Each of the 50 states set their own requirements for psychology licensure. These are generally similar in that: 1.) each state requires completion of approved doctoral studies from an accredited educational institution and 2.) each state requires successful completion of a qualifying examination. Although academic qualifications may vary from state to state, the qualifying psychological examination is standard for each of the 50 states.
As with many other professions, such as the practice of medicine or the practice of engineering, the practice of psychology is legally defined by each of the states. By law, the title “psychologist” may only be used by a person who has been licensed in psychology. Terms such as “psychotherapy” and “psychotherapist”, only described an individual or an individual’s practice may only be used by persons licensed as a psychologist or psychiatrist.