Psychologist Licensure Requirements in Virginia
The Virginia Board of Psychology issues licenses for clinical psychologists, applied psychologists, and school psychologists. The Board also issues license to ‘limited school psychologists’ and sex offender treatment providers.
The clinical psychology license is extended to those with training in either clinical or counseling psychology. The applied psychology license covers other fields such as social psychology, industrial/ organizational psychology, and developmental psychology.
Psychologist licenses require graduate level education and an examination process. Some require supervised practice.
Select a Virginia Psychologist License topic below…
- Education Requirements
- Supervision Requirements
- Psychologist Exam
- Application & Related Materials (Link to Form)
- Licensure by Endorsement
- School Psychologist Limited License
- Contact Information: Board and Professional Organizations
Virginia Clinical Psychologists: Educational Requirements
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Clinical psychologists must complete doctoral degrees at regionally accredited institutions. APA-accredited clinical and counseling psychology programs meet requirements. Other programs may be accepted if they meet an extensive set of standards adopted by the Virginia Board.
The student will need three semester hours in the following core psychology competencies:
- Cognitive-affective bases of behavior
- Biological bases of behavior
- Social bases of behavior
- Data analysis techniques
- Professional and ethical standards
- Psychological measurement
- Research methodology
In addition, students need three semester hours each in the following clinical content areas:
- Personality assessment
- Intellectual assessment
- Effective intervention/ intervention evaluation
- Human development
- Individual behavioral differences
- Psychopathology or dysfunctional behavior
The prospective clinical psychologist must complete nine semester hours (or the equivalent) of practicum. The following competencies must be covered: psychotherapy, assessment and diagnosis, consultation and supervision.
Five quarter hours is considered the equivalent of three semester hours.
Applied Psychologists: Educational Requirements in VA
Applied psychologists are also required to hold doctoral degrees. The program must be housed in a school that is accredited by some agency that is recognized by the United States Department of Education or in good standing with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.
Core psychology requirements are the same for applied psychologists as for clinical psychologists; students need training in the bases of behavior and in the various techniques and standards of the psychology discipline. Concentration coursework will vary depending on the student’s specialty, but there must be at least 18 semester hours of coursework in some identifiable branch of psychology. 30 quarter hours is considered the equivalent of 18 semester hours.
An applied psychology program must also encompass at least three years of graduate study. It must be headed by a psychologist and have a psychology faculty that is accessible to students.
Virginia School Psychologists: Educational Requirements
School psychologists can be licensed with a master’s degree from a program that is housed in an accredited college or university. Generally the program is expected to hold accreditation through one of the following entities: APA, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education/ Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (NCATE) or the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). APA only accredits programs at the doctoral level while the other organizations may accredit or approve master’s programs.
The school psychology program must encompass at least two years of graduate study. The following topics must be included in the curriculum:
- Educational foundations
- Psychological foundations
- Professional school psychology
- Research methodology and statistics
The program must include practicum experiences that cover assessment for intervention, direct intervention, and indirect intervention, as well as provide an orientation to the educational process.
Supervised Professional Experience
Clinical psychologists and school psychologists are required to complete both an internship and a residency.
Clinical psychologist internships may be accredited or approved by APA, the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC), or the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards/National Register.
School psychologist internships may be accredited or approved by APA, APPIC, or NASP.
In either case, an internship experience can be accepted if it is found to meet equivalent standards.
The residency encompasses an additional 1,500 hours and may be completed in a period of one to three years.
Residency usually takes place at the postdoctoral level and requires Board approval. However, clinical psychologists may apply hours from pre-doctoral practicum if the experience meets standards found in 18VAC125-20-54 D of Virginia code. In order for experience at this level to be credited, at least one hour of supervision (individual or group) must be provided for every eight hours of client contact and service-related activity.
Weekly supervision at the postdoctoral level can take either of the following forms: two hours of individual supervision or one hour of individual and two hours of small group.
Psychologist Exams in Virginia
The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is another licensing requirement. Clinical psychologists and school psychologists take the examination while completing residency requirements. They can receive authorization after they have completed educational requirements.
The examination is administered on an ongoing basis around the country. Candidates should be prepared to pay $600 when registering and another $79.56 when scheduling. Candidate bulletins are available on the ASPPB site.
The Application Process in Virginia for Psychologists
In-state candidates first apply to the Board when preparing to begin postdoctoral practice. Educational documentation, including official transcripts, must be submitted at this time. Official internship documentation and registration of postdoctoral supervision are also submitted. Applications and supplemental forms are available in Word form on the Board site. Click here to download the forms.
The Board notes that applicants are required to review statutes and regulations.
Psychologist applications carry a $200 fee. It costs $50 to register a residency.
A psychologist who has ever held a mental health license in any state must provide license verification. A query of the National Practitioner Data Bank is also required.
Psychologists may be endorsed into Virginia using any of the following pathways:
They may present evidence of diplomate status with the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) or a listing with the National Register of Health Service Psychologists (NR).
If actively licensed for at least ten years, they may provide transcripts showing an acceptable doctoral degree.
If actively licensed less than ten years and not in possession of an accepted mobility credential, they will need to demonstrate that the licensing standards they were credentialed under were substantially similar to those that were in place in Virginia at the time. This can be demonstrated through a copy of state regulations or a certified copy of the original application (sent by the other licensing agency). In this instance, the Board will need verification of transcripts, EPPP scores, and verification of two years of recent post-licensure practice.
Limited License for School Psychologists
The Board of Education issues licenses valid for public school employment in school psychology. Candidates who hold this credential and are currently employed may also be eligible for a limited license through the Board of Psychology. There is an $85 application fee. The Board notes that the limited license does not extend the school psychologist’s scope to include private practice.
Additional Information for Virginia 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 Virginia.
The Board can be reached at (804) 367-4697.
The Virginia Psychological Association is the state’s professional organization. There are separate academies for clinical, school, and academic or applied psychology professionals.