The state of Oregon has much to offer those studying and seeking professional positions in the field of psychology. Over the next decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that positions for psychologists in Oregon will increase by 6.2%, and many of the state's major universities offer graduate degree programs and professional training in psychology to meet this demand. While some institutions feature more established psychology programs, more schools like Oregon State University are developing master's and Ph.D. programs in the field all the time.
Furthermore, in March 2016 Oregon's Higher Education Coordinating Commission completed a 4-year strategy to improve postsecondary education, and to create accessible and affordable education for hundreds of thousands of learners through its seven public public universities, 17 public community colleges, and a plethora private colleges and universities. If you are considering an online psychology degree, the state of Oregon is an excellent option to pursue this progressive and exciting field.
Mental Health Initiatives in Oregon
The Oregon Health Authority offers a comprehensive set of addiction and mental health services. They feature a coordinated treatment effort among professionals who specialize in alcohol and drug dependence, gambling addiction, trauma victims, abuse survivors, and other mental health disorders. Officials have also recently renewed a state health system transformation initiative that is committed to ensuring high-quality and affordable healthcare in the state.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Oregon is a leader in progressive medical practices. The state offers a medical marijuana program and a range of mental healthcare services at the local and state levels aimed at minimizing long-term institutional care. In fact, data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration demonstrates Oregon's commitment to eradicating substance abuse, as over 63% of Oregon's mental health treatment centers focus on these issues.
How do I Become a Psychologist in Oregon?
All professional psychologists meet similar standards of licensure, education, and training, regardless of their state of residence. The only details that vary among states are specific licensing costs and procedures. In most cases, practicing psychologists must have a doctoral degree in psychology. A master's degree may be sufficient for those with positions at educational institutions or within industrial organizational. Those with any type of clinical practice, however, must also obtain a state license.
Choose the Path That's Right for You: The minimum degree you must obtain to be a psychologist is a master's degree. Those with master's degrees often work in industrial organizational psychology, statistics, and research design. Those in clinical and counseling positions require a doctoral degree and state licensure. Most psychologists in research intensive careers — and those who wish to teach at the university level — also must earn their doctoral degrees.
Earn Your Degree: There are many options for students seeking an online psychology degree in Oregon. Online programs offer maximum flexibility to accommodate busy schedules, but students entering a bachelor's program should check with their prospective departments for any specific prerequisites or requirements. Most online students in Oregon spend a total of four years completing a bachelor's degree, and two to three years earning a master's degree. Psychology Ph.D. programs in Oregon often require four to seven years for coursework, research, and writing a dissertation.
Earn Your License: The exact length and style of the licensing exam depends on the state, but exams usually take about four hours to complete. Doctoral coursework is good preparation for licensure, though some students use test preparation courses to also prepare for the exam. Obtaining licensure does not guarantee anyone a position in the field, but the wider the network you create through school activities and professional organizations, the more likely you are to find a full-time position. Lastly, it will cost between $275-700 to apply for licensure in Oregon.
Psychology Licensing in Oregon
An online degree in psychology in Oregon opens the door to numerous career tracks. The options are nearly as diverse as the students themselves, and depend on one's interests and strengths. However, the specialty a student selects also determines the particular psychology license one must acquire in order practice. Therefore, it's crucial that psychology students determine their career paths as early as possible in their education. Below is a chart with some popular careers and the licenses they require.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
Marriage & Family Therapist (MFT)
LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor)
National Certified Counselor (NCC)
Prerequisites: Master's degree, 48 semester hours of graduate-level academic credit, 10 quarter hours of supervised field experience in counseling, 3,000 hours of post graduate work experience.
Careers Available With This License:
- Career counselor
- Licensed clinical professional counselor
- School counselor
Total Fees: $275
Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Oregon
Internships are often short-term, unpaid arrangements to provide students first-hand career experiences in their field or specialty. Fellowships, on the other hand, are reserved for graduate students who already specialize in the field, and wish to contribute to original research or writing. These positions are usually one to three years in length and offer stipends.
- LEND Psychology Fellowship Program: Offered by the Oregon Health and Science University's Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities program, this internship is for psychology Ph.D. students planning to work with pediatric patients. Through uniting theory and practice, interns gain experience working with patients with developmental disabilities, chronic illnesses, and behavioral concerns. Prospective fellows must apply online.
- Veterans Affairs Portland Training Programs: Based in Portland, this clinical psychology fellowship offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has five fellows per year. Three positions are reserved for Palliative Care, Health Psychology, and Primary Care Mental Health Integration. One position is available for Clinical Neuropsychology and one position in Mental Illness Treatment and Research. Positions are housed by the VA Portland Health Care System and in Oregon Health and Science University. Applications are submitted online.
- The Hope Connection Internship: Specializing in training individuals for private practice settings, Hope Connection interns work with individuals, couples, families, and small groups. Throughout this one-year program, interns work closely with — and are guided by — an experienced mentor in the field. Prospective interns must complete an online application.
