In Your State: South Dakota

Psychology Degree Schools in South Dakota

Address: Administration Lane
Brookings, SD 57007
Type: 4-year, Public
Accreditation Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
Psychology Degrees Offered: Academic Minor in Psychology
Address: 414 E Clark St.
Vermillion, South Dakota 57069-2390
Type: 4-year, Public
Accreditation Agency: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission
Psychology Degrees Offered: Master of Science in Counseling and Psychology in Education

How to Become a Psychologist in South Dakota

How to Become a Psychologist in South Dakota

Educational Requirements

Becoming a psychologist in South Dakota requires a license to practice, and you must have earned an approved doctoral degree in psychology before you can apply for a license, according to a South Dakota state statute. Beyond this, an applicant for licensure must log a specified amount of supervised experience, meet national and state licensure exam requirements, and not have any felony convictions or misdemeanors involving “moral turpitude,” state law explains. A doctoral degree in psychology typically entails course work geared toward preparing a scholar-practitioner, although exact course work will vary by school and specialization. For example, the University of South Dakota psychology program in clinical psychology features course work in psychological theory, science, and practice, and allows for emphases in research areas like rural community psychology, Native American mental health, disaster mental health, trauma, substance abuse, and more.

A school psychologist in South Dakota, however, does not necessarily have to have a doctoral degree to work in K-12 schools. They do, however, need to possess a graduate degree in school psychology to become certified as a school psychologist, according to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). Similarly, educators who seek a Birth to Age 21 School Psychological Examiner education endorsement must have a master’s degree in which a student completed a selection of psychology course work defined here. Both licensed psychologists and certified school psychologists must complete a certain amount of continuing education to renew their license periodically.

Continuing Education Requirements

Licensed psychologists in South Dakota complete no more than six continuing education units (CEU) each year, according to state law. This is an important part of the licensure renewal process, as CEU helps keep the state’s psychologists up-to-date on the latest advances in their fields. Similarly, school psychologists must log six credits, with each credit equaling 15 contact hours, according to the NASP. Continuing education credits may be earned by attending approved conferences and workshops offered by professional organizations in psychology and school psychology, respectively.

Psychology Licensure in South Dakota

While South Dakota only offers one type of licensure for psychologists working outside of K-12 schools, the state does allow provisional licensure for those who have a doctorate and have passed all licensure exams, but who have not yet completed their one year of supervised postdoctoral experience required to become fully licensed. School psychologists do not have licensure requirements through the South Dakota Board of Psychologist Examiners, but rather seek credentials through the state’s department of education.

  • Licensed Psychologist
    • Education: Doctoral degree in psychology
    • Exam: EPPP, oral examination on ethics and state licensing laws administered by the Board of Examiners
    • Work Experience: 1,800 hour-internship that must be completed in no more than two years, as well as a year-long, supervised postdoctoral experience
    • Other Prerequisites: Must not have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude
  • Provisional License
    • Education: Doctoral degree in psychology
    • Exam: EPPP
    • Work Experience: Must have completed a supervised internship meeting the requirements of the state statute and be in the process of completing one year of supervised, doctoral experience in psychology
    • Other Prerequisites: Must not have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude; provisional licenses are valid no longer than 12 months and cannot be renewed

Salaries for Psychologists in South Dakota

Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in South Dakota reported average annual earnings of $68,900 in May 2011, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As an alternative to professional practice in psychology, some licensed psychologists pursue college or university teaching jobs. Postsecondary psychology teachers earned an average annual salary of $63,160 that same year, the BLS noted. Bear in mind that these salary figures are averages, not guarantees of actual salaries in the field. Individual salaries will differ depending on your experience in the field, where you work, your client base, and other factors.