MFT Programs in Oregon

Anna Harris

Written by Anna Harris

Marketing Manager | M.Ed in CMHC – William & Mary

LMFT Candidate | Updated & Fact Checked: 3/1/2024

MFT Programs in Oregon

With its reputation for having beautiful forests and an easygoing culture, Oregon has been a draw for people looking for a place to call home. If the state’s rocky coastlines are a draw for you, you might consider pursuing one of Oregon’s accredited marriage and family therapy programs or even coming to work here after you’ve received your MFT license. The state plays host to four accredited MFT programs. Let’s take a look at these programs and find out how to become a marriage and family counselor in Oregon.

Accredited MFT Programs in Oregon

One of the major accrediting agencies for clinical mental health counseling degree programs is the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). However, MFT programs are not limited to CACREP approval when seeking accreditation. The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) has emerged as an agency specifically focused on the quality and qualifications of marriage and family therapy programs. While some states will have programs accredited by one or the other, Oregon has a mix. 

George Fox University:

Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT)

This CACREP-accredited program, approved by the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists, takes 68 semester credit hours to complete. With both on-campus and virtual-synchronous options, the program focuses on training future therapists in psychological groundings from a theological perspective. Because of its accreditation through CACREP, students who complete the program qualify to take both the exam to become a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and the national licensure exam to become a licensed marriage and family therapist. The school stresses that the program enables students to earn dual licensure, as the combination of coursework and CACREP accreditation qualifies students for both licenses.


Portland State University:

Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling Masters Degree

Portland State’s program is CACREP-accredited and offered on-campus. Similarly to George Fox University, Portland State’s program qualifies students for a professional counselor license and an MFT license. The program has accreditation by CACREP and approval from both the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practice Commission (TSPC) and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Students at Portland State are well-positioned to contribute to the community of Portland, as the university services community members and places graduate trainees in local clinics. Furthermore, the school provides supervisors from the department for post-graduates and offers guidance for those seeking licensure.


COAMFTE Accredited Oregon MFT Programs

As mentioned earlier, the COAMFTE accrediting agency focuses specifically on programs training students in marriage and family therapy. Recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation, COAMFTE assesses graduate-level training programs in both the U.S. and Canada. There are two COAMFTE-accredited university programs in Oregon: one in Portland and one in Eugene.

Oregon Institute of Technology – This program is a full-time Master of Science degree in marriage and family therapy. On average, students take about two and a half to three years to complete the curriculum, including intensive coursework and a year-long practicum requirement. The modality of coursework is offered in a blended format which provides for in-person, online, and weekend offerings of various courses. The program offers further specializations in substance abuse and addiction, and integrated behavioral healthcare and medical family therapy that could further strengthen graduates’ portfolios for advancing their careers. For students looking to pursue a graduate degree part-time, this program offers that option which takes about five years to complete.
NameCityStateDegree LevelAccreditationGRE Required?Full Program NameURL
University of OregonEugeneORMastersCOAMFTEN/ACouples and Family Therapy (CFT)Learn More
University of Oregon (MS)EugeneORMastersCOAMFTENoM.S. in Marriage & Family TherapyLearn More
Lewis and Clark College (MCFT)PortlandORMastersCOAMFTENoMarriage, Couple & Family TherapyLearn More
Oregon Institute of Technology Klamath FallsORMastersCOAMFTENoMaster's in Marriage and Family TherapyLearn More

Lewis & Clark College:

Marriage, Couple & Family Therapy

Lewis & Clark’s marital and family therapy program emphasizes diversity and the effect of the counselor’s social context on their practice. As such, applicants from all backgrounds and disciplines are welcome to apply, though at least 12 hours of prior coursework in human behavior are required. When taken on a full-time basis, the program takes three years to complete. The program also qualifies students for licensure in other states and has an overall job placement rate of 94 percent as of 2019.

The program trains students in individual, family, couple, and community therapy, outreach, and intervention.


University of Oregon:

Couples and Family Therapy Program

UO’s family and marriage therapy program is approved by the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists and accredited by COAMFTE. The 90-credit program leads to a master of science degree and qualifies students as an LMFT in many states, though more education may be required in some states that have higher requirements.

With small cohort models of 22 to 24 students, graduate program participants get the benefit of close peer-to-peer interaction and guidance by licensed faculty with multiple teaching awards. Furthermore, UO offers students the chance to see clients at the Center for Healthy Relationships and a community-based clinic. They also have multiple supervision sessions and collaboration meetings for feedback and support from fellow clinicians in training and teachers.

No GRE Required MFT Programs in Oregon

Surprisingly, the GRE standardized test is still required for some programs in Oregon. Thankfully, many programs have wiped this requirement and have decided to focus more on experience and undergraduate degrees. The following is a list of those programs.
NameCityStateDegree LevelAccreditationGRE Required?Full Program NameURL
George Fox UniversityPortlandORM.A.CACREPNoM.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingLearn More
Portland State UniversityPortlandORM.A./M.S.CACREPNoM.A./M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingLearn More
University of Oregon (MS)EugeneORMastersCOAMFTENoM.S. in Marriage & Family TherapyLearn More
Lewis and Clark College (MCFT)PortlandORMastersCOAMFTENoMarriage, Couple & Family TherapyLearn More
Oregon Institute of TechnologyKlamath FallsORMastersCOAMFTENoMaster's in Marriage and Family TherapyLearn More

What will you learn in an Oregon MFT program?

