Psychologist Licensing Requirements in Oregon

The Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners, or OBPE, licenses the state’s psychologists. Licensure is based on doctoral education, examination, and postdoctoral practice.

The OBPE also issues psychologist associate licenses to candidates with education at the master’s level.

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

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Education requirements for Oregon psychologists

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

Psychologists must have education at the doctoral level. A program that is accredited by the American Psychological Association or Canadian Psychological Association meets requirements. Other U.S. programs that are housed in regionally accredited universities, as well as Canadian programs that hold a provincial or territorial charter, may be approved if they meet additional requirements. Candidates should be aware, however, that the state is considering changing this standard and requiring programmatic accreditation. Current regulations are summarized below:

The program must be labeled as a psychology program. It must require three academic years of graduate study. One year must be spent in ‘continual residence’. This may be two semesters or three quarters. Candidates who enrolled before August 12, 2011 and who apply to the Board by August 15, 2015, though, are held to lesser residency requirements.
There must be three semester hours, or the equivalent, in each core content area:

  • Individual behavioral differences
  • Biological basis of behavior
  • Social basis of behavior
  • Cognitive-affective basis of behavior
  • Statistics
  • Psychometric theory
  • Research methods and design
  • Scientific and professional standards/ ethics

All license candidates must also have coursework related to their specialty. If the specialty is clinical psychology, the student will need 18 semester hours, or 27 quarter hours, in the following areas:

  • Intellectual assessment and personality assessment
  • Diagnosis
  • Therapeutic intervention
  • Treatment evaluation

If the specialty is another applied branch of psychology, there must be 18 semester hours or 30 quarter hours of coursework in the concentration.
A limited amount of coursework may be made up outside of the doctoral program.
There must be two semester hours of practicum, encompassing at least 300 hours of service delivery.

There must also be an internship. Internships must include at least 1,500 hours of total experience with at least 25% of hours spent in direct client contact. For every 40 hours of experience, two hours of individual supervision and two hours of additional learning experiences are required.

The dissertation or other project must be psychological.
Foreign degrees may be approved if they meet the above standards. However, the candidate will need to have the degree evaluated for equivalency by one of the following agencies: Academic Evaluation Services, Inc., International Education Research Foundation, Inc., Josef Silny & Associates, Inc., or World Education Services, Inc (http://www.oregon.gov/obpe/Application_Forms/Foreign_Degree.pdf).

Postdoctoral Practice requirements OR

The graduate must do a 1,500 hour residency. This must be completed in a period of no less than 12 months. During this time, the candidate will need weekly supervision by a psychologist who has held a license at least two years. A resident who works 20 hours a week or less will need an hour of individual supervision. A resident who works more than 20 hours will need two hours of total supervision; one hour may be group supervision, provided the session meets Board requirements. Group supervision may be provided by a different psychologist.

Individual supervision may occasionally be deferred for up to 14 days due to illness, travel, or non-routine events. However, residents will not receive credit for experience hours that do not meet minimum standards. The Oregon Board recommends that residents have an associate supervisor as well as a primary one.

Generally speaking, residents must work under resident contracts. Some settings are license exempt. In such cases, the Board recommends, but does not mandate, a resident contract.

The resident is subject to evaluations at six month intervals. It is expected that the residency be completed within 24 months. However, a resident may request an extension for good cause.

The Board notes that while supervisory sessions, consultations, and service-oriented research and correspondence may be credited, some forms of research are not credited. Administrative meetings, lecturing, and teaching are also not credited.

Psychologist Examinations in Oregon

Candidates are eligible to take the required examinations shortly after graduation. It is necessary to file an application with the Board. The exams may be taken in either order. They do not need to be taken before supervised practice, but both will to be taken at some point before licensing (http://www.oregon.gov/obpe/Pages/Examinations.aspx).

The Examination for the Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is a national board examination. The candidate may send an email to the Board to request permission. At this point, the candidate can register through the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards and pay the $600 fee (http://www.asppb.net). An ATT will be issued; this is good for 60 days and allows for scheduling at any authorized center.

A candidate who fails the EPPP examination may register again (subject to mandatory wait times established by the ASPPB). In the event of a second failure, the candidate will need to submit a study plan.

Candidates who are ready to take the Oregon Jurisprudence Exam (OJE) will send $150 to the Board along with a request for permission. This should be done at least 30 days before the intended testing date.

The Application Process

The Oregon Board mandates a fingerprint-based background check. Candidates begin the process by sending $44.50 to the Board along with a request for materials and instructions. They will have a choice of LiveScan (electronic) or traditional fingerprinting sites. The fingerprinting process is to be completed within one week of receiving the fingerprint cards and other materials.

A license application must be submitted before an individual begins post-graduate practice (residency). A candidate may have a background check, and begin to submit documents, in the months before graduation (http://www.oregon.gov/obpe/Pages/app_info.aspx).

The Board requires official transcripts sent directly from the university. Candidates who did not graduate from an APA-accredited program will have additional documentation. They will need to document coursework, internship, and university-level accreditation.
Three professional references are required. The Board also requires license verification from candidates who have been employed in other health fields. There is a $300 application fee.

In most cases, application packets are reviewed within two weeks. However, the review process will be longer in certain circumstances.

Psychologists from outside of OR

An out-of-state licensee may submit a license file or any one of the following: CPQ file, ABPP certification file, National Register file. If the psychologist has been licensed less than 15 years, transcripts will be required, as will documentation of supervised experience.

Out-of-state psychologists who meet Oregon’s licensing standards but have yet to take the state jurisprudence exam may work under a temporary permit. If the psychologist has held licensing for less than five years, however, supervision will be required during this interim period. The candidate will need to list an Oregon psychologist as consultant. The cost for the temporary permit is $100.

Psychologists who will be doing limited practice in Oregon for a specific purpose may apply for a visitor’s permit. This authorizes up to 30 days of work during a one year period. The psychologist will need to provide details about the intended practice and include a $100 fee.

Additional Information for Oregon 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 Oregon.

Candidates may contact the program analyst, LaReé Felton, at (503) 373-1196 for information about licensing or rules. Other contact information is available on the Board site.

The Board publishes occasional newsletters. The newsletters include, among other things, discussion of upcoming and proposed rule changes.