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New Mexico Psychology Licensure Requirements

Becoming a psychologist in New Mexico is a complicated process, but practicing psychologists across the state have found it to be worthwhile. If you’re interested in helping people struggling with mental health and hygiene, then it’s important to become licensed to practice psychology in New Mexico. The steps to achieve licensure are described here. These are some important questions about becoming a psychologist in New Mexico:

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

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in New Mexico

Many find the process of licensure to be challenging and even confusing, but it doesn’t have to be with the right resources. Whether you’re just starting out as a new student, or finishing up your PhD or PsyD in psychology, you’ll find the process to licensure described below, in this step-by-step guide.

1. Earn a BS in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Psychology. The key to a strong foundation for psychology is earning your BS and master’s degree in psychology, which will equip you to deal with all types of issues. This will also provide a strong base for your doctorate work in a more specialized field.

2. Earn a PhD or PsyD in Psychology. If your undergraduate studies left you wanting to practice psychology professionally, then you must earn your PhD or PsyD in psychology after your six years of undergraduate and master’s studies. During these years of education, you will develop your area of expertise and will gain real-life experience with supervision from a professional.

Because where you decide to earn your PhD or PsyD is such an important decision, we’ve created a list of doctoral psychology programs offered in New Mexico. Use this list to select the program and school that best meets your needs and aspirations for future learning in the field.

3. Get Licensed to Practice Psychology in New Mexico. Now that you have completed your education requirements, it’s time to earn your license so that you can become a practicing psychologist in the state. The following section explains how:

New Mexico Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete a Background Check and Fingerprint Procedures.

The New Mexico Board of Psychologist Examiners understands how much of an impact psychologists have in the lives of everyday citizens. To protect patients and their welfare, the board of Psychologist Examiners requires all applicants and licensees to agree to a basic background check.

This check includes a fingerprint scan, which will confirm that you don’t have a criminal history that could compromise your ability to safely interact with patients. We suggest working with Fingerprinting Services of New Mexico to fulfill this requirement.

If you’re interested in learning more about the background check and the process involved in confirming your ability to work with patients, please review the procedures published by the New Mexico Board of Psychologist Examiners webpage.

2. Complete Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Requirements.

In accordance with the requirements set forth by the New Mexico Board of Psychologist Examiners, applicants must complete two years – or 3,000 hours – of supervised profession experience. This SPE must be completed during both your pre-doctoral and post-doctoral studies.2

Coupled with formal education, SPE ensures appropriate experience levels and applicable knowledge for psychologist associates and applicants. SPE hours must be verified upon completion, or your application for licensure will not be successful.

Predoctoral Professional Experience Requirements
As part of your pre-doctoral practicum, you may complete 1 year of SPE, which translates to a minimum of 1,500 hours.2 Though there are many opportunities for aspiring psychologists to gain experience, the SPE must meet the standards of the American Psychological Association in order to fulfill this requirement.1 If you’re unsure about whether an opportunity qualifies for SPE, be sure to check with the Board of Psychologist Examiners for the appropriate SPE requirements.2

Postdoctoral Professional Experience Requirements
After earning your Psy.D. or Ph.D. in Psychology, the Board requires you to complete one more year of SPE. This ensures that you have the opportunity to exercise the psychology theories learned in the classroom in the workplace.

Verification of Required Experience
Your supervisor and the Dean or Registrar of the institution where you received your doctoral degree must verify the validity of your SPE fulfillment. Fill out the verification form found on the Board’s website, and mail it to:

Board of Psychologist Examiners
New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department
Boards and Commission Division
Toney Anaya Building
2550 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

The American Psychological Association provides a more complete overview of the SPE requirement and why it’s so important to your professional development.1

3. Pass The New Mexico Psychology Licensing Exams.

Once you’ve completed your education and SPE requirements, one of the final steps left is to prove your knowledge to the state on an exam. In order to do this, you must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology with a scaled score of 500 or higher.

The EPPP is a test that is administered nationally, consisting of 225 multiple-choice questions that must be answered in a timed environment. All applicants should register for and take the EPPP practice exam before attempting the legitimate exam.

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

Now that you’ve fulfilled every requirement, you only need to fill out and submit your application to become a licensed psychologist in New Mexico. Be sure to mail it to:

Board of Psychologist Examiners
New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department
Boards and Commission Division
Toney Anaya Building
2550 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

Additional Requirements and Information

With this guide from Psychology Degree 411, you have an outline of all the steps required to earn your license to practice psychology in New Mexico. If you still have questions about the process, however, review the guidelines established by the Board of Psychologist Examiners. Additional information that this resource covers includes:

  • Information on the associated fees and fines
  • Access to all the forms and applications necessary for licensure and practice
  • Coursework focusing on child abuse
  • How to look up a license
  • Information for those seeking to have their license renewed

References:
1. American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/internships.aspx
2. State of New Mexico Board of Psychologist Examiners: http://www.rld.state.nm.us/boards/Psychologist_Examiners.aspx