Psychology Licensing in CA

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by Instinct, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. Instinct

    Instinct New Member


    I have been researching some of the past threads on CA state licensing in psychology.

    From what I could gather, it appears that CA requires some residency as part of the Doctoral studies. That would make a degree from NCU, for instance, useless if my goal is to be licensed.

    My understanding is this. If I wanted to eventually pursue licensing in California, I could obtain a Bachelor and a Master's degree in Psychology from NCU. However, to become a licensed Psy in CA, I would have to obtain a PhD from an approved/accredited school from the licensing board of CA.

    Is this correct?

    Thank you for your assistance!
  2. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The California Psychology Board licensing statistics indicate that one graduate of Northcentral University did achieve licensure between July 2003 and June 2006. This is perhaps not an impressive number, but it suggests that it is possible.

    The Board publishes a full list and summary of relevant laws and regulations. These sources seem to indicate that you need an accredited or state-approved degree, but do not explicitly address residency.
  3. Instinct

    Instinct New Member


    Thank you for your reply. I did in fact notice that one graduate, however the site also mentions that some employers (private, state or federal) may not recognize such a graduate because the school is "not approved" by the State.

    It seems that the odds are mostly against you, and it would be a shame to get to that point and not be able to obtain work.

  4. simon

    simon New Member

    Many individuals who seek California state approved doctorates in Psychology are planning to use them in private practice in order to be able to use the title " Dr" and to enhance the marketing of their practices. Most do not appear to be seeking these degrees for employment in academia or in government because generally they are not perceived to be on par with RA doctorates in Psychology and will not assist graduates of these programs in obtaining such positions.
  5. Instinct

    Instinct New Member


    Thank you for the clarification. I did not think of it this way, but it certainy makes sense.

    I appreciate the insight on this topic, thanks all!
  6. GME

    GME New Member

    My understanding is that CA psychologist licensure law requires an earned doctorate in psychology. This can be from a regioinally accredited school or from a CA approved school.

    3000 hours of supervised professional experience is also required for licensrue. CA does not require that these hours be an integrated part of doctoral study (they can be earned completely separately from the doctoral study).

    These rules differ substantially from other states. Most of which require a doctorate in clinical or counseling psychology (or a Ed with a specialization in counseling) and that
    SPE be an integrated part of the doctoral program. So someone getting licensure in CA with a non-clinical doctorate (whether it is accredited or approved) may have considerable trouble transfering that licensure to another state.

    There are a number of CA approved schools that offer their programs entirelly online (Ryokan is one I can think of).

  7. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    What part of the Board Site are you referring to? There is a warning about psychology schools which have state approval, but which are not regionally accredited. However, this warning does not apply to NCU, which is regionally accredited.
  8. GME

    GME New Member

    Oh, and one further thing. Not -all- CA approved doctoral degrees will qualify for licensure. There seems to be some effort to end licensure via approved schools.

    Here's the pertinent language:

    (g) An applicant holding a doctoral degree in psychology from an
    approved institution is deemed to meet the requirements of this
    section if all of the following are true:
    (1) The approved institution offered a doctoral degree in
    psychology designed to prepare students for a license to practice
    psychology and was approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary
    and Vocational Education on or before July 1, 1999.
    (2) The approved institution has not, since July 1, 1999, had a
    new location, as described in Section 94721 of the Education Code.
    (3) The approved institution is not a franchise institution, as
    defined in Section 94729.3 of the Education Code


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