Psychologist Licensing Requirements in North Carolina

North Carolina psychologists are licensed by the North Carolina Psychology Board. The Board also issues health service provider endorsements to psychologists who provide direct services to individuals with impairments in functioning. Both credentials depend on education, examination, and supervised practice. Health service providers have more specific educational and practice requirements.

While completing supervised practice requirements, psychologists work under provisional licensing.

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Educational Requirements for NC Psychologists

A prospective psychologist must complete a doctoral degree. If the program is not accredited by the American Psychological Association or Canadian Psychological Association, it must meet the requirements of 21 NCAC 54 .1803.

The program must be an organized and sequential study. At least one of the following professionals must be a psychologist: the committee chair, advisor, major professor, or administrative head. There must be adequate psychology faculty. (The Board will look for a list of faculty at the time of application.)

The program should include at least 60 semester hours of standard psychology courses (exclusive of dissertation credits and practicums and internships). If a candidate had 54 to 60 semester hours of acceptable coursework, however, the candidate can make up the remainder through postdoctoral coursework.

There must be a minimum of three semester hours in each of the following content areas:

  • Cognitive-affective bases of behavior
  • Biological bases of behavior
  • Social bases of behavior
  • Individual differences

The following must also be covered:

  • Professional and scientific standards
  • Research design and methodology
  • Statistics and psychometrics

At least 30 semester hours are to be taken in residence at the institution.
The following APA specialties are recognized as appropriate for health service provider (HSP-P) credentialing: counseling psychology, clinical psychology, school psychology*, and combined scientific-professional psychology. Candidates are also deemed qualified if they have completed a doctoral program or respecialization program that meets standards set by the Board. The program must cover psychopathology, assessment, diagnosis, and intervention.

The program must include training relevant to at least one of the following: mental or emotional disorders or disabilities, conduct disorders, substance abuse, psychological aspects of physical conditions.

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

*A school psychologist who is certified by the Department of Education and serves as a salaried employee in a school setting may not need licensing.

Supervised Practice Requirements in NC

Psychology candidates must have two years of supervised professional experience, at least one of them at the post-doctoral level.

One year (1,500 hours) must be an organized training program. During this time, the intern will receive two hours a week of supervision. At least one must be provided by a psychologist. The intern will do at least two hours a week of additional learning experiences; this may include a range of activities, from group supervision to assigned readings. A prospective health service provider will need to spend at least 25% of the required hours directly providing services to patients.

The graduate must work under supervision for a full 12 months and until at least 1,500 hours have been accrued. An hour a week of supervision must be provided. A supervisory contract is required. A supervisee who needs to make changes to their plan must submit a new contract form within 30 days.

The candidate must keep records of both practice hours and health service hours. The Board notes that all hours recorded as health service hours also qualify as practice hours.
A provisional licensee providing health services will also need a provisional provider endorsement. The provisional licensee will remain under supervision until such time as a permanent license has been issued.

Supervised Practice by Applicants

It is acceptable for a professional to begin working under supervision before submitting an application, but only if the application is submitted within thirty days of the time the individual first offers to provide services. An individual who does not follow time lines set by the Board loses the privilege of working until such time as a license is actually issued.

Psychologist Examination North Carolina

Candidates must take a national board examination, the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). Board permission is required. North Carolina charges a $50 administrative fee. $600 will be paid to a third party upon registration ( Candidates are allowed to schedule at their choice of Prometric centers. The exam is administered via computer.

A candidate who does not pass the EPPP may retake it after waiting 60 days. One failure will not affect status. A candidate who fails a second time is no longer allowed to practice until such time as a license has been issued. The North Carolina Board allows up to four examination attempts over a 12 month period.
The state exam covers the psychologist practice act, state rules, and the APA code of ethics. There is a $200 fee. Candidates may schedule the examination at their choice of PSI sites.

Application Process for NC Psychologists

An in-state candidate will apply for a provisional license at the onset of supervised practice and apply to move from provisional to permanent licensing after all requirements have been met.

A candidate who is applying for health services certification will fill out two separate applications. Applications may be filled out online and printed (

Three professional references are required. At least one of them must come from a psychologist. The references should be included in the application packet in signed, sealed envelopes.

Transcripts must be sent directly from the issuing institution.
A candidate who has been licensed or certified in any profession will need to provide verification from the board or association.
The application carries a $100 fee. The health provider endorsement carries an additional $50 fee.

The Board notes that if an application is in by the last business day of the month, it will usually be reviewed within one month.

Out-of-State Psychologists

The North Carolina Board accepts the following credentials for mobility: Certificate of Professional Qualification, National Register (NR) credential, American Board of Professional Psychology diplomate status.

The EPPP requirement is waived for ABPP diplomates.
A psychologist who has been licensed at least 12 years in an ASPPB jurisdiction, and who has practiced at least half-time for 10, may be eligible to apply through the senior psychologist pathway. A clean disciplinary history is required. The psychologist must have a doctoral degree.

There are multiple methods to show that the health service provider endorsement is merited. The candidate may present a National Register credential or attest that NR qualifications have been met and that the credential will be forthcoming. The Board will also accept documentation that education and training requirements have been met.
Psychologists who received their degree prior to January 1, 1978 have lesser academic requirements.

International Psychologists

A candidate who was educated in a foreign country may have credentials evaluated for equivalency by any agency that is a member of the National Association of Credentials Evaluation Services, Inc.

Documents that are not in English must be translated by an impartial person; the accuracy of the translation must be attested to in a notarized statement.
The internationally educated candidate is expected to have references from ASPPB jurisdictions.

Temporary Practice by Nonresidents

Nonresident psychologists can apply for temporary licensure. The request must be made at least 10 working days before practice commences.
Psychological Associates
Candidates with master’s degrees or specialist degrees can be licensed as psychological associates.

Contact information for North Carolina Psychologists

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 North Carolina.

The Board can be reached by phone during Tuesday and Thursday business hours at (828) 262-2258. Outside of these hours, communication should be sent by email.