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Ohio Psychology Licensure Requirements

If you want to practice psychology within the state of Ohio, you must apply for licensure through the Ohio Board of Psychology. Requirements for approval include the completion of specific education and practical experience, as well as national and state examinations and an online application with required accompanying documentation. This guide will clarify the lengthy and somewhat complex process, so there are no surprises on your journey to successfully enter the psychology profession. Some questions candidates often have about the steps to licensure in Ohio include the following:

» 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.
» What are Ohio’s supervised professional experience rules and regulations?
» What psychology exams are required in Ohio?
» I am already a licensed psychologist in another state; how do I become licensed in Ohio by reciprocity?
» Can I become licensed in Ohio with only a master’s degree?
» How do I renew my psychology license in Ohio?
» How much do psychologists in Ohio make?

Three Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in Ohio

The route to becoming a practicing psychologist in Ohio is long and may span over a decade. It takes years of study as well as several additional requirements to be satisfactorily met. Following are three high-level steps that ensure you are on the right track to earning your licensure.

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

A bachelor’s degree, whether in psychology or a different field, is a required first step towards your goal of becoming a licensed psychologist within the state of Ohio. Psychology bachelor’s degrees are offered either as a Bachelor of Science (BS) or as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree, and both generally entail four years of full-time study for successful completion of approximately 120 semester credits.

Following graduation from an undergraduate program, you will likely need to pursue a master’s, either in psychology or another area, preferably related to psychology. Note that you may have to complete additional prerequisites if your undergraduate degree was not in psychology, as some master’s in psychology programs include a certain amount of psychology coursework as a prerequisite. Some also require you to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) to be admitted. Master of Science (MS) or Master of Arts (MA) programs range from two to three years in length, depending on the options available at your institution of learning. Total credits needed for psychology graduate programs in the state of Ohio also vary from around 30 to 50. An additional option available to candidates is to skip the traditional stand-alone master’s and complete a doctoral program during which you will earn your PsyD or PhD along with a master’s as part of your thesis. If you are interested in becoming a school psychologist in Ohio, a master’s degree in school psychology is the minimum educational requirement.

2. Earn a PsyD or PhD in psychology.

Graduation from a doctorate program in psychology with a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in psychology degree from an accredited institution is required to practice as a psychologist in Ohio. If you aren’t sure which of these doctoral degrees to pursue, you can read more on the American Psychological Association’s (APA) website The program taken should be accredited by the APA or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) or be approved by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) or the National Register of Health Service Psychologists (NR). However, a similar alternate program pursued at an accredited institution may still result in licensure with Board approval and once specific professional experience requirements are met.

Those pursuing school psychology licensure in the state of Ohio must finish a 1,500 to 2,000-hour internship at a pre-doctoral level lasting at least nine months. Those seeking clinical psychology licensure must have accrued between 1,500 and 2,000 hours of pre-doctorate study. Most doctoral psychology programs take at least four years to complete, and many require between up to seven years.

For a list of doctoral programs available in Ohio state, reference our Psychology Schools in Ohio page.

3. Get licensed to practice psychology in Ohio.

In addition to completing appropriate education from the undergraduate to doctorate level, there is more that must be done for licensure. Candidates must complete several additional steps to qualify for practice within the state of Ohio.

Ohio Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Gain supervised professional experience (SPE) in your area of training.

Candidates must complete two years or 3,600 hours of total supervised experience, including an approved year-long pre-doctoral internship. Specific experience requirements depend on the type of doctoral program that is pursued. Those who attend an accredited institution but whose doctoral program is not properly accredited by the APA or CPA or does not meet ASPPB/NR standards fall under the “old law” and must complete an additional year of experience of at least 1,800 hours after finishing their degree. 1,500 hours of each year of training experience must be in a trainee’s area of expertise and include 375 annual hours of direct client contact. Supervision should be face-to-face for at least five percent of weekly contact with clients.

Those who graduate from APA- or CPA-accredited or ASPPB/NR approved doctoral programs in psychology or National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) approved programs for school psychology have the option of following a “new law.” Under this law, they may apply for a combination of approved pre-doctoral, post-internship, and post-doctoral hours to meet the overall 3,600-hour requirement. These candidates may, therefore, need less than an additional year of post-doctoral experience to reach the total hour requirements. “New law” also requires that pre-doctoral internships measure between 1,500 and 2,000 hours of training over 12 months to two years (nine months at a minimum for school psychology majors). At least a quarter of the internship should be face-to-face contact with patients and one of every 20 hours must occur under direct supervision. For further information on documenting supervised training for either “new law” or “old law” routes, read more on the Board website.

2. Complete a Background Check and Fingerprint Clearance.

Applicants for licensure must complete a criminal background check by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). To find a county sheriff’s office or agency with the required National Web Check status, consult the Ohio Attorney General website. State regulations mandate that the check be done no more than a year before receiving a license. If processed before passing the oral exam (see Step 3), you should receive your license within one to three business days of receiving a passing score. Out-of-state licensure applicants will need to complete fingerprinting while in Ohio. They may do so when in-state for the oral exam or earlier to expedite the process. Keep in mind it may take between seven and 10 business days for the Board to receive results.

