Specialty Specific Requirements



Applicants submit the following education and training activities to the ABPP Central Office in order to establish completion of the following professional accomplishments:


Academic Program Requirements

• A doctoral degree from a program in professional psychology, which at the time the degree was granted, was accredited by the APA or the Canadian Psychological

Association (CPA), OR

• A doctoral degree, which at the time the degree was granted, was from a program listed in the publication Doctoral Psychology Programs Meeting Designated Criteria OR, the

Degree Requirement can be met if:

• Applicant holds current ABPP Board Certification in another specialty, OR

• Applicant holds a current Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ) from the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB), OR

• Applicant is credentialed as a health service provider in the current Directory of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (NRHSPP), or the current Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (CRHSPP), OR

• Applicant holds a doctoral degree in psychology and has subsequently been certified as completing the requirements of a formal, doctoral level, professional program that meets the APA accreditation requirements.

Individual exception reviews are available for degrees granted outside the U.S. or Canada, doctoral degrees granted prior to 1983, or for applicants claiming equivalent doctoral degree and program requirements. Such exceptions are coordinated through the ABPP Executive Office and the appropriate Specialty Board.


Internship Requirements


A one-year full-time or two-year half-time internship program is required. The internship requirement can be met in one of four ways. The internship requirement is met if the internship is:

• Accredited by the APA or CPA, or

• Listed in the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC)

Directory for the year in which the internship was completed, or,

• Met APPIC equivalency guidelines, or

• Applicants are listed in the NRHSPP or CRHSPP Directories or hold the CPQ.


Licensure/Certification Requirement


All ABPP candidates in the U.S., its territories or Canada must be licensed as psychologists for independent practice at the doctoral level in a jurisdiction in the U.S., its territories or Canada.  Exceptions to the residency requirement are made for active duty federal uniformed service psychologists when practicing in those roles.


Post-Licensure Practice Experience


The specialty of Group Psychology denotes a level of practice requiring preparation beyond doctoral requirements. The post-doctoral requirement includes:

  • Three years of group experience
    • One of these may be pre-doctoral (internship level)
    • Two or three years may be Post-Doctoral Experience. (Details Page 5). 

Early-Entry Option


Graduate students and entry level professionals are encouraged to apply for the Early Entry option, where Central Office assists them in accumulating and tracking documents towards eventual candidacy.


Senior Option


Psychologists who meet the above degree, internship, and post-licensing criterion, AND have 15 years or more of post-doctoral experience in group are eligible for the Senior Psychologist option. The aim of this program is to bring into ABGP senior colleagues who have made a contribution to Group Psychology.


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