Psychologist License Requirements in Iowa

Iowa’s psychologists are regulated by the Iowa Board of Psychology, under the banner of the Bureau of Professional Licensure ( Licensure is dependent on completing a doctoral degree, passing a board examination, and practicing under supervision for one postdoctoral year. (Psychologist candidates who seek health credential certification must demonstrate two years of supervised practice, though one can be earned as part of a doctoral program.)

In-state candidates are regulated while they are earning their experience hours; the initial process is called ‘registration of supervision’.

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Educational Requirements

Candidates must graduate from doctoral programs in psychology that hold recognized programmatic accreditations or approvals. Programs will be accepted as license-qualifying in Iowa if they are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and/ or are recognized by the National Register Designation Project of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).

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An ABBP specialty diploma will be accepted as evidence of having met educational standards.

Examination Requirement

Iowa, like all states, utilizes the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Graduates may apply for permission to take the examination after completing educational requirements and registering supervision. The testing company will be sent notification of examination eligibility.

Candidates will pay a $600 fee upon registration. At that point, they will be granted an Authorization to Test (ATT). The ATT confers a 60-day testing window. Candidates may schedule at any authorized Prometric Testing Center in the nation. Most testing centers administer examinations six days a week. However, candidates are advised to schedule early. The testing company is contractually obligated to provide a testing session within 30 days of the call, at a location near the requested one.

Candidates may download an EPPP candidate handbook and find answers to frequently asked questions on the site of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (

Health Services Internship

Psychologists who seek a health services provider designation will need to verify two years of supervised professional experience. The first year is to be an internship or organized training program. 1,500 hours counts as a year; the actual time period may be 12 to 24 months.

Internships that are accredited by the APA or are Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) members are accepted as meeting all requirements. Other training programs will qualify if they meet equivalent standards. The experience must be a sequential, organized program that is overseen by a licensed psychologist. There must be at least two interns participating in the program and two psychologists available to act as supervisors. The intern will need a total of at least 375 client contact hours. There must be two hours of individual supervision each week, plus two hours of other psychology learning experiences.

Post-Doctoral Supervised Practice

Iowa requires one year of postgraduate supervised practice for all licensees; again, this means 1,500 hours. Prospective health services providers must earn their hours in a health services setting. It is permissible to begin before the ceremonial awarding of the doctoral degree provided it can be verified that all degree requirements were met.

Candidates must register their supervision on the prescribed form. The form requires the signatures of both supervisee and supervisor – the supervisor’s must be notarized.

Supervisees may begin work before completing the examination requirement. The professional titles they are allowed to use will depend on whether they have passed the examination. Candidates who have not yet passed may, within the context of their own employment, refer to themselves as ‘associates in psychology’ or psychology associates. Those who have passed the exam may be called ‘residents in psychology’ or psychology residents.

Psychology associates and residents must meet with a supervisor for face-to-face supervision every week that they earn experience hours. At least 45 total supervision hours will be required.

At the end of the experience period, the supervisor will provide an evaluation to the Board, making a recommendation for or against licensure. Supervisors will note what diagnostic and intervention techniques supervisees have performed and which populations they can treat. They will also rank them in key areas like professionalism and ethics.


The Application Process

Application forms are available on the Board site ( Candidates will provide transcripts at first application unless they fall into an endorsement category that grants exemption; an in-state candidate provides transcripts when applying for registration.

Examination and endorsement psychologist candidates alike pay a $120 application fee. The health service provider application carries a $60 fee. Applications are to be mailed to the Board office in Des Moines.

License by Endorsement

Out-of-state licensees may be endorsed into Iowa if they provide license verification, evidence of having passed the EPPP, and evidence of having met similar licensing standards. Documentation of having passed the EPPP may be provided by the original state of licensure. If it is not included in the license verification, it should be requested from the score transfer system of the ASPPB. Evidence of having met similar standards may come through one of two routes. The candidate may present ABPP certification that was earned post-1982 or a credential granted by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. The candidate may instead provide transcripts and documentation by supervisors. In cases where it is not possible to obtain direct verification of supervision, the Board may accept documents provided by the state of licensure.

A candidate who holds a Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ) is assumed to meet the above requirements.

Health service provider designation granted by the National Register of Health Service Providers is accepted in lieu of direct evidence of having met professional experience requirements necessary for health provider endorsement.

Limited Practice by Out-of-State Licensees

Out-of-state psychologists may provide services in Iowa on only a very limited basis without holding Iowa licensure. Anyone intending to practice must provide verification of the out-of-state license and file a notice of ‘intent to practice’ with the Iowa Board. There is a $60 fee associated with processing such requests. Iowa allows a maximum of ten business days of consecutive practice and a maximum of 15 days during a 90 day period.

Internationally Educated Psychologists

Internationally educated candidates are eligible for licensure if they meet equivalent standards. Credentials must be evaluated by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology or by an organization that is a member of the National Association of Credentials Evaluation Services, Inc. The National Register can be reached at (202)783-7663.

International applicants will need to provide notarized copies of their diploma. Documents must be translated into English and certified.

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 Psychologist in Iowa.

Applicants may call 515-281-4287 with questions or use the email address provided in the application packet.

The Iowa Psychological Association does not issue licenses, but serves as an additional professional resource (