Applicants to master’s in family counseling online programs need a bachelor’s degree in psychology, counseling, or a related field. Some programs accept applicants who majored in another subject but completed specific undergraduate prerequisites. The curriculum focuses on counseling best practices and different groups’ mental health needs.
Online family counseling programs qualify graduates to work as licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) or licensed professional clinical counselors (LPCCs). These professionals treat families in crisis. Graduates may also work as case managers or community health services managers.
This page lists the best online family counseling programs. Read on to learn about degree costs and common courses.View Our Rankings List Here
Frequently Asked Questions About Family Counseling
Q. What degree do I need to become a family counselor?
Counselors need a master’s or doctorate to qualify for licensure in their home state. These degrees convey the academic knowledge and practical experience counselors need to treat patients.
Q. What does a family counselor do?
Family counselors work with individuals and families to identify issues affecting mental health. These discussions help counselors recommend coping techniques and resources.
Q. What’s the difference between a family counselor and a therapist?
Both LMFTs and LPCCs treat people in need. Unlike LMFTs, LPCCs focus on substance misuse and mental health conditions. Like LMFTs, some LPCCs specialize in helping families.
Accredited Online College Programs
Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.
Why Get a Degree in Family Counseling?
Online family counseling programs prepare enrollees for careers as LMFTs or LPCCs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for LMFTs to grow 16% from 2020-2030. Students can work with career advisors to select the right academic path.
Learning online offers many advantages over on-campus education, such as asynchronous learning. Asynchronous learners do not attend class at set times. Instead, they schedule coursework around other responsibilities. Online family counseling degrees at the master’s level require some in-person experiences, such as residencies or internships.
How Much Does a Family Counseling Degree Cost?
According to EducationData.org, top private schools’ master’s in family counseling online degrees may cost more than $80,000 on average. Degree-seekers may pay a per-credit tuition rate. Most full-time students graduate in two years. Part-time enrollees need an extra year. Online learners should plan for additional expenses, such as books and travel to internship and practicum sites.
Degree-seekers can lower their expenses by applying for scholarships and grants. Students should first complete the FAFSA. Many schools and private aid programs use FAFSA results to award aid.
How Much Do Family Counseling Majors Make?
LMFTs earn a median annual salary of $51,340, according to the BLS. Professionals working for state government agencies or outpatient care centers earn the highest salaries. Geographical location also affects salary. In Utah, New Jersey, and Illinois, workers earn $67,650-$80,110. However, LMFTs making less in other states may experience a lower cost of living.
Education and experience play a major role in raising salary potential. Workers need a master’s degree for licensure. Those who pursue a Ph.D. in psychology or counseling may work as college or university lecturers or professors. Postsecondary teachers make a median annual salary of $80,560. This exceeds the median annual salary of $41,950 for all occupations.
Courses in Family Counseling
Some universities offer combined LMFT/LPCC programs. These master’s programs train learners in best practices and state regulations. Some specialization options include health psychology and Latino/a counseling. Learners take core courses alongside peers in the LMFT or LPCC track.
See below for three core courses students complete early in their program. Please note that programs’ academic offerings, practicum experiences, and other graduation requirements vary by school. Prospective enrollees can contact an admissions or academic advisor to learn more.
Psychology of Interpersonal CommunicationsMaster’s in family counseling online programs require this course in the first semester. Students learn the skills counselors and therapists need to treat patients, such as advanced therapy techniques. Enrollees also learn how to ask effective questions and gain patients’ trust. Learners critique their conversational style and improve communication skills.
Evidence-Based Approaches to PsychotherapyThis course introduces students to the latest techniques in counseling and therapy. Assignments cover different counseling methods and theoretical perspectives. Other readings go in depth with research’s role in counseling. The course prepares degree-seekers to become lifelong learners and contribute throughout their career.
Multicultural CounselingThis course prepares students to work with patients from many racial and ethnic backgrounds. Students analyze differences between and within groups, such as identity development, experiences, and attitudes. Learners also examine how racial and cultural privilege affects counselors’ attitudes toward patients. Coursework involves reading the latest research on multicultural counseling.