Psychology Careers in Oregon
Students who complete an online psychology degree in Oregon fill diverse roles in the field. Those with bachelor's degrees in psychology often work as market research analysts, training and development specialists, or social workers. A master's degree prepares graduates for careers as marriage and family therapists, school and career counselors, sociologists, and survey researchers. In fact, one of the fastest growing positions in the field is industrial organizational psychology, which uses quantitative and qualitative methods to improve Human Resources and management techniques in companies and organizations. Graduates of psychology programs in Oregon also land positions as forensic psychologists, one of the highest paid careers in the field.
How Much do Psychologists Make in Oregon?
Your earning potential and salary in this field depends on your experience, credentials, and geographic location. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oregon is an excellent place to work in the field of psychology. The following table compares Oregon state employment statistics and wages to the national average. Trained professionals in Oregon enjoy about $7 more an hour, and $5,000 more annually, than the national average.
|Employment||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
Mental Health Service Providers in Oregon
One of the best places to look for work after graduating from an online psychology program in Oregon is one of the state's large service providers. These are excellent places to practice one's specialty and gain an important foundation of practical experience.
- Providence Health and Services: This is Oregon's largest and most comprehensive provider of behavioral health services. In conjunction with Providence Medical Group clinics, Providence Health and Services offers a full range of mental healthcare with psychologists, residents, and interns.
- Multnomah Early Assessment and Support Alliance: This two-year outreach and treatment program is for people ages 15 to 25 who are residents of Multnomah County. This provider's mission is to build community awareness and offer effective and accessible treatment through a network of educated community members and skilled clinicians.
- Cascadia Whole Health Care: Cascadia provides mental health services for addiction recovery support, primary care, wellness programs, and permanent housing solutions for individuals of all ages. Cascadia also offers special treatment for gambling addiction.
- Central City Concern: To support personal and community transformation, Central City Concern uses integrated healthcare services to help individuals find employment, acclimate to mainstream systems, or recover from past trauma and addiction.
- LifeWorks Northwest: LifeWorks deals with addiction and mental health issues with children, teens, adults, and the elderly. Helping more than 17,000 people annually, LifeWorks has full- and part-time positions in addition to internships and volunteer support.
Mental Health Research Centers in Oregon
- Oregon Research Institute: At the Oregon Research Institute, scientists, mental health clinicians, educators, healthcare professionals, and community leaders work together to promote human health and wellbeing. The institute conducts research on human behavior, child development, behavioral disorders, and addiction.
- Oregon Health and Sciences University - Brain Institute: With over 150 researchers and nine research branches, the OHSU Brain Institute researches causes and solutions to behavioral health problems, including mental illnesses, eating disorders, mood disorders, sleep disorders, and substance abuse.
- Portland State University: The Social Determinants of Health Initiative at Portland State University, in conjunction with several mental health research committees, conducts research on addiction and mental health prevention services in all age groups.
Professional Organizations for Mental Health Professionals
Professional organizations benefit practitioners, researchers, and teachers throughout the field of psychology. They provide connected resources that help new professionals locate important contacts in the field and also aid in the job search. Established professionals also use these organizations to stay current with their colleagues' work and research, fulfill continuing education requirements, and search for employment opportunities.
- Coalition of Oregon Professional Associations for Counseling and Therapy (COPACT): COPACT is combination of the Oregon Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the Oregon Counseling Association. COPACT represents all Oregon licensed professional counselors, licensed therapists, and registered interns. The organization provides legal representation and legislative lobbying to support professionals in the field.
- Oregon Counseling Association (ORCA): This trade association protects and promotes the counseling profession in the state. Functioning as the Oregon branch of the American Counseling Association, ORCA provides network and professional development opportunities for counselors and fosters collegiality across degrees and specialties. ORCA hosts a large annual conference that includes opportunities for continuing education credits.
- Oregon Psychological Association (OPA): This professional not-for-profit association advances the science and profession of psychology by promoting knowledge and welfare, and maintaining high standards of practice in the field. Members receive complimentary legal and ethics consultations, referral programs, the official email listserv, and access to an online job board. OPA offers several continuing education workshops and events per year.
Scholarships for Online Psychology Programs in Oregon
American Psychological Foundation (APF) Graduate Student Scholarships
The American Psychological Foundation offers up to 22 scholarships per year for graduate students. The scholarship is intended to help students offset research costs associated with the master's thesis or doctoral dissertation.
- Amount Offered: $1,000-$5,000
- Scholarship Deadline: June 30
- Eligibility Requirements: Students must be enrolled in a graduate program and submit a research proposal and letters of recommendation with the application. Preference is given to students with research experience and documented publications.
Future Stewards Program
This scholarship offers two years of tuition support for new or continuing graduate students in master's or doctoral programs at the University of Oregon. Students must be a member of one of the nine federally recognized tribes in the state and have plans to support their tribal community, traditional culture, foster educational opportunities, and promote economic development.
