Georgia Psychology Programs, Licenses, and Career Options
Ultimately, the deciding factor in whether you become a psychologist isn’t education, experience, or examination requirements, but a determination of your qualification by the six-member Georgia Board of Psychology. The board, comprised of five psychologists and one consumer member, regulates the practice of psychology in order to protect consumers and practitioners alike.
This page will provide you with the information and resources you need to meet the qualifications of the Board and become a licensed psychologist.
How to Become a Psychologist in Georgia
In order to earn the title of psychologist, you need to earn a doctorate and become licensed. Here are the basic steps:
- Complete a bachelor’s degree: Doctoral programs require candidates to have a bachelor’s degree. While earning your degree in psychology isn’t always required, some graduate programs may mandate that you take supplementary courses before enrolling if your previous degree didn’t adequately focus on psychology content.
- Select a specialization: Psychology is a broad field, and there are numerous specializations available.
- Earn a master’s degree: Not all doctoral programs require students to possess a master’s degree. However, master’s programs can give you a jump start on gaining expertise in your particular specialty. Credits can typically be transferred to a doctorate program.
- Pursue a doctorate: Doctorate programs usually require between five and seven years of study, a dissertation, and a pre-doctoral internship.
- Apply for licensure: Licensure requirements typically revolve around education, experience, and examination.
Georgia Psychology Licensing and Exams
Given the wide range of jobs related to psychology and mental health services in Georgia, several licenses exist. Requirements for gaining licensure can vary significantly based on career type.
- Graduate from a doctoral program accredited by the American Psychological Association that includes at least 2,000 hours of pre-doctoral supervised hours
- Complete an additional 1,500 hours after graduating, 500 of which must include direct client contact
- Fill out an application with the Georgia Board of Psychology and pay a $300 fee
- Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), the Georgia Psychology Jurisprudence Examination, and an oral examination given by the Board
- Potential careers: Licensed psychologist, research scientist, university professor
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
- Complete a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and a Master of Social Work (MSW) from institutions accredited by the Council on Social Work Education
- Undertake 3,000 hours of supervised work experience
- Apply to the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists; pay the accompanying $100 fee
- Pass the Association of Social Work Boards Clinical Examination and pay the accompanying $260 fee
- Potential careers: Child welfare case manager, school social worker, human services administrator
Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)
- Complete a master’s degree from a program accredited regionally or by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
- Pass the national board exam for marriage and family therapy; apply for an associate license
- Participate in at least 2,000 hours of direct clinical experience
- Apply for full licensure
- Potential careers: Couples counselor, relationship therapist, family counselor
Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
- Complete a master’s degree focused primarily on counseling that received regional accreditation and touched on the six focus areas mandated by the Georgia Board of Professional Counselors
- Complete required supervised experience. Requirements for this vary based on whether you completed an internship during your master’s program and if you possess a specialist/doctoral degree. Requirements range from one to four years of supervised professional experience.
- Pass either the National Counselor Examination or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination, both of which are offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors
- Submit an application to the Georgia Composite Board of Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists; pay an accompanying fee of $100
- Potential careers: Rehabilitation counselor, substance abuse counselor, mental health counselor
Certified Addiction Counselor
Requirements listed here relate to Level I certification. Details about other levels can be found by reviewing details provided by the Georgia Addiction Counselors Association.
- Possess a high school diploma or GED
- Complete 4,000 hours of active practice in chemical dependency and/or abuse counseling under a Certified Clinical Supervisor
- Participate in 180 training hours around alcohol and drug abuse counseling
- Complete 220 hours of clinical supervision, 24 of which must focus on one-to-one supervision
- Pass the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals examination
- Submit an application to the Georgia Addiction Counselors Association and pay the $150 application fee
- Potential careers: Substance abuse counselor, addictionologist, rehabilitation center counselor
The Process for working as a professional in the field of psychology within the state of Georgia begins with completing field experience work before the examination process begins. That process includes the following:
- Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP): The EPPP was created by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards to help assess those applying for a license as a psychologist. The exam consists of 225 multiple-choice questions taken on a computer over a span of 255 minutes. Applicants must answer at least 70% of the questions correctly to pass. More detailed information concerning the EPPP can be found here.
- Georgia Jurisprudence Examination: Also taken on a computer, this exam covers content in areas of assessment, competence, professional relationships, licensure and regulations, privacy and confidentiality, and recordkeeping and fees. It is administered by PSI Services; applicants can select from numerous testing sites throughout the state.
- Oral Examination: Candidates go before the Board for examination in areas of diagnostic and intervention skills, awareness of limitations, quality of work sample, knowledge of professional ethical principles and practices, and knowledge of Georgia law. The exam lasts approximately 30 minutes and candidates are evaluated in each area as either acceptable or unacceptable in their knowledge.
