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Psychologist Licensure Requirements in Mississippi

Mississippi psychologists are regulated by the Mississippi Board of Psychology (http://www.psychologyboard.state.ms.us/Pages/default.aspx). In order to be licensed, one must earn a doctoral degree in psychology, pass two examinations, and work under supervision. The Board also requires good character, as evidenced by background checks and professional references.

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Psychologist Educational Requirements

A psychologist will need a doctoral degree from a regionally accredited school; in the case of Canadian programs, the institution may be authorized through provincial statute.

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.

It is expected that the program itself be accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or Canadian Psychological Association (CPA). If the program is in a specialty that these agencies do not accredit, it is to be designated as a psychology program by the National Register of Health Service Providers and the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards Designation Committee. If the program is too new to have achieved accreditation but is working toward it, the Board will expect evidence to this effect.

A degree earned outside the United States or Canada may also be accepted if it meets recognized standards.

A candidate who holds diplomate status through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) is deemed to have met education requirements.

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

Supervised Professional Experience

The prospective psychologist must complete 4,000 hours of supervised professional experience, the equivalent of two full-time years. The first 2,000 hours is internship. It may be completed in one to two years.

An internship that is not accredited by the APA or CPA will be evaluated individually; it must meet established standards. The experience must be sufficiently broad. The intern must have the opportunity to provide a range of services to a varied population. There must be four hours a week of supervision, at least two of them individual.

The second 2,000 hours must be postdoctoral. Postdoctoral experience is to be in the same area of psychology that the individual did his or her academic coursework in. The Board expects at least two hours a week of individual supervision. The 2,000 hour postgraduate requirement is also to be met within a two-year period.

The Examination Process

Mississippi requires the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and a state oral examination.

The EPPP is a national board examination developed by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB); it measures competence in eight areas. An approved candidate must register with a third party and pay a $600 fee. Soon after, an Authorization to Test (ATT) will be issued. A candidate may schedule an examination at an authorized Prometric center at any time during the 60-day window provided by the ATT.

EPPP examinees must receive a scaled score of 500. Results will be sent by the ASPPB to the Board; the Board will then notify the candidate within ten business days. Candidates should be aware that the testing company does not communicate with state boards immediately after each weekday administration.

The oral examination will be carried out by a panel of psychologists and chaired by a Board member. Dates of upcoming oral examinations can be accessed on the Board site. There are five scheduled for 2014. The fee for the oral examination is $150. The examinee will be informed of the decision within ten business days of the time results are ratified.

A candidate who fails either the EPPP or the oral exam one time will be allowed to retake the exam. A candidate who fails either exam two times will need to wait two years before reapplying and making another attempt.

Background Checks

Mississippi requires criminal background checks carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the Mississippi Criminal Information Center.

Fingerprints are to be made on the correct card. There is a fingerprint card request form in the application packet. A candidate who has gone through a background check in the prior two years may be exempted if results are made available.

The Application Process

The application process has multiple steps. A candidate may download the initial application form (http://www.psychologyboard.state.ms.us/Pages/Apps-Forms.aspx).

The applicant will need to attach a passport photo that meets Board regulations. The application carries a $300 fee. The $50 background check fee may also be included with the initial application. The form must be notarized and sent to the Yazoo City office.

After initial materials have been received, the candidate will continue the application process online. The Mississippi Board is one of the first states to use the Psychology Licensure Universal System (PLUS), developed by the ASPPB. The ASPPB will contact the applicant to provide additional information and will send forms to primary sources to verify training. An advantage to this system is that credentials are ‘banked’; this may facilitate later applications.

Three psychologists will need to serve as references.

Out-of-State Psychologists

The licensing process may be easier for an out-of-state licensee who holds a mobility credential or other special status. Mississippi recognizes the ASPPB Certification of Professional Qualification (CPQ) as evidence that multiple requirements have been met.

A psychologist who was licensed on the basis of doctoral level education and who has been licensed in good standing for at least 20 years may use the senior psychologist pathway. The oral examination will still be required.

A psychologist who is licensed in another jurisdiction may be issued a temporary license to work while waiting to take the state oral exam. The temporary license carries a $50 fee.

Temporary Practice

Nonresident psychologists may request a temporary practice certificate. This is not issued to psychologists who will be doing extended part-time or contractual work in Mississippi, but rather to those who have a limited need – for example, those who are involved with a trial.

The Board will need evidence of a license in good standing; an Inter-jurisdictional Practice Certificate (IPC) will be accepted. A temporary practice permit costs $100.

Re-Specialization

Psychologists are expected to practice only in areas where they have had sufficient education. A candidate who wishes to change specialization may enroll in a retraining program. There must be appropriate academic coursework; a practicum or internship is not considered sufficient. ABPP examination is taken as proof that the psychologist is competent in that specialty.

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 become a Licensed Psychologist in Mississippi.

The Board may be reached at 662-716-3934 or 1-888-693-1416. Mississippi Board of Psychology (http://www.psychologyboard.state.ms.us/Pages/default.aspx).

The Mississippi Psychological Association does not handle licensing, but serves as a resource for psychology professionals (http://mpassoc.org).

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