- Amount Offered: $17,500
- Scholarship Deadline: September 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be admitted to the graduate program at the University of Oregon. Applications should include a statement of academic purpose and a letter of support from the applicant's tribe.
National Honor Society in Psychology - The Allyn and Bacon Award
The National Honor Society offers the Allyn and Bacon Award to three women pursuing advanced degrees in psychology. Students must submit an empirical research paper in order to be considered for first, second, or third place.
- Amount Offered: $350-$1,000
- Scholarship Deadline: May 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be a female in a psychology program at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Students should be members of the National Honor Society in Psychology but it is not required.
Division 53 Student Achievement Award
This award is for both undergraduate and graduate students working toward specialties in clinical child and adolescent psychology. Applicants must be aiming for careers that are research-intensive but also include elements of teaching, mentoring, clinical work, and other types of community engagement.
- Amount Offered: $1,000
- Scholarship Deadline: May 30
- Eligibility Requirements: Master's, doctoral, and undergraduate students in psychology are eligible for the awards unless they are previous recipients of another American Psychological Association award for the same research project. Applicants must submit a 1-2 page statement describing their contributions to clinical child and adolescent
Kay Wilson Presidential Leadership Award
Open to both graduate and undergraduate students, the Kay Wilson Presidential Leadership Award is for individuals who demonstrate excellence in leadership of the local Psi Chi (International Honor Society in Psychology) chapter. Competitive applications highlight specific work accomplishments, leadership and communication skills, and display a high standard of work performance.
- Amount Offered: $1,200
- Scholarship Deadline: March 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Students must be nominated by a chapter member, officer, or faculty advisor. The student nominee then must complete the second portion of the application. Only students who are currently serving as the local chapter president or held the position during the previous academic year are eligible to apply.
Offered by the American Psychological Foundation, two awards are given to doctoral students in neuropsychology.
- Amount Offered: $2,500
- Scholarship Deadline: February 28
- Eligibility Requirements: Students must have advanced to ABD status in their program and demonstrated research competence and an area of expertise. IRB approval must be received from the applicant's host institution if human participants are involved in the proposed research. Applications must be completed online.
Scott and Paul Pearsall Scholarship
This scholarship supports graduate and early career work that increases the public's understanding and awareness of the hardships and suffering experienced by adults living with physical disabilities.
- Amount Offered: $10,000
- Scholarship Deadline: October 1
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be full-time graduate students at an accredited university or within ten years of finishing their doctoral degree. IRB approval must be obtained before any funding can be awarded. Applications must include a CV, proposed budget for research, a letter of recommendation from one's faculty advisor, and a research proposal that includes a plan to disseminate the research findings to the public through media organizations.
Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship
The scholarship awards graduate-level research projects that seek to understand and reduce stigma surrounding mental illnesses. This work should address the research which shows that nearly 50 million Americans do not seek treatment because of these social barriers.
- Amount Offered: $5,000
- Scholarship Deadline: May 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Open to graduate students at any level, applicants must submit a research proposal that demonstrates a commitment to stigma issues, includes a budget for the project, updated CV, and a letter of recommendation from a faculty advisor.
Liz Gullion Scholarship
In memory of Liz Gullion, a psychologist in Eugene, Oregon, this scholarship is for master's or doctoral students studying psychology in the state. Funds are intended to help offset the cost of academic conference registration, travel, or lodging.
- Amount Offered: $50
- Scholarship Deadline: May 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be Oregon State Psychology Association members in good standing and attend a program in the state with at least half-time status.
David H. and Beverly A. Barlow Grant
This scholarship supports clinical research on anxiety and anxiety related disorders.
- Amount Offered: $2,500-$5,000
- Scholarship Deadline: September 15
- Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be a graduate student or within 10 years of completing their doctoral degree. They should also be affiliated with a nonprofit charitable, educational, or scientific institution. A research proposal demonstrating a commitment to anxiety research.
Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Oregon
It is important that you enroll in an online psychology program in Oregon that is nationally or regionally accredited. Both accreditations communicate to future employers that your degree or certificate was earned at a school that adheres to strict academic standards. National accreditation is usually acquired by career-based, for-profit institutions of higher education. Regional accreditation, conversely, is most often awarded to nonprofit schools that offer a diverse set of majors and degrees, from associate to doctoral degrees. When transferring credits or moving from one degree into another a regionally accredited school is less likely to accept credits earned at a nationally accredited institution. Nationally accredited schools, however, will often accept credits from those with a regionally accreditation.
Prospective students in psychology should also note whether a program is accredited by the American Psychological Association, which signals it offers a field-leading education.
Explore Psychology Careers
Program Database of Online Psychology Programs in Oregon
It can take some time to research programs that best fit your academic and personal needs. To help with your search, the following database contains accredited online psychology programs in Oregon. This information will let you narrow down your options while ensuring that you are only considering quality, accredited programs in the state.