MFT programs in Oregon all have a learning-application model that combines the learning of counseling techniques and theory with the practical application of content learned in the program. You can expect your courses to cover human development, family studies, marital and family theoretical foundations, MFT treatment, assessment, diagnosis, research methods, statistics, professional studies, ethics, and counselor identity. COAMFTE-accredited programs are required to offer students courses exploring ethics and research. Many of these courses are designed to help you develop your professional identity as a counselor and navigate complex legal and ethical issues you are likely to encounter in your career as a marriage and family counselor in Oregon. Training programs must also include two semester credit hours in mental disorder diagnosis. As an MFT student in Oregon, you will also be required to complete a practicum with 600 hours of supervised clinical practice.

How to Become an LMFT in Oregon

In general, a university MFT training program in Oregon that is COAMFTE-approved is assumed to satisfy the requirements for licensure. That means a minimum of 27 semester credit hours in foundations of systemic practice; foundational theory; clinical treatment of individuals, couples, and families; multicultural considerations and treatment implementation; research and evaluation; professional identity; law; ethics; biopsychosocial lifespan development; relational development; and mental health diagnosis and treatment. Coursework on teletherapy, contemporary issues, and community collaboration is also required. CACREP-accredited programs are also suitable for licensure as long as you complete the minimum coursework credit hours focused on marriage and family therapy.

Your educational training will culminate in your practicum and internships. These are done in highly supervised, clinical settings approved by your school. Oregon requires 600 hours of supervised practicum.

After you’ve completed your graduate degree, your next step is spending time as a resident counselor, which is essentially a pre-licensed therapist who has approval from Oregon’s Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists to practice with supervision. In Oregon, generally, this step means applying to become an intern marriage and family therapist. While your official title is intern, you can work in multiple settings in a professional capacity as long as you have an approved supervisor.

Once you have been approved, you can begin your supervised training, and your license will last for as long as it takes for you to satisfy the training requirements for full licensure.

As a resident in marriage and family counseling in Oregon (aka an intern in marriage and family therapy), you must complete a minimum of three years (36 months) of supervised clinical practice with at least 2,400 hours of direct client contact. Of these 2,400 hours, 1,000 hours should involve working with couples and families. Up to 400 pre-degree hours can be included in these hours.

Once you have completed these requirements, you can apply for approval to take either the marital and family therapy examination of the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) or the State of California Board of Behavioral Sciences’ Marriage and Family Therapist Written Clinical Examination. Once you submit your application, it can take up to 8 weeks to receive approval.

After passing the test, you will now be eligible to apply for licensure. Once you have submitted your licensure application, you get to wait while Oregon reviews your test scores, education, and application. If your application and exam scores meet the requirements, you should receive notification that you have approval for licensure.

What does an LMFT in Oregon do?

If you choose to pursue an MFT counseling career in Oregon, you become a connector of people. While your role as a marriage and family therapist may overlap with the duties of a general clinical mental health counselor, LMFTs deal specifically with techniques and issues from a family systems perspective. You could work with couples, individuals, and family members. Using counseling techniques based on an understanding of human relationships, LMFTs help their clients understand themselves in the context of their interpersonal relationships and navigate areas of healing, growth, and intimacy. 

Oregon LMFT Career and Salary Opportunities

As a whole, the marriage and family therapist career has a bright future, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industry is projected to grow by 16% nationwide by 2030, which is much faster than average compared to other professions. If you choose to practice in Oregon, you will be joining a growing community of marriage and family counselors. As of May 2021, there were 340 LMFT counselors employed in Oregon. The yearly mean salary for Oregon LMFTs in 2021 was $59,300, which is in the upper-middling range for marriage and family therapists in the nation. While many students looking to enter the helping career are usually doing so out of a desire to make a difference, knowing the LMFT occupation has upward growth and monetary stability is a plus.

All MFT Programs in Oregon

With a number of different MFT programs available in Oregon, a potential student has many options. The following list includes all options as well as some additional insight into test requirements and degree level.
NameCityStateDegree LevelAccreditationGRE Required?Full Program NameURL
University of OregonEugeneORMastersCOAMFTEN/ACouples and Family Therapy (CFT)Learn More
George Fox UniversityPortlandORM.A.CACREPNoM.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingLearn More
Portland State UniversityPortlandORM.A./M.S.CACREPNoM.A./M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingLearn More
University of Oregon (MS)EugeneORMastersCOAMFTENoM.S. in Marriage & Family TherapyLearn More
Lewis and Clark College (MCFT)PortlandORMastersCOAMFTENoMarriage, Couple & Family TherapyLearn More
Oregon Institute of TechnologyKlamath FallsORMastersCOAMFTENoMaster's in Marriage and Family TherapyLearn More

Oregon MFT Resources

If you are interested in Oregon schools with marriage and family therapy programs, here are links to the programs we’ve already mentioned.

Additional Resources:

George Fox University: Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT)

Portland State University: Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling Masters Degree

Lewis & Clark College: Marriage, Couple & Family Therapy

University of Oregon: Couples and Family Therapy Program

MFT Programs in Other States