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Your guide to the California Board of Psychology licensing laws

Wondering how to obtain your California psychology license? The California Board of Psychology is your friend.

Their website has a wealth of valuable information on exams, licensure requirements, applicant statistics, and continuing education.

Of course, there’s quite a bit of information to dig through.

Lucky for you, we’ve compiled the most important information on licensing requirements from the California Board of Psychology. Check out our guide to California psychology licensing laws below.


A Summary of the California Psychology Licensing Laws

To become a licensed psychologist in California, you will need to fulfill the following:

  • Obtain a doctoral degree in psychology, educational psychology, or in education with a specialization in counseling psychology or educational psychology
  • Provide transcripts of your coursework; you must have passed courses in human sexuality, child abuse, substance abuse, spousal abuse, aging, and long-term care
  • Submit your fingerprints for a criminal history background check
  • Complete 3,000 hours of Supervised Professional Experience (SPE) in a clinical setting
    • 1,500 hours must be completed after completing your doctoral degree
    • Each SPE year must be consecutive and completed within a 30-month period
  • Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and the California Psychology Laws and Ethics Examination (CPLEE)

Once you’ve completed these items, you can then apply for licensure. If you’ve been approved by the California Board of Psychology, you will receive a license number and pay an initial license fee of $400.


What is the EPPP?

The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is an examination that is used to measure competence and evaluate applicants for licensure and certification. Most U.S. states and Canadian provinces include the EPPP in their licensure requirements; California is no exception. The exam consists of 225 multiple choice questions, and you will be allowed 4 hours and 15 minutes to complete it.

The California Board of Psychology only accepts EPPP score reports from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPBB). In California, the minimum passing EPPP score is 500.


What is the CPLEE?

The California Psychology Laws and Ethics Examination (CPLEE) is a required examination with questions covering laws, regulations, and ethical requirements for California psychologists. The CPLEE tests on nine primary content areas, including:

  1. Confidentiality and privilege
  2. Psychotherapeutic relationships
  3. Interpersonal relationship
  4. Intervention, evaluation, and assessments
  5. Records
  6. Administrative issues
  7. Professional issues
  8. Scientific research and publication
  9. Teaching, training, and supervision

The CPLEE was developed by the Office of Professional Examinations services of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Once you’ve passed the EPPP, you may then fill out a CPLEE request form. You must verify your degree, supervised professional experience, and your EPPP score. When your application to take the CPLEE has been approved, you may take the exam. You will have one hour to answer 40 multiple choice questions.nia

For more information on exam scheduling and exam accommodations, check out the CPLEE candidate information bulletin.


Helpful Resources from the California Board of Psychology


Want to Obtain Your California Psychology License?

The first step is getting your degree in psychology. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has three California campuses with 34 programs that can help launch your career.

Discover our Los Angeles, Irvine, and San Diego campuses. Our California team is happy to answer any questions about our programs and how we can support you in pursuing licensure in California.

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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