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Psychologist Licensure Requirements in New Jersey

New Jersey psychologists are regulated by the State Board of Psychological Examiners (http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/psy). A prospective psychologist must earn a doctoral degree, complete a post-degree supervised practice requirement, and pass state and national examinations. Evidence of good character is also required.

Select a New Jersey Psychologist License topic below...

Education Requirements

A New Jersey psychologist will need a doctoral degree in psychology or a closely related field. A degree is considered license-qualifying if it is accredited by the American Psychological Association or Canadian Psychological Association or has been designated by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register.

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.

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

Other doctoral programs may qualify if they have a full-time faculty of professionals who hold psychology degrees and if they require students to physically attend class full-time for one year or part time for two years.

Candidates who enrolled before September 19, 2011 are not held to the residency or full-time faculty requirements.

Coursework Requirements

The doctoral program must include at least 40 semester hours of psychology courses, with at least six each in the following core areas.

  • Personality theory and human development
  • Psychological measurement and assessment
  • Physiological psychology and learning theory
  • Psychological therapy and counseling or industrial/ organizational psychology
  • Psychopathology
  • Research and statistical design

The candidate must have at least 20 additional semester hours of psychology courses, but these do not have to be a part of the doctoral program per se.

The Board may allow candidates who have six or fewer semester hours of deficiencies to make them up through further academic study.

Supervised Experience

A candidate will need at least 3,500 total hours of supervised work experience. 1,750 must be post-doctoral.

There must be no fewer than 1,000 direct client contact hours at the post-doctoral level. 550 post-doctoral hours are to be spent in work related activities which may include record keeping and consultation.

While completing the supervised practice requirements, a psychology candidate works under a temporary permit. This type of permit is good for three years and may be extended only on demonstration of good cause.

The supervisee practices under the guidance of a board-approved supervisor and is subject to evaluations at six month intervals. The supervisee must receive at least 200 hours of direct supervision; fully half of the supervisory hours must be individual.

The Examination Process

New Jersey candidates complete all supervision requirements before seeking board permission to take licensing examinations.

Once the Board has approved the candidate, he or she may register for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). The EPPP is administered at computerized testing sites around the nation. A candidate who pays the $600 fee will be allowed to schedule an examination at the most convenient site. Early scheduling is recommended as the examination must be attempted during the 60 day window granted by the ATT.

The state oral examination is based on a work sample that the candidate submits. A candidate who passes the EPPP is expected to take the state exam within 90 days of notification.

A candidate who does not pass the EPP may retake the exam. New Jersey does not place any limits n retakes beyond those set by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).

Candidates who have already passed the EPPP in another state or province may request a score transfer using the form found in the license application packet. The ASPPB charges $85 for this service ($115 if the candidate requests expedited processing). Fees are substantially discounted for candidates who hold ASPPB credentials.

The Application Process

Application forms can be downloaded from the site of the New Jersey Board (http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/psy/psy_applications.htm). The application requires detailed information about work history. There are also questions about professional and legal history, health impairments, and student loan and child support status.

Candidates are asked to attach a copy of the abstract of their psychology dissertation.

The application packet includes an affidavit that must be notarized; the candidate affirms that materials contained in the packet are true and also attests to having read the applicable statutes and regulations. A nonrefundable $125 application fee must be included with the application.

Background Checks

Applicants must have fingerprint-based background checks. The only exception is made for candidates who have been fingerprinted for another committee or board that is under the banner of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. The Board notes that background checks conducted by the Department of Education or other state agencies do not qualify.

The application packet includes an authorization form. Once this is received, the Board will provide details about how to have the fingerprints made. The Board notes that candidates should be prepared to pay a $70.25 fee at the fingerprinting site. They further note that the process can take four or five weeks and that this may cause some delay in the issuing of the license or permit.

A candidate who has been fingerprinted by the Division will not need to have fingerprints made again, but will need to have another background check run. The Board charges a $22.55 fee.

Out-of-State Applicants

Out-of-state psychologists must submit license verification. They are expected to meet essentially the same requirements, including two years of supervised experience. The supervisor is to be someone who held licensing in the other state. A candidate who cannot document the experience will need to find a supervisor and work under a temporary supervised permit.

A psychologist who has been licensed and practiced competently for 20 years will not be required to take the EPPP if all other requirements were met.

Candidates who hold American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) diplomas or Certificates of Professional Qualification (CPQ) will be endorsed (licensed without examination) provided they meet other requirements.

Temporary Statuses Granted to Out-of-State Licensees

A candidate licensed in another jurisdiction who has met all New Jersey requirements but the state oral exam and who has practiced actively for at least two of the prior four years may be granted an independent temporary permit. Candidates seeking this type of permit must provide details to the Board of their intended practice in the time before they achieve full licensure.

An out-of-state psychologist who will be working in New Jersey for a very limited time (up to 10 consecutive days, up to 15 days in a three month period) may send a letter of request to the New Jersey Board along with a copy of a current license and a curriculum vitae.

Internationally Educated Psychologists

Internationally educated psychologists may have their education evaluated for equivalency by World Education Services, Inc. (WES) or by another board-accepted agency that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Contact 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 New Jersey.

The Board may be reached via online contact form (http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/psy/psy_contact.htm) or by phone at (973) 504-6470.

New Jersey Psychological Association: https://www.psychologynj.org/

New Jersey Association of School Psychologists: http://njasp.org/

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