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Psychologist License Requirements in Texas

The Texas State Board of Examiners licenses psychology professionals (http://www.tsbep.state.tx.us). There are four license types. Full licensure as a psychologist requires doctoral education, a series of examinations, and a period of supervised professional practice. Professionals are credentialed as Provisionally Licensed Psychologists while completing supervised practice requirements.

The Board also issues a school psychology license (Licensed Specialist in School Psychology) and a master’s level associate license. Specialty certification as a health service provider is granted to psychologists who hold National Register of Health Service Providers registration.

Select a Texas Psychologist License topic below...

Educational Requirements

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

To be credentialed as a Licensed Psychologist or Provisionally Licensed Psychologist, an individual must earn their doctorate in psychology from a regionally accredited school.

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers several Online 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.

The Examination Process

Texas psychologists must pass three licensing examinations. Two are taken before the provisional license is issued. The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is a national board examination. After application materials for provisional licensure have been reviewed, candidates are given registration instructions. Texas adds a $200 administrative fee to the cost of the examination, which brings the total cost to $800.

Candidates who took the exam at the master’s (associate) level and scored 500 (or 70% on the older paper version) will not be required to take it again to become psychologists.

The jurisprudence examination costs $210. The passing score is 90% at the psychologist level. Statutes and rules may be accessed online (http://www.tsbep.state.tx.us/act-and-rules-of-the-board).

The oral examination is taken at a later stage. It carries a $320 fee and is based on a vignette in the psychologist's specialty area (clinical, counseling, school, neuropsychological, or industrial/ organizational psychology). The candidate will be rated at one of four proficiency levels on nine different competency areas. Two senior psychologists will assess responses. If both rate the candidate as passing, the candidate will pass. If they are in disagreement, the candidate will have a second examination the same day with a separate set of psychologists.

A candidate who does not pass will be allowed to retake the examination at a later date. Feedback will be provided to help the candidate improve performance in deficit areas.

Candidates are expected to pass examinations within two years of the time that they are approved to take them.

Supervised Practice

Two years of supervised professional experience is required for full licensure. The Board considers 35 hours a week full-time. It is acceptable to work half-time (20 or more hours a week) and take 24 months to complete a “year” of experience.

The first year is internship or formal training (in all cases but industrial/ organizational psychology). An internship that is accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) meets requirements. Other internship experiences may be accepted if they meet standards adopted the Board (http://www.tsbep.state.tx.us/files/agencydocs/TSBEPRuleBook.pdf).

The second year of supervised experience must be postdoctoral.

Background Checks

A fingerprint-based background check is required. Candidates may begin the process before applying. However, candidates must follow instructions found in the application packet. In-state candidates have their fingerprints made electronically utilizing the Fingerprint Applicant Service of Texas (FAST). They may schedule at any MorphoTrust site in Texas by calling 1-888-467-2080. The $44.25 fee may be paid straight to the vendor.

Out-of-state candidates may utilize another law enforcement service to have their fingerprints captured, but must send them to the Texas vendor. There are special instructions that must be followed. Out-of-state candidates may make a written request for a fingerprint application packet which includes fingerprint cards and an envelope addressed to the vendor.

Candidates must have background checks performed at each level of licensure unless they have had one within the prior 18 months.

Candidates with Conviction History

Individuals who have criminal convictions on their records and are considering enrolling in doctoral programs in psychology may have their criminal history evaluated prior to enrollment. If they are found eligible, they will be issued a letter which will be valid when it is time to apply. There is a $50 fee for this service. (http://www.tsbep.state.tx.us/how-to-become-licensed)

The Application Process

Candidates first apply to the Board when they are preparing to begin postdoctoral practice. Applicants for provisional licensure pay $340 when they submit their applications; this does not include testing fees which will be paid later. Official transcripts are due at this time.

Click Here for Application Forms and additional Materials.

Click Here for the Licensed Psychologist application forms.

The candidate will also need three professional references.

The Licensed Psychologist application carries a $180 fee.

Out-of-State Psychologists

Psychologists who are licensed in other states may apply by the standard pathway or use a mobility pathway if they qualify.

Texas has signed the ASPPB reciprocity agreement. Texas reciprocity is extended to the U.S. states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin and also to the Canadian states of Ontario and Manitoba. Out-of-state applicants should make sure they have current information as new states may enter or exit reciprocity agreements.

Psychologists in these states are eligible for the reciprocal license if they have held their credential for at least five years and do not have a disciplinary record (http://www.tsbep.state.tx.us/how-to-become-licensed/73). Reciprocal candidates do not have to take the oral examination and thus qualify for full licensure immediately. Reciprocity application pack (http://www.tsbep.state.tx.us/how-to-become-licensed/70)

Any of the following can simplify the application process: National Register Health Service provider credential, American Board of Professional Psychology specialty credential, Certificate of Professional Qualification. Candidates who hold an acceptable credential are assumed to have earned doctoral degrees, passed appropriate board examinations, and provided references. They will still need to take the oral exam; they will be credentialed first as provisional psychologists, but will not necessarily be required to practice under supervision.

Under rule 463.13, candidates who are currently licensed and in good status in other jurisdictions may have the requirement to provide documentation of supervised practice waived.

Applicants who are spouses of military personnel have alternate requirements if it is determined that the state of licensure has substantively equivalent requirements (http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl).

International Candidates

International candidates are eligible to go through the licensing process if their education is evaluated and found equivalent by the University of Texas-Austin (http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext). The candidate must provide detailed educational information and certified translations of documents that are not in the English language.

School Specialists in Psychology

Candidates who graduate from NASP-approved or APA-accredited programs are deemed to have met education and internship requirements for the school psychology credential. Other candidates will need to provide additional documentation that they have met requirements. The following coursework is required:

  • Educational foundations
  • Psychological foundations
  • Assessments
  • Interventions
  • Professional issues and ethics

School psychology specialists take the National School Psychology Examination and jurisprudence examination.

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 Texas.

Applicants with questions may call 512-305-7700. (The Board notes that it is not possible to approve a candidate’s credentials over the telephone, but more general questions can be answered.)

The Texas State Board of Examiners licenses psychology professionals (http://www.tsbep.state.tx.us).

The Board publishes one to two newsletters per year (http://www.tsbep.state.tx.us/newsletters).

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