North Dakota Psychology Licensure Requirements

If you are interested in learning how to become a licensed psychologist in North Dakota, this guide will help you learn the steps for the road to licensure. You will become familiar with North Dakota State Board of Psychologist Examiners (NDSBPE), the organization that oversees all psychologist licensure in the state. To gain psychology licensure, you will need to complete an educational foundation, fulfill supervised experience requirements, pass national and state examinations, and submit an application with supporting documentation. The following guide will help you navigate the long process, step-by-step. Common questions that come up during the process include:

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

Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in North Dakota

Once you understand the requirements for becoming a licensed psychologist in North Dakota, you can begin the process. You will need to complete undergraduate and graduate-level degrees before you can begin the application and examination process overseen by the NDSBPE. You can earn your doctoral degree from a psychology school in North Dakota or from a school in another state with equivalent education requirements. The following three high-level steps explain the basics of earning your psychology licensure in North Dakota.

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

In order to become a licensed psychologist, first you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology or in another field. This undergraduate degree can be either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. Both usually require 120 credit hours to complete, which typically takes about four years of full-time study. You are not required to choose an undergraduate major in psychology, but if you choose another area of focus, you may need to complete additional psychology prerequisites before beginning graduate work in the field.

Next, you can optionally pursue a master’s degree in psychology. A master’s degree is not required for licensure in North Dakota; however, many doctoral programs offer the possibility of earning a master’s degree as part of your thesis work (see Step 2 below). If you choose to complete a stand-alone master’s degree, most programs require 36 to 54 semester hours, which commonly takes two to three full-time academic years to complete. If you decide to pursue a stand-alone master’s, you will have the option to earn either a Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Arts (MA) in psychology.

2. Earn a PsyD or PhD in psychology.

Next, the NDSBPE requires that you earn a doctoral degree in psychology. In North Dakota, your doctoral program must be approved either by the American Psychological Association (APA) or Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). Your program may offer a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology. The two degrees are similar, but you can read about their differences on the American Psychological Association’s (APA) website. Most doctoral programs take between four and seven years to complete, depending on the institution, whether the program includes a master’s degree, your area of focus, and other factors. Your doctoral program should include a supervised pre-doctoral internship in the practice of psychology. In order to gain psychology licensure in North Dakota, you will need to gain 1,500 hours of experience in this supervised internship. 100 of these hours must be directly supervised, and at least 50 hours must be supervised on a one-to-one basis.

For more information about the doctoral programs offered in North Dakota, see our Psychology Schools in North Dakota page.

3. Get licensed to practice psychology in North Dakota.

After fulfilling the education requirements, you will still need to complete a few steps before gaining your psychology licensure. You will need to submit an initial application, gain supervised professional experience, fill out an additional application, and successfully pass national and state exams. Read on to learn more about what else you will need to earn a psychologist license in North Dakota.

North Dakota Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Submit an initial application to the Board.

The first step to apply for psychology licensure in North Dakota is to complete an Application Initiation Form and submit a fee of $450 to the NDSBPE. This form is also used for the applied behavior analyst license, a separate level of licensure, so not all sections may apply to psychology licensure. You will also need to submit a Notification of Supervision Relationship and create your own individualized supervision plan before beginning the next step, which is gaining professional experience.

2. Gain 1,500 hours of post-doctoral supervised professional experience (SPE) in your area of training.

Once the Board has approved your initial application, including your individualized supervision plan and the Notification of Supervision Relationship form, you can begin your supervised post-doctoral professional experience hours. Your internship should be accredited by the APA or CPA; otherwise, it will need to be submitted for approval through forms provided by the Board.

Applicants should have already completed 1,500 hours of a supervised pre-doctoral internship during their doctorate program. In addition, you will need to complete 1,500 hours of supervised post-doctoral experience that must be fulfilled after your doctoral program. The same requirements of the pre-doctoral internship (100 supervised hours and 50 individually supervised hours) apply to the post-doctoral experience.

3. Fill out the Psychology Licensure Universal (PLUS) Application.

When you have fulfilled the SPE hours and your initial documents have been processed by the NDSBPE, the Board Office will initiate an invitation for you to fill out the Psychology Licensure Universal System (PLUS) Application. This online form requires a fee of $200, paid to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). The PLUS Portal is used in participating jurisdictions, including North Dakota, to help keep psychologists’ licensure information in an accessible, standardized location that can streamline future license applications.

