Texas Psychology Licensure Requirements
The licensing process to become eligible to practice psychology in Texas starts with several years of education, including post-graduate study. Candidates for licensure must also gain experience and apply for a license with The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists. The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists ensures that candidates who are licensed are eligible and equipped to practice psychology at the entry level. Common questions that candidates for licensure have about this process include:
» What must I do to become a Psychologist in Texas?
» Do I need a doctoral degree to practice supervised psychology in Texas?
» What are the different levels of Psychology licensing in Texas?
» What internship or practicum experiences are required for Psychology licensure in Texas?
» Does Texas require candidates for licensure to take an oral exam?
Three Steps to Become a Psychologist in Texas
1. Earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Psychology.
For any licensing category in the psychology field in Texas, at least a master’s degree is required. Psychology Degree 411 maintains a convenient list of psychology programs at the baccalaureate and post-graduate levels to help you plan your education.
2. Earn a Doctorate in Psychology.
Licensed Psychologists must have a doctoral degree to practice independently without the supervision of a licensed psychologist. The doctoral degree must include a major in psychology and be accredited by the American Psychological Association or a regionally accredited college or university.
3. Apply for a license to practice as a Psychologist in Texas.
The application process for obtaining a psychologist’s license in Texas varies according to the licensure sought. Texas maintains four levels of licensure for psychologists, namely:
- Licensed Psychologist. Licensed psychologists must have previously been provisionally licensed, have a doctoral degree, have passed all relevant examinations, and obtained two years of supervised experience in the practice of psychology.
- Provisionally Licensed Psychologist. To become a provisionally licensed psychologist, which is a requirement before becoming a licensed psychologist, candidates must possess a doctorate in psychology, pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) with a score of 70% or above and pass the Jurisprudence Examination with a score of 90% or above.1
- Licensed Psychological Associate. This level of licensing requires supervision by a licensed psychologist. The candidate must possess a master’s degree in a psychological field, pass the EPPP with a score of 55% or above, and pass the Jurisprudence Examination with a score of 80% or above.1
- Licensed Specialist in School Psychology. This license category is for those working in the psychology field in a school setting, and requires the completion of a training program in school psychology and/or a master’s degree in psychology, as well as passage of the National School Psychology Examination.
Texas Psychologist Licensing Process
1. Complete Required Practicum Hours.
All licenses in psychology issued in Texas require practicum or work experience, which varies according to the license granted. Licensed Specialists in School Psychology must have at least 1,200 hours of internship experience, at least 600 of which are to be completed in a public school setting.1. Psychological Associates must complete at least 450 hours of supervised practice in psychology to become eligible for licensure.1
Licensed Psychologists must have completed at least one formal year consisting of at least 1,500 hours of supervised experience in psychology documented by the Director of Internship Training, which may be completed full-time or half-time.1 Licensed psychologists must also complete a second full year of psychological training.1 At least one of these years must be completed following the award of a doctoral degree.1. A Formal Internship Verification Form and Documentation of Experience Forms, one of which must be completed by the Director of Internship Training, are included with the application packet for Licensed Psychologists.
2. Pass the National School Psychology Examination (School Psychologists Only).
Candidates for licensure as Specialists in School Psychology must take and pass the National School Psychology Examination prior to applying for licensure. This exam consists of multiple choice questions centered on the practice of and issues in psychology in a school setting. The exam should be scheduled directly with the test administrator, Educational Testing Service, which also offers both free and paid test preparation modules.
3. Complete the Appropriate Application for Licensure.
As there are four categories of licensing in Texas, candidates for licensure should be careful to complete the correct application for the level of licensure desired: Application for Specialist in School Psychology, Application for Licensure as a Psychological Associate, Application for Provisional Licensure as a Psychologist, or Application for Licensure as a Psychologist. Each application packet contains information specific to the level of licensing sought, and should be completed in accordance with the instructions provided.
4. Request Professional References.
Candidates for licensure as a psychologist must obtain three reference letters from psychologists or specialists in the areas of psychology for which licensure to practice is sought.1 Depending on the license for which a candidate is applying, for example Psychological Associates, it may be permissible for one of the reference letters to come from a professor teaching psychology at the college or university level.
5. Complete the Criminal Background Check.
All levels of psychology licensure in Texas require candidates to submit a Texas Department of Public Safety/Federal Bureau of Investigation fingerprint criminal history record check. Individuals residing in Texas should complete the record check through the Fingerprint Applicant Service of Texas (FAST), administered by IdentoGO, a service of MorphoTrust USA. Instructions are provided with the application forms appropriate to each level of licensure.
Candidates who have, or believe they may have, a criminal background that could impact eligibility for licensure as a psychologist may request a preliminary evaluation from the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists by contacting the Enforcement Division of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists for the appropriate application.
6. Complete the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.
To be granted a license to practice psychology in Texas candidates must earn a passing score on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Permission to take the exam must be granted by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists after their review of the application for licensure; further instructions are forwarded to the applicant following the review.
7. Pass the Jurisprudence Examination.
The Jurisprudence Examination is required for all levels of psychology licensure in Texas. This examination is designed to test applicants’ knowledge of relevant laws and statutes governing the practice of psychology in the state. The exam is given in open-book format, and more information about preparing for and succeeding with the exam can be found in the exam brochure.
8. Earn a Passing Score on the Oral Exam.
The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists requires candidates to pass a scenario based oral exam administered by senior psychologists that also incorporates questions based on ethics, state and federal laws, and related issues. Prior to sitting for the oral exam, candidates must have earned their doctoral degree and passed both the EPPP and the Jurisprudence Examination.
Candidates can find scheduled dates for the oral exam, which is only administered in January and July, on the Texas State Board of Examiners calendar page. Candidates must declare their general specialty when applying to take the exam. Detailed information about the content of and procedures governing the oral exam is available on the Texas Board of Examiners of Psychologists website.
Additional Requirements and Information
The licensing process for becoming a psychologist in Texas requires diligence on behalf of applicants. Deeper information on requirements and scenarios can be accessed through the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists website, including:
- Fees for applications for licensure and required examinations
- Official rules and procedures for the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists
- Further information regarding psychologist’s license reciprocity for out of state applicants
- Alternate licensing procedures for military spouses
- Continuing education requirements for licensed psychologists
1. Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists: https://www.tsbep.state.tx.us
2. Education Testing Service, Praxis for Test Takers – School Psychologist: http://www.ets.org/praxis/nasp/requirements
3. IdentoGO, MorphoTrust USA, Texas FAST Program: https://www.identogo.com/locations/texas