Why Specialize?    


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The practice of American Psychology has become increasingly complex and competitive. There has been a decided trend toward practice focused in delimited areas with a number of such areas emerging as specialties. The ABPP establishes and continually incorporates the current developments in the definition and requirements of specialties in professional psychology. Over the past decade 12 new specialties have joined 3 traditional specialties which have been in the field for the past 55 years. The new specialties have emerged through public needs and professional advancements.


The public is not expected to be knowledgeable about specialty requirements such as accredited doctoral programs, internships, or supervised post-doctoral training. The clearest and most responsible way for a psychologist to represent herself/himself to the public, third-parties, and the profession as a specialist is to be certified through an organized peer process as meeting the standards and demonstrating the competencies required in the specialty. ABPP is the only non-profit professional unitary organization with multiple specialty board quality controls recognized by the profession as certifying specialty practitioners in psychology.


How Do I Become Eligible for a Specialty Certification?

To attain board certification in a specialty, an applicant must meet the general and the specialty eligibility requirements which include:


  • A doctoral degree from a program in professional psychology which at the time the degree was granted was accredited by the APA, CPA, or was listed in the publication Doctoral Psychology Programs Meeting Designation Criteria. Applicants credentialed in the most recent directory of the National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, the Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology, or the Certificate of Professional Qualification in Psychology (CPQ), (ASPPB) typically qualify as meeting the doctoral degree requirements.


  • Applicants must demonstrate Licensure or Certification at the independent practice level as a psychologist in the United States, Canada or a U.S. Territory.  


  • Note: Individuals practicing outside of the U.S., its territories or Canada may be eligible in some cirsctumstances when training was completed in the U.S., its territories or Canada. Limited exceptions exist for doctoral training completed prior to 1983, degrees granted outside the U.S. or Canada, formal retraining, substantial equivalents to accreditation requirements, and licensure in jurisdiction of practice for some Federal employees. Exception criteria and procedures are available from Central Office and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.


  • Specialty preparation for practice characteristic of the specialty, including appropriate doctoral education as a foundation for the specialty and such post-doctoral preparation as necessary to meet the standards of the specialty.


What are the Different Specialties?

Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology               

Clinical Health Psychology                                   

Clinical Neuropsychology                                     

Clinical Psychology                                              

Cognitive & Behavioral Psychology                     

Counseling Psychology                                        

Couple & Family Psychology

Forensic Psychology


Group Psychology

Organizational & Business Consulting Psychology

Police & Public Safety Psychology

Psychoanalysis in Psychology 

Rehabilitation Psychology

School Psychology


What does it Cost?


Fees are paid online, non-refundable and subject to change without notice. Application fee $125.00 ($25 for Early Entry Applicants). Written exam fee (only applicable for Clinical Neuropsychology $300.00 and Forensic Psychology $200.00). Practice sample fee $250.00. Oral exam fee $450.00.



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