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide to help you through it. On this page, you will find detailed instructions for every part of the licensure process as well as frequently asked questions such as:
» How do I become a psychologist in Nebraska?
» I have earned a PhD or PsyD and I am ready to learn how to get a psychologist license in Nebraska.
» What are Nebraska’s supervised professional experience rules and regulations?
» What psychology exams are required in Nebraska?
» Can I become licensed in Nebraska with only a master’s degree?
» I am already a licensed psychologist in another state; how do I become licensed in Nebraska by reciprocity?
» How do I renew my psychology license in Nebraska?
» How much do psychologists in Nebraska make?
Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in Nebraska
There are three main steps to becoming a licensed psychologist in Nebraska. First, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree (and may choose to earn an optional master’s degree in psychology). Next, you must earn a doctoral degree in psychology. The third and final step is to complete the licensure process required by DHHS.
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) a master’s degree in psychology.
The first step towards becoming a licensed psychologist is to complete a bachelor’s degree, which generally takes four years (120 credits) to complete if you are attending school full-time. It can be helpful to study psychology as an undergraduate, but it is not required; many people major in other subjects at this stage. Depending on the school you attend and the area you study, you will earn either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree when you finish, and both of these degrees are accepted by graduate programs in psychology.
After you finish your bachelor’s degree, you can consider earning a stand-alone master’s degree in psychology. This is an optional step because most students enrolled in doctoral programs (see Step 2) earn master’s degrees before they graduate. However, a stand-alone master’s degree can help you gain more practical experience or meet prerequisites for doctoral programs if you did not study psychology as an undergraduate. In Nebraska, you can also become licensed as a psychological assistant with a master’s degree, so this is a good option if you are interested in working in psychology but do not want to become a psychologist. Master’s degree programs are usually about two years long (35-45 credits) and award either Master of Science (MS) or Master of Arts (MA) degrees to graduates. To be admitted into a master’s degree program, you may need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and may need to meet other prerequisites (e.g., certain psychology coursework).
2. Earn a PsyD or PhD in psychology.
After you finish your bachelor’s degree (and a master’s degree, if you choose to earn one), the next step is to complete a doctoral degree in psychology. Doctoral programs in psychology award either Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degrees. There are some differences between these degrees, so it is helpful to familiarize yourself with them before applying to doctoral programs. Depending on the requirements of the specific program you attend, earning a doctoral degree usually takes between four and seven years.
To become licensed as a psychologist in Nebraska, you will need to earn your doctoral degree from a program in professional psychology that is either accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or is approved by DHHS as being equivalent to APA’s standards. Additionally, your doctoral program must include a year-long internship (at least 1,500 hours) that is APA-accredited or meets equivalent standards. The hours earned during this internship will count towards the supervised professional experience required for licensure.
Please visit our Psychology Schools in Nebraska page for more information about psychology programs to consider applying to.
3. Get licensed to practice psychology in Nebraska.
After you have finished your doctoral degree, you will be ready to begin the process of becoming licensed as a psychologist. For this, you will need to apply for a provisional license, complete the required amount of supervised work experience, take two exams, and submit an application for your permanent license. Each of these steps is described in more detail below.
Nebraska Psychologist Licensing Process
1. Apply for a provisional license.
The first step in the licensure process is to apply for a provisional psychology license, which will allow you to complete your required supervised experience (see Step 2) that you need to earn your full license. To apply for a provisional license, complete the Provisional Psychology License Application form and return it to DHHS along with a $50 application fee. Some parts of this application will need to be completed by other people (e.g., the Verification of Internship in Psychology form), and you will need to complete the Plan of Supervision form with the person who will be supervising you while you are working under your provisional license. In addition to completing all of the forms included in this document, you must also have your graduate transcripts sent to DHHS and complete a criminal background check (which will cost $45.25). The beginning of the application form has a checklist to help you ensure that you provide all of the required materials. DHHS will notify you when your provisional license has been issued and you can begin earning your supervised postdoctoral hours.
2. Gain two years of supervised experience in your area of training.
Before you can be granted a license to practice psychology in Nebraska, you need to complete two total years (3,000 hours) of supervised clinical work. As previously mentioned, the first year of experience (1,500 hours) will be during the required predoctoral internship that you completed before earning your doctoral degree. During this internship, you must receive at least four hours of supervision each week (two of which must be individual supervision) from a licensed psychologist.
The remaining 1,500 hours must be earned after you finish your doctoral degree and have been granted a provisional psychology license. These supervised postdoctoral experience (SPE) hours must be completed within 24 months and at least 1,000 of the hours must come from face-to-face work with patients or clients. During this time, you must receive at least one hour of supervision per week from a licensed psychologist. Your supervisor will need to complete a form attesting to your completion of these supervised hours when you submit your application for full licensure (see Step 4).
3. Pass the Nebraska psychology licensing exams.
Once your provisional license has been granted, you will also become eligible to take the two exams needed for psychology licensure. You can take these at any point before applying for full licensure, including while you are still earning your supervised hours.
One of the exams you will need to take is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), which is a national exam assessing broad psychology knowledge. The EPPP consists of 225 multiple-choice questions, and a scaled score of 500 or higher is considered by DHHS to be passing. It costs $687.50 to take the EPPP, and you will need to request permission to register for it by submitting an Examination Application to DHHS.
