Texas Psychology Licensure Requirements
As you consider a career in psychology, the most important place for you to begin is with the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP). Their site provides an explanation of the process to obtain your license–including information on required education, experience, examination, and application for licensure. In Texas, there are four different license options, each with its own path and requirements. Deciding which option is right for you, and how to navigate the path to licensure, can be tricky. This guide will help clarify that process, and answer the following questions:
Table of Contents
- How to Become a Licensed Psychologist
- Licensure by Endorsement
- License Renewal and Continuing Education
- Related Licenses
- Jobs and Salary Information
- Additional Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions
- License Renewal and Continuing Education
How to to Become a Psychologist in Texas
1. Earn a bachelor’s degree and (optionally) a master’s degree in psychology.
The first step to becoming a licensed psychologist in the state of Texas is to complete your education. This will begin with a bachelor’s degree, usually followed by a master’s degree. Typically, the process to obtain a bachelor’s degree takes about four years and consists of around 120 credit hours.
Obtaining a stand-alone master’s in psychology is significantly shorter–only about 30 to 40 credit hours, depending on the university and specialization. It’s worth noting that some universities offer not only stand-alone master’s programs, but also programs in which you can complete both a master’s and doctoral degree in the same program, rather than completing them individually. Graduate programs do not usually require you to have majored in psychology, but earning your bachelor’s in psychology from an accredited university means that you will not have to take prerequisite coursework before entering your graduate program.
Another compelling reason to pursue a master’s degree in psychology is that in Texas, you will be eligible to become a licensed psychological associate. To qualify, the psychology graduate degree must include at least six credit hours of supervised practicum, internship, or related experience.
2. Earn a doctoral degree in psychology.
Next, you will need to obtain a doctorate degree, which may be a PsyD (Doctor of Psychology) or PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) in Psychology. For information on the differences between the two doctoral degree types, see our home page. The time it takes to earn a doctorate is variable and depends on other life commitments as well as specialization options and pre-doctoral experience, but most can be completed in four to seven years. Note aspiring school psychologists in Texas must complete a school psychology program approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP).
For licensure, the state of Texas requires that you earn a doctorate consisting of at least 60 credit hours, no more than 12 of which can be internship- or practicum-related. You must also complete at least 1,750 hours of work in a supervised, formal internship before earning your degree.
For more information on pursuing a doctoral degree in psychology, see our Psychology Schools in Texas page.
3. Submit an application to become a provisionally licensed psychologist.
In Texas, before you can be a licensed psychologist (LP) you must apply to be a provisionally licensed psychologist. Provisionally licensed psychologists must practice under the supervision of a psychologist, so during this time, you can complete the supervised professional experience required by the TSBEP to become a full psychologist. The application is $450, and you will need to submit two passport photos, and official transcripts. Once your application has been submitted, you will receive an email with instructions on how to get a fingerprint criminal history record check, which is required for licensure. Provisional licenses are good for up to two years.
4. Gain two years of supervised experience in your area of training.
To obtain licensure in Texas, you must complete at least 3,500 work hours in a supervised internship setting. Half of these hours (1,750) must have been completed as part of a formal internship while earning your doctorate, while at least the other half must be completed after you’ve obtained your doctoral degree with a provisional license. It usually takes two years to complete this experience if you work full-time. You must record your post-doctoral experience using the documentation form and you will send documentation of the formal internship using the verification form, both of which can be found on the Board website.
5. Pass the Texas psychology licensing exams.
There are two mandatory exams to pass in order to obtain licensure in psychology in Texas: the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the Jurisprudence Examination. The EPPP is a 225-question test and you need to earn a scaled score of 500 or higher to pass. There is a EPPP practice exam to assist in preparing for the EPPP. The Jurisprudence Exam is an online exam covering the Texas Licensing Act and TSBEP rules. You may take the exams before or after completing your supervised experience.
6. Request issuance of your psychologist license.
Once you’ve completed the necessary steps, you’re ready to request your psychologist license online. You must submit the request for your license within two years of submitting your application. This issuance fee is $381, and it takes about six weeks to process, but you can check on progress at any time through the PLUS system.
7. Receive your psychology license from the TSBEP.
Once the TSBEP has verified all qualifications, licensees will receive written notification of their licensure as well as a renewal permit by mail. A calligraphy license will be mailed to you within four months after the license has been issued.
Texas Licensure by Endorsement
Texas does not offer licensure by reciprocity for psychologists. However, if you’ve already obtained your licensure in another state, you may qualify for licensure in Texas by endorsement. To qualify, you must have proof that you’re “actively licensed and in good standing” and have been practicing in another jurisdiction for at least five years or that you have received at least 3,000 hours of supervised training from a licensed psychologist (at least one half of which was completed in a pre-doctoral internship and the other half of which was completed post-doctorally). You still must become a provisionally licensed psychologist first and follow the same steps above, aside from the difference in required supervised experience hours.
License Renewal and Continuing Education
Once you’ve obtained your license, retaining it requires some maintenance. Your license expires on the last day of your birth month and costs $424 to renew. While renewal reminders are sent by mail, it is still your responsibility to ensure timely renewal of your license. You can renew your license using the same online system that you used to apply. Each year, you will need to complete a minimum of 20 hours of professional development or CPE that are directly related to psychology practice. In addition, three out of the 20 required hours must be in ethics, Board Rules of Conduct, or professional responsibility and three hours must be in cultural diversity. At least 10 of the 20 hours must be obtained from or endorsed by a Board-approved provider. Hours over 20 cannot be rolled over to the next year.
Licensed Psychological Associate
If you are not ready to become a fully-licensed psychologist in Texas, another option is to become a licensed psychological associate (LPA). Only a master’s degree in psychology is required to become an associate, but you must still pass the EPPP and the Jurisprudence Exam. In addition, you must have at least six semester credit hours of supervised practicum experience or an internship. A fee of $325 is required with your online application. As a licensed psychological associate, you can also apply for independent practice once you have obtained 3,000 hours of post-graduate supervised experience (within a 24- to 48-month period). There is no fee to apply as a licensed psychological associate with independent status (LPA-I), and the application can be found on the Board website.
Licensed Specialist in School Psychology
If you are interested in applying your psychology knowledge to a career in education, you may want to become a licensed specialist in school psychology (LSSP). Prospective school psychologists are regulated by the TSBEP and will apply using the same online system as LPs and LPAs. The application fee is $280. Before applying, you must pass the Jurisprudence Exam. In addition to passing this exam, to be eligible to become an LSSP, you must hold a graduate degree including specific coursework and an internship; accumulate at least 1,200 hours of supervised experience; pass the the Praxis exam in school psychology; and submit to a criminal history record check.
Texas Psychologist Jobs and Salary Information
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), excluding educators, psychologists in Texas (clinical, counseling, and school psychologists and “all other” psychologists) earned an average of $85,090 per year as of May 2021, while postsecondary psychology teachers earned an average of $71,240 per year.1 Projections for psychologists in Texas are positive, with over 15% growth expected for clinical, counseling, school psychologists as well as postsecondary psychology teachers through 2030.2
|Occupation||Number Employed1||Average Annual Salary1|
|Clinical and Counseling Psychologists||3,170||$82,510|
|Psychologists, All Other||840||$101,680|
|Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary||2,870||$71,240|
- Texas Psychological Association (TPA): With a membership of over 1,500 psychologists and grad students, fights for people in the field to be able to practice effectively.
- Texas Association of School Psychologists (TASP): Members receive discounted rates to the annual convention, access to a newsletter, and networking opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to become a psychologist in Texas?
How long does it take to become a psychologist in Texas?
Becoming a psychologist in Texas can take a long time, but with high salaries and fast growth expected for the field, devoting the time to pursue your psychology license in Texas can pay off. If you are interested in being a psychologist, expect to go to school for a total of six to eight years until you obtain your doctoral degree, if you attend full-time without taking much time off between degree programs. Then, once you’ve completed your schooling, you will begin the actual licensing process, which includes gaining experience, taking tests, and waiting for your application to go through. All in all, you should expect it to take a total of eight to 10 years to become a psychologist in Texas.
What degree do I need to be a licensed psychologist in Texas?
For Texas licensure as a psychologist, you will need a doctoral degree. If you want to become a licensed psychological associate or school psychologist, you can get licensed with a master’s degree.
How much do psychologists in Texas make?
According to the BLS, the highest paid psychologists in the state are in the “all other” category, and they earned $101,680 per year as of May 2021.1 On average, psychologists in the state, excluding educators, earned $85,090 per year.1
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Texas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tx.htm
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm