Counseling Degrees and Programs in Oregon
If you are interested in completing a counseling degree in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon is home to several colleges and universities with programs in the five major counseling areas: marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, rehabilitation counseling, school counseling, and substance abuse counseling. Choosing the right school to attend will likely be one of the first steps in your counseling career, as nearly all counseling careers in Oregon require a degree. Most schools offer counseling degrees at the graduate level, as this is the level of degree required for counseling licensure. If you are studying at the undergraduate level, you may want to research programs offered in nearby states or online or consider attending a related undergraduate degree program. There are also a few hybrid counseling programs in Oregon that combine online coursework with on-campus classes. These programs may be of interest to busy students, working professionals, or anyone who would like greater flexibility while completing their degree.
- There are 10 not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities that offer a program in marriage and family therapy, mental health counseling, school counseling, substance abuse counseling, and/or vocational rehabilitation counseling in Oregon.1,2
- Of the counseling schools in Oregon, 0 offer an associate’s degree, 1 offers a bachelor’s degree, 1 offers a certificate, and 10 offer a master’s or advanced degree.1,2
- 4 schools offer a degree in marriage and family therapy.1,2
- 9 schools offer a degree in mental health counseling.1,2
- 2 schools offer a degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling.1,2
- 5 schools offer a degree in school counseling.1,2
- 1 school offers a degree in substance abuse counseling.1,2
- 2 counseling schools ranked in Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019.3
- No schools ranked in US News Best Student Counseling Programs 2019.4
- 2 schools ranked in US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019.5
- Across 9 schools, 15 counseling programs are accredited by CACREP.2
Comparison of Oregon Counseling Schools and Programs
In the table below, we have compiled some interesting data that allows you to compare the public and not-for-profit four-year colleges and universities in Oregon offering counseling programs in the following five areas: mental health counseling (MH), marriage and family therapy (MFT), vocational rehabilitation counseling (VR), school counseling (SC), and substance abuse counseling (SA). The table indicates the schools that offer programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP); CACREP-accredited programs are denoted with an asterisk (*). Keep in mind that some schools offer a joint program in clinical mental health counseling and clinical rehabilitation counseling, so check with the school for more information on the programs offered. You can also compare each school by program type offered, graduation rate, and net price per year. If you want to know more about how to become licensed as a counselor in Oregon, read our license requirements page.
|MH||MF||VR||SC||SA||Grad Rate1||Net Price1|
|George Fox University||Yes||Yes*||Yes*||—||Yes*||—||67%||$29,925|
|Lewis & Clark College||Yes||Yes*||Yes||—||Yes||Yes||75%||$35,559|
|Northwest Christian University||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes||—||46%||$21,808|
|Oregon State University||Yes||Yes*||—||—||Yes*||—||67%||$18,625|
|Portland State University||Yes||Yes*||Yes*||Yes*||Yes*||—||49%||$13,758|
|Southern Oregon University||Yes||Yes*||—||—||—||—||40%||$10,240|
|University of Oregon||—||—||Yes||—||—||—||73%||$15,939|
|Western Oregon University||Yes||Yes||—||Yes*||—||—||40%||$15,496|
Top-Ranked Schools with Counseling Programs in Oregon
Kiplinger’s Best College Values 2019
- Lewis & Clark College (#132)
- University of Oregon (#357)
US News Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs 2019
- Portland State University (#20 tie)
- Western Oregon University (#32 tie)
Schools in Oregon with Counseling Degrees
Traditional Undergraduate Programs
At Western Oregon University (WOU), undergraduate students can complete a 27-credit Minor in Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling as part of a bachelor’s degree program. The minor teaches students about mental health, psychology, and disability with a focus on deaf culture. Students must take courses such as American Deaf History and Hearing Loss and Assistive Technology, as well as at least three credits in American Sign Language (ASL). Graduate students can complete a CACREP-accredited Master of Science (MS) in Rehabilitation Counseling with two tracks: a two-year, on-campus Rehabilitation Counseling and Mental Health Counseling (RH/MHC) track or a three-year, hybrid Rehabilitation Counseling for the Deaf (RH/MHCD) track. The MS degree admits new students in the fall and requires 90 quarter credits. Both tracks meet the coursework requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) license in Oregon.
Traditional Graduate Programs
George Fox University is a Christian institution offering three CACREP-accredited Master of Arts (MA) degrees in counseling, as well as counseling certificates, in Portland and Salem. The programs have a spiritual integration framework that teaches students how to incorporate a diverse range of spiritual or religious worldviews held by the client into the counseling process. The MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit program that meets Oregon coursework requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) license. Full-time students can complete the degree in as little as two years, while part-time study enables students to complete the program in four years. The MA in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling requires 68 credits and meets the coursework requirements for both the LPC and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) licenses in Oregon. The degree takes three to four years to complete. The MA in School Counseling is comprised of 57-63 credits depending on whether the student has teaching experience and takes two to four years to complete. Graduates will be eligible to become school counselors in Oregon. Graduate certificates in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy and School Counseling are also available to applicants who already have a master’s degree in mental health.
Lewis & Clark College offers several graduate-level counseling degrees. The Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) in Professional Mental Health Counseling is accredited by CACREP and comprised of 60-66 credits. The MS version of the degree requires additional coursework in psychological research. New students are admitted in the fall and the degree takes seven semesters to complete. The degree is also offered with a Specialization in Addictions, which is comprised of 62 credits and takes nine semesters to complete. Both tracks meet Oregon coursework requirements for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) license, while the Addictions track also meets the academic requirements to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor-Level I (CADC-I) in Oregon. The college also offers a 42-45-credit Master of Education (M.Ed.) in School Counseling that takes 21-24 months to complete and meets state educational requirements to become a school counselor, as well as a three-year, 60-credit MA and MS in Marriage, Couple, and Family Therapy (MCFT) that fulfills the educational requirements to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Oregon.
Portland State University (PSU) offers prospective counselors a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) in Counselor Education with CACREP-accredited tracks in four of the five major areas of counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling; Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling; Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling; and School Counseling. Each track requires the completion of 90 quarter credits and begins in the fall term. Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling tracks will meet state educational requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), while graduates of the Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling track will meet LPC and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) coursework requirements. The School Counseling track is open to students with or without teaching experience, although those without teaching experience will be required to complete a teaching internship as part of the degree requirements. A Licensure Only track is available for prospective school counselors who already have a master’s degree in counseling or a related field and need to complete coursework to be eligible for licensure. This program is comprised of 33 credits and admits new students in the fall and summer terms. Both versions of the school counseling program meet Oregon’s requirements to become a school counselor.
At Southern Oregon University (SOU), students can complete a CACREP-accredited Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC). Applicants must meet SOU’s admission prerequisites in psychology, research, and statistics. The MA and MS versions of the degree differ in the foreign language requirement. Students in the MA program must demonstrate proficiency in a second language, such as two years of college or university study. In both programs, students learn about the professional counseling role, ethics, and counseling techniques before completing an internship and a graduate seminar. Graduates of the CMHC program may find employment in mental health clinics, government facilities, hospitals, and community organizations. Both versions of the degree meet the coursework requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Oregon.
Prospective marriage and family therapists may be interested in the Master of Science (MS) in Couples and Family Therapy offered at the University of Oregon with an optional Spanish Language Specialization. In the MS program, students learn to provide counseling services with individuals, couples, and families in individual and group settings. The program has a cohort structure and takes two years of full-time study to complete, including the summer term. Students must complete 90 quarter credits in counseling skills, systems theories, and mental health diagnoses, while the Spanish Language Specialization requires 16 credits including a practicum with a Spanish-speaking population. The degree fulfills state coursework requirements for the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) license.
Online and Hybrid Programs
Oregon State University (OSU) offers a Master of Counseling (MCoun) with CACREP-accredited tracks in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling. Both degrees are offered on a part-time, hybrid basis and admit new students in the summer term. Students must attend classes at the Wilsonburg campus two Fridays and Saturdays each term in addition to completing online coursework. The MCoun in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 90-quarter-credit degree that meets Oregon’s coursework requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The MCoun in School Counseling requires 75 quarter credits and meets state academic requirements to become a school counselor. OSU also offers a hybrid Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counseling accredited by CACREP that combines online coursework with on-campus classes twice each quarter on weekends. Applicants must have a master’s degree in counseling.
Western Seminary is an evangelical theological seminary with a campus in Portland. The school offers a CACREP-accredited, hybrid format Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling with a specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and an optional emphasis in Child and Youth Counseling. Most courses are held on Mondays at the Portland campus with some online course offerings. The degree combines studies in mental health assessment and diagnosis, counseling skills, and crisis interventions with theological and biblical studies requirements. Students in the general degree track complete 68 credits, while those in the Child and Youth Counseling emphasis program complete 81 credits. The degree takes at least three years of full-time study to complete, although up to eight credits may be waived for students with a demonstrated understanding of theology or scripture.
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), Accredited Programs: https://www.cacrep.org/directory/
3. Kiplinger’s Best College Values, 2019: https://www.kiplinger.com/fronts/special-report/college-rankings/index.html
4. US News & World Report Best Student Counseling Programs, 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/student-counseling-rankings
5. US News & World Report Best Rehabilitation Counseling Programs, 2019: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/rehabilitation-counseling-rankings