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Psychologist Licensure Requirements in Kentucky

The Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology (http://psy.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx) licenses the state's psychologists. Full licensure requires a doctoral degree, a period of supervised professional practice, and successful performance on national and state examinations. Psychologists work under temporary licensing while completing some requirements.

The educational requirements are lower for state credentialing as a psychological associate or practitioner. The psychological associate license is dependent on having a master's degree and passing a procedural examination. The psychological practitioner license requires 60 semester hours of graduate coursework plus five years' experience earned while holding an acceptable state credential.

Select a Kentucky Psychologist License topic below...

Education Requirements

A psychologist must earn a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Ed.D, or Psy.D.) in psychology from a regionally accredited institution. The degree must reflect at least three academic years of study, with at least one of the years spent in residency (which the Board defines as taking place at a physical campus).

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The program must include three semester hours each in biological, cognitive-affective, and social bases of behavior and in individual difference.

In addition, the program must cover research methodology, statistics, and scientific and professional standards.

Foundation courses may not be too specific in focus. However, one upper division undergraduate course is allowed.

A health services internship is to comprise at least 1,800 hours. At least 100 hours of supervision are required.

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

Educational Requirements for Psychology Specialties

Additional curricular expectations depend on the student's specialty/ intended area of practice.

A prospective counseling psychologist should have three semester hours in each of the following content areas:

  • Advanced abnormal psychology/psychopathology
  • Assessment of individual intellectual, social, personal, and vocational functioning
  • Career counseling and development theories
  • Theories, systems, or techniques of counseling
  • Counseling practicum
  • Assessment practicum

A clinical psychologist should have three semester hours in each of the following:

  • Advanced abnormal psychology or psychopathology
  • Psychotherapy theories and systems, and specific interventions
  • Individual assessment of intellectual functioning
  • Individual assessment of emotional and psychological functioning
  • Assessment practicum
  • Psychotherapy practicum

A licensed school psychologist* is expected to have three semester hours in each of the following:

  • Childhood exceptionalities, advanced abnormal psychology
  • Educational/ psycho-educational assessment techniques
  • Psychological assessment techniques
  • Counseling/psychotherapy/ psychological intervention
  • Assessment practicum
  • Psychological intervention practicum

*The Board notes that a school psychologist does not necessarily need licensure if credentialed by the Education Professional Standards Board and practicing solely in the context of regular employment within the schools.

An industrial/ organizational psychologist is to have three semester hours in the following content areas:

  • Organizational-social psychology
  • Industrial-personnel psychology
  • Human factors engineering
  • Industrial-clinical psychology
  • Marketing/ consumer psychology
  • Differential, personality, social, experimental

The Board considers five quarter hours to be the equivalent of three semester hours.

Supervised Experience

A psychologist who will be providing health services must complete a supervised post-doctoral practice experience of at least 1,800 hours that lasts at least one calendar year. One hour of face-to-face supervision is required per week.

A psychology candidate must work under a temporary license while accruing post-graduate supervised experience hours. There is a 60 day grace period which allows an individual who has completed a doctoral degree to begin supervised work.

While working under a temporary license, a psychologist is subject to reports at regular intervals. The supervisor will note strengths and weaknesses and provide a numerical ranking in key areas.

The Board notes that beginning July of 2013, psychologists will only have the 'health service provider' notation on their licenses if they have completed one year of supervised practice beyond that which is required for licensure. In order to supervise psychologists and associates in health service delivery, a psychologist will need this notation.

Licensing Examination

A series of examinations is required before full licensure. One is a national board examination, the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Graduates may take the EPPP after application and supporting educational documentation has been approved. (Applicants needing EPPP approval should include an email address in their applications.)

The national board examination is administered via computer at testing sites throughout the country. The ATT grants a 60-day testing window.

Psychologists working under temporary licensure must pass the board examination within one year. The oral examination must be taken and passed within a year of the time the supervised practice is completed and within two years of issuance of the temporary license.

The oral examination assesses the candidate's knowledge of his or her own specialty area. It is administered four times a year. Candidates complete jurisprudence examinations the same day.

Temporary licensure may be extended only under 'exceptional circumstances' and at the request of the approved supervisor.

An unofficial copy of relevant statutes is available on the Board site (http://psy.ky.gov/Documents/PSY%20Laws%20and%20Regulations.pdf). Candidates and practitioners should be aware that regulations do change.

The Application Process

Application forms are available in PDF format online (http://psy.ky.gov/Pages/applications.aspx). Most first-time applicants will need to download several forms including curriculum guidelines and reference forms. Candidates may submit applications to the Board once they have completed their doctoral degrees. (If the degree itself is not yet shown on the transcript, verification will be required from the registrar.)

Candidates will declare a specialty upon application. The Board recognizes counseling psychology, clinical psychology, school psychology, and industrial/ organizational psychology.

Three references will be required. One reference is to come from a field supervisor and one from someone in the doctoral degree program (at least In the case of new graduates or individuals who are at early stages in their careers).

The applicant will pay a $100 application fee, which is nonrefundable, as well as a $100 oral examination fee, which may be refunded in certain circumstances. The fee for the EPPP is paid directly to the testing company. (Candidates should be prepared to remit $600 at the time of registration.)

A temporary license may be granted upon request, and with the approval of the supervisor. The applicant and supervisor may co-sign one letter; it is also acceptable to include two separate letters.

Application packets may be mailed to the Board office in Frankfort.

Candidates for Endorsement or Reciprocity

An out-of-state licensee can be licensed on the basis of a reciprocal agreement with another jurisdiction or on the basis of having practiced for five years (in the United States or an ASPPB-member Canadian province) without discipline.

If an out-of-state licensee cannot document having met the supervised practice requirement, The Board may consider other professional experience.

The candidate will need to take a Kentucky mental health law exam (in addition to the oral exam).

A licensee can be recognized as a health service provider on the basis of any of the following: a Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ), American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) board certification, National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology certificate. Five years' experience as a practitioner (free of disciplinary history) is also required.

Nonresident Psychologists

A nonresident psychologist may be granted permission to render services on a very limited basis. A maximum of 30 days is allowed in a two-year period. The psychologist will need to register with the Board, using the form provided, and have the state of licensure send verification of a credential in good standing. An out-of state psychologist will need to keep a record of services rendered and submit it to the Board upon conclusion.

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 Licensed Psychologist in Kentucky.

The Board may be contacted at 502-696-3925.

The Kentucky Psychological Association (http://www.kpa.org/) does not issue licenses, but serves as an additional professional resource.

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