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How does someone with a Ph.D in school psychology become licensed as a psychologist?

AcronymAllergy

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As WisNeuro said, different states have different requirements. There may even be a special section of the various legislative documents related to licensing of school psychologists for practice outside schools. I'd start with reading the Georgia psychology legislation and regulations (should all be on the Board of Psychology's website) and then contact the board if you have additional questions. Like was mentioned above, at the least, I'd expect the state would require a clinical internship of some sort.
 
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futureapppsy2

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People with a PhD/PsyD in School Psychology and an accredited internship (or such as your state guidelines require) can be (and are) licensed in any state. It's the same license as clinical and counseling psychology. I have many former classmates who have PhDs in School Psychology who have never worked in a school after graduation and do full-time child clinical work as licensed psychologists.
 
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R. Matey

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Such as one that can work in private practice as a counseling psychologist. Is it possible in the state of Georgia and how long would it take?

Counseling psychologists follow the same path as clinical psychologists in requiring practicum experience and an APA-accredited internship to be licensed as a psychologist. If you pursue a Ph.D. in school psychology, you will have to complete a NASP-accredited internship to be licensable as a school psychologist in most states. If you want to be a licensed psychologist, you have to complete a year long internship. My understanding in talking with the school psychologists in my department is that the year long internship to become a licensed psychologist was an optional activity while completing the NASP internship was not.
 
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123jc234

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Counseling psychologists follow the same path as clinical psychologists in requiring practicum experience and an APA-accredited internship to be licensed as a psychologist. If you pursue a Ph.D. in school psychology, you will have to complete a NASP-accredited internship to be licensable as a school psychologist in most states. If you want to be a licensed psychologist, you have to complete a year long internship. My understanding in talking with the school psychologists in my department is that the year long internship to become a licensed psychologist was an optional activity while completing the NASP internship was not.

Oh interesting, So if I were to pursue school psychology, would I complete the NASP internship + the APA accredited internship if I want to be licensed?
 
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Therapist4Chnge

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Oh interesting, So if I were to pursue school psychology, would I complete the NASP internship + the APA accredited internship if I want to be licensed?
There are a handful of dual School Psych/Clinical Psych programs in the northeast / NYC area. I believe there are other programs, but those 3-4 seem to be the most popular.
 
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PhDenial

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Counseling psychologists follow the same path as clinical psychologists in requiring practicum experience and an APA-accredited internship to be licensed as a psychologist. If you pursue a Ph.D. in school psychology, you will have to complete a NASP-accredited internship to be licensable as a school psychologist in most states. If you want to be a licensed psychologist, you have to complete a year long internship. My understanding in talking with the school psychologists in my department is that the year long internship to become a licensed psychologist was an optional activity while completing the NASP internship was not.

This also largely depends on the PhD program. Some programs require a NASP-approved internship, while others do not so long as it’s APA-accredited. I believe for an internship to be approved by NASP, 600 of 1,200 hours need to be school-based.


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PhDenial

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Oh interesting, So if I were to pursue school psychology, would I complete the NASP internship + the APA accredited internship if I want to be licensed?

It really depends on what you’d like to do. There are school-based APA-accredited internships. Keep in mind that NASP doesn’t “accredit” any internships, but rather it creates guidelines for what kinds of internship experiences would be acceptable to be an NCSP (nationally certified school psychologist), the most important of which is that the internship consists of 1,200 hours, 600 of which are in a school. So, in a way, you can have an APA-accredited internship that is also approved by NASP. You wouldn’t have to complete two separate internships; I’ve never heard of a school psych student completing two internships. You can also see this document by NASP for more info: https://www.nasponline.org/assets/d...y Internship - Tips for Graduate Students.pdf


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futureapppsy2

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Oh interesting, So if I were to pursue school psychology, would I complete the NASP internship + the APA accredited internship if I want to be licensed?
It really depends on what you’d like to do. There are school-based APA-accredited internships. Keep in mind that NASP doesn’t “accredit” any internships, but rather it creates guidelines for what kinds of internship experiences would be acceptable to be an NCSP (nationally certified school psychologist), the most important of which is that the internship consists of 1,200 hours, 600 of which are in a school. So, in a way, you can have an APA-accredited internship that is also approved by NASP. You wouldn’t have to complete two separate internships; I’ve never heard of a school psych student completing two internships. You can also see this document by NASP for more info: https://www.nasponline.org/assets/documents/Resources and Publications/Handouts/Selecting a School Psychology Internship - Tips for Graduate Students.pdf


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Yes, there are many APA accredited internships that also fulfill the NASP requirements. And, like @PhDenial , said NASP doesn't accredit internships in the same way that APA does, only provide very general guidelines.
 
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R. Matey

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You wouldn’t have to complete two separate internships; I’ve never heard of a school psych student completing two internships.

I believe some people in our department did two separate internships with the NASP-approved internship occurring during practicum. This gave them more flexibility in APA internship applications though it appears to be the exception to the rule.

Additional Edit: I was thinking of someone in particular who went on to specialize in pediatric psychology. That person did their NASP approved internship in practicum so they can apply to children’s hospitals for internship.


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niceman

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Oh interesting, So if I were to pursue school psychology, would I complete the NASP internship + the APA accredited internship if I want to be licensed?

