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The South Carolina Board of Examiners in Psychology licenses the state's psychologists. Licensure is based on education, supervised professional experience, and a two-stage examination process. Prospective psychologists come under board regulation when they have completed their education and are ready to begin postdoctoral practice.
Psychologists may only practice in those areas in which they have demonstrated competency. The Board recognizes the following specializations; clinical, community, counseling, experimental, industrial/ organizational, school, and social psychology. School psychologists have a separate regulating agency and may practice within the scope authorized without meeting the standards of the Board of Examiners in Psychology.
The candidate must complete a doctoral degree through a school that holds regional accreditation or, if not in the United States, is chartered or authorized by 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.
Click Here to learn more about psychology education options based on your current educational attainment.
Programs that hold programmatic accreditation through the American Psychological Association (APA) or are designated as psychology programs by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) are license qualifying.
Other programs may be license qualifying, but the burden of proof will be on the graduate to show that rigorous standards were met. The program must represent three academic years of graduate study, exclusive of internship. It must cover the content areas that have been described in the ASPPB reciprocity agreement. ASPPB designation guidelines are included in the application.
On the application form, non-APA candidates will be asked to document six semester hours of coursework in each of the following areas: biological bases of behavior, social and affective bases of behavior, social bases of behavior, and individual differences. Human development and psychopathology are covered under the ‘individual differences’ requirement. The candidate will also document that there was some coverage of psychometrics and statistics, research methodology design, professional and scientific ethics, and the history and systems of psychology.
A psychologist must put in two years of supervised experience. For licensing purposes, 1,500 hours is figured as one year. The first 1,500 hours is typically completed as a pre-doctoral internship. It may comprise one full-time year or two part-time years. The second year is required to be postdoctoral. While completing postdoctoral hours, the trainee will be under the supervision of a psychologist who is recognized by the Board in the same specialization that the trainee seeks recognition in. The supervisee must have at least one hour of face-to-face supervision every week. A supervision contract must be filed before postdoctoral hours can be accrued.
There is a multi-step application process. A graduate submits a Preliminary Application for Licensure after finishing the doctoral degree. The graduate also requests official transcripts from all institutions where graduate coursework was taken. If the psychology program was not APA-accredited, additional educational documentation will be required. The candidate will need a description of the overall program as well as individual course descriptions.
The preliminary form is available on the Board site. Click here to download the form. It requires notarization. The fee for application is $500. Candidates must document lawful presence and submit a curriculum vitae.
After the initial form is received, additional application materials will be sent to the candidate. Among them is the supervision contract. (Additional documentation will be required when supervision is completed.)
Reference forms will also be included in the license packet. The candidate will need to provide three references. Two of these must come from psychologists. Application status may be monitored online.
If a candidate does not respond to a request for further information within 90 days and still wishes to pursue licensure, a new application may be required.
There are two examinations required for licensure. The first is the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). After the candidate's preliminary application has been approved, the candidate may request permission from the Board administrator to take the examination. The South Carolina Board will communicate eligibility to Professional Examination Service (PES).
The candidate will receive registration materials. Upon payment of the examination fee (currently $600) the candidate will be granted an ATT. The candidate must schedule at an authorized site and take the licensing examination during the 60-day examination window granted by the ATT. The test may be taken in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, or Myrtle Beach. It is also permissible to schedule in another state. Prometric, the company that administers the computer-based testing sites, assesses an additional $79.56 fee. Candidates may, if necessary, reschedule, but must do so two days in advance. A candidate who does not register or take the examination within the allowable timeframe will need to reapply and pay additional fees.
South Carolina accepts the score set by the ASPPB (500). A candidate who does not pass a first attempt must wait at least 60 days before reexamination. South Carolina allows two attempts during a one year period.
The oral examination is not taken until after all other requirements have been met. A candidate who has reached this stage will be notified to contact the Board and schedule an examination. A candidate who fails the oral examination will be required to wait six months before making another attempt. (Board regulations prevent licensing of anyone who has failed an examination attempt within the previous six months.)
Out-of-state psychologists may be granted reciprocal licensing if their jurisdiction has standards that are at least equivalent to those of South Carolina; a year of postdoctoral experience must be documented.
EPPP documentation may be requested from the ASPPB at (678) 216-1175. An out-of-state licensee may be authorized for up to 60 days of practice in a year without attaining full licensure; this is referred to as a temporary permit. The cost of a temporary permit is $250. The Board will require license verification as well as a curriculum vitae and doctoral transcript.
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 South Carolina.
The Board administrator may be reached at (803) 896-4664.
The South Carolina Psychological Association does not handle licensing, but serves as an additional professional resource (http://www.scpsychology.com).