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North Carolina Psychology Licensure Requirements

If you’re looking to establish your career in psychology in the state of North Carolina, it’s important to know how to become qualified and enter the industry. Without going through the process of obtaining your license, you won’t be allowed to practice in the state. With this guide from Psychology Degree 411, you’ll be able to complete all the necessary steps that lead to licensure. Here are some of the most important questions about the licensing process in North Carolina:

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

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in North Carolina

The journey to becoming a licensed psychologist in North Carolina includes three major milestones: completing your education, earning experience, and proving your qualifications. By accomplishing these things and documenting them for the state, you’ll be able to receive your license. Below, we investigate these requirements more closely:

1. Earn a BS in Psychology and a master’s degree in Psychology.

Establishing a strong foundation for your education and your career by earning your BS and master’s degree in psychology is crucial to long-term professional success. Studying at this level will also help you decide on a field to study more specifically in your doctorate program.

2. Earn a PhD or PsyD in Psychology.

Earning your PhD or PsyD in psychology takes an additional 2 to 4 years, but the investment is worth it.

During your studies, you’ll have the opportunity to work under licensed psychologists and interact with real patients in a supervised setting. Deciding where to do your doctorate degree is one of the most important decisions you can make during this process.

This is why we’ve created a resource outlining all of the doctoral programs offered in North Carolina. By reviewing our resource list, you’ll be able to find the best program for your goals and needs.

3. Get licensed to practice psychology in North Carolina.

Though education sets the foundation for you to practice psychology in the state, it’s not the end of the process by any means. You must still earn your license to lawfully practice. Below are the necessary steps beyond your basic education:

North Carolina Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete a Background Check and Fingerprint Procedures.

Psychologists deal with a host of complex mental issues on a daily basis, helping patients improve their mental health and quality of life. This is why aspiring and licensed psychologists alike must submit to a background check in North Carolina.

As part of this background check, which simply ensures that you don’t have a criminal record of harming other people, you will be required to have your fingerprint taken.

To fulfill this requirement, we suggest contacting Live Scan to find the closest fingerprinting location to you and to schedule an appointment. It should only take a few moments and can be done at your convenience.

If you’re wondering about the significance of the background check or would like to learn more about this requirement, then feel free to review the North Carolina Psychology Board webpage.

2. Complete Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Requirements.

The North Carolina Psychology Board requires 2 years of supervised professional experience (SPE), which translates into a minimum of 3,000 hours.2 While one of these years may be completed predoctorally, the other must be done after you receive your doctorate.

Whether you’re teaching, interning, performing research, or engaging in some sort of other professional activity, it must meet the standards presented by the North Carolina Psychology Board.

Predoctoral Professional Experience Requirements.

Before you earn your doctorate degree, you may earn up to one year – or 1,500 hours – of SPE.2 Compared to other states, North Carolina is much less stringent when it comes to approving experiences that qualify. Internships, teaching opportunities, and research may all count towards SPE.

Furthermore, any experience that follows the guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association will qualify for SPE credit.1 The specific expectations are defined by the North Carolina Psychology Board, and all SPE must be verified by your supervisor upon completion.2

Postdoctoral Professional Experience Requirements.

After earning your PhD or PsyD in psychology, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge and expertise to work during an additional 1,500 hours of SPE, completed under the guidance of a licensed psychology professional.2

Verification of Required Experience.

The Supervisor Form must be completed and submitted by your supervisor to confirm and document both your predoctoral and your postdoctoral SPE. Furthermore, the Dean or Registrar where you completed your doctorate degree should also verify your experience. By following the procedures set forth by the American Psychological Association, you can ensure that your SPE is documented and counts towards your requirement fulfillment.1 Mail the form to:

North Carolina Psychology Board
895 State Farm Road, Suite 101
Boone, NC 28607

3. Pass The North Carolina Psychology Licensing Exams.

After all the years of education and professional experience, you must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) with a scaled score of 500 or greater, to prove your level of knowledge.

Anyone planning to take the EPPP should first sign up for the EPPP practice exam to get a feel for answering 225 multiple-choice questions in under 3 hours and 20 minutes.

4. Submit an Application for Psychologist Licensure in North Carolina.

After passing the EPPP, you only need to complete the application for licensure to complete the process. Fill out the application for licensure form and submit it to the state of North Carolina by mailing it to:

North Carolina Psychology Board
895 State Farm Road, Suite 101
Boone, NC 28607

Additional Requirements and Information

By following all these steps as listed in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing your goal of licensure in North Carolina. If you’re wondering about any part of the process, review the North Carolina Psychology Board website, which covers:

  • Fees associated with the application process
  • Internship standards and expectations
  • What to expect on the EPPP
  • Timelines for application, SPE, and other important steps

References:
1. American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/internships.aspx
2. State of North Carolina: http://www.ncpsychologyboard.org/frequently-asked-questions-faq