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Psychologist Licensure Procedures in California

How to become a Psychologist in California

Click on the link that best describes your current situation.

Explore the information below and begin your journey toward becoming a licensed psychologist in California. The following procedures have been the same for many years; however, they are subject to change and it would be wise to contact the California Board of Psychology at (916) 263-2699 if you have any concerns or questions regarding requirements for earning your California psychologist license.

I'm a High School Graduate...

There's some good and bad news for you. The bad news is that in order to earn your psychologist license in California, you will need many more years of formal education. The good news is that you will have ample opportunity to explore various career opportunities available to pscyhologists prior to committing to any one single profession!

Step One:

The first step to be taken is to get the ball rolling with regard to higher education. Begin requesting information from schools offering undergraduate programs in psychology. One great result of earning an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in Psychology is the degree's versatility. If you decide not to enter the field of psychology, a strong psychology background is highly valued in business, marketing and many other professions.

Click on the links below to browse schools offering programs you are currently qualified to begin!

Step Two:

Aside from continuing down the road to higher education, the only other important step you should be thinking about is career research. Learning more about whether a particular career is a right fit for you can help with your motivation in school and, more importantly, your job satisfaction later in life. Most likely, your university's career counseling services will be able to help you connect with organizations who can offer volunteer or paid positions. However, if you would like to do some research on your own, the following are links that will help you on your way:

  • Hands On Network
  • www.Idealist.org
    • This link points to a form you can use to locate volunteering opportunities near you. www.Idealist.org is also a great place to learn about what other individuals in your situation are becoming involved with career wise and through volunteering efforts.

Finally, regardless of whether a career as a licensed psychologist is in your future or not, a higher education is always a great investment of your time and energy. So, go ahead and get started!

I've already received my Bachelor's or Master's degree...

Once you have your undergraduate or Master's degree you will need to continue on and earn your doctorate degree in psychology, educational psychology or an education degree that specializes in counseling psychology or educational psychology from an accredited college or university.

Step One:

Contact schools offering Master's, PhD or PsyD programs you are interested in.

Step Two:

When choosing a Master's or Doctoral program, you will be narrowing your career focus. Since there are a large variety of areas where you can go within the field of psychology, it would be wise to speak with the career services personnel at your school to learn more about various opportunities you may participate in to boost yourself higher on the list of possible applicants for school and/or for a professional position once you have completed your schooling.

Step Three:

Once you have completed your PhD or PsyD program, you may continue down to:

I have finished my PhD or PsyD...

Follow the steps to learn how to acquire your Psychologist license in California.

Step One:

You will need to complete a background check by the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations by having your fingerprints scanned using a "Live Scan" site. Scanning sites are located throughout each county in California. Learn more about this process by clicking on the following link:

Step Two:

Once you have earned a doctorate in one of the approved areas and completed the fingerprinting procedure, you will need to gain professional experience. A total of 3000 hours of supervised professional experience is required. A minimum of 1500 hours will need to be fullfilled post-doctorally. During this time, you can focus on your specialization and learn under the supervision of a professional in the field you wish to pursue. For more information regarding rules and regulations for supervised professional experience, click on the following link:

Step Three:

You must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) with a score of at least 500 and the California Psychology Supplemental Examination (CPSE). You will find more details about both tests through the following link:

Step Four:

Once you have fulfilled all previous requirements, download an application for licensure from the following webpage:

You may also review the licensure requirements and additional information such as transcript evaluation procedures and fees by clicking on the following link:

California Psychology Schools & Colleges
Note: This list contains online and campus schools that accept students from California.
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            5 Program(s) Found
            The Chicago School of Professional Psychology , Online (campus option available)
            • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year
            • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
            • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities ( beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
            • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found
            • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
            • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
            • Courses are taught by expert faculty, with 86% of professors possessing a doctoral degree.
            • Offers credit for prior experience and learning, as well as scholarships, accelerated programs, and several other ways to help reduce tuition costs.
            • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            University of Phoenix , Online (campus option available)
            • Phoenix Career Services™ help students find careers that match their interests & map out a personalized career plan.
            • Mentorships & networking opportunities available through Alumni Association of 800,000+ graduates.
            • Flexible start date and class schedules.
            • Locations nationwide and online options.
            • Offers special military rates and special advisors who have a military background.
            • Students can earn credits for applicable military training and education.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Turn your fascination of the human mind into a career path - earn your Psychology degree!
            • An undergraduate or graduate degree in psychology from GCU can give you the tools to pursue a career path in psychology.
            • Just starting out? Our Bachelor of Science in Psychology can prepare you for an entry-level position or be a stepping stone to an advanced degree.
            • Already in the field? Deepen your understanding with a Master's in General Psychology, or specialize in Industrial & Organizational Psychology.
            • Online programs make it easy and convenient to take classes at home. Master's programs are also offered in the evenings at various locations.
            • Speak to an enrollment counselor today and learn about our various psychology programs!
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Among the top 15% of military-friendly colleges, universities, & trade schools in the nation. 
            • A Service Members Opportunities College.
            • Accepts employer tuition assistance. 
            • Recognized by The Princeton Review Guide to 311 Green Colleges as one of 311 institutions of higher education that demonstrates notable commitments to sustainability.  
            • Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc. (NEASC).
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            4 Program(s) Found

            Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose. Our 20,000 alumni, from more than 110 countries, are changing the world as accomplished professionals. Named a top-15 school nationally for online bachelor's programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015), Regent is among the most affordable undergraduate Christian colleges (CCCU 2015). Fully accredited, challenging programs are available online and on campus. New classes begin every eight weeks.

            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            Argosy University , Online (campus option available)
            • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
            • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
            • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
            • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
            • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
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            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
            • Designated as a Military Friendly School every year since 2012 by Victory Media.
            • Offers credit for prior learning and experience through assessment tests.
            • Provides a short term Leadership Certification program in partnership with EQUIP®.
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            3 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
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            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits