Texas Psychologist Licensing

If you’re interested in practicing psychology in the state of Texas, you’ll need to understand exactly what it takes to earn your license there.

Getting lost in the minute details of licensing information is easy, so check out this resource to better understand what is required to obtain your psychology license in Texas.

What are Texas’ Educational Requirements? 

The first step of earning your license to practice psychology in the state of Texas is getting your doctorate in psychology. Texas accepts either a PsyD or a PhD in psychology.

Your graduate program must be approved by the APA or the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) if you’re planning to become a school psychologist.

In addition to be accredited by the APA or NASP, your program should also consist of 60 credit hours of coursework.

Your classes are required to cover each of the following topics:

  • Abnormal human behavior
  • Addictions counseling
  • Appraisal or assessment techniques
  • Counselor ethics
  • Counseling theories
  • Counseling methods or techniques
  • Couples, marriage, or families
  • Lifestyle and career development
  • Normal human growth and development
  • Research
  • Social, cultural, and family issues
  • Professional orientation
  • Practicum
  • Psychopathology

What are Texas’s Requirements for Supervised Internship Hours?

Texas requires 3,500 hours of supervised work experience, or two years, before a prospective psychologist is allowed to apply for their license to practice.

The Texas State Board allows candidates to work either full-time (at 35 hours) or part-time (20 hours) to complete their work. Part-timers are allowed to take an extra year to accrue their necessary hours.

A psychologist’s first half of their training, or 1,750 hours, must be completed while they are earning their graduate degree. To ensure their work hours count toward their total, they must intern at an organization accredited by the American Psychological Association (APA). The Texas Board may accept experience that’s unaccredited on a case-by-case basis.

When they’ve received their doctorate degree, the prospective psychologist can start working through their second set of 1,750 hours.

Which Standardized Psychology Tests are Mandatory in Texas?

Texas is a state that believes in thoroughly testing its psychology candidates. Before earning the right to practice psychology, you must pass three exams: the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), a jurisprudence test, and an oral exam.

The EPPP is a nationally-recognized standardized psychology test created by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB). This is a multiple-choice, computer-given test that candidates have a little more than four hours to complete. Taking the EPPP in Texas will cost $800.

You’ll need to score 500 points, or about a 70% to pass this exam. For more information about test content and what to expect while taking it, check out the ASPPB website.

After completing the EPPP, the second exam is the state’s jurisprudence test. This one tests a candidate’s knowledge of Texas’s psychology laws and is $210 to take. To pass the jurisprudence exam, you’ll need to score at least a 90%.

The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists has more information about jurisprudence testing sites and study guides for test takers.

The final required test is an oral exam. Prospective psychologists must wait until completing their 3,500 hours of supervised work before taking this test.

Once they’ve accrued their hours, they will receive approval to take the oral exam. This test costs $320. And it’s completely unique from the first two tests. For the oral exam, candidates are quizzed on their psychology specialty. The categories covered are clinical, counseling, school, neuropsychological, or industrial and organizational psychology.

The oral exam is scored by two licensed psychologists who grade the prospective psychologist in nine competency areas. Their scores are captured as proficiency levels. If both psychologists give the candidate a passing score, they will pass the test.

When the psychologists disagree, the candidate will receive a second oral exam in the same day with a different group of licensed psychologists. If someone fails their oral exam, they are given feedback from their supervising psychologists and will be allowed to take the test again in the future.

How Do I Apply For My License in Texas? 

After passing your exams, getting your doctorate, and accruing your required work hours, you’re almost ready to apply.

Before sending in your application, you’ll need to complete a background check, complete with fingerprinting. You can schedule this appointment through MorphoTrust (1-888-467-2080) in Texas. There is a $44.25 fee for this service.

The first part of your application process begins when you apply for your postdoctoral practice license. This is required to allow you to practice as a provisional psychologist while you’re earning the rest of your 3,500 hours of supervised work experience. You’ll also pay a $340 fee.

When you’re ready to apply for your full license, you’ll need to send in another application. This license costs another $180. A part of this process includes having three professional references, so make sure you’re accruing those.

For more information about licensing, access the Texas State Board’s license page.

Will My Out-of-State Psychology License Carry Over to Texas? 

Texas has a unique method for psychologists who would like to become licensed in-state. They are a part of a ASPPB Agreement of Reciprocity (AOR). An AOR is an agreement between regions that allows psychologists licensed in certain states to obtain a license to practice in another area that’s a part of the AOR.

Licensed psychologists practicing Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin or Canadian states of Ontario and Manitoba make up Texas’s AOR. If they’ve practiced for five years and don’t have a disciplinary record, they may apply for a reciprocal license.

Psychologists outside of the AOR will need to apply through the regular channel and will need to complete any missing requirements.

What are Texas’s Board and Professional Organizations?

The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists is the organization that oversees the licensing requirements for psychologists.

To learn more about what it’s like to work as a licensed psychologist in the state of Texas, check out the Texas Psychological Association.