Licensure for Family Counseling
Licensure requirements for LMFTs vary by state. However, all candidates need a master’s or doctoral degree from an accredited university. They should also complete supervised work experience before and after earning a degree. Supervisors need an active LMFT license. The final step involves passing one or more exams.
Prospective LPCCs earn a license by meeting similar requirements. California residents need a master’s in counseling or psychotherapy. They must also complete 3,000 hours of postgraduate supervised experience and take two exams. These exams include a state-specific exam covering relevant laws and ethical guidelines.
LMFTs and LPCCs can maintain their license by taking continuing education (CE) courses. CE courses cover the field’s latest research and best practices. State licensure board websites feature a list of approved CE providers. Professionals can also earn CE credits by teaching a class or presenting at an academic conference. They must submit CE paperwork and a renewal fee by their state’s deadline.
Best Master’s in Family Counseling Degrees
See our rankings methodology page.
OverviewBrigham Young University is a private university located in Provo, UT. The school is fully owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Often referred to as BYU, it offers 68 master’s programs and 25 doctoral degree programs. Brigham Young has a student population of 33,000, around 3,000 of which are postgraduates. Program FeaturesBrigham Young offers a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family therapy. Students choose between a clinical track or research track for their degree, depending on their career plans. Classes for each of these tracks include:
- Research Methods for Marriage and Family Therapy
- Addictions and Violence in Families
- The Individual and Family Over the Life
- Master’s Thesis
In addition to course requirements, the clinical track requires a final presentation, while the research option requires preparation of a final thesis. Students must also complete 500 hours of direct face to face client experience, regardless of track.Notables
Applicants to the program are required to submit scores from the GRE. Students should also provide lists of clinical/human services experience and research experience. Students will also complete a video interview, for which they will receive further instructions during the application process.
OverviewPepperdine University is a private, non-profit university located in Malibu, CA. The school has an affiliation with the Churches of Christ. In addition to their main campus in Malibu, they also offer six additional graduate campuses throughout Southern California and international campuses in Asia and Europe. Pepperdine has around 680 academic staff members and 7,800 total students.Program FeaturesPepperdine offers a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. This is a 62-unit program, which generally lasts two years. Courses required in the program include:
- Theories of Counseling and Psychology
- Multicultural Counseling
- Clinical Practicum
- Interpersonal Skills and Group Therapy
The program meets requirements for licenses including the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist license or the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor license in California. Notables
Pepperdine utilizes a small cohort method, which provides a shared-learning experience among students in the program. In addition, the program includes small class sizes and automatic class registration in each term. Students also engage in supervised counseling experience in the local community during their second year.
OverviewThe University of San Diego is a private university located in San Diego, CA. USD has an affiliation with the Roman Catholic Church. It was founded in 1952 as the San Diego College for Women. The school has since expanded to offer more than 60 degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Around 6,000 students attend the school and are divided between six schools and colleges. Program FeaturesThe University of San Diego offers a Master of Family Therapy program. Full-time students generally graduate in two years and are required to complete a total of 59 units during their time in the program. Sample courses include:
- Systematic Treatment on Children
- Human Diversity in Family Therapy
- Couples and Sex Therapy
- Collaborative Care
In addition to course requirements, students must complete a total of 500 clinical contact hours, which also includes a minimal of 250 relational hours, and 100 supervision hours (including 50 with raw data). These are completed during a student’s Practicum course towards the end of the program.Notables
All masters and doctoral students are required to participate in an international experience, which is designed to support the growth of their cultural competency. USD’s program utilizes a biopsychosocial systems approach, which focuses on the deep relationships that evolve within families that affect people’s everyday lives.
Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, FL
OverviewNova Southeastern University, better known as NSU or Nova, is a private nonprofit university located in Davie, FL. Nova is currently made up of 18 colleges and schools that offer over 175 academic programs with more than 250 majors. NSU enrolled around 24,000 students during the 2014-2015 academic year and has an alumni network of over 170,000 people.Program FeaturesNova Southeastern University offers a Master of Science in Family Therapy. It is a 60 credit-hour program, which is intended to last for a total of two years. The program is designed to develop students’ research skills and prepare them for careers as marriage and family therapists. Courses from the program include:
- Introduction to Systems Theory
- Theories of Marital and Family Therapy
- External Practicum I-II
- Human Sexuality and Gender
Students are allowed to enter the program in either the Fall or Spring semesters. They may enroll part-time of full-time, taking somewhere between six and twelve credits per semester.Notables
Applicants to the program should possess at least a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. They should possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and a total score of 300 on the quantitative and verbal sections of the GRE. Students also provide letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and an academic writing sample.
