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How to become a licensed educational psychologist in California

Have you ever considered becoming a licensed educational psychologist (LEP)? The LEP license is unique to California. Licensed educational psychologists work with children and help to improve their academic experiences.

Do you love working with children and improving their academic experiences?

Educational psychology is a broad, rich field that allows you to transform your passion into a career. Licensed educational psychologists and school psychologists work in schools, colleges, and nurseries; their work makes a big difference in individual children’s’ lives.

Do you want to positively impact children’s experience at school? Consider becoming a licensed educational psychologist (LEP). The LEP license is unique to California.

What are the LEP license requirements?

California’s Board of Behavioral Sciences outlines the licensing requirements on its website.

While it’s always a good idea to read the fine print for licensing requirements, here’s an overview of what you need to become a licensed educational psychologist in California:

  • A master’s degree or doctoral degree in psychology, educational psychology, school psychology, counseling, or relevant area of study
  • The degree must be from a school with accreditation from 1 of 6 accrediting bodies, including the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (FYI: The Chicago School is accredited by WASC!)
  • 3 years of full-time experience working as a school psychologist
  • A passing score on the LEP Written Examination

These 3 years of experience can take several forms. It must include 2 years of full-time experience as a credentialed school psychologist in a public school; this experience can be unsupervised.

In addition to these 2 years, you must either:

  • Have 1 year of supervised professional experience in an accredited school psychology program


  • Have 1 year of full-time experience as a credentialed school psychologist in a public school under the supervision of a licensed psychologist

When you’ve obtained your degree and relevant experience, you must then get an LEP application packet. This packet includes information on other required items like fees, transcripts, fingerprints, and so on.

If you meet the LEP license requirements for education and experience, you will receive a notice to take the LEP exam. The notice includes a deadline by which you must take the exam.

What does the LEP exam entail?

The LEP exam includes around 100 multiple choice questions. The questions cover core educational psychology topic areas like assessment, intervention, law, and ethics.

Unlike other licensure exams where applicants must wait for weeks (or months!) to find out their results, you find out whether you’ve passed the LEP exam immediately after completing it.

Get more information on the test from the LEP Written Examination Candidate Handbook.

Once you’ve passed the exam, you can then apply for LEP licensure. When you’re a licensed educational psychologist, you can have more independence in your career. For instance, unlike school psychologists, you’re not tied to a school district. You’re free to pursue your career on your own terms.

Want to become a licensed educational psychologist in California?

Your psychology education is the foundation. Explore our many psychology programs at The Chicago School’s three California campuses: Irvine, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

Are you interested in learning more about The Chicago School of Professional Psychology? Fill out the form below to request more information, visit our programs page, or you can apply today through our application portal.


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