Psychology Master’s Degree Programs in Oregon

Oregon is one of the most progressive states in the nation, boosted in part by an active and supportive psychological community. One of the first places to legalize medical cannabis, the state recently also made it available for recreational use. Same-sex marriage was recognized in 2013, and the state was the first in the country to permit terminally ill patients to determine the time and manner of their own passing.

It’s a state that encompasses deserts and mountains, wild shorelines and glaciated mountain peaks. But despite the scenery, it’s always been a state that is primarily about people… quirky, irreverent, and definitely marching to the beat of their own drummer. That’s a sort of paradise for practicing psychologists, and it has grown together with a strong educational and support system for psychology master’s students in the state.

It also results in a proactive and involved state psychological association, the OPA, which offers the opportunity to participate in exciting projects like the State Pain Commission for pain management education and research.

If you’re looking for a career in psychology, Oregon may just be the state for you.

Oregon Schools Offer Training For Any Kind of Career in Psychology

Oregon is a supportive and affordable place to learn psychology that not only offers a lot of in-state options for employment, but also puts you squarely between the burgeoning Seattle area and the tech and entertainment powerhouses of California. Oregon has become the less-prohibitively expensive, laid-back secret between the hyper-inflated urban areas to the north and south.

That draws in a lot of top teaching expertise looking for the kind of lifestyle you only find in college towns like Corvallis and Eugene. Whether you head for one of those relaxed educational meccas or the quirky, delightful charms of big city Portland, you can find the right education for your professional goals somewhere in Oregon.

Licensing in Oregon Requires An Advanced Education

Obviously, if you’re planning to go on to become a professional psychologist in Oregon, an APA-approved master’s degree is only part of the path you’re going to have to follow to get there. We’ll see you in a few years on the other side of that doctorate you’re going to need.

For the rest of you, a school psychologist is one career path open with only a master’s degree in psychology. You might also be able to convince the Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists to issue you a counselor’s license with a psychology master’s under your belt, although they vastly prefer CACREP-accredited master’s programs in counseling specifically.

In The Land of Nike, Sports Psychology May Be King

Something strange seems to be in the air along Interstate 5 between the University of Oregon, in Eugene, and suburban Beaverton, just outside of Portland. You can still hear the slap of Steve Prefontaine’s feet cruising around the track at UO, they say. As you go north, the famous swoosh is everywhere, and so are world-famous runners sporting it on their feet… drawn in by some of the best collegiate and professional long-distance running trainers in the world.

Alongside Cryosauna recovery chambers, anti-gravity treadmills, and other exotic equipment at the Nike Oregon Project headquarters, some of the finest sports psychologists (“Mental Performance Coaches” in the project vernacular) in the world help athletes get their heads in the game.

You can up your own edge in sports psychology with a degree from OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences specializing in Sport and Exercise Psychology, filling a demand from Nike or pro sports teams around the country.

Deep Neuroscience Is Pushing The Boundaries in Oregon

There’s more going on down in Eugene than just jogging, though. Neuroscience is unquestionably the hot new thing in psychology, and the University of Oregon is at the forefront of the exploration of systems neuroscience today.

Investigating how neuronal computations drive human behavior requires not just adept hands with microscopes and fMRI machines, but also psychologists with the interpretive touch to read behaviors and connect the dots between what’s going on under the hood and how it’s being expressed.

Clinical Psychologists Are Right At Home Practicing in Oregon

Clinical psychology is a niche that has applications everywhere, of course, from private practices to major regional medical centers like Oregon Health & Science University Hospital in Portland. With a strong educational and research community in the area, the Portland region is a fine place to both earn your master’s degree and to set up shop after graduation.

OHSU’s program has a particular attraction for students looking to improve their skills in health psychology, neuroscience, or large-scale clinical research trials. On a more general note, Portland State University has an Applied Psychology program that offers a split view into both social and developmental psychology that will prepare you for a career in private practice working with clients of any age group.

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