Tennessee Psychology Education Overview

Psychology Licensure in Tennessee

After you have attained your license to practice Psychology in Tennessee, you will discover that a whole array of potential careers in human services have become available to you. Having gone through the process to secure a license to practice Psychology in Tennessee, you will have many options for starting a career, including: opening your own private practice in Memphis or at a hospital in Nashville. With has a population of just over 6.3 million people, Tennessee has an average population for a U.S. state. With a population of that size, there will be a need for licensed Psychologists in a variety of contexts. In the state of Tennessee, a Psychologist can anticipate earning a mean yearly wage of $64,200 according to the BLS1. Some people feel very drawn to helping children heal their emotional wounds, for those that do seeking a career at one of Tennessee’s 158+ School districts may be an excellent idea2. If working in a hospital setting with a fast pace sounds appealing, you may wish to consider researching career opportunities available at one of Tennessee’s 96+ major hospitals3. Once you have your license to practice Psychology in Tennessee you will find a great diversity of career possibilities have become available to you. Below you will find an excellent guide on becoming licensed as a Psychologist in Tennessee.

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Required Educational Background

In the state of Tennessee, eligibility to apply for a psychology license requires that you earn your Ph.D. in Psychology from a board approved school. This in turn means that, you will need to have already graduated with a Bachelor and Master of Psychology in order to earn your Doctorate in Psychology.

You will need to have earned your Bachelor of Psychology in order to eventually go on to earn your doctorate to become a licensed Psychologist in Tennessee. Fortunately, the Bachelor of Psychology degree is also useful outside of the context of being a stepping stone towards becoming a licensed Psychologist. A Bachelor of Psychology is one of the most coveted of Bachelor’s degrees for prospective human services employers. Having your Bachelor of Psychology will be a great addition to your career regardless of your career choice in the human services field.

You will need to have already earned your Master’s degree before you can go on to earn your Ph.D. This does not mean that earning your Master’s degree is simply a time sink on the way to getting your doctorate. Quite the contrary, studying for your Master of Psychology degree is helpful in a variety of ways. It is very helpful in determining the focus of your studies in Psychology. This will help you to find a career focus that you find both interesting and rewarding. A Master of Psychology is also a tremendous asset when looking for a job in a human services field. So, while a Master’s is required to earn your doctorate, a Master of Psychology is also a valuable asset to have on your resume in its own right.

Once your doctorate in psychology from an APA approved school you will need to start accumulating your required hours of field experience.

Field Experience

To verify your field experience component, you will need to follow these steps:

  • You will need to accumulate two years of supervised professional experience. Each year will be equivalent to 1900 hours.
  • One year of your experience must take the form of an internship while completing your Ph.D.
  • Before accumulating your second year of experience you must apply for and be granted a provisional license by the Tennessee Board of Examiners of Psychologists.
  • You will also need to log an additional year of post-doctoral experience. All experience must be under a board approved supervisor.

You will want to familiarize yourself with the Tennessee specific rules and regulations for licensure. These laws change so it is good to make sure you have current information, you can find that information here:


Once you have completed your field experience you can apply to take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).

  • Apply to board to take the EPPP.
  • Pass the EPPP with a score meeting the Tennessee minimum for passing.
  • Pass the Tennessee Ethics and Jurisprudence examination

You can find some helpful information about your EPPP here:

1 http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes193031.htm
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_districts_in_Tennessee
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hospitals_in_Tennessee