Becoming a Psychologist in Minnesota – Education and Licensure Guide [2024 Updated]

Last Updated: June 30, 2024

Minnesota is a state abundant with diverse attractions, spanning from breathtaking natural landscapes to bustling urban centers. As the 22nd most populous state in the United States, Minnesota’s population of over 5.6 million people creates a lively environment for residents and workers alike.

Minnesota’s healthcare system is robust and flourishing, boasting numerous renowned hospitals and medical facilities situated throughout the state. At the forefront of this system is the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, located in Rochester, which draws patients and healthcare professionals from all corners of the world.

With a strong emphasis on education and a robust healthcare system, Minnesota is an ideal destination for pursuing a career in psychology. The state has a high demand for licensed psychologists in various settings, including hospitals, clinics, private practices, and schools.

Becoming a Psychologist in Minnesota

What are the Requirements to Become a Licensed Psychologist in Minnesota?

To become a psychologist in Minnesota, you will need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology from an accredited program, complete supervised postdoctoral experience, and pass two exams: the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and Minnesota’s Professional Responsibility Exam (PRE). You will also need to apply for and obtain licensure from the Minnesota Board of Psychology.

Bachelor’s Degree

The first step for becoming a psychologist in Minnesota is to earn a bachelor’s degree. Earning a bachelor’s in psychology is highly recommended. To earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology in Minnesota, you typically need to complete a four-year undergraduate program at a college or university. Here are the general steps you would need to take:

  • Choose a college or university: Look for schools in Minnesota that offer bachelor’s degree programs in psychology. Some well-known schools in Minnesota include the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Carleton College, and Macalester College.
  • Meet admission requirements: Each school may have different admission requirements, but you will likely need to submit your high school transcripts, standardized test scores (such as the SAT or ACT), and an application essay.
  • Complete general education requirements: Most undergraduate programs require students to complete general education requirements in addition to their major coursework. This may include courses in math, science, humanities, and social sciences.
  • Take psychology courses: Once you have completed general education requirements, you can begin taking psychology courses. The specific courses you take will depend on the program you choose, but may include topics such as abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, and social psychology.
  • Complete a capstone project or internship: Many psychology programs require students to complete a capstone project or internship in order to graduate. This may involve conducting research, working with a community organization, or shadowing a psychologist.

It is important to note that earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology does not allow you to practice as a psychologist. To become a licensed psychologist in Minnesota, you would need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology.

Master’s Degree (Optional)

Obtaining a master’s degree in psychology is a widely chosen academic path for individuals interested in becoming a license psychologist. A master’s in psychology requires a prior bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. However, some programs may accept applications from individuals with relevant coursework from other backgrounds.

These programs span over a period of 2-3 years and aim to equip you with advanced knowledge and practical skills in various areas of psychology, including human development, social psychology, research methods, and statistics.

In addition to the coursework, most master’s programs in psychology require the completion of a thesis or capstone project, alongside supervised clinical or research experience. Such experiential learning provides you with an opportunity to apply your theoretical knowledge to practical situations, gain hands-on experience in the field, and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Moreover, certain master’s programs offer opportunities to specialize in specific areas of psychology such as clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or experimental psychology. Such opportunities allow you to go deeper into your interests and develop expertise in a particular area of the field.

Doctoral Degree

Next step is to obtain a doctoral degree in psychology. There are two types of doctoral degrees in psychology, namely the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology and the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD).

To be considered for licensure in Minnesota, you must have graduated from a program that satisfies various educational criteria, including coursework in specific subjects and direct involvement in the practice of psychology. Programs that have been approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) are automatically endorsed by the Board.

If you did not attend one of these programs, your transcript must demonstrate that your program satisfied these prerequisites, or you may be asked to provide additional information. Additionally, your training should include a predoctoral internship that lasts at least one year (1,800 work hours), which can be applied to fulfill the supervised experience requirement for licensure.

Submit Your application to the Minnesota Board of Psychology

Upon completion of your doctoral degree, the initial action required to acquire a Minnesota psychology license is to file an application for licensure with the Minnesota Board of Psychology through the online portal.

In addition to this application, a fees will be required to be paid to the Board. The online application provides guidance on all the details that need to be provided during this process. It is necessary to request an official transcript from your school.

Complete Supervised Experience

In order to obtain a psychology license in Minnesota, it is necessary to complete one full year or the equivalent in part time of postdoctoral supervised psychological employment, in addition to the 1,800 hours of pre-doctoral experience obtained during the doctoral program.

Postdoctoral hours must be completed within a time frame of no fewer than 12 months and no more than 30 months, and a maximum of 50 hours of work per week can be counted towards this experience. The activities that qualify towards these hours include direct patient work, clinical administrative tasks, research, and teaching.

Prior to beginning your supervised work, a supervision agreement must be completed by you and your supervisor. While fulfilling the supervised experience requirement, it is necessary to receive a minimum of two hours of supervision each week, with at least one hour of individual supervision, if working full-time.

For those working less than full time, the amount of weekly supervision can be adjusted proportionally to ensure an equivalent level of supervision for the hours worked.

The primary supervisor during this time must be a licensed psychologist or a doctoral-level individual with the appropriate skills and knowledge to provide supervision.

