Psychologist Licensure Requirements in South Dakota

South Dakota psychologists are regulated by the Board of Psychologist Examiners, under the banner of the South Dakota Department of Social Services ( Full licensure is dependent on earning a doctoral degree, fulfilling a supervised work experience requirement, and passing state and national examinations.

A candidate who has passed the two required examinations may be issued a provisional license while completing experience hours.

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Educational Requirements for Psychologists in South Dakota

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Psychologists must hold doctoral degrees. If the school is in the United States, it must hold regional accreditation; if in Canada, it must be in good standing with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

The following are acceptable U.S. accrediting agencies:

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges

On the license application, graduates must document coursework in individual differences and in biological, cognitive-affective, and social bases of behavior.

Supervised Professional Experience

The candidate will work under supervision for a total of two years. One year is internship. Students may opt for full- or part-time work, but must complete the required 1,800 hours within two years.

The internship is a formal training program; a supervised work experience is not acceptable at this level. The intern must be given experience providing various types of assessment, evaluation, diagnosis, and intervention. There must be a doctoral level psychologist responsible for the integrity of training. The intern will need at least two hours a week of direct supervision, focused on services delivered; ethical and professional development issues may also be discussed. At least 2/3 of supervision must be provided by doctoral level psychologists. There must be an additional hour of learning experiences provided on a weekly basis; experiences could include joint clinical interview or therapy sessions, treatment team case reviews, or group supervision.

If the internship is APA-accredited, the applicant will note this on the appropriate form, and will not be required to provide details. If it is not APA-approved, considerable information will be required. In either case, the supervisor will provide additional information and make a recommendation for or against licensure.

The second year of professional experience is postdoctoral. At the post-internship level, the trainee will (by current rule) need at least two hours a month of supervision. The Board is working to change this and allow the supervising psychologist to determine supervision on a case-by-case basis. (However, candidates should be aware that many states set a minimum, and that in many cases, the requirement is higher than the one on the books in South Dakota.)

While completing supervised practice, candidates may refer to themselves as psychology residents or trainees or as psychological associates or assistants.

At the end of the supervisory period, the supervisor will provide information about populations served and will describe any limitations or concerns and make a recommendation for or against licensure. Candidates sign an information waiver and have it notarized as part of the application process.

The Examination Process

The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is a national board examination that assesses knowledge in eight competency areas:

  • Biological bases of behavior
  • Cognitive-affective bases of behavior
  • Social and cultural bases of behavior
  • Human development across the lifespan
  • Assessment and diagnosis
  • Prevention, intervention, treatment, and supervision
  • Research methods and statistics
  • Ethical, legal, and professional issues

Candidates can find information about the examination, including study resources and practice tests, on the site of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards ( However, they may not register and pay fees until authorized by the South Dakota Board. Fees have increased. Candidates should now be prepared to pay $600.

The oral examination covers jurisprudence. Candidates must demonstrate knowledge of licensing law, administrative rules, and procedures for the reporting of child abuse. They must also understand the American Association of State Psychology Boards code of ethics.

State-specific information is found on the website and included in application packets. The ASSPPB code of ethics is available online ( and may be obtained in hard copy form for $10. (Candidates may send a written request to the ASPPB.)

The passing score for the oral examination is set at 75%. A candidate who needs to retake the oral examination will need to pay $200 to the Board.

The Application Process

Application and supervision forms are available on the Board site ( The application form asks questions about legal and professional history and must be notarized. The license application carries a $300 fee.

In order to be authorized to take the next oral examination, candidates must submit their application materials at least ten weeks before the date they intend to test.

Out-of-State Psychologists

All U.S. or Canadian psychology licenses must be verified, whether past or present. A candidate who has taken the EPPP in another jurisdiction may have scores sent from Professional Examination Service directly to the South Dakota licensing agency. Out-of-state psychologists may be endorsed into South Dakota if they hold a license in good standing, meet minimum qualifications, and have practiced at least five years. Certification through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) may be accepted as evidence that requirements are met.

Endorsement may be extended to psychologists from other nations as well as those in U.S. states and territories.

License Exemptions

Nonresidents who are licensed in other jurisdictions and do not have South Dakota offices may practice minimally in South Dakota (no more than 20 days a year). More than ten consecutive days will require communication with the Board.

Some agencies are license exempt, but supervision is required of unlicensed individuals ( Psychologists in certain branches of psychology, including organizational/ industrial, developmental psychology, and research design, are allowed to consult without holding licenses. However, they must provide information to the Board unless they fall into another exemption category. School psychologists may be employed under Department of Education credentialing.

Additional Resources

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 South Dakota.

The licensing agency may be reached at 605-642-1600 or on their website: Board of Psychologist Examiners (

The South Dakota Psychological Association is an additional resource for psychologists ( The organization publishes periodic online newsletters which may keep licensees and candidates aware of proposed or upcoming legislative changes.