While holding your provisional license, you will also need to take Nebraska’s jurisprudence exam. This is an open-book, 100-item test that assesses knowledge of applicable ethical and legal standards as well as psychology-related knowledge. To pass the jurisprudence exam, you will need to correctly answer at least 80% of the questions.
4. Apply for a full psychology license.
After you have completed all of your supervised experience and passed both exams, you can apply for your full psychology license. To do this, complete the Psychology License Application form and submit it to DHHS. You will need to include a license fee, which is typically $183 but is reduced to $45.75 if you are applying during the last six months of an even-numbered year (due to the proximity to licensure renewal dates). Your postdoctoral supervisor will need to complete the Verification of Postdoctoral Experience in Psychology form included in the application and submit it to DHHS.
5. Receive your psychology license from DHHS.
You will be notified by DHHS once your application has been approved and your full psychology license has been granted. Know that you cannot begin practicing without supervision until you have received this notification.
Nebraska Licensure by Reciprocity
If you are licensed in another jurisdiction and are interested in becoming a licensed psychologist, you may be able to apply for licensure by reciprocity. To be eligible for this, you must have been practicing under your current license for at least one year. You will also need to show that your licensure meets Nebraska’s standards by fulfilling at least one of the following criteria:
- Holding a Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ) from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB)
- Holding a Health Service Psychologist credential from the National Register of Health Service Psychologists
- Having a current license from a state that participates in ASPPB’s Agreement of Reciprocity program
- Being able to provide documentation that the state you are currently licensed in required training equivalent to Nebraska’s (APA-accredited doctoral program or equivalent, one-year internship, one-year postdoctoral experience)
If you meet the required criteria, you can apply for licensure by reciprocity by completing the Psychology License Application form and submitting it to DHHS along with the license fee ($183 or $45.75, depending on the month you apply). You will also need to complete a criminal background check, which will cost $45.25. If DHHS determines that you are eligible for licensure by reciprocity, you will need to pass the Nebraska jurisprudence exam before your license is granted.
If you are interested in working in psychology but do not want to become a licensed psychologist, you may want to consider becoming a psychological assistant. Individuals registered as psychological assistants are able to administer, score, and interpret psychological tests under the supervision of a licensed psychologist. To be eligible to work as a psychological assistant, you must complete a master’s degree in counseling, clinical, or educational psychology or hold an educational specialist degree in school psychology. To register, complete the psychological assistant application and return it to DHHS along with a $50 registration fee.
Licensing Renewal and Continuing Competency Information
Once you have received your license to practice psychology in Nebraska, you will need to renew it every two years to keep it active. All licenses expire on the first day of every odd-numbered year. Prior to this expiration date, DHHS will mail you a notice with the paperwork you will need to complete for renewal.
During each two-year renewal period, you must complete 24 hours of continuing competency activities that are directed towards your ongoing development as a psychologist. Any extra hours you earn cannot be applied to the next renewal period. Activities such as attending or leading professional presentations, publishing academic manuscripts, or taking graduate courses can be counted towards the continuing competency hours requirement. DHHS has some guidelines for how many hours can be counted from specific activities as well as which types of activities need to be approved by psychological organizations. For more information about the rules surrounding continuing competency activities, see Section 155-009.01 of Nebraska’s regulations for psychologists.
After you have completed all your continuing competency hours and received your renewal paperwork, complete all required forms and return them to DHHS along with a renewal fee of $183.
Nebraska Psychology Jobs and Salary Information
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the average annual salary for psychologists (excluding postsecondary psychology teachers) in Nebraska is $74,015.1 Postsecondary psychology teachers in Nebraska earn an average of $80,150 per year. 1
Overall, the number of psychologist jobs in Nebraska is expected to increase by an average of 8.2% between 2016 and 2026.2 During this time period, psychologist positions in the “all other” category are expected to see the most growth, with a projected increase of 13.8%.2 Counseling, clinical, and school psychology jobs are expected to grow by 10.8%.2 However, there is not expected to be any increase in industrial-organizational psychology jobs in Nebraska during these years, though this field is expected to grow by 5.9% nationally.2
|Occupation||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists||540||$74,200|
|Psychologists, All Other||N/A||$73,830|
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary||210||$80,150|
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 Nebraska?
In total, it usually takes about 10 years to become a licensed psychologist in Nebraska. However, this can vary based on elements such as the amount of required coursework in your programs, how long you take to earn your supervised hours, and whether or not you decide to complete a stand-alone master’s degree before enrolling in a doctoral program.
What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in Nebraska?
To earn a license to practice psychology in Nebraska, you need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology. This can be either a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) degree. To become licensed in Nebraska, you must earn your doctoral degree from a program that is APA-accredited or meets equivalent requirements, including a one-year clinical internship before graduation.
How much do psychologists in Nebraska make?
The average psychologist salary in Nebraska (excluding postsecondary psychology teachers) is $74,015.1. Postsecondary psychology teachers in the state have an average salary of $80,150 per year. 1
- Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) – State organization that issues professional licenses, including psychology licenses.
- Nebraska Psychological Association (NPA) – State psychology organization with resources and continuing competency activities (including yearly conference).
- Nebraska School Psychologists Association (NSPA) – State organization with resources for school psychologists.
- American Psychological Association (APA) – National psychology organization with a variety of resources including job opportunities and continuing education activities.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Nebraska: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ne.htm
2. Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.projectionscentral.com/projections/longterm