Pass the Minnesota Psychology Licensing Exams

To obtain licensure in Minnesota, passing two exams is a mandatory requirement: the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and Minnesota’s Professional Responsibility Exam (PRE). The Board will grant you permission to register for these exams after reviewing your licensure application. It is important to note that you can take these exams while still completing your supervised postdoctoral hours.

The EPPP is administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) and assesses your knowledge of psychology across various domains. This national exam comprises 225 multiple-choice questions, and a scaled score of 500 or more is required to pass. ASPPB website provides a practice exam for EPPP.

The PRE is an at-home exam that assesses your familiarity with the Minnesota Psychology Practice Act’s rules and statutes. After passing these exams, EPPP and PRE scores should be automatically transferred to the Board, requiring no additional documentation from you.

Get Your Psychology License

Upon successfully fulfilling all the aforementioned requirements, the Board will notify you of the issuance of your license and your eligibility to practice psychology independently.

What are the Requirements for Psychology License Renewal and Continuing Education in Minnesota?

To maintain the validity of your Minnesota psychologist license, you will need to renew it every two years. The application for renewal is available on the state’s online licensing portal, and you will need to pay a fee each time you renew your license.

As part of the renewal process, you must also earn 40 continuing education (CE) credits during each renewal period. One credit is equivalent to one hour of a Board-approved CE activity, and you cannot carry over any extra credits to the next period.

There are various eligible activities for CE credits, such as attending presentations, teaching classes, or publishing articles. However, there are limits to the number of CE hours you can earn from certain activities.

CE activities that are approved by the APA or the ASPPB are automatically accepted by the Board towards your CE requirements. If you are interested in participating in CE activities that are not approved by these organizations, you can request pre-approval from the Board to ensure that the hours will count towards your CE requirements.

What are the Requirements for Psychology Licensure by Reciprocity in Minnesota?

To transfer your psychologist license to Minnesota from another state, you can apply for licensure by reciprocity if you hold a doctoral degree in psychology and have been licensed in another jurisdiction for at least five years with a clear record.

To initiate the process, you can submit an application and pay a $500 fee through the online licensure portal. Before being granted a license, you must also pass the Professional Responsibility Exam

How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in Minnesota?

Becoming a licensed psychologist in Minnesota typically takes several years of education, training, and practical experience. Here is a general timeline:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: 4 years
  • Doctoral Degree in Psychology (Ph.D. or Psy.D.): 4-6 years
  • Predoctoral Experience: 1 year (1,800 hours)
  • Postdoctoral Supervised Experience: 2 years (3,600 hours)
  • Passing the EPPP and Minnesota’s Professional Responsibility Exam: Timeline varies
  • Licensure Application and Approval: Timeline varies

In total, it can take around 9-11 years to become a licensed psychologist in Minnesota, depending on the individual’s academic and practical experience. The timeline may also vary depending on whether the individual pursues full-time or part-time education and training.

Where Do Licensed Psychologists Work in Minnesota?

Licensed psychologists in Minnesota can work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Private Practice: Many licensed psychologists in Minnesota operate their own private practice, where they provide counseling, psychotherapy, and other mental health services.
  • Hospitals and Clinics: Psychologists can work in hospitals and clinics to provide assessment, therapy, and treatment services to patients with mental health issues.
  • Schools and Universities: Licensed psychologists can work in schools and universities, where they may provide counseling services to students, conduct research, and teach courses.
  • Government Agencies: Psychologists can work for government agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Corrections, or the Department of Health and Human Services, to provide mental health services to specific populations.
  • Nonprofit Organizations: Licensed psychologists can also work for nonprofit organizations that provide mental health services, such as community health centers, crisis hotlines, or organizations focused on helping victims of trauma or abuse.
  • Corporate or Organizational Settings: Psychologists can work in corporations, non-profits or organizations, where they may provide mental health services to employees or help improve organizational performance by applying psychological principles to workplace practices.
  • Telehealth or Online Platforms: Psychologists can also work remotely and provide mental health services to clients through telehealth or online platforms, which has become more common due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, licensed psychologists in Minnesota have a variety of options when it comes to where they work and the populations they serve.

What is the Job Outlook for Psychologists in Minnesota?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for psychologists in Minnesota is positive. Employment of psychologists in Minnesota is projected to grow 3.9% from 2022 to 2032, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for psychologists is expected to continue to increase as people continue to seek help with mental health issues.

In addition, there are many opportunities for psychologists to work in a variety of settings in Minnesota, including hospitals, mental health clinics, schools, and private practice. The growing need for mental health services is expected to create more job opportunities for psychologists in these and other settings. Overall, the job outlook for psychologists in Minnesota is promising.

How Much Does a Psychologist Earn in Minnesota?

As of March 2024, the average salary for psychologists in Minnesota is $118,019, which is higher than the national average of $89,810 for psychologists. The salary of psychologists can vary widely depending on several factors such as experience, location, and industry.

Typically, those working in government settings earn the highest salaries, followed by those in hospitals, outpatient care centers, and individual and family services. Psychologists in educational and research settings generally earn less than those in other industries.

Additional Resources (External)

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