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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 Programs in
Online
  • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
  • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
  • Potential students may preview a free, one-week mini course to get an accurate impression of the student experience.
  • 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.
Show more [+]
  • 95% alumni satisfaction rate.
  • Currently holds more than 500 professional alliances, including 19 of the top Fortune 100 companies.
  • Potential students may preview a free, one-week mini course to get an accurate impression of the student experience.
  • 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.
Show more [+]
  • Online Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Programs in
Campus
  • 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.
  • 100+ locations 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.
  • 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.
  • 100+ locations 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 Programs
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Programs in
Online
  • Its Fast Track program enables qualified students to save up to 30% on tuition and graduate up to 30% faster.
  • Its online MBA program was named by the International Graduate Forum as a top 10 Online MBA Program in 2012.
  • Listed as a military friendly school by G.I. Jobs magazine in 2014.
  • Lets students watch, view, read, or hear content through its program, My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.).
  • Has additional campus locations near military bases in Colorado Springs and Denver.
Show more [+]
  • Its Fast Track program enables qualified students to save up to 30% on tuition and graduate up to 30% faster.
  • Its online MBA program was named by the International Graduate Forum as a top 10 Online MBA Program in 2012.
  • Listed as a military friendly school by G.I. Jobs magazine in 2014.
  • Lets students watch, view, read, or hear content through its program, My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.).
  • Has additional campus locations near military bases in Colorado Springs and Denver.
Show more [+]
  • Good for Working Adults
  • Online Programs
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Programs in
Online
  • Gives students the option to enroll at any time and begin studies in the fall, spring, or summer.
  • Has an average freshman retention rate of 77.3 percent.
  • Ranked #39 in Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Reports
  • Has more than 50,000 alumni including several astronauts, CEOs, and 32 generals.
  • Offers a special tuition rate for active duty, selected reserves, National Guard service members and their spouses.
Show more [+]
  • Gives students the option to enroll at any time and begin studies in the fall, spring, or summer.
  • Has an average freshman retention rate of 77.3 percent.
  • Ranked #39 in Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Reports
  • Has more than 50,000 alumni including several astronauts, CEOs, and 32 generals.
  • Offers a special tuition rate for active duty, selected reserves, National Guard service members and their spouses.
Show more [+]
  • Online Programs
5 Programs in
Campus
  • 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.
Show more [+]
  • 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.
Show more [+]
  • Good for Working Adults
  • Online Programs
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Programs in
Campus
  • Ranked #8 in the 2013 Best Online Undergrad Programs by U.S. News & World Report.
  • 70% graduation rate– significantly higher than the national average of 59%. 
  • Ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report for Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of six regional accrediting associations that accredit public and private colleges and universities in the United States.  
  • Has a network of 26 campuses.

Please Call 855-816-4008 to speak to a customer representative.

Show more [+]
  • Ranked #8 in the 2013 Best Online Undergrad Programs by U.S. News & World Report.
  • 70% graduation rate– significantly higher than the national average of 59%. 
  • Ranked #2 by U.S. News & World Report for Best Online Bachelor's Programs for Veterans. 
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of six regional accrediting associations that accredit public and private colleges and universities in the United States.  
  • Has a network of 26 campuses.

Please Call 855-816-4008 to speak to a customer representative.

Show more [+]
  • Good for Working Adults
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Programs in
Online
  • Ranked among the top 20 Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2014 and the top 5 Online Programs for Veterans in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Recognized in 2014 as both a Military Friendly School by Victory Media and a Best for Vets College by Military Times.
  • Focusing on providing adult education and educational outreach since 1966.
  • Offers several program delivery options, including online, classroom, accelerated, study abroad, and degree completion focused.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Show more [+]
  • Ranked among the top 20 Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2014 and the top 5 Online Programs for Veterans in 2013 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Recognized in 2014 as both a Military Friendly School by Victory Media and a Best for Vets College by Military Times.
  • Focusing on providing adult education and educational outreach since 1966.
  • Offers several program delivery options, including online, classroom, accelerated, study abroad, and degree completion focused.
  • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
Show more [+]
  • Online Programs
1 Programs in
Online
  • 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).
Show more [+]
  • 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).
Show more [+]
  • Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Programs
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Programs in
Campus
  • 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).
Show more [+]
  • 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).
Show more [+]
  • Good for Working Adults
  • Online Programs
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Programs in
Online
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
Show more [+]
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
Show more [+]
  • Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Programs
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits