How to Become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Oregon

Interested in becoming an LPC in Oregon? You’ve come to the right place.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Counselor?

Professional counselor with a child during play therapy

Becoming a licensed professional counselor (LPC) and/or a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) requires a minimum of four years of additional training after earning a bachelor’s degree:

You can pursue both your LPC and LMFT licenses at the same time.

Oregon Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) Requirements

Oregon’s independent practitioner counseling professions – including LPCs and LMFTs – are regulated by the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists (OBLPCT). They have set the following requirements for LPC licensure:
  1. Complete an accredited master’s degree in counseling, such as:

    The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is the gold standard for counseling accreditation, though it is not the only acceptable option. If you do not choose a CACREP-accredited counseling program, be sure to familiarize yourself with the standards that your program must meet in order to be licensed in Oregon.

  2. As a part of your master’s degree, you’ll complete a one-year (three-semester) clinical placement, consisting of an introductory clinical placement semester called “practicum” and a two-semester clinical placement called “internship.”

    The clinical placement year requires that you undergo supervised clinical work at an approved site, and is intended to build skills in intake, assessment, diagnosis, treatment and consultation. 

    Each university sets its own clinical-year expectations, but generally CACREP-accredited programs require students to:

    • Complete a minimum of 280 direct client counseling hours
    • Present a series of video case presentations of actual counseling sessions
    • Conduct psychosocial assessments and collate a summary of each assessment in formal written reports
    • Participate in weekly individual supervision at their clinical site, and weekly group supervision on campus (remote or in person) with their faculty supervisor 

    While most practicum and internship sites only agree to supervise unpaid, volunteer practicum and internship students in exchange for training and supervision, some sites do offer paid positions. 

    A counseling program cannot pre-approve a clinical site until the student has met all knowledge, skill and professional disposition requirements to enter their clinical year, and the site has successfully completed the university’s application process for the academic year in which the student will be completing their clinical experience.

  3. After graduation, apply to become a registered associate with the OBLPCT. You must provide the board with transcripts verifying your graduation. You will pay a fee, complete a background check and be fingerprinted.
  4. The application to become a registered associate also requires you to identify the licensed professional(s) who will supervise your clinical work as an associate. If the identified supervisor is not already approved by the OBLPCT, then this supervisor will need to complete an application to become approved. 

    Frequently, for graduates who begin work in an agency or clinic after graduation, a work supervisor or other licensed provider at the site serves as their supervisor for postgraduate clinical experience.

  5. Complete 1,900 hours of post-graduation supervised clinical experience (typically completed within two to three years after graduation). Postgraduates are often in high demand for paid positions within agencies, and Oregon allows associates to open their own counseling practice. Thus, the majority of associates are paid for their clinical services. 
  6. Complete a two-part Oregon licensing exam:
    • Take and pass a board-approved competency exam. There are different exams that can be taken to qualify for LPC licensure, and these options are different from the exam options for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) licensure. Also, students enrolled in a CACREP-accredited degree program can take this exam prior to or anytime after they complete their degree.
    • Take and pass the Oregon law and rules exam. Once the applicant completes all registered associate tasks, and the OBLPCT verifies this completion, the board allows the applicant to take the Oregon law and rules exam.
  7. Once all registered associate tasks are completed, the applicant submits a licensure application and pays a non-refundable license application fee. Once this application is reviewed, verifying that all associate tasks have been completed, the board then allows the applicant to take the Oregon law and rules exam.
  8. Once the applicant has passed both exams (as described above), the state then issues the applicant their LPC and/or LMFT.

Please review the information on for the most accurate and up to date information on counseling licensure.

Individuals may hold more than one counseling license in Oregon (LPC, LMFT, school counselor) if they meet the requirements for each. George Fox University’s marriage and family therapy and school counseling master’s programs prepare graduates for dual licensure in their respective field and as an LPC.


Graduates with a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling are also eligible to apply to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate (LMHCA) in the state of Washington. For more information, see the application packet on Washington State's Department of Health website.

Other States

Each state has its own requirements for education and clinical experience in order to become licensed. This Licensure by State Guide for LPC licensure can help you get the licensure process started in any of the 50 states in the United States of America. Students are advised to keep copies of all course syllabi for course verification with out-of-state licensing boards.