4. Pass the North Dakota psychology licensing exams.

Next, after the Board reviews your PLUS Application, you will be approved to sit for the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). This examination tests your ability to understand and implement psychological theory and practice, and the total cost is $687.50. In order to pass, you will need to earn a scaled score of 500. The ASPPB offers an EPPP practice exam to all applicants, which will allow you to practice answering questions about the subject matter and taking the test in a timed setting.

After your passing EPPP score has been reported to the Board, you will be invited to take an oral examination that covers ethical and legal issues relevant to the practice of psychology in North Dakota. You will need to have a knowledge of ethics, law, and jurisprudence, as well as a familiarity with national and North Dakota laws and regulations related to psychology. The Board determines the acceptable level of performance, and a majority decision is required for the issuing of a license.

5. Receive your license from the Board.

When the Board has received and approved all of your application materials, including your EPPP exam and oral exam scores, you will receive your license from the NDSBPE.

Expedited North Dakota Licensure

If you have an active psychology license from another jurisdiction, your licensure process in North Dakota can be streamlined. To qualify for reciprocity, your licensing jurisdiction must have similar licensing standards to those in North Dakota. First, you will need to complete the Application Initiation Form. Be sure to include a copy of your current license. The Board may grant you provisional status if you are in good standing with your previous jurisdiction and without a disciplinary record in the last five years. This provisional license can be used for six months (with a potential six-month extension), starting on the date of the initial application, and once issued, will allow you to practice while your application is pending. Finally, before earning your psychology license in North Dakota, you must complete the state’s oral exam (see Step 4 above).

If you are only in North Dakota for a short period of time, you can also apply for a temporary Limited Practice License. If you have been practicing as a psychologist, I/O psychologist, or applied behavior analyst in another jurisdiction and are in good standing, you may be eligible. You will need to send a verification of licensure from the licensing jurisdiction and submit an Application for Limited Practice and $25 fee. If your application is approved, you will be able to practice in North Dakota for a maximum of 30 days over a one-year period.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information

Licensed psychologists in North Dakota must renew their licenses every year by November 15. You will need to submit a Renewal Application for Licensed Psychologist and a $250 fee. You will also need to sign an attestation that you have completed your required continuing education hours; the Board may also ask you to submit a report and documentation.

The NDSBPE requires that licensed psychologists complete at least 40 continuing education units (CEUs) and report their efforts every two years. A minimum of three CEUs should be in professional ethics, law, or jurisprudence. Licensed psychologists who supervise psychology residents or registered applied behavior analysts should stay up-to-date by completing three CEUs in the area which they supervise. The NDSBPE publishes approved continuing education providers on their website, and general criteria can be found in the Continuing Education chapter of the North Dakota Administrative Code. If you are interested in completing a continuing education program that has not been approved by the Board, you can submit a Licensee/Registrant Request for Continuing Education Program Approval for Reporting Cycle in advance of the event or as soon after the training as possible.

North Dakota Psychology Jobs and Salary Information

Psychologists in North Dakota, excluding educators, earn an average annual salary of $88,935.1 Postsecondary psychology teachers earn an average of $81,460 each year, and these positions are projected to grow by 7.8% through 2026.1,2 Clinical, counseling, and school psychologist positions in North Dakota are projected to grow by 15.4% through 2026, which is slightly higher than the projected national average of 14.2% growth for all occupations.2

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists280$84,300
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN/AN/A
Psychologists, All Other30$93,570
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary70$81,460

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 North Dakota?

Licensed psychologists in North Dakota are required to have a doctoral degree. In order to get to the doctoral level, you will first need to complete four years of undergraduate study. Doctorate programs usually take four to seven years to complete, depending on the program’s focus area and whether your doctoral work includes a master’s degree. You will also need to complete 1,500 hours of post-doctoral supervised experience, which will take you another year. With the foundational educational requirements, supervised professional experience, and application process, you should expect the entire licensure journey to take close to 10 years, but the exact timeline will depend on your individual choices and steps.

What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in North Dakota?

The North Dakota State Board of Psychologist Examiners requires that psychologist license applicants have a doctoral degree in psychology. The doctoral program can be a PhD in psychology or a PsyD, but it must be approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) or Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) to qualify you for licensure.

How much do psychologists in North Dakota make?

On average, clinical, counseling, school, and “all other” psychologists in North Dakota earn an average annual salary of $88,935, which is slightly higher than the national average of $87,385 for these groups.1,3,4 Postsecondary psychology teachers earn an average of $81,460 per year.1

Additional Resources

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, North Dakota: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nd.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): https://www.projectionscentral.org/projections/longterm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 19-3031 Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193031.htm
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017, 19-3039 Psychologists, All Other: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193039.htm