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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 the North Dakota State Board of Psychologist Examiners (NDSBPE or the Board), 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, and pass national and state examinations. The following guide will help you navigate the long process, step-by-step.

Table of Contents
How to Become a Licensed Psychologist
Expedited Licensure
Related Licenses
License Renewal and Continuing Education
Jobs and Salary Information
Additional Resources
Frequently Asked Questions

How to Become a Psychologist 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 usually requires 120 credit hours to complete and 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, schools in the state still offer psychology degrees at this level, and many doctoral programs offer the possibility of earning a master’s degree as part of your thesis work. If you choose to complete a stand-alone psychology master’s degree, most programs require 30 to 40 semester hours, which takes around one to two full-time academic years to complete.

2. Earn a doctoral degree 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 the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). Your program may be 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 our home page. 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 qualify for a psychology license 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. With Board approval, as many as 1,500 additional hours may be accumulated at the predoctoral level.

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

3. Submit an initial application to the Board.

The first step to apply for psychology licensure in North Dakota is to initiate the application process and submit a fee of $450 to the NDSBPE. You will also need to submit a Notification of Supervision Relationship form and create your own individualized supervision plan before beginning the next step, which is gaining professional experience.

4. Gain two years of supervised experience in your area of training.

You will need 3,000 total hours of supervised professional experience to qualify for licensure. In North Dakota, 1,500 hours must be from a predoctoral internship during your doctoral program and the other 1,500 hours can be accumulated during an APA- or CPA-approved postdoctoral experience, a board-approved supervised postdoctoral experience, or 1,500 hours of additional supervised predoctoral training (during your doctoral program.

If you did not complete all hours during your doctoral program, then you may begin accumulating them once the Board has approved your initial application, including your individualized supervision plan. . The same requirements of the predoctoral internship (100 supervised hours and 50 individually supervised hours) apply to the postdoctoral experience.

5. Submit the online application form.

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.

6. 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) from the ASPPB. This examination tests your ability to understand and implement psychological theory and practice. 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.

7. 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.

North Dakota Expedited 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 initial application. 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.

If you are only in North Dakota for a short period of time, you can also apply for a temporary Limited Practice Certificate. 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 and a $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.

School Psychologist

In order to become a school psychologist in North Dakota, you will need a specialist degree with a minimum of 60 graduate hours from a National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)-accredited program that includes a 1,200-hour internship with at least 600 hours in a school setting. The North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board regulates the profession. First-time applicants who meet all requirements will apply for an Initial In-State License, which is good for prekindergarten through twelfth grade and is good for two years. Applicants must have a specialist degree in school psychology from a National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)-accredited institution; have the Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP) credential; or have a specialist degree in school psychology with the expectation of obtaining national certification within two years. After teaching for at least 18 months in North Dakota, you can apply for a First Five Year License.

The Board also offers a one-year school psychologist intern certificate for applicants who have not yet completed their specialist degrees. To qualify, they must hold a master’s degree in psychology of at least 30 credits from a NASP-accredited institution, have the recommendation of an advisor from an accredited school psychology training program, and can submit an outline of remaining coursework with specific dates for completion.

License Renewal and Continuing Education

Licensed psychologists in North Dakota must renew their licenses every year by November 15. You will need to submit a log in to start your renewal and pay 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 and report at least 40 continuing education units (CEUs) 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 their supervise area. Additional detail can be found on the Board website.

North Dakota Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information

Psychologists in North Dakota, excluding educators, earn an average annual salary of $91,237.1 Postsecondary psychology teachers earn an average of $85,420each year.1 Clinical, counseling, and school psychologist positions in North Dakota are projected to grow by 8.3% through 2030.2 All other psychologist jobs are projected to grow 14.3%, while postsecondary psychology teachers are expected to see no growth through 2030.2

OccupationNumber Employed1Average Annual Salary1
Clinical and Counseling Psychologists180$112,160
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN.Av.N.Av.
Psychologists, All Other30$92,820
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary90$85,420
School Psychologists80$68,730

Additional Resources

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 $91,237.1 Postsecondary psychology teachers earn an average of $85,420 per year.1

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, North Dakota: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nd.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/projections/longterm