MSW Programs in Oregon | No GRE/CSWE Accredited Masters

If you enjoy nature and are looking to pursue a degree in social work, Oregon may be the place for you. Students in college can enjoy all that the state has a lot to offer, as it is known for its lush forests, gorgeous lakes, many available bike paths to explore, other outdoor recreational opportunities, and even their great food and wine.

Individuals who wish to earn a social work degree in Oregon have several great options from which to choose, as Oregon features eight social work programs that have been accredited by the Council for Social Work Education.

These programs are available at the bachelor’s degree level, for students who wish to enter the field and become educated on the foundations of social work, or the master’s degree level, for those who may want to earn a Oregon social work license and expand their career opportunities.

Social workers are in high demand all across the nation, and earning an Oregon social work degree is a good place to start for a rewarding career. 

Social Work Degree Programs in Oregon

WIth all the excellent social work programs available in Oregon, you may be wondering which one to choose.

Below is a summary of some of the best Oregon social work programs to help you get to know what might be best to meet your needs and help you reach your goals. 

University of Portland 

The University of Portland offers a bachelor’s degree in social work program that is designed to educate students on social justice and social welfare for the betterment of their communities.

The program combines coursework, research, and practicum to teach students how to apply what they have learned to real-world scenarios and vice-versa. The courses also combine elements of sociology and psychology for a well-rounded educational experience. Students will take courses in research methods, intervention, counseling, policy, interviewing, social work theory, and more to prepare them for their career.

Once students have completed the first three years of the program in good standing, they can continue onto the final year to be eligible to apply for the practicum.

To be eligible, students must have maintained a 2.5 GPA for all required courses. The total length of the program is 60 credits, and alongside fieldwork, students will also complete a senior thesis. Students who graduate from this program will be eligible to apply for the advanced standing MSW program at many universities. 

Portland State University

Portland State University offers a bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degree in social work.

The bachelor’s degree in social work program (BSW) is designed to challenge students through their hands-on curriculum and subsequent placement in an agency within the community. Students have the option to choose between an online or on-campus format through which to take their courses.

When applying, students will choose between a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in social work. Both programs are 180 credits. 

The masters of social work program (MSW) offers two degree options and several delivery formats. Students can enter the regular master’s program, which is 78 credits and is offered on-campus or online.

There is also the option for the advanced standing program for students who have previously earned a bachelor’s degree social work at an accredited institution. This version of the MSW program is 46 units and is also offered online or on-campus. Students in this program are taught how to work with individuals, groups, and organizations to better the lives of those who are affected by systemic inequality by challenging systems of oppression.

The PhD program prepares students to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the social work field while emphasizing social justice and equity.

This program is ranked among the top 20% of social work programs in the United States. Students in this program will complete 90 total credits. Graduates of this program go on to work in academic and research positions or work as leaders in social service agencies. 

Pacific University 

Pacific University offers a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in social work. The BSW program prepares students to become generalist social workers who help connect individuals and families in their community to vital resources and services.

PU prioritizes teaching a culturally competent curriculum through the lens of social justice and diversity. Students will complete a total of 61 credits in the program and take a variety of courses surrounding human social behavior and development, race, psychology, statistics, policy, and more. 

The MSW program at Pacific University is a graduate degree program that is designed to prepare students to become professionals and leaders in the field of social work, and to prepare them for the licensing exam in the state of Oregon. Students will go through the program applying what they have learned to their field education, including the ethics of social work practice.

The 64-credit program can be completed in two years of full-time study, or students can take part in a one year, 32 credit program if they have previously earned a BSW from an accredited institution. 

George Fox University

GFU’s school of social work offers a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work. The BSW program trains students to meet the unique needs of each individual person they serve.

The program’s curriculum is diverse so students will graduate with the ability to work in a number of environments such as healthcare and social services. Students will complete two internships totaling 500 hours of fieldwork in the BSW program, which helps them turn theory into practice.

Students who graduate from this program have the advantage of being able to pursue the advanced-study master’s degree in social work program at George Fox University. 

The MSW program is designed to transform students into graduates who are capable of transforming lives and communities through social justice advocacy and providing culturally informed care.

There are two options available for students to enroll in: the advanced studies program, and the two year regular program. The advanced studies program involves a nine month supervised internship, and the regular program involves an internship each year for a total of at least 1,008 hours.

These internships will help students understand what it is like to work with vulnerable populations to apply what they have learned to create lasting change. 

CSWE Accredited Programs in Oregon

When it comes to choosing the best institution that will help you meet your goals, it’s important to choose one that will provide you with a quality education. One way to know that your social work program has been assessed for quality is if it is accredited by the CSWE. 