Not necessarily and it depends on the program. Programs may structure practicum/internship experiences differently. E.g.
- Students are required to do a pre-doctoral internship (not necessarily APA-accredited) that satisfies the NASP requirements, including 600 hours in school
- Students complete two separate internships (one that meets NASP requirements for their masters and the other for their PhD)
- Students complete two advanced practicums that can be considered an internship by NASP standards (remember it says "completed on a full-time basis over one year or a part-time basis over two consecutive years" so you can do one school-based advanced practicum and the other can be in any setting) and can pursue any internship of their choice without worrying about NASP requirements

To answer your initial question, you can become a licensed psychologist in Georgia with a PhD in School Psychology. You just have to go through the same things as clinical/counseling psych graduates (1,500 hours of postdoc experience, EPPP, jurisprudence exam etc.).
 
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psy.d. 2021

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Oh interesting, So if I were to pursue school psychology, would I complete the NASP internship + the APA accredited internship if I want to be licensed?
More or less. Depending on the state you may not need an APA accredited internship to be license eligible. You'd have to check with Georgia's licensing board but do know APA accredited is highly encouraged. My program stressed it, even for students who were 100% that they were only ever going to work in the schools. Especially considering there are apa accredited pre doctoral internship sites in schools (there are far more who are non apa accredited but if you come from a clinical/school program you will likely be competitve for apa accredited school sites and again it has been encouraged we go this route)

I'm currently in a dual Clinical/School Psychology program. I am in my school internship now where we have to get at least 600 hours, as 600 of your 1200 internship hours you get must come in a school setting for NASP for potential NCSP. During this year I participated in the match process and got matched for an apa accredited internship (not in a school). But when I graduate I can work in a clinical setting (provided I'm licensed/in a postdoc) or in the schools (which in my state at least doesn't require licensure due to schools being considered an "exempt setting"). I definitely plan on getting licensure of course since it provides the most amount of opportunities.
 
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123jc234

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More or less. Depending on the state you may not need an APA accredited internship to be license eligible. You'd have to check with Georgia's licensing board but do know APA accredited is highly encouraged. My program stressed it, even for students who were 100% that they were only ever going to work in the schools. Especially considering there are apa accredited pre doctoral internship sites in schools (there are far more who are non apa accredited but if you come from a clinical/school program you will likely be competitve for apa accredited school sites and again it has been encouraged we go this route)

I'm currently in a dual Clinical/School Psychology program. I am in my school internship now where we have to get at least 600 hours, as 600 of your 1200 internship hours you get must come in a school setting for NASP for potential NCSP. During this year I participated in the match process and got matched for an apa accredited internship (not in a school). But when I graduate I can work in a clinical setting (provided I'm licensed/in a postdoc) or in the schools (which in my state at least doesn't require licensure due to schools being considered an "exempt setting"). I definitely plan on getting licensure of course since it provides the most amount of opportunities.

I'm still trying to understand all these different requirements. How is your internship different from a program that is just focused on school or counseling psychology?
 
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psy.d. 2021

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I'm still trying to understand all these different requirements. How is your internship different from a program that is just focused on school or counseling psychology?
It's hard for me to speak about program requirements for other programs since I only have the perspective from a dual program. My program trains masters level school psychologists and they have to complete a 1,200 hour internship for nasp as well. The only difference for the doctoral students is nasp allows for 600 of the 1200 hours to be completed in another setting. So I'm assuming that's how it could be different from a program that solely focused on school which would likely require 100% of your time to be in schools.
 
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123jc234

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It's hard for me to speak about program requirements for other programs since I only have the perspective from a dual program. My program trains masters level school psychologists and they have to complete a 1,200 hour internship for nasp as well. The only difference for the doctoral students is nasp allows for 600 of the 1200 hours to be completed in another setting. So I'm assuming that's how it could be different from a program that solely focused on school which would likely require 100% of your time to be in schools.

Do you mind me asking how many programs you applied to and how competitive applying to doctorate psychology programs are?
 
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R. Matey

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Depending on the state you may not need an APA accredited internship to be license eligible.

It's still advisable to do an APA-accredited internship to become a licensed psychologist irregardless of state requirements. Doing otherwise might hurt your job prospects in places like hospitals/VAs etc... Even if that's not your plan now, it's generally wise to avoid closing doors you cannot reopen.
 
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R. Matey

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Do you mind me asking how many programs you applied to and how competitive applying to doctorate psychology programs are?

Information on competitiveness of doctoral programs can be found in APA's graduate study in psychology and the Insider's Guide by John Norcross. I used the latter when I applied and it was infinitely helpful.
 
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ClinicalABA

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While the the specifics will vary by jurisdiction, licensure as a psychologist-HSP typically (always?) requires 3 things:
1) appropriate doctoral degree
2) appropriate coursework
3) appropriate clinical experience

School psychology doctoral programs might not necessarily provide all of these, though many do. At my alma mater (UMass Amherst), for example the school psych doctoral program has two "tracks"- one geared towards licensure as a psychologist-HSP (granting a ph.d.), and one geared towards licensure as a school psychologist (granting an Ed.S.). If your goal is to be licensed as a psychologist-HSP, then you should ask the school psych program if you will get appropriate coursework and clinical experience as a regular part of the curriculum. Should be straightforward and quickl answer.
 
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