Job Growth and Psychologist Salary in Georgia
Recognized Psychology Specializations in Georgia
- Clinical Psychologist: provides extensive talk and medical therapies to individuals across the lifespan who experience a range of mental health issues.
- Clinical Social Worker: helps clients of all ages and backgrounds address problems arising in their lives. Aside from providing counseling services, they also refer individuals to helpful services.
- Marriage and Family Therapist: navigates the front lines of relational counseling as they work with individuals, couples, children, and families to address issues arising within family structures.
- Mental Health Counselor: uses a variety of behavioral, emotional, and psychological therapy tools to help clients address issues around grief, loss, anger, anxiety, depression, and other common mental health problems. However, they cannot prescribe medications.
- Addiction Counseling: works with individuals experiencing substance abuse issues around alcohol, drugs, and other illicit substances. They frequently provide group and one-to-one counseling services in public and private organizational settings.
Georgia Psychology Spotlight Programs
- Emory University: From its home base in Atlanta, Emory’s Department of Psychology offers a B.A. in psychology alongside joint undergraduate majors in psychology and linguistics, neuroscience and behavioral biology, and quantitative sciences with a psychology track. At the doctoral level, you can take advantage of programs focused on clinical psychology, cognition and development, and neuroscience and animal behavior. All of these degrees must be completed on campus. Undergrads pay approximately $53,070 per year in tuition, while doctoral students pay $42,800 each year.
- Georgia Institute of Technology: As one of the preeminent psychology colleges in Georgia, GIT offers a B.S. in psychology alongside doctoral degrees in cognition and brain science, cognitive aging, engineering psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, and quantitative psychology. The School of Psychology also provides an interdisciplinary M.S. in human-computer interaction and a Ph.D. in quantitative biosciences. Undergraduates pay $10,258 per year if considered a Georgia resident; non-residents pay $31,370. Admitted doctoral students can take advantage of teaching and research assistantships, fellowships, and scholarships that cover costs and provide a stipend. All of GIT’s programs exist on campus.
- Georgia Southern University: Operating as one of the most respected psychology colleges in Georgia, the department maintains an enrollment of nearly 1,000 learners across several campuses. Degree offerings include bachelor’s programs in comprehensive psychology, experimental psychology, and general psychology, an M.S. in general psychology, and a Psy.D. in general psychology. These programs are taught at the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses. Full-time undergraduates pay $2,732 and $9,641 per semester depending on if they qualify for in-state tuition or not. Full-time doctoral candidates pay $3,318 in resident tuition or $13,259 in non-resident tuition.
- Georgia State University: GSU serves more than 2,000 psychology students each year with programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Current offerings include a B.A. in psychology, a B.S. in psychology, and doctoral programs in clinical psychology, cognitive sciences, community psychology, developmental psychology, and neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. Several of these programs also offer sub-specializations. Georgia residents pay $11,076 and $11,680 in undergraduate and graduate tuition, respectively. Out-of-state learners pay $30,114 per year as an undergraduate and $32,344 as a doctoral candidate.
- Kennesaw State University: The Department of Psychological Science provides a B.S. in psychology that can be completed online, on campus, or in a hybrid format. Students can also select a psychology minor. The degree requires 120 credits and requires four years of full-time study. Campus-based students qualifying as in-state pay $3,784 per semester for full-time status; non-residents pay $10,818. Online students, regardless of residency status, pay $3,445 per semester.
- Toccoa Falls College: Undergraduate learners interested in beginning their psychology careers can do so at TCF by completing a bachelor’s degree in counseling psychology. Departmental faculty possess more than 100 years of combined experience and lead classes at both the Toccoa Falls campus and online. The department also offers minors in counseling, marriage and family counseling, and psychology. No matter residency status, on-campus learners pay $10,560 per semester. Online students pay $345 per credit, meaning if they took 15 credits they would pay $5,175 per term.
- University of Georgia: UGA exists as one of the oldest psychology colleges in Georgia, having first started teaching the discipline in 1785 in a course called Moral and Mental Philosophy. Today the school offers a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s in industrial-organizational psychology, a doctorate in industrial-organizational psychology, and a doctorate in behavior and brain sciences with specializations available in developmental psychology, health psychology, neuroscience, social-personality psychology, and vision science. A clinical graduate doctoral program also exists. All degrees are taught at the Athens campus. In-state undergraduates pay $12,080 per semester; out-of-state pay $31,120. Resident and non-resident master’s students pay $33,696 and $58,140, respectively, though they can apply for in-state if they work full-time in the state before their first day of classes. Doctoral students can apply to departmental assistantships, fellowships, and awards to cover costs.