What is CSWE Accreditation? 

The Council on Social Work Education is an organization founded in 1952 that comprises 800 social work programs and consists of professionals in the social work field who are dedicated to innovating social work education. The CSWE is the sole accrediting agency in the United States for social work programs. The organization also has a commission that establishes quality standards for such programs, ensuring that they are consistently producing knowledgeable students and providing up-to-date information and training. 

CSWE Accredited Social Work Programs:

Why is CSWE Accreditation Important? 

CSWE accreditation assures students that the education they are investing in is of the highest quality in the country. This is because the program has been assessed by the CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation (COA).

The COA determines and sets the quality standards, which social work programs must follow to earn accreditation status. These standards are nation-wide, so accreditation also ensures consistency of graduates’ knowledge as well as they enter the field of social work.

Accredited schools help students prepare for both their social work licensing exams, and subsequent careers. Because of the high-quality education students have received, they will go on to become adequate social workers who can address those who are most in need in their communities. 

Online Social Work Programs in Oregon

If you want to attend a social work degree program, but need a more flexible option, then an online degree program might be for you. There are multiple benefits to social work degree programs online. The online social work degree programs in Oregon include:

  • Portland State University: BSW, MSW

What Are the Benefits of an Online Social Work Degree? 

Online programs offer a unique experience to busy students who don’t have the chance to attend school and earn their degree through any other format. Some students may wish to enroll in  an online degree program because they are able to perform better in a private environment and work at their own pace.

Others may have responsibilities such as a family and children, and need to have a flexible schedule. Some students might want to earn their social work degree online because they are already working a full-time job and are earning the degree to expand their career opportunities.

The online format may allow them to keep working while advancing their expertise.

Online Social Work Degrees:

Social Work Licensure in Oregon

There are three social work licenses in the state of Oregon. They are as follows. 

  • Registered Baccalaureate Social Worker (RBSW). 
  • Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW). 
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Each of these roles have different steps to earn the license, although the LMSW and LCSW are a little more similar. 

How to Become a Registered Baccalaureate Social Worker (RBSW) in Oregon

  1. Complete the social work application.
  2. Complete and submit fingerprints for the background check. Register with Fieldprint Oregon to complete this step. 
  3. Take the open-book, multiple choice Oregon Statutes and Administrative Rules Exam
  4. Take the multiple-choice ASWB Bachelor’s Exam
  5. Receive your license from the board. Once you have reached this point, you can then begin your practice as an RBSW in the state of Oregon.

How to Become a Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW) in Oregon

  1. Complete the social work application
  2. Complete and submit fingerprints for the background check. Register with Fieldprint Oregon to complete this step. 
  3. Take the open-book, multiple choice Oregon Statutes and Administrative Rules Exam.  
  4. Take the multiple-choice ASWB Master’s Exam
  5. Receive your license from the board. Once you have reached this point, you can then begin your practice as an LMSW in the state of Oregon. 

How to Become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in Oregon

  1. Complete the Clinical Social Work Associate application.
  2. Complete and submit fingerprints for the background check. Register with Fieldprint Oregon to complete this step. 
  3. Take the open-book, multiple choice Oregon Statutes and Administrative Rules Exam.  
  4. Complete the required clinical experience hours. Prior to this, the Board must approve your CSWA application
  5. Take the ASWB Clinical Exam
  6. Submit the licensed clinical social work application. The Board will mail you an application if you have passed the clinical exam and successfully completed your required hours. 
  7. Receive your license from the board. Once you have reached this point, you can then begin your practice as an LMSLCSWW in the state of Oregon.

Social Work Salary & Job Outlook in Oregon

The average and median salary can range greatly for a social worker in Oregon depending on many factors. These factors might include what kind of degree the social worker has, their experience level, any extra certificates they have, the type of organization they work for, how long they have been working there, and many more.

Some social workers may also be self-employed, or they might be taking on a leadership role. That being said, there is still an average salary that is established for each type of social worker based on the degree level that they have. 

Social Worker Salary in Oregon

According to O*Net Online, the median salary for a social worker in Oregon is about $60,840 annually. Comparatively, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median salary for social workers was about $50,390 in 2021. Below is a summary of the average salary for social workers based on degree type. 

  • Oregon BSW average salary: The average salary for a social worker with their bachelor’s degree is about $64,898, but this can range between $58,003-$72,394.
  • Oregon MSW average salary: The average salary for a social worker with their master’s degree is about $68,890, but this can range between $62,233-$75,988.
  • Oregon LCSW average salary: The average salary for a licensed clinical social worker is about $80,200, but this can range between $74,000-$89,100.
  • Oregon PhD average salary: The average salary for a social worker with a doctoral degree can range depending on the kind of career they decide to take. Someone with a doctoral degree may decide to become a professor (avg. salary $61,171), or become the leader of a non-profit organization ($84,881). They may also choose to stay within the social work practice and keep seeing clients directly. 

