Texas Psychologist License: Know The Rules

A therapist in Texas speaking with their client.

Interested in practicing psychology in Texas? All licenses for the practice of psychology in Texas are issued by the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council.

There are strict rules and standardized pathways that all must follow when applying for a psychologist license in Texas.

You must complete a doctoral degree, supervised work experience, and pass required examinations before applying for licensure. Below, we’ve covered all the details.

Applying For A Texas Psychologist License

There are currently three types of licenses issued by the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council for the practice of psychology. These licenses are:

  1. Licensed Psychologist
  2. Licensed Psychologist Associate
  3. Licensed Specialist in School Psychology.

Each type of license requires a slightly different application process, so be sure to know exactly what license you require before you start the application. However, the general path remains the same: education, experience, and examination.

Applying To Be A Licensed Psychologist

There is a standard path that all new applicants must complete before they can become a licensed psychologist in Texas. These steps are:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree in psychology, potentially followed by a master’s degree. It isn’t essential to major in psychology, but it will affect how easily you can qualify for a doctoral degree. Similarly, a master’s degree is optional when applying for a license, but might be required for the doctoral application.
  • Complete a doctoral degree in psychology. This can be a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD), or a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology (PhD). As part of your doctoral degree, you will be required to complete a formal internship.
  • Complete at least 1,750 hours of supervised experience in a formal internship in a doctoral program. This is an essential part of the doctoral degree, and will be completed before your graduation.
  • Apply to become a Provisionally Licensed Psychologist. The provisional license is a prerequisite to receiving your licensure as a psychologist, and is valid for two years. This license allows you to practice psychology under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.
  • Complete at least 1,750 hours of supervised experience, having received a doctoral degree. This takes approximately one year of full time work. All experience must be documented, and the work must be verified before receiving your license.
  • Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). The EPPP is a mandatory exam, consisting of 225 questions. There are practice EPPP exams available online.
  • Pass the Jurisprudence Examination. This is a mandatory exam, and must be taken by all applicants (even those with CPQ or ABPP certification).
  • Request your psychologist license. With successful completion of all the requirements, you can now request your psychologist license. This request must be completed online, and there is a fee. Once your application has been verified and accepted, you will receive a notification of licensure, and a renewal permit. The license is typically sent within four months.

This is the standard application route, but you can also receive licensure by endorsement. This route is available to those who are already licensed as a doctoral-level psychologist, and have been practicing psychology for a minimum of 5 years in another state. This will waive the need for supervised experience.

If you have completed at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience in another jurisdiction, the work experience hours can be waived.

Those with an active Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ) are only required to pass the Jurisprudence Examination.

Those with an active specialist certification from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) only need to complete the Jurisprudence Examination and the EPPP.

Applying To Be A Licensed Psychological Associate

The Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council also issues licenses to psychology associates. The path to becoming a Licensed Psychological Associate is fairly standard:

  • Complete a graduate degree in psychology. The degree course must consist of at least 60 semester credit hours. Only 12 of these credited hours can be practicum, internship, or structured experience.
  • Show proof of graduate level coursework.
  • Complete 6 semester credit hours of practicum, internship, or other structured experience. This is completed within the graduate degree program, and must be supervised by a licensed psychologist.
  • Pass the Examination of Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). This is a 225 question exam, and practice materials are available online.
  • Pass the Jurisprudence Examination.

Any Licensed Psychological Associate interested in independent practice authority will also need to:

  • Complete a minimum of 3,000 hours of supervised experience. This must be completed post-graduate degree, within 24 to 48 months, and in three placements or fewer.

Applying To Be A Licensed Specialist In School Psychology

The final license issued by the Texas Behavioral Health Council is the specialist license in school psychology.

If you want to practice psychology in a school setting, then this license is required by law. This license requires the completion of several specialized steps:

  • Complete a training program in school psychology. The program must be approved or accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA), or the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Alternatively, you can complete a graduate degree in psychology that includes specialized course work.
  • Complete a formal internship of a minimum of 1200 hours. 600 of these hours must be completed at a public school.
  • Pass the Praxis School Psychology Examination.
  • Pass the Jurisprudence Examination.

Frequently Asked Questions About Texas Psychologist Licenses

Do You Need To Renew Your License?

Yes, all psychologist licenses in Texas need to be periodically renewed (see also ‘LPC Renewal Texas‘). Renewals require proof of continuing education, and carry a fee. You will be notified ahead of the renewal period.

Do You Need A Background Check To Obtain A Psychologist License In Texas?

Yes, you do require a background check to receive a psychologist license in Texas. You will also have to undergo electronic fingerprinting.

Is There A Fee For Obtaining A Psychologist License In Texas?

Yes, there is a fee when applying for a psychologist license in Texas. There is also a fee to take the EPPP, and the jurisprudence examination.

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