3. Pass the Ohio psychology licensing exams.

To take the national Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) in the state of Ohio, you must first submit an application verifying that you have earned an accepted doctoral degree. The examiner will verify your eligibility and contact you accordingly. Those pursuing licensure in school psychology will need a passing score on the nationally-administered Praxis-II School Psychologist Exam (5402), but do not require prior authorization. Passing scores required for psychology licensure for the computer-based EPPP exam must be 500 or above. Written versions require a score of 70% or 140. The cost of the test is $600 in addition to credit or debit card charges collected by Pearson, the testing agency. After the exam is complete, scores will be verified by the Board.

Ohio also requires candidates to take an additional oral-based jurisprudence examination covering core standards, rules, and ethics in the psychology field. Five questions, with the option of two alternatives, must be answered correctly to pass. School psychology jurisprudence exams are given by the School Psychology Examination Committee while psychology versions are administered by the Board. This exam is free of charge for the first attempt and costs $50 for re-examination. The Ohio Board of Psychology has provided examination candidates with a preparatory manual outlining the content of this exam.

4. Submit your application to the Board.

After you have taken the required tests, complete a general application for an Ohio psychology license online. A $300 payment will be required to apply. Applications will be incomplete without accompanying required documentation. Documents needed include three references, a criminal background check, training supervision verification forms, transcripts, and an oral manual receipt.

You also have the choice to complete a Psychology Licensure Application Program (PLUS) application offered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). This forwards your application to the Board and keeps all your information online where it is easily accessible for a single fee of $200 in addition to Ohio’s charge of $300. Find out more about how a PLUS application can be helpful here.

5. Receive your psychologist license.

Once you have satisfied all the steps above, you will receive your psychologist license from the Board to practice in the state of Ohio.

Ohio Licensure by Reciprocity

If you hold a license in a state other than Ohio and have American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP), Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ), or National Register of Health Service Psychologists (NR) certification, you can apply for a license online. After creating an account, you will select the option to “apply for a new license” and locate the reciprocity application. Complete the questions and submit it.

Along with your application, you must contact your certifying organization to provide direct verification to the Ohio Board. Certain application materials may be waived, such as the requirement for supervised training paperwork, transcripts, and an ASPPB EPPP examination score transfer. Candidates will still need to provide other documents, including three references and pay the $300 fee.

School Psychologist

In Ohio, you can become licensed in school psychology with a minimum of an accredited master’s degree in school psychology. You must also have obtained at least four years of experience in school psychology, which most candidates acquire under their Ohio Department of Education (ODE) license. Two of the four years should be under the employment of a school board or private school and all four years should include at least nine months of full-time work. The internship year which is part of most master’s in school psychology programs can be counted toward the four-year requirement. The other requirement for becoming a licensed school psychologist is to pass the two licensing exams: the national Praxis-II School Psychologist Exam (#5402) with a score of 147 or higher and the oral test on laws and rules governing psychologists in the state. Prospective school psychologists can apply using the same online portal and the cost of the application is $300.

Licensing Renewal and Continuing Professional Education Information

Licenses for psychologists and school psychologists renew on a biennial basis through the online eLicense Ohio website. Information on creating an account will be mailed to those with licenses who have yet to register. The window for CE completion begins 9/1 and ends on 8/31 of every even-numbered year. Depending on the date of license issuance, Ohio requires between 13 and 23 hours of continuing education, four of which must be in cultural competence or ethics for license renewal. Missed deadlines result in a $250 payment for reinstatement. For the Board to be notified of continuing education compliance, psychologists and school psychologists must register with either the OPA-MCE or OSPA-MCE. Learn more about CE requirements outlined by the Ohio Board of Psychology.

Ohio Psychology Jobs and Salary Information

According to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), practicing clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn an annual mean wage of $72,000 within the state of Ohio.1 All other psychologists earn average salaries of $90,770 per year.1 Postsecondary psychology teachers in Ohio have an average annual income of $82,080.1

Projections Central predicts that clinical, counseling, and school psychologist jobs within Ohio will grow by 13.6% by 2026.2 The numbers for all other psychologist positions (not including teachers) within Ohio are expected to have an average increase of 10% within the same timeframe, which is higher than the national average for all jobs.2

OccupationNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists3,540$72,000
Industrial-Organizational PsychologistsN/AN/A
Psychologists, All Other380$90,770
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary1,290$82,080

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2017.1

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become a psychologist in Ohio?

Most undergraduate coursework will require four years of full-time study. Doctoral programs, some with an included master’s, vary in length from almost five to over seven years of coursework. Depending on whether the doctoral program you pursue meets specific approval or accreditation guidelines, you may need to complete as many as 1,800 further hours of training following your doctoral degree. You should expect that it will take, at a minimum, approximately 10 years to become a psychologist in Ohio state.

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

The Ohio Board of Psychology mandates that those seeking psychology licensure within the state earn a doctoral degree in psychology, either as a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the psychology field. The institution it is earned from must have proper accreditation or approval. Program accreditation is also preferred, although candidates may still be eligible for licensure after completing alternate programs under certain conditions as determined by the Ohio Board of Psychology.

How much do psychologists in Ohio make?

The BLS reports that practicing clinical, counseling, and school psychologists earn an average annual wage of $72,000.1 All other psychologists make an average of $90,770 a year, while postsecondary psychology teachers earn mean incomes of $82,080 yearly.2

Additional Resources

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Ohio: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_oh.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections (2016-2026): http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm