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Online Psychology Degree Programs in Oregon

As millions of Americans continue to battle mental health crises, the need for mental health professionals continues to rise. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) notes that each year, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness, and 1 in 25 adults experience serious mental illness.

This NAMI data mirrors the increasing demand for mental health professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 14% job increase for psychologists between 2018-2028. Students in psychology programs in Oregon engage in scientific study of the human mind, behavior, and mental disorders. They graduate with the training, tools, and resources necessary to provide care to those in need. Degree-seekers interested in pursuing this career in Oregon choose online programs for added flexibility and control over their education.

The Beaver State also boasts some of the best psychology schools in the nation. The University of Oregon, Oregon Health and Science University, Oregon State University, and Portland State University (PSU) all make U.S. News & World Report's ranking of more than 200 of the best psychology schools in the nation.

The following guide provides more information about psychology colleges in Oregon, along with program details, state licensure requirements, and state-specific salary data for psychologists.

How Do Online Psychology Degree Programs in Oregon Work?

Schools in Oregon offer a mix of fully online and hybrid programs. For example, Oregon State operates a robust virtual college with fully online BS and BA degrees in psychology, in addition to a hybrid master's degree in clinical mental health counseling.

Online programs typically take the same number of years to complete as their on-campus counterparts. Some schools allow learners to transfer credits into baccalaureate programs to accelerate degree completion. Degree-seekers interested in the most flexible programs should seek out asynchronous options, which require no set times for students to log on and take part in classes.

With more Americans choosing online degrees, employers value virtual learning on the same level as on-campus education, as long as the programs are from regionally accredited schools. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes several accrediting agencies, including the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, which accredits four-year schools in Oregon.

What Courses Are Part of an Online Psychology Degree Program in Oregon?

Psychology colleges in Oregon generally require 120 credits for baccalaureate programs and between 48-60 credits for graduate degrees. Students in baccalaureate programs study issues such as human lifespan development, brain and behavior, and social psychology. The following list includes some common courses found in undergraduate online psychology degrees in Oregon.

Brain and Behavior

In this course, learners explore the functional anatomy and microanatomy of the nervous system, the internal structure of neurons, their electrical properties, and communication between neurons. Degree-seekers examine how neurophysiology affects emotions, hormones, learning, memory, and other basic functions.

Developmental Psychology

Experiences in infancy, childhood, and adolescence affect a person's personality, intellect, and behavior. Students explore normative and atypical development as they delve into classical and modern theories developed by psychologists such as Sigmund Freud, Jean Piaget, and Mary Dinsmore Ainsworth.

Cognitive Psychology

This course introduces students to the main theories and approaches used in cognitive psychology. Faculty members use technology such as functional brain imaging to map the three main parts of the brain, highlighting specialized areas that work together during perception, memory, language acquisition, and problem-solving.

Abnormal Psychology

Learners in this course explore classifications of psychological disorders, plus standards for clinical assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Students also develop a familiarity with a principal tool for psychiatric diagnoses: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Psychology of Personality

In this class, degree-seekers delve into personality theories, such as psychodynamic and humanistic approaches. They explore how psychologists apply these concepts in clinical and social contexts. Faculty members introduce learners to the psychologists who developed these theories, such as Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, and Isabel Briggs Myers.

Becoming a Psychologist in Oregon

Oregon requires mental health professionals to obtain licenses before they practice. Degree-seekers must invest a considerable amount of time to complete the requisite education and training. The following section outlines some of the essential criteria for choosing psychology colleges in Oregon, along with the prerequisites to obtain licensure.

  • Specialize

    As students consider an online psychology degree in Oregon, they should browse the field's many areas of specialization. This will help aspiring psychologists determine which college to attend, especially at the graduate level, where faculty's diverse research interests affect program availability.

    The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest organization representing psychologists in the nation. It advocates for the application of psychological science to enhance the lives of citizens. APA consists of 118,000 members and 54 psychology subdisciplines and divisions. Its website provides a repository of useful information for students to explore.

  • Earn Your Degrees

    Degree-seekers begin their education with a bachelor's degree, which they typically complete in four years of full-time enrollment. Some colleges allow students to transfer general education credits to accelerate degree completion. A master's degree usually takes 2-3 years and is a prerequisite for a doctorate, though some schools may offer a dual master's and Ph.D. in psychology program.

    Most of the state's colleges offer graduate degrees in psychology, though many programs require on-campus studies. Oregon State and PSU provide online baccalaureate and master's degrees in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, and social work. Students should research schools that offer online psychology degrees in their specializations. Once learners earn an online master's in psychology in Oregon, they will need a doctorate, unless they plan to practice in a field like industrial-organizational psychology, where no doctorate is required.

    A doctorate requires coursework, research, and a dissertation. Students can complete doctoral degrees in 4-7 years, depending on whether they pursue an Ed.D., Psy.D., or Ph.D. Degree-seekers will find few online doctoral options. At the graduate level, participants complete internships or clinical experiences that increase in scope at the doctoral and postdoctoral levels.

  • Obtain Licensure

    The Oregon Board of Psychology (OBOP) oversees the licensing process for psychologists in Oregon, which mirrors requirements in other states. Candidates must hold APA- or

    Canadian Psychological Association-approved doctorates with an internship, at least a year of postdoctoral supervised experience, and at least 1,500 hours of post-doc supervised psychological services.

    Once candidates meet the requirements for licensure, they submit the relevant materials to the board to determine eligibility to sit for the national examination for professional practice in psychology (EPPP), administered by the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.

    Each applicant must pay an application fee to the state board, which includes background check costs. Pearson VUE administers the 225-multiple-choice question EPPP, which also has an associated fee. Candidates must also pass the Oregon jurisprudence exam.

Other Licenses and Certifications

For a degree-seeker not ready to pursue a doctorate, Oregon offers other mental health career options. For example, master's degree-holders can pursue careers as professional counselors or social workers. The following section highlights the licensure requirements for three such options.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

In Oregon, those seeking social work licensure must obtain their credentials from the Board of Licensed Social Workers. To qualify, candidates need an MSW and must complete 3,500 hours of clinical practice experience, 2,000 of which must involve direct client experience, in addition to passing the clinical-level Association of Social Work Boards' exam.

Marriage and Family Therapist

MFTs obtain their licenses from Oregon's Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists. A candidate must hold a master's degree from a program approved by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education or its equivalent and possess at least three years of supervised clinical counseling experience that includes at least 2,400 hours of direct client contact. Aspiring MFTs must pass either the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Board's marital and family therapy exam or California's Board of Behavioral Sciences' MFT clinical examination. They must also pass the Oregon law and rules exam.

Licensed Professional Counselor

The Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists also issues licenses to LPCs. Candidates must hold a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs-accredited master's degree and register as an intern to complete at least three years of supervised clinical experience. This must include at least 2,400 hours of direct client experience. Candidates must pass the national counselor examination, national clinical mental health counselor examination, or certified rehabilitation counselor examination. They must also pass the Oregon law and rules exam.

Salaries and Job Outlook for Psychologists in Oregon

Those who complete online psychology degrees in Oregon qualify for a variety of positions. A master's degree allows learners to practice as counselors, therapists, and social workers. Some may choose to apply their learning in the business field by pursuing careers as industrial-organizational psychologists, which often only requires a master's degree.

While BLS does not provide the most recent overall data for Oregon, psychologists in neighboring states such as Idaho and Washington make an annual mean wage of $87,410 and $102,760, respectively. The best areas for employment as clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Oregon are the metropolitan areas of Bend-Redmond, where they earn an annual mean wage of $118,980; Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, where they earn $107,130; and Eugene, where they earn $86,730.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Oregon 27th overall in its "best states" list. The Beaver State's thriving economy came in at fifth place, and its healthcare system ranked 17th. All of this adds up to great job potential for healthcare job-seekers in the state.

Oregon at a Glance

Population: 4,190,713

Population Growth (2010-2018): 9.39%

Population Growth Rank: 12

Source: United States Census Bureau

Salary and Projected Job Growth for Psychologists in Oregon Compared to Nearby States
  Mean Annual Salary Projected Job Growth (2016-26)
Oregon N/A -5.0%
Washington $102,760 10.0%
California $114,860 13.0%
Nevada $74,060 N/A
Idaho $87,410 20.0%
National Average $95,610 10.3%

Source: BLS, Projections Central

Economies of Metropolitan Areas in Oregon
  Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologist Salary General Unemployment Rate Education and Health Services 12-Month Employment Growth
Bend - Redmond $118,980 4.1% 3.0%
Portland - Vancouver - Hillsboro $107,130 4.3% 3.6%
Eugene $86,730 5.0% 1.1%
Salem $82,640 4.8% -1.8%

Source: BLS

Psychology Degrees and Careers in Oregon -- Frequently Asked Questions

Degree-seekers may have unanswered questions about choosing online psychology degrees in Oregon, including how long it takes to complete the educational and training requirements for licensure in Oregon, and what skills psychologists need for success in their profession. The following section addresses some common concerns.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Psychologist in Oregon?

Aspiring psychologists should expect to spend about 10-12 years completing a bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree to meet licensure requirements. Students can accelerate degree completion by transferring credits into a bachelor's, and some schools may offer dual master's-doctoral degrees in psychology. A doctorate in psychology can take about 4-7 years to complete, depending on whether learners pursue a Psy.D., Ph.D., or Ed.D.

Are Online Psychology Classes Hard?

Coursework increases in difficulty as students advance from lower- to upper-level courses. At the graduate level, students must master advanced statistics and research methodology, which may be difficult for some enrollees.

What Skills Are Needed to Be a Psychologist?

Effective communication skills help psychologists forge and maintain strong therapeutic relationships with their clients. They must also possess keen critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Emotional intelligence plays an important role as well, as psychologists must appropriately monitor their patients' mental states.

What Schools Are Best for Psychology in Oregon?

PSU offers a fully online bachelor's degree completion program in interdisciplinary studies with a major in psychology. The school also offers a master's in social work. Oregon State offers a fully online BA/BS in psychology. With a bit more research, aspiring psychologists will find other schools offering online psychology degrees in Oregon.

Is a BA or a BS in Psychology Better?

Aspiring psychologists may want to enroll in a BS in psychology or another major in the behavioral sciences to acquire practical research and lab experience. A BA provides more liberal arts education and less science content by design. Both types of degrees will satisfy the bachelor's requirement on the path to earning a license.

Accreditation for Online Psychology Programs in Oregon

Always ensure the accreditation status of your prospective schools. For a psychology degree, your school should be regionally accredited. This status communicates to future employers that your degree or certificate was earned at a school that adheres to strict academic standards.

Regional accreditation is most often awarded to nonprofit schools that offer a diverse set of majors and degree levels, while national accreditation is usually acquired by career-based, for-profit institutions of higher education. A regionally accredited school is less likely to accept credits earned at a nationally accredited institution, though nationally accredited schools will typically accept credits from those with regional accreditation.

Prospective doctorate students in psychology should also note whether a program has received accreditation from APA, as most states require APA-accredited doctorates for psychology licensure.

Psychology Internships and Fellowships in Oregon

Internships are short-term, often unpaid arrangements to provide students with first-hand career experiences and course credit. Fellowships are reserved for graduate students who have already chosen a specialization and wish to contribute to original research or writing in the field. Fellowships are typically paid and last 1-3 years.

Psychology internships and fellowships provide psychology students with practical experience at mental or behavioral health facilities. States generally require some form of supervised fellowship experience as part of licensure requirements. Below are a few organizations that might offer internships or fellowships.

Providence Health and Services

As Oregon's largest and most comprehensive provider of behavioral health services, Providence Health and Services offers mental healthcare in conjunction with Providence Medical Group clinics.

Multnomah Early Assessment and Support Alliance

This two-year outreach and treatment program for people ages 15-25 in Multnomah County builds community awareness and offers effective and accessible treatment through a network of educated community members and skilled clinicians.

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.

Oregon Research Institute

At Oregon Research Institute, scientists, mental health clinicians, educators, healthcare professionals, and community leaders work together to promote human health and well-being. The institute researches human behavior, child development, behavioral disorders, and addiction.

Oregon Health and Sciences University's 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.

Professional Organizations for Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals

In many fields, professional organizations offer members access to continuing education, research, conferences, and networking opportunities with peers. In the psychology field, APA and the American Mental Health Counselors Association provide these benefits. The following list includes five organizations of interest to psychologists and psychology students.

  • Oregon Psychological Association OPA consists of psychologists in Oregon who advocate on local, state, and national issues. Member benefits include powerful legislative advocacy, a web-based referral program, access to publications, discounted rates for OPA events, and networking opportunities.
  • American Psychological Association APA is the nation's largest organization representing psychology, boasting 118,000 clinicians, researchers, students, and other members. The organization manages 54 divisions that represent various specializations and areas of interest. Member benefits include access to up-to-date research, tuition refinancing, and liability insurance.
  • Oregon Counseling Association OCA's members consist of counselors and therapists in the state. The organization's activities include lobbying for the profession and advocating for social justice. Members can access discounted continuing education opportunities, free legal consultation, a quarterly newsletter, and professional networking events.
  • American Mental Health Counselors Association AMHCA is a national organization responsible for establishing standards of practice, ethics, professional development, and research for the mental health profession. Member benefits include continuing education courses, access to professional liability insurance, enhanced health and wellness benefits, and access to practice management technology.
  • Oregon School Psychologists Association OSPA supports the state's school psychologists through advocacy and community partnerships that promote excellence in the field. Member benefits include discounted annual training, access to the OSPA newsletter, an assortment of data, and the opportunity to participate in governance.

Scholarships for Online Psychology Degree Programs in Oregon

American Psychological Foundation Graduate Student Scholarships

APF offers up to 21 scholarships per year to help students offset research costs associated with master's thesis projects or doctoral dissertations.

  • Amount Offered: $2,000-$5,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 30
  • Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must be enrolled in a graduate program, submit a research proposal, and provide letters of recommendation. APF gives preference 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. Recipients must plan to support their tribal communities and cultures, foster educational opportunities, and promote economic development.

  • Amount Offered: $17,238 per year (cost of tuition for up to two years)
  • Scholarship Deadline: July 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be members of the nine federally recognized tribes in the state and 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. Applicants must submit an empirical research paper.

  • Amount Offered: $350, $650, and $1,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: May 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Female students in psychology programs at the graduate or undergraduate levels may apply. The National Honor Society gives preference to candidates who maintain current membership in the society.

Benton-Meier Scholarships

APF provides two awards to doctoral students in neuropsychology.

  • Amount Offered: $2,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: June 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Students must have advanced to "all but dissertation" status, demonstrated research competence, and established an area of expertise. Applications must be completed online.

Scott and Paul Pearsall Grant

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: Oct. 1
  • Eligibility Requirements: Applicants must be full-time graduate students at an accredited university or within ten years of finishing their doctoral degrees. Applications must include a CV, a letter of recommendation from a faculty advisor, and a research proposal that includes a budget and a plan to disseminate research findings to the public through media organizations.

Violet and Cyril Franks Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded for graduate-level research projects that seek to understand and reduce the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. This work should address the research showing that nearly 50 million Americans do not seek treatment because of these social barriers.

  • Amount Offered: $5,000
  • Scholarship Deadline: May 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: This award is open to graduate students at any level. Applicants must submit a research proposal that demonstrates a commitment to stigma issues, including a budget for the project, an updated CV, and a letter of recommendation from a faculty advisor.

David H. and Beverly A. Barlow Grant

This scholarship supports clinical research on anxiety and anxiety-related disorders.

  • Amount Offered: Up to $8,500
  • Scholarship Deadline: September 15
  • Eligibility Requirements: Graduate students or those within 10 years of completing their doctoral degrees may apply. They should also be affiliated with a nonprofit, charitable, educational, or scientific institution. Each applicant must provide a research proposal demonstrating a commitment to anxiety research.

Find Online Psychology Degree Programs in Oregon

Researching programs that best fit your academic and personal needs can take up valuable time. To help with your search, we've created the following database, which contains all accredited online psychology programs in Oregon. This information allows you to narrow down your options while ensuring that you are only considering fully accredited programs in the state.

School Degree Levels State

Mental Health Initiatives in Oregon

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) offers a comprehensive number of services to the citizens of Oregon. This includes mental health services, addiction services, and access to crisis lines. Oregon also features a medical marijuana program with authorized dispensaries.

One of the state's key mental health initiatives is the Choice Model, which coordinates the delivery of adult mental health services. Through OHA, residents with mental health issues can access pre-screening for nursing facilities, trauma-specific services, peer-delivered counseling, and support designed for young adults experiencing psychosis for the first time. OHA also offers behavioral health services designed for children.

In a ranking of all the states by Mental Health America, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of people living with mental illness, Oregon ranked 12th in providing citizens with access to care. Indeed, the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that in 2018, Oregon had a 32.53 treatment rate per 1,000 population -- greater than the 23.69 U.S. treatment rate.