OverviewSyracuse University is a private, research university located in Syracuse, NY. The school maintains a relationship with the United Methodist Church, but has identified itself as nonsectarian since 1920. Syracuse has around 1,500 academic staff members and 22,000 total students. Syracuse is organized into 13 schools and colleges, and has an endowment of $1.25 billion.Program FeaturesSyracuse offers a Masters of Art degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. The program requires students to complete 60 credit-hours, and typically takes two years to complete. Program courses include:
- Introduction to Family Systems
- Alcohol and Other Drugs in Social Work Practice
- Marriage and Family Therapy Ethics and Issues
The first 51 credits of the program come from a pre-set list of required courses. The final nine credits are chosen from a list of electives, which students choose after consultation with their advisors.Notables
Elective courses include options such as Family Therapy with LGBT Couples and Families. Students have the option of completing the program on a 3 year, part-time basis. Students are allowed to transfer up to 12 units of degree applicable work (must have a grade of B or higher in transferred courses).
OverviewBethel University is an evangelical Christian university located in Arden Hills, MN, just outside of St. Paul, with a second campus in San Diego, CA. The school is affiliated with the congregations of Converge, which were formerly known as the Baptist General Conference. Bethel has around 6,000 students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, seminary, and adult education programs. Program FeaturesBethel offers a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. It is a 60-unit program, which combines training in clinical practice and theory with Christian theology. Highlights from the program include:
- Instruction and supervision by scholar-practitioners
- Support for personal, theoretical, and spiritual integration
- An emphasis on the self of the therapist
- Preparation for competent, ethical practice in any setting
Graduates from the program have gone on to careers such as school-based therapists, directors of children’s and family ministry, and case managers. Graduate employers include companies such as the Minnesota Renewal Center and the Neighborhood Involvement Program.Notables
Coursework from the Marriage and Family Therapy program meets the academic requirements for licensure in the state of Minnesota. To obtain a license, students must then only complete the additional supervised clinical practice and to pass the licensure exam. Most courses are offered during the day, with a few weeklong intensives offered in June.
OverviewFriends University is a private, Christian university located in Wichita, KS. The school was founded by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1898, but now identifies as non-denominational. They have 319 academic staff members and around 2,700 total students.Program FeaturesFriends University offers a Master of Science degree in Family Therapy. Students are required to complete a total of 60 credit-hours from core curriculum, clinical training, and elective courses. Sample courses include:
- Pharmacology in Mental Health Services
- Spirituality and Clinical Practice
- Emotion Focused Approaches to Therapy
- Sexuality, Intimacy, and Sex Therapy
Applicants to the program are required to have a baccalaureate degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. A brief autobiography and statement of goals will also be required.Notables
Students are able to take classes in either Wichita or Kansas City. The program meets the educational requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist in Kansas and Missouri. Prerequisite coursework is required in research methods/designs, as well as two upper-division courses in family studies, human development, psychology, or sociology.
Indiana Wesleyan University
OverviewIndiana Wesleyan University is a private, liberal arts university located in Marion, IN. It is considered an evangelical university and has an affiliation with Wesleyan Church. It is the largest private university in Indiana and the largest member the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, with around 16,000 students.Program FeaturesIndian Wesleyan offers a Master of Arts with a major in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy. It is a 60 credit-hour graduate program that emphasizes family systems within each student’s Christian worldview context. Sample courses from the program include:
- Sexuality, Intimacy and Gender
- Appraisals of Individuals and Families
- Integration of Christian Faith in Professional Counseling
In addition to coursework, students must complete 100 practicum hours and 900 internship hours. These hours are completed at either the Marion or Indianapolis campuses.Notables
The curriculum is designed so that students meet the academic requirements for licensure as a family or marriage therapist in the state of Indiana. To apply, students are required to possess a baccalaureate degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting body or the Association for Biblical Higher Education.
OverviewFairfield University is a private university located in Fairfield, CT. Fairfield is a Jesuit Catholic school, and is a member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities. They have five colleges: arts and sciences, business, engineering, nursing, and education. The overall student population is composed of 4,100 undergraduate and 1,100 graduate students.Program FeaturesFairfield offers a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program. Students complete a pre-set arrangement of courses, which begins with the foundations of relational/systematic theories and models. Courses then progress as follows:
- Clinical Treatment with Individual Couples, and Families
- Ethics and Diversity
- Research Evaluation and Diagnosis/Treatment of Issues
- Community Intersections and Collaborations
- Foundational Clinical Practice
Students complete the program by taking a comprehensive exam, giving a capstone presentation, or taking a thesis seminar. The thesis is recommended for students who wish to further pursue their academic career in marriage and family therapy.Notables
Fairfield also offers a Master of Arts program in Family Studies, which has similar admissions requirements to the therapy program. All students being considered for admission to the program will be required to complete an on-campus interview with staff from the program.
OverviewRegis University, previously known as Regis College, is a private university located in Denver, CO. Regis is a Roman Catholic university, specifically of the Jesuit congregation. RU is divided into five colleges: Regis College, the College of Business and Economics, the College of Computer and Information Sciences, the College of Contemporary Liberal Studies, and The Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions. Regis has a student population of around 11,400 and employs just under 2,000 academic staff.Program FeaturesRegis offers a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program. This is a 60-credit-hour program, which meets the academic requirements for Colorado Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. Courses from the program include:
- Theories of Family Therapy
- Gender Development and Sexuality
- Play in Family Therapy
- Professional Orientation and Ethical Issues
Students are required to complete a prerequisite course in Human Growth and Development (3 semester hours) before beginning their graduate study.Notables
Regis offers a number of related postgraduate certificates, including certificates in Counseling Children & Adolescents, Marriage and Family Therapy, Depth Psychotherapy Counseling, and Counseling Military Families. Applicants to the program should have an undergraduate degree in psychology or family studies. Strong applicants will also have experience relating to psychotherapy, either personal or professional.
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
OverviewThe University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is located in Aurora, CO. This campus contains the health and science related schools and colleges of the University of Colorado, including the schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Dentistry. Part of the school’s campus previously housed the Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center, the remainder of which is now home to a children’s hospital and a future VA hospital. Program FeaturesThe University of Colorado offers a Master of Arts degree in Counseling, with a concentration in Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy. Students are required to take a minimum of 63-credit hours of coursework to graduate. Courses from the program include:
- Group Counseling
- Family Therapy Theory
- Intro to Sex Therapy
- Mental Health Diagnosis
In addition to coursework, students complete practicum and internship experience that helps to professionalize their in-class learning. Students complete the program by either taking a comprehensive exam or by writing a thesis.Notables
The University of Colorado has a chapter of the Beta Alpha Omega honors society, which is the counseling academic professional honor society. The group helps to promote scholarship, leadership, and professionalism in counseling in the field of mental health.
California State University, Northridge
OverviewCalifornia State University, Northridge is a public university located in Los Angeles, CA. It is the largest school in the California State University system, with a student body of 42,000 students and around 2,100 academic staff members. CSUN offers 134 different bachelor’s programs, 70 different master’s degree fields, and 3 doctoral degrees.Program FeaturesCalifornia State Northridge offers a Master of Science degree, with an option in Marriage and Family Therapy. The program prepares students to pursue a license as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Professional Clinical Counselor in the state of California. Courses from the program include:
- Postmodern and Cognitive Family Theories and Their Evidence Base
- Couples and Sex Therapy
- Seminar in Counseling Theory and Practice
- Substance Abuse and Addictions Treatment
Students engage in Practicum and Field coursework to supplement their in-class learning. The program ends with a Culminating Experience, either involving a final graduate project or the creation of an original thesis.Notables
Applicants to the program must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. They must have had a minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 3.0 scale in the final 60 semester/quarter units attempted. Students will also craft a personal statement and engage in the candidate interview process.
Abilene Christian University
OverviewAbilene Christian University, also known as ACU, is a non-profit university located in Abilene, TX. The school has an affiliation with Churches of Christ. It was originally founded in 1906 as the Childers Classical Institute. In 2014, they had a total enrollment of 4,427 students, which included just shy of 800 graduate students.Program FeaturesAbilene Christian University offers a Master of Family Therapy program, which prepares students for Christian service and leadership in a variety of secular and faith-based settings. It is a 60 credit-hour program, which involves courses covering:
- Family Therapy/General Systems Theory
- Couples Therapy
- Family Therapy across the Life Cycle
- Theological Perspectives on Human Behavior
Students also complete a 500-hour internship, usually at ACU’s on-site Marriage and Family Institute. Notables
Students have the option of choosing between three courses of study: a two year program in pursuit of an MFT degree; a three year program, which includes an extra year in the school of divinity and leads to a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry in addition to the MFT degree; and a four year plan leading to the MFT and an MDiv degree from the School of Theology.
OverviewDrexel University is a private research university with three campuses, all located in Philadelphia, PA. The school has recently expanded through the addition of a medical college in 2002, and now serves over 26,000 students through a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs. Drexel offers co-op programs to students, which allow them to gain paid, full-time work experience while earning their degree.Program FeaturesDrexel offers a Master of Family Therapy degree program, which involves the completion of 90 credit-hours. The program merges the Person of the Therapist model with social justice frameworks for education, supervision, and training. Sample courses include:
- Historical and Sociocultural Influences
- Person of the Therapist Experience I-III
- Sex Therapy
- Child Therapy in Coupe and Family Therapy
Students complete the program with a one credit Capstone Project course. Students must also complete clinical practicum experiences, one lasting nine months and one last twelve months, prior to graduation.Notables
Students applying to the program should possess a baccalaureate degree and have had an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Students are not required to send GRE scores to Drexel. Students also complete an in-person interview, as well as present three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.
OverviewThe University of Rochester is a private, nonsectarian research university located in Rochester, New York. Rochester has around 10,000 total students, split almost evenly between undergraduate and graduate students. There are around 1,200 academic staff members and the school’s endowment is nearly $2.5 billion.Program FeaturesRochester has a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program, which requires the completion of 60 credit-hours of coursework. Example classes from the curriculum include:
- Human Development Across the Life Cycle
- Couples Therapy
- Family Therapy Research
- Child-focused family therapy
Students complete their time in the program through two clinical practicum courses. One of these courses involves part-time work, while the second one involves working full-time in practice. These requirements include 500 clinical contact hours and 100 hours of supervision.Notables
Students applying to the program are required to submit either GRE or TOEFL scores. Applicants will also be required to complete interviews with three program faculty members and to submit three letters of recommendation. Rochester also emphasizes that applicants should be committed to a relational and systematic approach to helping individuals, couples, and their families.
John Brown University
Siloam Springs, AR
OverviewJohn Brown University is a private, liberal arts college located in Siloam Springs, AR. JBU has 2,100 students, including an undergraduate population of 1,715. They have regional education centers throughout Arkansas in Rogers, Little Rock, and Fort Smith. It is a Christian university and is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.Program FeaturesJohn Brown has a Master of Science degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy. The degree program involves the completion of 64 credit-hours of coursework, beginning with core courses such as:
- Principles of Family Therapy
- Family of Origin
- Brief Therapy
Students continue to elective courses in the later portions of the program, taking classes including:
- Introduction to Play Therapy
- Topics in Counseling
There is also an option for students in the therapy program to study Clinical Mental Health Counseling.Notables
John Brown’s graduate counseling courses are offered in evening and weekend formats on the their main campus, as well as at their educational centers throughout Arkansas. Some courses are also available online. All JBU courses are taught from a Christian worldview, by faculty committed to both the academic and spiritual growth of students.
