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South Carolina Psychology Licensure Requirements

The process to obtain a license to practice psychology in South Carolina is in-depth and necessitates that candidates remain dedicated to stay on top of the requirements. Psychologists in South Carolina are licensed and regulated by the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology, an entity organized under the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. The licensing process requires candidates to earn the knowledge to practice through years of education and experience before obtaining licensure as a psychologist. These common questions for future South Carolina psychologists can help you navigate the process:

» How do I become a Psychologist in South Carolina?
» After earning a doctoral degree in Psychology, what do I do next?
» Will my fellowship hours count without prior approval from the State Board?
» How many fellowship hours are required to complete the Formal Application for licensure as a Psychologist?
» Do I need to take any exams other than the EPPP?

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in South Carolina

1. Earn a BS or BA and a Master’s Degree in Psychology. A Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology is usually the first step to becoming a psychologist. Prospective psychologists should also earn a master’s degree in psychology, as most doctoral degree programs require such a degree for consideration for admission. Psychology Degree 411 has a comprehensive list of psychology schools in South Carolina to help candidates design an education plan.

2. Earn a Doctoral Degree in Psychology. A doctoral degree in psychology or a closely related field is required to become a psychologist in South Carolina. The South Carolina Code of Regulations requires that the doctoral degree meet the standards set forth by the American Association of State Psychology Boards or be accredited by a recognized national accrediting agency.

3. Complete the Application Process to Become a Psychologist in South Carolina. After meeting the educational requirements, prospective South Carolina psychologists must complete the licensing process set forth by the state. Find further information on this process below:

South Carolina Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete the Preliminary Application for Licensure.

The Preliminary Application for Licensure (American Association of State Psychology Boards’ Education and Credentialing Requirements Data Form) must be approved by the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology before a candidate can proceed further with the licensure process. This form is designed to document graduate coursework and training completed, and must be notarized. Candidates should include with the application:

  • The Affidavit of Eligibility
  • Two photocopies of the candidate’s curriculum vitae
  • A cashier’s check in the amount of the current application fee

The South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology recommends that candidates for licensure submit the Preliminary Application for Licensure after earning a doctorate but before beginning postdoctoral training or fellowship hours, as formal credit for supervised hours will not be counted until the Preliminary Application and supervision contract have been completed and approved by the Board. This may also cause violations for the supervisor overseeing the trainee.

2. Request Transcripts of Graduate Work.

As soon as possible after submitting the Preliminary Application for licensure, candidates should request official terminal transcripts for all graduate coursework from the appropriate school(s). Transcripts should be sent from the granting institution directly to:

State of South Carolina
Board of Examiners in Psychology
P O BOX 11329
Columbia, South Carolina 29211-1329

If graduate work was completed at a school not accredited by the American Psychological Association, candidates should attach to the application relevant materials from the school’s graduate bulletin used at the time the candidate earned his or her degree to allow the Board to evaluate the program.

3. Complete the Supervision Contract.

After the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology approves the Preliminary Application for licensure, the candidate will be mailed a Formal Application packet that includes:

  • Pre-doctoral Supervision Form
  • Post-doctoral supervision procedures established by the Board
  • The Supervision Contract
  • Supervisor’s Report forms

Other documentation (see step 4, below), will be included but can not be completed until after the fellowship training has been completed. Candidates should work with their post-doctoral supervisor to ensure that the Supervision Contract is completed and forwarded to the Board as soon as possible in order for supervised hours to begin accumulating to meet licensure requirements.

4. Earn Postdoctoral Training with Required Fellowship Hours.

South Carolina requires that candidates for licensure to practice psychology in the state obtain two years of full-time supervised experience of at least 1,500 hours per year of direct experience, training, and supervision, at least one year of which must be completed post-doctorally.1

5. Prepare For and Take the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology.

Most candidates for licensure as a psychologist in South Carolina take the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) during the fellowship year. In order to sit for the EPPP, candidates must obtain the prior approval of the State Licensing Board by emailing glennp@llr.sc.gov. Approval is contingent upon receipt of all Preliminary Application materials.

When approval to take the EPPP is granted, candidates will receive further application materials to register for the test. These application materials must be completed and returned to Professional Examination Services (ProExam), the test administrator, along with the exam fees. Candidates will then receive an Authorization to Test Letter; candidates have sixty days from the date of this letter to schedule and sit for the exam. If the test is taken in South Carolina, pass/fail results will be sent by the testing center to the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology, which will distribute results to candidates. A passing score is considered any score at or above one-half standard deviation below the mean score for the taken administration among doctoral level psychologists attempting the test for the first time, or a scaled score of 70% or above.1

6. Complete the Formal Application for Licensure.

After passing the EPPP, candidates may proceed with the next step in obtaining a license to practice psychology in South Carolina. Also included in the Formal Application packet mentioned in step #3 above, candidates will receive:

  • Licensing information
  • The Formal Application for Licensure
  • 3 professional reference forms

Following the conclusion of required fellowship hours and passage of the EPPP, candidates for licensure should forward the above Formal Application materials along with the Supervisor’s Report forms documenting completion of the fellowship hours to the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology.

7. Schedule and Prepare for the Oral Examination.

South Carolina requires candidates for licensure as a psychologist to pass an oral examination administered by a designated member of the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology. This examination is scheduled after the Board has received all Formal Application materials and official documentation of passage of the EPPP.

Note that candidates have two years from the date that the South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology approve the Preliminary Application to complete all requirements for licensure.4

Additional Requirements and Information

There is a lot to know about the requirements for licensure as a psychologist in South Carolina. The South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology maintains a website where you can find comprehensive information and complete instructions on the process, including:

  • The schedule of fees for required applications and permits
  • How to check the status of a submitted application
  • Areas of specialization and practice limitations determined by the Board
  • The Code of Ethics for Licensed Psychologists in South Carolina
  • Guidelines for research and assessment
  • Continuing education requirements for licensed psychologists

References:
1. South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation – South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology: http://www.llr.state.sc.us/POL/Psychology/
2. South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology – Moving from Trainee to Licensed Psychologist in the State of South Carolina: http://www.llr.state.sc.us/POL/Counselors/PDFS/News/KollarArticle%20from%20Drs%20Borckhardt%20%20Madan%20etc%20%206-2011.pdf