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Psychologist License Requirements in Georgia

Georgia psychologists are licensed by the State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (http://sos.ga.gov/plb/psych). Licensed psychologists have completed doctoral degrees (comprising three or more years of graduate education) and have fulfilled a one year supervised practice requirement. In addition, they have passed national board examinations and state jurisprudence and oral examinations.

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Required Education for Psychologists in Georgia

Psychology candidates in all specialties except industrial/ occupational psychology are required to complete doctoral programs that are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). Industrial/ occupational psychology programs are to be listed as "designated doctoral programs in psychology" by the national register and the ASPPB. Transcripts submitted to the Georgia Board should reflect a sequential psychology curriculum that develops competency in the core areas:

  • Theoretical, scientific, and methodological foundations
  • Breadth of scientific psychology
  • Assessment and measurement
  • Treatment and intervention

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers several Online Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral programs in Psychology including both clinical and non-clinical specializations. Capella University, also offers four online CACREP - accredited master's programs: MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy, MS in School Counseling and PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. Click here to contact Capella University and request information about their programs.

The New York University Steinhardt Department of Applied Psychology offers a Master of Arts in School Counseling (Counseling and Guidance: School and Bilingual School Counseling). This program is accredited by the Master's in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC). Click Here to contact NYU Steinhardt about this Master's program that offers students professional preparation as well as studies foundational to further graduate work.

Programs also develop competence in working with diversity. Psychology students complete a pre-doctoral internship as part of their graduate studies. The internship itself may be APA-accredited or may meet equivalency standards. The Board has published internship requirements for the various psychology specialties. Generally, interns must be supervised by a licensed psychologist; a portion of the work may be supervised by a psychologist, neurologist, or a master’s level professional licensed in a mental health discipline. In some cases, I/ O or mental retardation (MR/DD) psychologists may be unlicensed but present with other credentials.

Click Here to learn more about psychology education options based on your current educational attainment.

Postdoctoral Supervised Practice

Psychology graduates need at least 1,500 hours of post-doctoral supervised experience, or SWE. It may be completed over a one- or two-year period (11 - 24 months). Post-graduate practice requirements may be completed as part of a formal fellowship that is accredited by the APA or a member of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC). In this case, the candidate will be presumed to be working under conditions acceptable to the Board.

Other experiences are acceptable if they meet Board standards. With the exception of I/O candidates, supervisees must have an hour of individual supervision for every 30 hours of SWE; supervision is to be logged.

Supervised Practice Under Provisional Licensing

Candidates who have fulfilled examination requirements and are in the process of completing supervised work experience may be issued provisional licenses. This is a relatively uncommon license category. As of 10/12/2013, the Board lists only one such license active (compared to 2,284 standard licenses and 21 temporary licenses issued to out-of-state candidates).

Psychologist Licensing Examinations in GA

Although the national board and jurisprudence examinations are administered by third parties, candidates will need Board permission.

The first examination attempted is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). This exam was developed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and is administered throughout the United States and Canada. A candidate handbook is available for download.

Candidates should be prepared to remit $600 with their registration. After the EPPP comes the Georgia Laws and Rules Examination. Candidates will receive a notice to register from the Board and may schedule via computer. At this stage, they will be directed to PSI Exams. The examination fee is currently listed as $85; there is a candidate handbook available for download from the PSI site.

The final part of the process is the oral examination. Currently, this takes place in Macon. One purpose of the oral examination is to ensure that the candidate is able to practice competently. This is generally presumed unless significant issues arise, in which case the Board may impose additional requirements. The Board also notes that Georgia psychology licenses are general (not conferred in particular specialties) but that psychologists are bound to practice only in areas where they are competent. Thus, the oral interview is also an opportunity to learn about the prospective psychologist's intended practice.

Candidates will send a case study to the Board for reviewing prior to actually appearing. Some candidates may go through a lengthier process than others; this is at Board discretion.

The Application Process

In the application, the candidate will indicate a specialty (counseling psychology, clinical psychology, school psychology, I/O or other) as well as treatment and assessment competencies and populations served.

The application packet also includes a statement that must be notarized; the applicant affirms the veracity of application material and confirms eligibility as a citizen or legal resident eighteen years or older.

An applicant for license by examination needs send only a $100 fee at the time of application; testing fees will be assessed later.

Official transcripts are to be requested from the school and sent directly to the Board. References are to be completed on official forms. The purpose is to assess whether there are negatives (such as drug use or untrustworthy behavior) which would impact the candidate’s ability to practice. A full list of forms is available in Adobe form on the Board site. Click here to download the forms. Application status may be monitored online.

Endorsement Psychologists in Georgia

Psychologists who hold (or have held) licensing in other jurisdictions should send the required verification form to their licensing agencies along with any fee that may be required by the receiving agency.

Psychologists who have been licensed ten years or more have less paperwork to submit. They do not need to verify their internships or post-graduate supervised practice. Doctoral transcripts and references are still required. Candidates who have been licensed five or more years do not need to document post-doctoral practice.

Endorsement candidates submit a $100 application fee and a $100 fee for a temporary license (if such licensing is needed). The purpose of the temporary license is to allow endorsement psychologists to work while they are going through the Georgia examination process (jurisprudence and oral examinations). The temporary license is contingent on taking the required examinations on the time line specified by the Board.

International psychologists must have credentials evaluated by a third-party credential evaluator. The Board has provided a list of organizations that may provide the service (http://sos.georgia.gov/acrobat/PLB/02%20Credential%20Evaluation%20Services.pdf).

Temporary and Volunteer Practice

An out-of-state psychologist who holds an Inter jurisdictional Practice Certificate is eligible to work in Georgia on a very limited basis without seeking licensure within the state. However, said psychologist must provide some documentation to the Georgia Board. A psychologist may not invoke this privilege while going through the licensing process in Georgia.

A candidate who maintained a good discipline record but is retired or on inactive status may apply for a volunteer license. Georgia requires an interview and proof of recent continuing education but may grant a temporary license to a candidate who is still in the process of fulfilling these requirements. Various limited duration licenses are described in Chapter 510-9 of Georgia code.

Additional Information

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 Georgia.

Rules change periodically. Interested individuals may visit the Board site to see proposed changes (http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing/plb/44/psychology_proposed_rules2).

The Board can be reached at (478) 207-2440.

The Georgia Psychological Association is an additional professional resource (http://www.gapsychology.org).

Learn more about your Psychology degree options based on your current educational attainment