Can I Move to America With a Psychology Degree?


Martha Robinson

Can I Move to America With a Psychology Degree?

Are you a psychology major considering a move to the United States? If so, you may be wondering if your degree will be recognized and if you’ll have opportunities to practice your profession in America. This article aims to provide insights into the possibilities and requirements for moving to America with a psychology degree.

Recognizing Your Degree

The first step in determining whether you can move to America with a psychology degree is understanding how your degree will be recognized. The American Psychological Association (APA) plays a significant role in this process.

The APA evaluates foreign degrees through their Office of International Affairs. They assess whether the educational qualifications meet the standards set by the APA and determine if additional coursework or examinations are necessary.

Licensing Requirements

Licensing is crucial for practicing psychology in the United States. Each state has different licensing requirements, but most require completion of an accredited doctoral program in psychology, such as a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Psychology from an approved institution.

If you obtained your psychology degree outside of the United States, it’s essential to check with the state licensing board where you plan to reside. They will guide you on any additional education or training needed to meet their criteria.

Educational Equivalency Evaluation

If there are discrepancies between your foreign degree and the American requirements, an educational equivalency evaluation may be necessary. Organizations like the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) provide evaluation services that assess foreign degrees and transcripts.

  • The evaluation process typically involves verifying the authenticity of your documents and determining the U.S. educational equivalent of your degree.
  • Based on the evaluation, you may need to complete specific coursework or exams to meet the American standards.
  • It’s important to note that each state has its own guidelines for accepting evaluations, so it’s crucial to research your desired state’s requirements.

Certification and Licensure

Once you have met the educational requirements, you can proceed with certification and licensure. Certification demonstrates your competence in a specialized area of psychology, while licensure allows you to practice independently as a psychologist.

The requirements for certification and licensure vary by state but generally involve:

  • Completion of supervised professional experience, often in the form of an internship or residency program.
  • Passing a national examination, such as the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP).
  • Fulfilling ethical guidelines and demonstrating good moral character.

Employment Opportunities

Moving to America with a psychology degree can provide various employment opportunities. Psychologists are in demand in various sectors such as healthcare, education, research, and industrial-organizational psychology.

Hospitals, mental health clinics, and private practices often hire psychologists to provide therapy and counseling services. Universities and research institutions also offer positions for psychologists interested in academia or research. Furthermore, corporations may employ psychologists for organizational development programs or employee assistance programs (EAP).

Networking and Professional Associations

To enhance your chances of finding employment, it’s essential to network with professionals in your field. Joining professional associations like the APA or state-level psychological associations can provide valuable networking opportunities and access to job boards.

Attending conferences and workshops can also help you stay updated with the latest research and connect with potential employers or colleagues.


In conclusion, moving to America with a psychology degree is possible, but it requires careful evaluation and adherence to state-specific requirements. Recognizing your degree, fulfilling licensing requirements, obtaining certification, and networking are all vital steps towards a successful transition. With dedication and perseverance, you can embark on a rewarding career in psychology in the United States.