Psychologist Licensure Requirements in Missouri
The Missouri Committee of Psychologists issues psychologist licenses and health service provider certifications (http://pr.mo.gov/psychologists-rules-statutes.asp). Both credentials require doctoral level education, postdoctoral supervised practice, and examination. The health service provider certification is dependent on having education and training that offer adequate preparation for direct client care.
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Select a Missouri Psychologist License topic below…
- Education Requirements
- Supervision Requirements
- Psychologist Exam
- Application & Related Materials (Link to Form)
- Licensure by Endorsement
- Exemptions from Licensure & License Upgrades
- Contact Information: Board and Professional Organizations
All psychology candidates must complete doctoral programs in psychology. Doctoral programs are acceptable if they are accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA) or are designated or approved by the American Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) or the Council for the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology. They will also be accepted if they meet all standards found in Section 337.025 of state statute: The program must be a sequential course of study, clearly labeled as psychology, with a psychologist bearing responsibility. The program must comprise at least three years of graduate study, with at least one year done in residence.
The course of study must include at least three semester hours or five quarter hours of coursework in each of the following:
- Scientific methods and procedures: This requirement may be met through coursework like psychometrics, statistics, or experimental design.
- The biological basis of behavior: This may be met through courses such as sensation and perception, comparative psychology, neuropsychology, or psychopharmacology.
- The cognitive-affective basis of behavior: This content area includes cognitive psychology as well as coursework in emotion, motivation, thinking, and learning.
- The social basis of behavior: This includes coursework in areas like social psychology, interpersonal relationships, and group processes and dynamics.
- Individual differences: This may be met through course offering like human developmental, developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, or psychology of aging. The program must be appropriate internship or other field or laboratory training.
A candidate who seeks health service provider certification should enroll in a clinical or counseling psychology program that is designated by the ASPPB or NR or a program that is accredited by the APA in some area recognized as health service; such programs typically include rigorous internship experiences. (A student who completes a program in another branch of psychology will need to do additional training if he or she later seeks health service certification. There are re-specialization programs for this purpose.)
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Supervised Professional Experience
The graduate will need to earn at least 1,500 hours of supervised professional experience. It is acceptable to work 20 to 50 hours a week and accrue the experience in 12 to 24 months. A health service provider will need a primary supervisor who is endorsed as a health service provider or is eligible for such endorsement. A psychology candidate who is not seeking this credential may work under another qualified mental health professional.
A candidate will have a primary supervisor who oversees training. In some cases, clinical supervision will be delegated to one or more other qualified individuals. A trainee who is working under multiple supervisors will meet with the primary supervisor at least one hour a month and with clinical supervisors at least one hour per week. A trainee who has only one supervisor will meet with that individual for at least one hour per week.
The trainee will fill out a supervision plan at the onset; this form is six pages long and elicits significant detail about the work setting and supervisory process.
Primary and secondary supervisors will later evaluate the candidate before the Committee, giving an overall rating of ‘very good’ to ‘not acceptable’ and a similar rating in each of seven performance categories. In some cases, ‘unable to evaluate’ may be selected.
The Examination Process
Missouri has a three-step examination process. Candidates must take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology, a national board examination. The state utilizes the computerized version of the EPPP (http://pr.mo.gov/boards/psychology/eppexam03.pdf). Candidates must apply to Missouri in order to be authorized to take the test. They will be sent registration information.
Payment of the $600 fee will result in issuance of an Authorization to Test. The Missouri Committee cautions that candidates must sit for the examination during the testing window granted by the ATT; otherwise, they will be required to go through the application process again. Scheduling may take place at any authorized Prometric center but should be done early. A handbook is available in PDF form on the Committee site (http://pr.mo.gov/boards/psychology/eppexam03.pdf).
The Committee will release results to the candidate. Retakes are permitted.
Candidates should expect to receive registration information for state-specific tests as they become eligible. The jurisprudence examination tests knowledge of the Missouri Psychology Practice Act and Rules. 70% is considered passing.
Dates of upcoming jurisprudence and oral examinations may be found on the Board site (http://pr.mo.gov/psychologists-exam-dates.asp).
The Application Process
A candidate first applies to the Board when ready to begin supervised practice. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing university. The candidate will also need three references (called ‘endorsements’) from mental health professionals. Additional materials will be added to the application file later as requirements are met.
Application forms are available on the Committee site (http://pr.mo.gov/psychologists-application-forms.asp). Applicants are asked to read the instruction letter and follow all instructions precisely.
There is a $150 application fee. Applications are to be sent to the Committee office in Jefferson City. Application status can be monitored online.
Examination scores may be endorsed by the state of licensure or by the ASPPB.
Out-of-state licensees will not be required to document supervised practice or submit transcripts if any of the following conditions apply:
- They are diplomates of the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) or are listed in the National Register.
- They hold a Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ) and are currently licensed.
- They earned a degree from a program that is APA-accredited or NR/ASPPB-designated, have been licensed at least five years, and have had a discipline-free history for at least five years.
- They hold licensing in a state that is a member of the ASPPB Reciprocity Agreement, have practiced five years, and have no record of disciplinary action.
A reciprocity candidate may receive health service provider certification on the basis of a National Register listing, ABPP diplomate status in a health service related field, or demonstration of relevant education and training. A description of the required training can be found in state statute (https://pr.mo.gov/psychologists-rules-statutes.asp).
Psychologists who meet requirements may be issued temporary licenses which will allow them to practice while waiting to take state-specific examinations.
Exemptions from Licensure
Some forms of psychology practice are exempted from Missouri license requirements; licensure is not necessarily required for research activity or for consultation that does not involve direct service provision. School psychologists certified according to National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) standards do not need to hold licensure through the Committee if they are acting within their authorized scope of practice. A full list of exemptions is found in state statute (Missouri Psychologists Rules Statutes).
Psychologists who were licensed on the basis of master’s degrees in the past may upgrade by submitting evidence of doctoral education along with an upgrade request to Missouri.
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 Missouri.
The Committee may be reached by telephone at 573-751-0099.
The Committee publishes periodic online newsletters (http://pr.mo.gov/psychologists-newsletter.asp).
The Missouri Psychological Association is not involved with the licensing process, but serves as an additional professional resource (http://www.mopaonline.org).