Psychologist Licensure Requirements in Wisconsin

The Department of Safety and Professional Services issues psychologist licenses to individuals who practice clinical psychology in Wisconsin (http://dsps.wi.gov/Default.aspx?Page=862369c7-1b68-420f-ac18-4318b99c040c). The Department also issues independent school psychologist licenses to school psychologists who wish to broaden their scope of practice beyond that authorized by the Department of Public Instruction.

Generally speaking, a person must have a license to use the title ‘psychologist’. However, social psychologists are exempted; they must have appropriate education or training and file a statement to this effect. A license is not required to carry out certain academic and research-related activities; a full description of license exemptions is found in chapter 455 of state code (http://dsps.wi.gov/Documents/Board%20Services/Codebooks/62D%20POD%20Psychology-Book%20OCTOBER%202012.pdf).

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Select a Wisconsin Psychologist License topic below…

Psychologist Education Requirements

To practice clinical psychology, one needs a doctoral degree in psychology from a regionally accredited institution. There are six acceptable accrediting agencies in the United States.

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

Supervised Professional Practice

Wisconsin requires 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience. The first 1,500 hours may be pre- or postdoctoral. The second 1,500 hours must be postdoctoral. The supervisor should have at least three years of post-license experience and have completed training in supervision.

For the first 1,500 hours, trainees must have two hours of individual supervision each week. They are also expected to have an additional two hours of complementary learning experiences: for example, seminars, group supervision, or co-therapy sessions with another professional.

Once candidates reach their second 1,500 hours, supervision requirements drop to one hour per week.

National Board Examination

The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), a national board examination developed by the Association of State and Psychology Boards (ASPPB), is another requirement. It assesses knowledge in eight competency areas; a bulletin is available on the ASPPB site (http://www.asppb.net).

The EPPP is typically taken while the candidate is completing supervised experience requirements. Board permission is required. $600 will be due upon registration. The exam is administered around the nation.

A Wisconsin candidate who fails a first or second attempt at the EPPP is allowed to retake the exam after three months have elapsed. A candidate who fails a third attempt will need to do additional training before reapplying to the Board.

Ethics Test

The ethics test assesses knowledge of statutes and administrative code; it can be accessed online from a home computer that runs Microsoft Internet Explorer. Wisconsin requires a score of 80% for clinical psychologists. The licensing agency notes that the exam is untimed and candidates may opt to work on it in multiple sessions over a period of up to three months.

The Application Process

Applications and supplemental materials are available on the Department site (http://dsps.wi.gov/Default.aspx?Page=3f8864f9-c322-47e3-bccf-15357628d18f).

The application packet includes a self-evaluation and a description of intended practice. In the description of intended practice, candidates will note what types of assessment, intervention, and services they are adept at. They will also note which practice areas they have a basic level of competency that will allow them to handle routine cases, but where they may require consultation for non-routine cases.

Candidates are apprised of application status at multiple points. The application fee is processed first, then the application. Candidates receive email notification when new materials are added to their files; they may also check application status online (http://dsps.wi.gov/Default.aspx?Page=1521432d-dddd-4dd9-9cff-c7f79d47c58b). An email will be sent when all requirements have been met. Once the licensing information shows up in the online system, the individual will be eligible for employment as a psychologist.

If there are concerns (for example, criminal history), the application will undergo an additional review, and the process will take longer. In some instances, the candidate will be asked to appear before the Board. This is termed an oral examination.

For timely review, applicants should turn in materials 30 days in advance of a scheduled Board meeting.

Out-of-State Candidates / Reciprocity

Applicants who have held licensing in any state must provide license verification. Evidence of continuing education is also expected.

Currently licensed psychologists may select the mobility pathway that best suits their circumstances.

Reciprocity is extended to states that are members of the ASPPB reciprocity agreement.

A Certificate of Professional Qualification is also accepted as evidence that a candidate has met requirements on the level that Wisconsin requires.

The senior psychologist pathway is open to psychologists who were licensed on the basis of similar requirements and have been licensed without disciplinary action for at least 20 years.

Psychologists who meet any of the above mobility pathways are not required to submit transcripts or document supervised practice or successful performance on the EPPP. Senior psychologists, though, need to provide a copy of the statutes they were licensed under.

Comity applies to out-of-state psychologists who do not qualify for other mobility pathways. They are expected to turn in all application materials required of first-time licensees. However, if they have been licensed at least five years and are unable to document supervised experience after a “good faith effort”, they may request a waiver. They will submit a letter and provide the Board with some reason to believe that supervised experience was indeed completed – for example, that it was a licensing requirement.

Private Practice School Psychologists

A private practice school psychologist must earn a graduate degree in school psychology. If the degree is at the master’s level, it must include at least 60 semester hours of coursework.

A year of internship or other supervised experience is required.

Private practice school psychologists must take the National Teachers Examination (NTE) as well as ethics and, in at least some instances, oral examinations. A 75% is required on the ethics exam.

Additional Information

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 Wisconsin.

The licensing agency may be reached at (608) 266-2112.

The Department of Safety and Professional Services issues psychologist licenses to individuals who practice clinical psychology in Wisconsin (http://dsps.wi.gov/Default.aspx?Page=862369c7-1b68-420f-ac18-4318b99c040c).

The Wisconsin Psychological Association does not handle licensing, but is an additional resource on professional matters (http://www.wipsychology.org)