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Alaska's psychologists are licensed by the Board of Psychologist and Psychological Associate Examiners. Full licensure as a psychologist is granted after a candidate completes a doctoral degree, passes a licensing examination, and works under supervision for a year. Temporary licenses are granted to candidates who have fulfilled most requirements, but need to complete their post-doctoral requirements.
Candidates who have completed master's degrees and met other requirements set by the Board may be licensed as psychological associates.
A prospective psychologist must complete a doctoral program through a regionally accredited university. The program must include, at minimum, three years of full-time study (or the equivalent). At least one year must be done in residency.
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The student should select a field of psychology corresponding to his or her intended area of practice. The Board recognizes clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and other specialties that they may "deem equivalent". (School psychologists have a separate credentialing process.)
The following coursework is required:
A student who completes a doctoral degree but lacks one or two required courses may make them up by enrolling in an appropriate institution of higher learning.
A year of postdoctoral supervised experience is required in a field of psychology that corresponds to the graduate's education. The minimum requirement is 1,500 hours. Part-time or full-time work is acceptable; the candidate may work between 20 and 40 hours a week. The requirement may be met in ten to 24 months; the time frame may also be extended, at Board discretion, for good cause.
Internships that are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) are deemed acceptable; other training experiences must meet regulations set by the Alaska Board.
At least half of the credited experience is to be direct service; at least half of the direct service must be in a face-to-face format. At least 80% of supervision is to be provided by a psychologist. The remaining supervision may be provided by a psychiatrist, social worker, marriage and family therapist, counselor, or psychological associate, provided the supervisor is qualified in the supervisee’s specialty.
While accruing supervised experience, the psychologist will work under a temporary license.
Alaska utilizes the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) for licensure purposes. Candidates must receive permission from the Alaska Board by submitting applications and required documents.
The examination is administered in Alaska in Anchorage, but candidates can opt to schedule at another Prometric Center in the United States or Canada. Registration information will be sent once the application has been approved. Examinations are scheduled on an ongoing basis, but candidates are advised to schedule as soon as they are authorized as slots do fill. Candidates who want answers to frequently answered or wish to see an outline of examination content may visit the site of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (http://www.asppb.net/?page=FAQs).
Candidates must also pass a state laws and rules examination. It is scheduled four times a year at locations in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau. The Division will provide a study packet, upon request, to applicants who have been approved to sit for the examination. Upcoming examination dates are posted on the Board site. A candidate should submit the application 45 days prior to a scheduled Board meeting in order to be scheduled for the next available examination.
Application packets are to be turned in before post-doctoral supervised practice commences. The application is available for download. It includes health and professional fitness questions; some answers may require a doctor's statement or other supporting evidence. A recent photograph (showing head and shoulders) is to be attached to the application.
A candidate will need five reference letters, one of them from a member of the doctoral committee and at least two from psychologists. Undergraduate and graduate transcripts are required.
There is an application fee of $75 and a credential review fee of $100. The state laws and rules examination costs $50, and the national licensing examination, $600 – this fee is paid to the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). There will be an additional small fee due to the company that runs the computerized testing sites. The temporary license is $150. There will be a $775 licensing fee for the permanent license, but it does not have to be submitted until licensing requirements have been met. A candidate who is in default on an educational loan or arrears on child support may be issued a temporary licensed, good for 150 days; the licensee must remedy the situation before a permanent license can be issued.
Alaska requires verification from all states of licensure, past or present. Out-of-state psychologists may be licensed by credentials through either of two pathways: The first is to demonstrate that the state of licensure has requirements at least substantively equivalent to Alaska's. The second is to present credentials verifying status as a diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology; documentation is to come directly from the ABPP.
The Board requires a vita and references. A candidate for licensure by credentials will need to submit a nonrefundable application fee of $75 and a credential review fee of $100. The $775 licensing fee may be remitted with the application or at a later stage.
An out-of-state licensee who will be practicing in Alaska may apply for a courtesy license. The application must be submitted at least 30 days prior to beginning practice. If a psychologist wishes to practice in the state at another point in the future, a regular license will be required. Courtesy licenses are not granted to Alaska residents.
If you are still in High School, hold a High School Diploma/GED, hold a bachelor's degree, or hold a master's degree check out suggested steps to take along the path to become a Licensed Psychologist in Alaska.
The license examiner can be reached at (907) 465-5470. Additional contact information is posted on the main page of the Board site at: http://commerce.alaska.gov/dnn/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardofPsychologists.aspx.
The Alaska Psychological Association is an additional professional resource. AK-PA is not involved with the licensing process, but does provide legislative information.