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Arizona psychologists are licensed by the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners. A psychologist candidate must earn a doctoral degree, complete an internship, and pass a national board examination.
A prospective psychologist may earn a doctoral degree in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, school psychology, or another branch of applied psychology deemed acceptable by the Arizona Board. Doctoral programs that are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) are considered to meet all requirements. Other programs are acceptable if they meet standards published by the Board.
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Click Here to learn more about psychology education options based on your current educational attainment.
Graduate study must take place at a regionally accredited university and must take the equivalent of at least three academic years. There must be a sequential psychology program that includes assessments. The candidate must write and defend a dissertation or do some project judged by the Arizona Board to be equivalent.
The following content must be covered in the program:
An applicant is expected to have at least the equivalent of one three semester hour course in each required content area. The comprehensive examination may satisfy one core requirement. Candidates who are deficient in one or two courses will be allowed to make them up as non matriculated university students.
Arizona requires that licensees have at least 3,000 total hours of supervised experience, at least 1,500 of them in a formal internship or equivalent training program. If the internship program is not APA-accredited and is not a member of the Association of Psychology and Postdoctoral Internship Centers, it must meet an extensive set of requirements established by the Arizona Board.
The training must be planned in such a way that it provides sufficient depth and breadth. There must be at least two on-site psychologists available as supervisors. There must be one hour of direct supervision for every 2 0 hours. There must be two hours of additional learning experiences each week.
It is acceptable to credit more than 1,500 hours of formal internship. The remaining hours may be some combination of pre-internship or postdoctoral supervised practice. Any credited pre-internship must meet the standards set forth in 32-2071. (The Board notes that many states are not as flexible about the second 1,500 hours and cautions candidates who are planning to practice in other jurisdictions to check regulations elsewhere.)
An Arizona candidate may credit no more than 1,500 hours of post-doctoral supervised professional experience. At least 600 hours must be spent in direct client contact. The trainee will have a supervisor who has been credentialed for at least two years. At least one hour of individual supervision will be provided for every 20 hours of professional experience.
Arizona requires candidates to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). A candidate must to apply to the Board to receive authorization to take the exam. Once approved, the candidate will need to register with the organization that develops and oversees the examination. A $600 fee will be assessed at that time. After registering, the candidate will receive an ATT. This will allow the individual to schedule an exam at the computerized testing site of his or her choice; testing must take place within the 60-day window granted by the ATT.
Candidates may submit applications to the Arizona Board when they have completed at least 1,500 hours of internship (half the total experience requirement). A candidate who applies after completing only the first 1,500 hours must complete supervision requirements within 36 months.
Candidates who have previously passed the examination in another jurisdiction may request scores from the EPPP Score Transfer Service. A candidate who fails three examination attempts in any jurisdiction must devise a remedial plan.
Applications and supplemental documents are available on the Board site. Applicants who did not complete APA-accredited programs will fill out course worksheets and include course catalog descriptions to assist the Board in determining course content. Internship must be verified. If the internship was accredited by the APA or a member of the APPIC, this is a quick process.
The application itself is to be notarized and submitted with a 1 ½ by 2 recent photograph and a fee of $350. The applicant will need to provide evidence of U.S. citizenship or other legal status. The following are to be sent directly to the Board by third parties: references, official transcripts.
The Board must receive a licensing application 14 days before a scheduled meeting in order to have it placed on the agenda.
Applicants who have already completed supervision requirements at the time of application can expect to have licenses within 120 days unless there is something that they fail to submit or complete within the expected time frame. The Arizona Board makes a distinction between applications that are ‘open’ and those that are ‘administratively complete’. When an application and fee are received, an application file is opened. It is expected that it will be complete within 30 days; however, a candidate who is notified of a deficiency will be given additional time.
Once the application is complete, the period of ‘substantive review’ begins. The applicant is to take and pass the examination during this time.
An out-of-state licensee must submit verification of any psychology licenses held as well as any licenses held in other professions. A professional who has been licensed and in good standing in the United States or Canada for at least five years may apply for license by credential. There is a separate application packet.
The candidate may use any of the following to demonstrate that qualifications have been met: a Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ), registration with the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (NRHSPP) or diploma earned through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).
NRHSPP candidates will need to provide separate evidence that they have been licensed the requisite five years and have passed the EPPP. License verification should include dates of licensure. If the state of licensure does not provide examination information, it can be obtained through the EPPP Score Transfer Service. Licensees who do not hold one of the above credentials will use the standard application packet.
The candidate will need to do a self-query through the National Practitioner Data Bank – Health care Integrity Protection Data Bank.
Psychological who were educated in foreign countries must provide additional documentation to demonstrate the equivalency of their programs. The Board will need to see the original copy of the certificate of graduation. A copy must also be provided – the latter will be retained as a part of the professional’s file.
Transcripts must be provided. The Board will need evidence that the dissertation was ‘psychological’; they may ask to see the dissertation. All documents must be translated into the English language.
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 becoming a Psychologist in Arizona.
Exceptions to the requirements for licensure are found in 32-2075 of the code.
Psychologists who live out of state and hold current licensing in other jurisdictions may provide limited and occasional services without an Arizona license. School psychologists who are certified by the Department of Education can work in some settings without obtaining a license through the Board of Psychological Examiners.
Psychologists and psychology candidates should make sure they have the current regulations as these change periodically. The licensing coordinator can be reached by phone at (602) 542-8159. Additional contact information can be found in the licensing application.