Social Worker Job Outlook in Oregon

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for all social workers in the United States is projected to grow 12% over the next decade, which is faster than usual for most careers.

About 74,700 job openings are projected to open up each year in the next decade as well. In Oregon, the projection of social work jobs depends on the specialization, but it is approximately 11%.

Popular Social Work Careers in Oregon

Each state has unique needs to address some of their social problems, and that’s where social workers can step in to meet those needs. Some of the most popular social work careers in Oregon include:

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

This type of social worker is able to perform many helpful duties for an organization and for their clients. They can help advocate for clients, connect them to needed resources, and refer them to services.

LCSWs can also provide mental healthcare, which may involve assessing and diagnosing clients with mild to severe mental health conditions. An LCSW may work for mental health clinics, rehab centers, hospitals, their own private practice, and more.

  • Salary: $80,200

Medical Social Worker

This type of social worker performs many duties in a medical environment such as a clinic or hospital. They frequently interact with clients while also completing administrative tasks.

Interactions with clients may involve performing client interviews to gain a better medical history or background of their needs and to help them get those needs met. They may also provide emotional support to clients as well. A medical social worker should be able to multitask and be busy.

  • Salary: $68,828

What is the Typical Cost of a Social Work Program in Oregon

When considering where you would like to enroll in your social work degree program, cost is a big factor in making that decision. Having a general idea ahead of time of what to expect may ease some anxiety and provide more information to help you make your decision as you compare which program is best for you.

Below is a summary of the average cost of Colorado social work programs. 

  • Bachelor’s of Social Work Degree Programs: $33,506
  • Master’s of Social Work Degree Programs: $37,416
  • Doctorate of Social Work Degree Programs: Because this information is not often disclosed on the website of the institution, you may have to contact the program directly for more information. Social work PhD programs sometimes have various financial assistance programs for doctoral students who are in good standing throughout the 4-6 years of their education. The financial assistance might come in the way of grants, scholarships, assistantships, and more. 

Social Work Scholarships 

Grants and scholarships can be helpful towards funding your education, as they are types of financial aid that don’t need to be paid back, like loans do.

The internet features websites that have many different kinds of scholarships. These websites usually have a tool where you can filter through the scholarships available and find just the right kind that you’re looking for. These websites include:

  • CSWE Scholarships and Fellowships – The accrediting institution, the Counsel for Social Work Education, provides a number of opportunities for social work students to apply for and receive funding for their education through scholarships or fellowships. As the opportunities become available the CSWE’s website is updated with information on how to apply for each. 

Other scholarship opportunities online: 

Another good option is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application determines if you are eligible for any federal grants based on your income and a few other factors. It also determines if you may be eligible for federal loans. It is one of the main providers of financial aid for college students in the country. 

Key Social Work Areas in Oregon

Oregon is a place of natural beauty, with the mild weather and nature.

Even so, the state still has its need for social workers, as it struggles with some social issues that can be helped by individuals that are educated to address systems of inequality and passionate about helping their community. As of 2023, homelessness has been declared a state of emergency by Oregon’s governor, Tina Kotek.

The state has seen a 22% increase in homelessness since 2020, according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Other problems in Oregon include mental health struggles and addiction. In the state, 42% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, with 28.8% unable to access therapy to address the problem.

Social workers who are addressing these issues will improve the lives of the individuals, but also the community, as each issue is frequently related to the others mentioned.

Mental health, addiction, and homelessness are often linked. Social workers are educated on how to provide services and resources to individuals and groups who are struggling with these issues and how to help them navigate the systems to access the care they need.

Clinical social workers, depending on where they work, can provide rehabilitative or mental health care. There are many important roles that social workers can play in assisting the social issues that people experience in Oregon.

Schools in Oregon Offering Masters in Social Work Programs

Oregon State University

(Corvallis, OR)

  • Masters in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Masters in Public Policy Analysis
  • $6,660 Tuition Cost
  • $3,491 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Urban Campus Setting

Portland State University

(Portland, OR)

  • Masters in Social Work (MSW)
  • $6,390 Tuition Cost
  • $5,147 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Urban Campus Setting

Western Oregon University

(Monmouth, OR)

  • Masters in Social Work (MSW)
  • $7,080 Tuition Cost
  • $2,253 Scholarship and Financial Aid Awards
  • Suburban Campus Setting
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