Missouri State Licensing Requirements
Learning what degree will you need in the field of psychology, counseling or social work is just the beginning of your professional career journey in Missouri. You’ll also need to know what the state requirements are to be licensed to practice in the helping professions.
If you want to learn how to help people cope with life issues such as behavior disorders, stress and anxiety, overcome mental-health problems, and generally improve the quality of their lives, keep reading to learn about going to psychology school in Missouri.
Getting Licensed to Practice in Missouri
Social work, psychology, therapy and counseling licensure is required to make sure certain standards are met.
To get licensed, you need a degree, need to pass a state and/or national exam, and meet other licensing requirements in your particular field of study. Here are some of the requirements to practice in the following fields, according to the Missouri Division of Professional Registration (DPR). Make sure to consult the DPR for the full requirements.
- Doctoral degree in psychology
- Passing score on three exams: the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP), the Missouri Jurisprudence, and Oral Psychology Exam
- Two years of supervised experience, one year supervised internship or residency; the second year must be supervised post-doc clinical work
- Master’s or doctorate in professional counseling or a related field
- Passing score on the National Counselor Examination (NCE) and the Missouri Jurisprudence Exam
- Completion of 3,000 hours of supervised experience under a licensed professional counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist who is not a relative
Marriage and Family Therapist
- Master’s or doctorate in marriage and family therapy or equivalent mental health degree accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage & Family Therapy (COAMFT)
- Passing score on the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards Exam
- 3,000 total hours of supervised experience in marriage and family therapy in no less than two years and no more than five years. At least 1,500 hours must be in direct client contact in MFT.
There are four levels of social work licensure in Missouri: Licensed Bachelors Social Worker, Licensed Master Social Worker, Licensed Advanced Macro Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. To become a licensed clinical social worker, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- Master’s or doctoral degree in social work
- At least 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience in at least two years but not more than four
- Passing score on the American Association of Social Work Boards exam
Do note that in Missouri, licensure is only required for the practice of clinical social work. Practice at the bachelor’s, master’s and advanced macro level does not require a license unless you choose to identify yourself as a “licensed social worker.” Make sure to check the statutes for the requirements at each level of practice.
Making the Most of Your Degree
Once you’re enrolled in a program, think about joining the relevant professional associations that accept students. Membership in organizations such as the Missouri Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers offers great benefits:
- Access to job databases and community resources
- Information about legislation that affects your work, and what you can do in response to new laws affecting your specialty area
- Forums for interacting with peers and experts in your field
- Consultation with advocates in your profession regarding legal and ethical issues
So which field of psychology is right for you: counselor, therapist, social worker or psychologist? Make sure to get off on the right foot, and research your degree options and licensure requirements early to ensure that you’ll be efficient in your studies and can get into the right helping profession for you.