Virginia Beach, VA
OverviewRegent University is a private, Christian university located in Virginia Beach, VA. Originally known as Christian Broadcasting Network University, the school changed its name to Regent in 1990. It is affiliated with the Interdenominational Evangelical school of Christianity. They have around 8,600 students, roughly evenly split between undergraduates and postgraduates.Program FeaturesRegent has a Master of Art degree program in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling. The degree program is available both online and on-campus. Classes in the program include:
- Theories of Counseling
- Research & Statistics
- Career & Lifestyle Development
- Marital & Couples Therapy
For the online residency, students participate in two week-long residencies. Students in the normal on-campus program will complete this requirement through in-person internships, taken at comparable facilities throughout the year. However, these internships will last for entire semesters, rather than for only a week at a time.Notables
The online degree option includes an on-campus residency, during which students will fulfill the required residency requirement. Students graduating from the program are eligible to pursue careers in settings including mental health facilities, private practices, and public agencies. The Christian element of Regent’s curriculum also makes students eligible for church counseling jobs.
OverviewPfeiffer University is a private university located in Richfield, NC. It is a Christian university and shares an affiliation with the United Methodist Church. They have 1,200 students and 51 full-time academic staff members. Academic programs are divided between five different undergraduate schools, in addition to the graduate school.Program FeaturesPfeiffer University is home to a Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy degree program. The program involves 66 semester hours of coursework, in addition to clinical training hours. The program includes courses such as:
- Advanced Human Growth and Development
- Couples Therapy, Theory, and Techniques
- Family Therapy Theories
- Human Sexuality and Contextual Sex Therapy
To complete the clinical training component of the program, students must complete 500 clinical hours - 250 individual and 250 relational - of experience during their Internship in Marriage & Family Therapy.Notables
Students are encouraged and expected to be active and engaged professional’s in the field of family and individual therapy. This involves attending conferences such as AAMFT and NCAMFT.
Antioch University New England
OverviewAntioch University New England is a private graduate school located in Keene, NH. It is part of the larger Antioch University system, which has campuses in Seattle, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Yellow Springs, OH. The school was established in 1964 and has 1,200 total students.Program FeaturesAntioch University has a Master of Arts degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy. The program is low-residency and generally involves three years of full-time enrollment (33 months). Courses in the program include:
- Human Sexuality and Sex Therapy
- Special Issues in Family Therapy: Domestic Violence and Larger Systems
- Social/Cultural Diversity
Students come to campus to complete residencies, which combine seminars, workshops, guest lectures, advising sessions, peer discussions, and student presentations. Each residency takes around four to five days, and are intended to build long-last personal and professional relationships.Notables
Graduates from the program are eligible for American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy clinical membership and licensure or certification. Students from the program have self-reported a 98% percent passing rate on the MFT licensure exam. Admissions deadlines for Fall and Spring are July 1 and December 1, respectively.
OverviewCapella University is a for-profit, online university with its headquarters in Minneapolis, MN. Capella offers 142 graduate and undergraduate specializations. They have around 1,500 administrative staff members, along with roughly approximately 36,000 students enrolled through their online courses. Eighty-six percent of their faculty hold doctoral degrees.Program FeaturesCapella offers a Master of Science degree in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy. It is a 92 quarter-credit hour program. Most of the coursework for the degree is completed online, which includes sample courses such as:
- Systematic Approaches to Sexual and Gender Issues
- Marriage and Family Systems
- Couple and Marital Therapy
- Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy Theory and Practice
Students experience a strong combination of online coursework and face-to-face experiences that prepare students for licensure in the field of family/personal therapy. In addition to the online coursework, students complete intensive, onsite residencies with students and faculty from the program.Notables
Capella offers scholarships for new students, as well as 10 percent discounts for military service members and their spouses. Students may bring in up to 12 quarter transfer credits into the masters program. Capella also offers graduate counseling degrees in general school counseling, addiction studies, and clinical mental health counseling.
Alliant International University
OverviewAlliant International University, often referred to simply as “Alliant,” is a private benefit corporation based out of San Diego, CA. Alliant offers programs through six domestic campuses, all located in California, and four international campuses in Mexico, Kenya, Japan, and Hong Kong. They have around 4,000 total students, 95 percent of whom are postgraduates.Program FeaturesAlliant International offers online and on-campus degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy. It is a two year program, generally divided into three semesters per year for a total of 60 units. Courses in the progression include:
- MFT Theories and Techniques
- