New York Psychology Licensure Requirements

The licensing process for psychologists in New York begins with the New York State Education Department’s Office of the Professions. To become a licensed psychologist, you must meet four requirements. First, you must have a good moral character. Second, you must be at least 21 years old. Third, you must complete the educational, examination, and experience requirements. Fourth, applicants must also show proof that they have completed two hours of coursework or training on child abuse and maltreatment identification.

The licensing process in New York can be overwhelming. To make it easier, we have put together this step-by-step guide to help you through the process. We will address the following questions, and more:

» How do I become a psychologist in New York?
» I have earned a PhD or PsyD and I am ready to learn how to get a psychologist license in New York.
» What are New York’s supervised professional experience rules and regulations?
» What psychology exams are required in New York?
» I am already a licensed psychologist in another state; how do I become licensed in New York by reciprocity?
» How do I renew my psychology license in New York?
» How much do psychologists in New York make?

Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in New York

Getting a New York license to practice psychology is easier if you follow some simple steps. These include completing our education, gaining professional experience, and taking the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). One of the most important steps is earning a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited school. There are many psychology schools in New York offering doctoral degrees as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees to prepare you for this process. We’ve outlined the steps to licensure in further detail here:

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in psychology.

A bachelor’s degree in psychology or another field is the first step toward become a psychologist. You can earn either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in psychology. A bachelor’s degree, which amounts to around 120 semester credits, usually takes about four years to complete if you are attending school full time. Once your bachelor’s degree is complete, you may need to obtain a master’s degree in psychology or a field related to psychology. As with the bachelor’s degree, this may either be a Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Arts (MA). The programs at each school will differ, but typically you must obtain 36-54 semester credits for a master’s, which usually takes about two years of full-time study. If you obtained your bachelor’s degree in something other than psychology, you may need to take some other courses before you enter the master’s program. It is worth noting that many universities offer a combined master’s and doctoral program that allows you to work on both degrees as part of the same program. If you choose to go this route, you will not have to apply for a stand-alone master’s program.

2. Earn a PsyD or PhD in psychology.

You can earn two types of doctorate degrees in psychology. A Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology is typically for those who also want to teach or do research in a college or university setting. A Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) is typically for those who want to do clinical work and it includes different types of degrees: clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and school psychology, among others. For details on the differences between the two types of doctoral degrees, see the American Psychology Association’s (APA’s) explanation. New York psychologists must have a doctoral degree of either kind from a program registered by the Office of Professions as licensure qualifying or a program that the Department has determined to be a “substantial equivalent.” You can often find out if the university offers a program acceptable to the Office of Professions from the school’s course catalog. If you are not sure the program meets the requirements, contact the Office of Professions. The doctorate must be comprised of at least three full-time study years or the part-time equivalent. Thirty hours of the coursework must have occurred at the university that grants the doctorate. Applicants must also complete a one-year practicum, internship, or have field experience as required by New York law. More information about educational requirements can be found on the Office of Professions website.

3. Get licensed to practice psychology in New York.

Once you have completed your education requirements, you can begin the process to apply for your license to practice psychology. The Office of Professions has several requirements that are outlined in the following section.

New York Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Submit your application to the Office of Professions for a limited permit.

Once you have completed our doctorate degree, you can apply for a limited permit to practice psychology under supervision. This will count toward the mandatory two years of experience you need to be fully licensed. The permit is valid for an aggregate of three years but an extension of one year may be granted in certain cases.. Limited permits may also be obtained to those who are licensed in another state or whose full applications are awaiting approval. Out-of-state applicants applying for a limited permit must fill out the Certification of Out-of-State Licensure and Examination Grades Form 3, which outlines their experience and grades. If you are applying for a limited permit, as mentioned above, the fee is $70. The fees must be sent by check or money order to the NYS Education Department Office of the Professions.

2. Gain two years of supervised professional experience (SPE) in your area of training.

The Office of Professions requires applicants to have field experience that is supervised for two years, which equals 1,750 clock hours each year. Applicants can also have the part-time equivalent but full-time and part-time experience must be consistent with the state’s education law. Applicants must complete one of the two experience years after they have completed their doctorate degree and dissertation. The Board will accept a doctoral-level practicum or internship or research approved by a university as long as the experience was not included in your dissertation or thesis. If you taught psychology at a university or college, this may also be accepted if it meets the SPE requirements of the state’s education law.

