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Rhode Island Psychology Licensure Requirements

In order to become licensed as a psychologist in Rhode Island, candidates must commit to years of education and training. After candidates have obtained the necessary education and training, the process to becoming licensed to practice begins. The psychology licensing process and psychologists who are licensed to practice in Rhode Island are overseen by the Rhode Island Department of Health & Office of Health Professionals Regulation and the Rhode Island Board of Psychology. This overview of the steps to becoming licensed as a psychologist in Rhode Island will help answer primary questions about the process.

» What do I need to do to become a Psychologist in Rhode Island?
» I have a doctoral degree in Psychology, and am ready to take the next step.
» How many hours of supervised experience are required to apply for licensure as a psychologist in Rhode Island?
» What exams must I take before applying for a psychologist’s license?
» What do I do if my graduate coursework is not accredited by the American Psychological Association?

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in Rhode Island

Whether you are just beginning your track to becoming a licensed psychologist or are already well on your way to completing the requirements, Psychology Degree 411 has the information you need to decipher what to do next.

1. Obtain an Undergraduate and a Master’s Degree in Psychology. The majority of doctoral programs in psychology require candidates to have obtained an undergraduate degree in psychology as well as a master’s degree in psychology or a closely related subject. You can find a thorough listing of psychology programs in Rhode Island on Psychology Degree 411.

2. Earn a Doctoral Degree, Such as a PsyD in Psychology. The Rhode Island Board of Psychology requires that candidates for licensure hold a doctoral degree in psychology issued by a college or university with regional accreditation that is also accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) at the time the degree was received.

Those who hold doctoral degrees from schools that are not regionally or APA accredited may be eligible for licensure under the equivalency provision of the regulations. Further information on equivalency requirements can be accessed in Section 4.2 of the Rhode Island Department of Health Rules and Regulations for Licensing Psychologists.

3. Complete the Application Process to Become a Psychologist in Rhode Island. The application process to become a psychologist in Rhode Island can take as little as four to six weeks, although this is a minimum timeline.2 For those who are ready to begin practicing, it is best to be prepared for the application process in order to ensure that a license can be issued without delays caused by missing paperwork and similar issues.

It is important to note that the Rhode Island Department of Health will not notify applicants if paperwork is missing or incomplete; it is up to the applicant to regularly track the status of an application by calling the Rhode Island Board of Psychology at (401) 222-2828. All application materials should be sent to:

Rhode Island Department of Health
Board of Psychology, Room 104
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908-5097

Rhode Island Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete Supervised Internships and Experience.

In Rhode Island, all required supervised internships and experience must be completed prior to applying for a license to practice psychology. The experience requirements are as follows:

  • 1,500 hours of supervised internship beginning after the candidate completed two years of full-time graduate study or its equivalent;
  • 1,500 hours of supervised experience taking place following completion of the academic requirements for a doctoral degree;
  • With the hours accumulated under a full-time schedule (35 hours per week);
  • In accordance with acceptable standards of practice by a licensed psychologist, distinct and separate from work or experience required for academic courses;
  • In a setting affiliated with a college or university with regional accreditation, approved by the APA, or in another setting approved by the Rhode Island Board of Psychology.

2. Take the Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology.

In Rhode Island, the Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) should be taken before applying for a license to practice psychology. The Board of Psychology requires that exam results be forwarded to the Board directly from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), which administers the EPPP. The request to send examination scores can be directed to the ASPPB by calling (334) 832-4580.

3. Submit the Rhode Island Application for License As A Psychologist.

Applicants have one year from the date on which the Rhode Island Board of Psychology receives the initial application to complete the application process by submitting all required forms and documentation. Note that the Rhode Island Department of Health does not have any provisions for accelerated application processing.

A recent passport style photo of the applicant measuring 2 inches by 2 inches must be included with the application. The application must also be notarized.

4. Complete the Supervision Practice Forms.

Two supervision practice forms are included in the application for licensure as a psychologist: The Pre-Doctoral Supervised Practice Form & Certification of Experience and the Post Doctoral Supervised Practice Form & Certification of Experience. One form must be completed by each supervisor overseeing any aspect of the candidate’s required internship or experience hours.

Supervisors should complete the forms thoroughly, then insert the forms into an envelope sealed by signing the supervisor’s name across the fold or seal of the envelope. The form should then be returned to the applicant and included with the initial application for licensure.

5. Request Official Transcripts for Graduate Work.

Rhode Island requires official transcripts for all graduate work completed. Note that official transcripts must be sent to the Board of Psychology directly from the school, and must be from an accredited school of Psychology to meet licensing requirements.

6. Complete the Curriculum Summary Form, If Required.

If doctoral work was completed at a school that is not accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), candidates for licensure must complete the Curriculum Summary Form. Candidates for licensure who did attend an APA-accredited school should not complete the Curriculum Summary Form.

Candidates whose graduate academic work was not APA-accredited should give a brief overview of courses taken to meet the ordinary requirements for a license to practice psychology in core subject areas, as outlined on the Curriculum Summary Form.

Additional Requirements and Information

There is a lot to know about the requirements for obtaining licensure as a psychologist in Rhode Island. The State of Rhode Island Department of Health and the State of Rhode Island Board of Psychology provide a wealth of information on licensing standards for psychologists and other health professionals, including information pertaining to:

  • Licensing for mental health and counseling specialties such as Chemical Dependency Professionals
  • Applicable fees for licensing and examinations
  • Endorsements for those who hold psychology licensure in other states
  • Board meetings and timelines for approval of applications for licensure
  • Loan repayment assistance for health care professionals working in underserved communities
  • Continuing education requirements for licensed psychologists

References:
1. Rhode Island Department of Health: http://health.ri.gov/licenses/detail.php?id=241
2. Rhode Island Board of Psychology Instructions for License As A Psychologist: http://www.health.ri.gov/applications/Psychologist.pdf
3. Rhode Island Department of Health Rules and Regulations for Licensing Psychologists: http://sos.ri.gov/documents/archives/regdocs/released/pdf/DOH/7030.pdf