- University of North Georgia: Enrolling at UNG allows you to take advantage of an A.S. psychology pathway or a B.S. in psychology. An undergraduate psychology minor also exists. Both programs can only be completed at the Dahlonega or Gainesville campuses. Full-time Georgia residents pay $2,798 in tuition per term; their out-of-state counterparts pay $9,877 over the same timeframe.
- University of West Georgia: As one of only two psychology schools in America to offer a focus on humanistic and transpersonal psychology, UWG is leading the way for other psychology colleges in Georgia. The department provides a B.S. in psychology, an M.A. in psychology, and a Ph.D. in psychology focused on consciousness and society. All of these degrees are taught at the Carrollton campus with the method of delivery focused solely on face-to-face classes. Resident and non-resident undergrads pay $178 and $627 per credit, respectively. Graduate residents pay $241 per credit while non-residents pay $935 per credit.
Georgia Psychology Scholarships
Students can find scholarships from local and state governments, private foundations, and psychology colleges in Georgia to help them avoid exorbitant student loan debt. After checking out these Georgia-specific awards, review our guide on psychology scholarships.
- Charles Harbin III Memorial ScholarshipThis nonrenewable award of up to $1,500 is given to Georgia-based high school graduates holding a GPA of 2.75 who aspire to study psychology. They must demonstrate community service, integrity, and unmet financial need and include a personal essay, recommendation letter, and FAFSA SAR form.
- Elizabeth A. Kenny Scholarship in PsychologyRising juniors and seniors enrolled in a psychology program at Georgia State University can apply to this renewable award after being nominated by a faculty member. Award amounts vary each year.
- Lettie Pate Whitehead FoundationFemale students from Georgia who plan to enroll full-time in an allied health undergraduate degree, including psychology, can apply to this scholarship if they attend a participating institution and hold a 3.0 GPA or higher. Awards vary based on unmet financial need and academic merit.
- Paul D. Coverdell Neuroimaging Program FellowshipGraduate students at the University of Georgia receive full tuition remittance alongside $5,000 a year for research projects. They must learn how to do functional brain imaging research as part of their psychology degree requirements. The award renews each year they are enrolled.
Georgia Internships and Fellowships
- Georgia Regional Hospital – Atlanta Internship: This American Psychological Association (APA)-accredited internship lasts 12 months and includes rotations in forensic psychology, adult mental health, clinical psychology, and positive behavior support. The internship requires 40-45 hours of work per week and includes shadowing of a licensed psychologist.
- Georgia Southern University Internship: If you’re interested in working with college students, this might be a great fit. GSU’s internship in health service psychology is based in the school’s counseling center and maintains APA accreditation. The program includes rotations, weekly training seminars, practicum supervision, and a rotating group of supervisors to provide added professional exposure.
- McLean Hospital Doctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology: This internship maintains accreditation through the APA. Applicants must still be enrolled in a doctoral program when they apply for this year-long internship. Most years, the hospital accepts six or seven interns, with options focused on adult or adolescent psychopathology.
- Medical College of Georgia Internship: In partnership with the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Medical College of Georgia offers APA-accredited internships with psychological focus tracks in areas of child and family, forensics, clinical health psychology, HIV and LGBTQ health disparities, psychology of women, and trauma psychology.
- Atlanta Veterans Affairs Psychology Internship: From its Decatur location, the VA provides this doctoral internship lasting one year and consisting of full-time work. The internship holds APA accreditation, provides an annual stipend of $27,477 and offers medical insurance, PTO, and sick leave.
Georgia Psychology Resources
- Athens Area Psychological Association: AAPA focuses on championing and supporting psychologists working in Northeastern Georgia by providing regional news, local events, helpful links, and a directory of members.
- Georgia Association for Industrial-Organizational Psychology: This specialty organization provides continuing education workshops, a listing of jobs and internships, networking events, and partnerships with local universities.
- Georgia Board of Psychology: This governmental body oversees the regulation of psychology through licensure. The board also monitors consumer protection and adjudicates complaints.
- Georgia Psychological Association: GPA serves licensed psychologists by providing continuing education programs, an annual conference, networking events, a directory, and professional growth opportunities. Students can also take advantage of specialized benefits.
- Southeastern Psychological Association: Operating as an affiliate of the American Psychological Association, SPA brings together psychologists from Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and other southeastern states to provide annual conferences, awards, job postings, and a directory.
- Georgia State Board of Psychological Association: A six member state board made up of 5 psychologist along with a single non-psychology professional with the shared goal of protecting consumers. This board reviews and investigates complaints lodged against psychology professionals.