Welcome to the Board of Psychology

An Overview of Licensure as a Psychologist

1. YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
2. EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS
  • a. Named Degrees
    Section 2914 of the Business and Professions Code provides that individuals who possess an earned doctorate degree in psychology, educational psychology, education with a field of specialization in counseling psychology or education with a field of specialization in educational psychology from an approved or accredited educational institution meet the educational requirements for licensure.
  • b. Equivalent Degrees
    For all applications received on or after January 1, 2001, the Board no longer has the authority to review degrees for equivalency. Therefore, all applicants applying for licensure on or after January 1, 2001 must possess one of the three degrees named in Section 2914 of the Business and Professions Code.
  • c. Foreign Degrees
    Section 2914(b) of the Business and Professions Code states that applicants with degrees from schools outside the United States and Canada must provide the board with a comprehensive evaluation of the degree performed by a foreign credential evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES), and any other documentation the board deems necessary.
3. SUPERVISED PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS
  • a. Internship
    If you are enrolled in a doctoral program which includes an internship, you may function as an intern without registration. This requires a formal agreement between your school and your supervisor. All requirements of Section 1387 of the California Code of Regulations must be met in order for your hours to count toward the licensure requirements. Please note that if you already have your doctorate and are accruing post-doctoral hours, registration is required unless you are employed by one of the entities described in b (Exempt Settings).
  • b. Exempt Settings
    If you are employed directly by an educational institution (approved or accredited) a school district or a governmental entity (federal, state, county, municipal, etc.), or if you were functioning under a waiver issued by the State of California Department of Mental Health pursuant to Welfare & Institutions Code Section 5751.2, you are not required to register. All requirements of Section 1387 of the California Code of Regulations must be met in order for your hours to count toward the licensure requirements.
  • c. All Other Experience
    Except as enumerated in a and b above, everyone accruing supervised professional experience in California must register with the Board prior to beginning work. This is true even if you hold another license which allows you to provide services independently (this is because independent practice under another license does not meet the Board's requirements, even if appropriately supervised). Experience outside California does not require registration, but must comply with all other requirements set forth in Section 1387 of the California Code of Regulations.
  • d. Types of Registration
    Most individuals will need to register as psychological assistants. However, if you already have a doctorate degree with 1,500 hours of experience and plan to work for a non-profit community agency which receives 25% or more of its funding from governmental sources (not counting Medi-Cal or Medicare), you must register for employment as a registered psychologist under Section 2909(d) of the Business and Professions Code.
4. EXAMINATIONS
  • a. EPPP
    The EPPP is a 200 multiple-choice question computer administered examination. The EPPP is owned by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. The EPPP is available for administration at Prometrics testing sites throughout North America. In California, applicants can take the EPPP once they have completed a qualifying doctorate degree and completed at least 1500 hours of qualifying supervised professional experience. More information on the EPPP can be found by contacting www.asppb.org/
  • b. CPSE
    The CPSE consists of 100 scored questions and 15 pretest (nonscored) questions, all multiple choice. In addition to the standard multiple choice questions, certain questions will also be based upon 6 - 10 vignettes. The CPSE is developed by the California Board of Psychology through the Office of Examination Resources of the Department of Consumer Affairs. The CPSE is a computer administered examination and is available for administration at Thomson Prometric testing sites throughout the State of California. Applicants can take the CPSE once they have completed a qualifying doctorate degree, completed all 3000 hours of qualifying supervised professional experience and have passed the EPPP. More information on the CPSE can be found on the board's web site www.psychboard.ca.gov
5. QUALIFICATIONS FOR WAIVER OF THE EXAMINATION
  • When a California-licensed psychologist has been licensed for at least five years and has allowed his/her license to expire by not renewing the license for at least three years and has not been subject to discipline, the psychologist shall be required to file a new application, meet all current licensing requirements, pay all currently applicable fees, and take and pass the CPSE.
  • If an applicant for licensure as a psychologist has been licensed in another state, Canadian province, or U.S. territory for at least five years and the license has not been subject to discipline, the applicant shall be required to meet all current licensing requirements, pay all currently applicable fees, and take and pass the CPSE.
  • An applicant for licensure as a psychologist who holds a Certificate of Professional Qualification (CPQ) issued by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards shall be deemed to have met the education and experience requirements for licensure, shall be required to pay all currently applicable fees, and take and pass the CPSE.
  • An applicant for licensure as a psychologist who is credentialed as a Health Service Provider in Psychology by the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology and has been licensed based on a doctoral degree in another state, Canadian province, or U.S. territory for a minimum of five years shall be deemed to have met the education and experience requirements for licensure, shall be required to pay all currently applicable fees, and take and pass the CPSE.
  • An applicant for licensure as a psychologist who has abandoned his/her application pursuant to section 1381.5 of the California Code of Regulations and thereby must reapply for a license shall be required to meet all current licensing requirements, pay all currently applicable fees, and take and pass the CPSE.
6. FURTHER INFORMATION