The experience must be supervised by a qualified, licensed psychologist who designs and coordinates the program. The supervisor must be employed as your consultant and you must have a title that reflects your training status. He or she must be employed by or own the practice where the experience is obtained. The supervisor must have at least two hours of weekly supervision that includes a one-hour face-to-face supervision that addresses the services you provide. The supervisor accepts the responsibility for your services while you are gaining experience to get your license. A supervisor must complete the Application for Limited Permit Form 5A.

The Office of Professions requires that experience be continuous for at least six months. If the experience is gained in an academic setting, it must be within a period of no less than one semester. The teaching experience must be not less than six credit hours per semester. The six-month periods are not required to be consecutive.

3. Pass the Examination for Professional Practices in Psychology (EPPP).

New York State requires that applicants pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, known as the EPPP. New York accepts a scaled score of 75, meaning the applicant must get 70% of the questions correct. Once you have submitted your application, the Office of Professions will determine if you are eligible, then send the notice to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), which will notify you as to when you can register for the exam. You will establish an online account and can sign up to take the exam at a time that is convenient for you

4. Submit your application and get your license to practice psychology in New York.

Once you have passed the exam and completed your supervisory experience, you will need to submit the exam scores and proof of supervisory experience to the Office of Professions.

5. Receive your psychology license.

Once the previous steps have been fulfilled and when the Board determines that your application is complete, you will receive your license to practice psychology in New York.

New York Licensure by Reciprocity

Psychologists who are already licensed in another state can apply for a New York license by reciprocity. If you took the EPPP and you passed, you should include your score with your application. For anyone who did not take the EPPP, you can ask your jurisdiction to submit a copy of the exam you took so that the Office of Professions can determine if it is comparable to the EPPP. The Certificate for Professional Qualifications is not accepted by New York. The licensing fees are the same as in-state applicants.

Out-of-state psychologists who wish to be licensed in New York can also apply for a limited permit so that they can practice in New York while they await their full license. The applicant must have resided in the state for a time of not more than six months before the application is filed, have qualifications approved for the examination for licensure, and have those qualifications approved by the Office of Professions. These permits are only valid for 12 months, 10 days after an applicant is notified that he or she failed the professional licensing exam, or until the exam results are released.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information

New York requires anyone mental health counselors, including psychologists, to complete 36 hours of continuing education credits during a three-year period. This requirement is being phased in from January 1, 2017. You can view the chart on this page to see how many credits you need to have. If you change your name or address between the registration periods, you must notify the state. A license is good for life but psychologists are required to register every three years.

New York Psychology Jobs and Salary Information

The average salary for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in New York is $41.54 per hour or $91,180 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1 For “all other” psychologists, the average salary is $48.63 per hour or $97,010 annually.1 New York has the second-highest number of postsecondary psychology teachers and they are paid the fourth-highest of any state, earning an average salary of $98,850 per year.2,1 The long-term projections through 2026 for anyone pursuing psychology in New York are good, according to Projections Central.3 For clinical, counseling, and school psychologists there are expected to be 1,190 annual openings and a growth rate for the field of 15.6%.3 Post-secondary psychology teaching is the fastest-growing field at 23.2%.3 Other psychology jobs are also expected to see significant growth of 17.9%.3

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists11,380$91,180
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN/AN/A
Psychologists, All Other480$97,010
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary4,320$98,850

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.1 Statistics for your locale may vary within this state.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a psychologist in New York?

In most cases, it takes more than a decade to become a licensed New York psychologist. The educational requirements from bachelor’s degree to doctorate degree can take about 10 years if you are attending school full time. One of the requirements is two years of supervisory experience. You can obtain one year of your required two years of supervisory experience while you are working on your doctoral degree and the other after you have graduated.

What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in New York?

New York accepts two doctorate degrees in order to get licensed to practice psychology in New York. A Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) is typically for those who want to practice as a licensed psychologist. Those who want to teach in college may receive a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

How much do psychologists in New York make?

The average psychologist in New York earns more than $90,000 a year.1 Clinical and school psychologists make an average of $91,180, while postsecondary psychology teachers make an average of $98,950 and other psychologists make an average of $97,010 per year.1

Additional Resources

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New York: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ny.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 25-1066 Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251066.htm
3. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026):