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South Dakota Psychology Licensure Requirements

Candidates for licensure as practicing psychologists in South Dakota must complete a rigorous program of education and experience to be eligible to apply for a license. The licensing and practice of psychology in the state is overseen by the South Dakota Department of Social Services – South Dakota Board of Examiners of Psychologists, which aims to protect the public by ensuring that all of those using the title of psychologist in the state are licensed and qualified to practice. Following are guidelines to obtain a psychologist’s license in South Dakota and common questions and scenarios.

» What is the process for becoming a Psychologist in South Dakota?
» I have earned a doctoral degree in Psychology and need more information on what to do next.
» What program certifications are required for the predoctoral internship in South Dakota?
» What are the requirements for postdoctoral supervised experience in South Dakota?
» What do I need to know for the South Dakota oral examination for Psychologists?

Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in South Dakota

The process for becoming a psychologist in South Dakota can be simplified into three major steps, which Psychology Degree 411 has outlined for you below.

1. Earn an Undergraduate and a Master’s Degree in Psychology. While South Dakota does not specify that a candidate for psychology licensure’s undergraduate degree be in the field of psychology, it is a requirement that the qualifying doctoral degree be in this field. Since a master’s degree in psychology is a prerequisite for most doctoral programs in psychology, and an undergraduate degree in the same field can increase candidate’s competitiveness for these programs, candidates who intend to pursue this career track should strongly consider focusing on psychology at all stages of their educational career. Find out more about psychology schools in South Dakota.

2. Earn a PhD, PsyD or EdD for Doctoral Psychology Training. To be eligible for licensure in South Dakota, the doctoral degree should either be granted by a school regionally accredited in the US or a US professional school of psychology, or be a member in good standing with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. You can conveniently access a list of South Dakota colleges and universities offering doctoral degrees in psychology through Psychology Degree 411. You can see a list of members of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada through the organization’s website.

3. Follow the Steps to Apply For and Receive Licensure as a Psychologist in South Dakota. After completing an education in psychology, the next step for psychologist candidates in South Dakota is to complete the licensure process. Continue reading to find more details about the psychology licensure process in South Dakota:

South Dakota Psychologist Licensing Process

1. Complete the Appropriate Predoctoral Internship and Forms.

Applicants must complete a predoctoral internship to be considered for licensure as a practicing psychologist in South Dakota. The predoctoral psychology internship must comprise at least 1,800 hours of supervised activity completed in a period not to exceed two years.2 Candidates who participated in a program approved by the American Psychological Association should request that their internship supervisor complete the Predoctoral Internship Supervision Confirmation Form and send the completed form directly to:

South Dakota Board of Examiners of Psychologists
810 N Main St #298
Spearfish, SD 57783

Candidates whose predoctoral internship was not approved by the American Psychological Association should complete the Applicant Predoctoral Internship Confirmation Form, which must be submitted with a description of the program completed, program due process procedures, duplicates of the internship evaluation forms, and a certificate of completion for the internship.

In either case, candidates should provide a Release and Waiver for Supervisors, which must be notarized, for each supervisor completing confirmation of internship.

Changes to the current regulations are being implemented that will require future places of internship to be accredited by the American Psychological Association or Canadian Psychological Association, be in the process of obtaining accreditation by either body during the candidate’s participation in the program, or be a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers.

2. Complete the Appropriate Postdoctoral Internship and Forms.

Candidates for psychology licensure in South Dakota must complete a required postdoctoral psychological experience before a license can be granted. The postdoctoral experience must consist of one year of supervised practice.2 This experience must be verified by the supervising psychologist through completion of the Post-Doctoral Psychological Experience Form, which should be sent by the completing supervisor directly to:

South Dakota Board of Examiners of Psychologists
810 N Main St #298
Spearfish, SD 57783

As with the predoctoral internship forms, candidates should complete and have notarized a South Dakota Board of Examiners of Psychologists Release and Waiver for Supervisors for each supervisor completing confirmation of internship.

3. Complete the Application for Licensure.

Completing and submitting the Application for the Board of Examiners of Psychologists is the next step in the application for licensure as a psychologist in South Dakota. Applicants should complete this form as fully as possible, including all relevant coursework and dates requested. The form must be notarized to be considered complete, and must also include a signed Application for Licensure Cover Letter. License candidates must include the required fee with the application.

4. Earn a Passing Score on the Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology.

In South Dakota, the Examination for the Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) is administered twice a year, in April and October.1 The testing location is in Spearfish, South Dakota.

Applicants who have previously taken the EPPP in another state should request that Professional Examination Service forward the official achieved scores directly to the South Dakota State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. The South Dakota EPPP may be waived if the Board determines that the scores meet state requirements.

5. Complete the South Dakota Oral Examination for Psychologists.

The oral examination administered by the South Dakota State Board of Examiners of Psychologists tests applicants on knowledge of South Dakota psychologist’s licensing laws, relevant administrative rules, and regulations and guidelines on the reporting of child abuse. The exam also covers South Dakota ethics guidelines; South Dakota has adopted the American Association of State Psychology Boards Code of Conduct for its ethical code. Copies of this code can be ordered from the following address at a cost of $10.00 per copy:

Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards
PO Box 4389
Montgomery, AL 36103

The code of conduct can also be accessed online through the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards website. Applicants may re-take the oral examination within six months upon payment of an additional fee should a passing score not be obtained on the original examination.

Additional Requirements and Information

The process for becoming licensed as a psychologist in South Dakota can be involved. You can find further information on the process and requirements through the South Dakota State Board of Examiners of Psychologists’ website, including:

  • Information on license applications and reciprocity between South Dakota, other US states, and Canadian provinces
  • Provisional license eligibility and requirements
  • Certification for Alcohol & Drug Professionals
  • Community Behavioral Health Programs and Certification
  • Exemptions from obtaining licensure as a psychologist in South Dakota

References:
1. South Dakota Department of Social Services, Board of Examiners of Psychologists. http://dss.sd.gov/licensingboards/psych.aspx
2. South Dakota Legislature – South Dakota Codified Laws, Chapter 36-27A: Psychologists http://sdlegislature.gov/Statutes/Codified_Laws/DisplayStatute.aspx?Type=Statute&Statute=36-27A-12.
3. Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB): ASPPB Code of Conduct, Revised 2013 https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.asppb.net/resource/resmgr/Guidelines/Code_of_Conduct_Updated_2013.pdf
4. Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada: Member Universities https://www.univcan.ca/universities/member-universities/