Ohio Psychology Licensure Requirements

If Ohio is the place you hope to start off your career as a licensed psychologist, the process for earning your license will be lengthy. There are many steps and requirements to fulfill, and paperwork to submit, before you can apply for your license. Some of the most common questions about practicing psychology in Ohio include:

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

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in Ohio

Whether you’re still in high school or are on the verge of receiving your PhD, we can help you take the next step to achieve your career goals. At Psychology Degree 411, we understand the process of becoming a psychologist in the Buckeye State. Here’s a concise overview of this journey:

1. Earn a BS in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Psychology. Since a PhD or PsyD in psychology is ultimately needed in order to even work as a professional psychologist in Ohio, it’s important to take your undergraduate studies seriously. By earning a BS and master’s degree in psychology, you will give yourself the knowledge and experience to succeed as you continue your education.

2. Earn a PhD or PsyD in Psychology. Because working as a psychologist incorporates many elements such as health care and social work into its practice, it’s important to earn your PhD or PsyD in psychology. This will give you the knowledge and expertise needed to tackle a broad variety of issues that arise in the mental health field, especially when you work with patients. Furthermore, your doctorate experience will also give you the opportunity to work alongside a licensed professional as you transition from the educational world into the professional realm.

Searching for a reputable and respected doctorate program can be time-consuming, especially when you have so many great options. This is why we’ve created a list outlining doctoral psychology programs in Ohio.

3. Get Licensed to Practice Psychology in Ohio. Once you’ve finished your education, you must become licensed to practice in the state of Ohio by completing supervised experience and passing an exam. To do this, you must understand the licensing process and its steps:

Ohio Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete a Background Check and Fingerprint Procedures.

Psychologists will work with adults and children alike on a one-on-one basis, forging a professional relationship that can really benefit a patient’s mental stability, and emotional health. Because of the incredibly personal role that psychologists play, the state of Ohio must verify that you have a clean criminal record to be trusted to work with people in such a capacity.

To do this, you must agree to a basic background check. Part of this basic procedure is a fingerprinting scan that will reference your print against the state’s databases of criminals. In order to fulfill this requirement, we strongly suggest contacting FastFingerprints, so that you can schedule an appointment at your convenience.

If you’d like to learn more about the background check and its importance, feel free to review the Instructions and Information for Applicants for Psychologist Licensure published by the State Board of Psychology of Ohio.

2. Complete Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) Requirements.

The Ohio State Board of Psychology acknowledges the importance that experience plays in any professional career. Because it’s different learning psychological theories in the classroom versus practicing them with a real patient, the Board requires two years of SPE. One of these years must be completed predoctorally and the other postdoctorally, with a total of 3,600 hours. Regardless of where your SPE occurs, it’s designed to focus on your areas of specialty or study to ensure that you receive maximum benefit from the experience.

The Ohio Board of Psychology elaborates on the SPE rules and requirements.

Predoctoral Professional Experience Requirements
You must complete at least one year of SPE (at least 1,500 hours) in psychological work that is appropriate and approved by the State Board of Psychology of Ohio.2 However, the SPE must also meet the standards set forth by the American Psychological Association.1 This experience will implement theories learned in the classroom and help you translate them into real life practice.

Postdoctoral Professional Experience Requirements
Now that you’ve earned your PhD or PsyD in psychology, it’s important to understand how to use it in a clinical or professional setting. After earning your doctorate degree, you will be required to complete at least one more year of SPE (enough hours to meet the 3,600 hour requirement for total SPE) under the guidance of a licensed psychologist.2 Throughout this transition from the educational world to the professional one, it’s completely natural for your supervisor to become a sort of mentor – to help you understand how educational theories work with real patients and the world of mental health.

Verification of Required Experience
In order to ensure that your SPE is counted towards fulfilling your requirement, be sure that your supervisor fills out and submits the Psychological Training Supervision Documentation. This will ensure that the State Board of Psychology knows that you’ve fulfilled the required expectations. Mail it to:

State Board of Psychology of Ohio
77 South High Street – suite 1830
Columbus, OH 43215-6108

If you’d like to learn more about the SPE requirement for licensure in Ohio, feel free to review the American Psychological Association, which outlines all the standards for SPE and other qualification considerations.1

3. Pass The Ohio Psychology Licensing Exams.

After completing your SPE hours, you must prove to the State Board of Psychology that you’re prepared to practice as a licensed professional. To do this, you must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology – EPP – with a scaled score of 500 or more. Administered nationally, this 225 multiple-choice question test must be completed in 3 hours and 20 minutes or less.

It is strongly recommended that candidates sign up for and take the EPPP practice exam as preparation for the legitimate test.

4. Submit an Application for Psychologist Licensure in Ohio.

After you’ve met all of the requirements, it’s time to submit your Application for Psychologist Licensure in Ohio. Carefully fill out the application, and include the processing fee of $125. Mail the completed form to:

State Board of Psychology of Ohio
77 South High Street – suite 1830
Columbus, OH 43215-6108

Additional Requirements and Information

Though our roadmap presented in this guide is straightforward, you may still have some questions. Reviewing the expectations set by the Ohio Board of Psychology should answer your questions. Additional information available there includes:

  • Specific coursework requirements during undergraduate and doctoral studies
  • Acceptable SPE opportunities and internships
  • Coursework focusing on child abuse
  • Updates to the psychologist definitions
  • How to apply for licensure renewal

1. American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/apags/resources/internships.aspx
2. State of Ohio: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/4732