logo

New Jersey Psychology Licensure Requirements

Working as a licensed psychologist is one of the most respected professions in any state. However, abiding by the licensing procedure set forth by the New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners and Department of Law and Public Safety can be a long process. We’ve created a complete timeline and checklist of earning your license to practice in New Jersey. Some of the most common concerns include:

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

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in New Jersey

No matter where you are in the process of becoming a psychologist, Psychology Degree 411 can help you take the next step to accomplish your career goals. Below we highlight the three major steps every candidate must take to becoming a psychologist in New Jersey.

1. Earn a BS in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Before you can grow your professional psychology career in New Jersey, you must build a solid foundation of knowledge and experience in the field. This process begins by earning your BS and master’s degree in psychology.

2. Earn a PhD or PsyD in Psychology. Because psychology is a combination between the medical field and social work, the state of New Jersey requires all applicants to have a PhD or PsyD in psychology from an accredited institution.

Since it can be difficult to select a PhD or PsyD program that’s right for you, we’ve created a list of programs offered in the state of New Jersey. Selecting the right program for you will ensure professional growth and success as you pursue a career in the mental health industry.

3. Get Licensed to Practice Psychology in New Jersey. You must earn your license from the State Board of Psychological Examiners before you are able to practice in New Jersey. The full guidelines are available through the State Board, but we’ve summarized the steps below:

New Jersey Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete a Background Check and Fingerprint Procedures.

Because psychologists are so intertwined in the lives of patients they work with, the State Board of Psychological Examiners is very strict about the licensing process.

One of the first steps that an applicant must take is to obtain a basic background check. Part of this criminal history review is to cross-reference the candidate’s fingerprint with the state’s databases to ensure there is no criminal history that could compromise the welfare and safety of patients. To contact the Criminal History Review Unit for this requirement, we highly suggest contacting the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs to learn more about the process and schedule your appointment.

2. Complete Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Requirements.

The New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners requires that all applicants finish two years – or 3,500 hours – of supervised professional experience (SPE). While half of this time may be completed predoctorally, the other half must be performed after earning your PhD or PsyD in psychology.

The New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners is extremely specific as to how the SPE must be completed.2 Your SPE must also include 1,000 hours of direct interaction with clients, 200 hours of supervision, and 550 hours accumulated in the workplace such as research, consulting, record-keeping, and other work-related responsibilities.

To learn more about the specific requirements, review the information presented by the New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners.

Predoctoral Professional Experience Requirements
As you’re earning your B.S. or master’s degree in psychology, you will be expected to earn a minimum of 1,750 hours of SPE.2 This may include internships and other opportunities in a professional and supervised work setting.

However, not every opportunity will count towards SPE. To ensure that your experience is qualified for the SPE requirement, you’ll want to ensure that it meets the standards presented by the American Psychological Association.1 Furthermore, the New Jersey Board of Psychological Examiners details the various opportunities that quality for SPE.2

Postdoctoral Professional Experience Requirements
After earning your Psy.D. or Ph.D. in psychology, the state of New Jersey requires postdoctoral candidates to complete the remaining 1,750 hours of SPE.2 The qualifications and requirements for postdoctoral SPE are similar to those for the predoctoral experience.

Verification of Required Experience
Because SPE is such a major component of your educational experience, New Jersey is very strict about verifying the supervised experience.3 Be sure that your supervisor completes the appropriate documentation and that the institution where you received your doctorate degree also verifies the experience.

3. Pass the New Jersey Psychology Licensing Exams

Once you’ve accumulated the knowledge and experience to practice as a mental health professional, it’s time to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. A scaled score of 500 or higher is required on the test. Otherwise known as the EPPP, this nationally standardized test is composed of 225 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in under 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Since it is crucial to pass this examination in the licensing process, all candidates should study and register for the EPPP practice exam before taking the real exam.

4. Submit an Application for Psychologist Licensure in New Jersey.

The last thing left to do is to apply for psychologist licensure in New Jersey. Before submitting the application, complete one final check of the requirements expected of you by the New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners. After all, you want to ensure that you complete the application correctly the first time.

After you complete the Application for Licensure as a Practicing Psychologist in New Jersey, mail it to:

New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
Division of Consumer Affairs
State Board of Psychological Examiners
124 Halsey Street, 6th Floor, P.O. Box 45017
Newark, New Jersey 07101

Additional Requirements and Information

This is an overview of every step you must take to become a licensed psychologist in New Jersey. If you want to learn more, you should review the official site for the New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners, which covers:

  • The growth of the psychology industry in the state of New Jersey
  • Associated fees for licensure and applications
  • Coursework focusing on child abuse
  • How to renew or maintain your license
  • Where to find applications for licensure or paperwork to document SPE

References:
1. American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/internships.aspx
2. State of New Jersey Board of Psychological Examiners: http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/psy/
3. New Jersey Psychological Association: http://www.psychologynj.org/