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Online MSW Programs in Oregon

By the OnlineU team | Updated 2/27/2023

According to the Oregon chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, one of the missions a social worker is to improve “the conditions of life in our democratic society.” These professionals utilize research and the fundamentals of social work to define measurable goals in mental health and then work to help patients attain them. Oregon social workers are under tight regulation, particularly because they work with vulnerable populations. Social workers must demonstrate adequate training and a disposition suitable for fieldwork. Continued education determines how far candidates can progress within their field. There are three levels of social work in Oregon: Registered Baccalaureate Social Worker (RBSW), Licensed Master’s Social Worker (LMSW) and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

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MSW Program in Oregon

To ensure that your online MSW program in Oregon is legitimate, it's vital to ensure that your chosen school is accredited. Once prospective social workers have received passing grades from a college or university that is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), the application phase can begin. Importantly, the state of Oregon requires that all licensed social workers hold a master's degree in social work from a CSWE-accredited university.

In Oregon, there'scurrently only one CSWE-accredited MSW program online, and it's offered by Portland State University.

In order to practice in the state, the Oregon Boardof Social Workers (OBSW) must approve a prospective social worker's application. It's also necessary to pass the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) exam.

Applications to become a certified social work associate (CSWA), a registered baccalaureate social worker (RBSW), a licensed master social worker (LMSW), or a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) can be submitted through the OBSW’s online portal.

The OBSW requires that all documents are submitted before an application's evaluation can begin. Once an application is completed, applicants receive approval to take the ASWB exam at the appropriate level.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Social Worker in Oregon?

The amount of time it takes to become a social worker in Oregon may vary depending on your status and experience. Individuals must first complete a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and usually a Master of Social Work (MSW) program in order to apply for a license. This can take about six years. Then, graduates must apply for a license, take the ASWB exam, and wait for their license to arrive. Getting the LCSW license requires 3,500 hours of supervised practice, so it may take a couple of years to earn that license.

What Can I Do With an MSW in Oregon?

Graduating from an MSW program in Oregon allows you to work in various social work fields. Holding a LMSW or LCSW can allow you to work with local, state, and federal governments, assist nonprofits, or start your own practice. In Oregon, the Department of Human Services lists positions such as child protectiveservices worker, permanency case worker, and human services case manager in their job opportunities listings.

Read our social work guide to learn more about earning an online degree in social work.

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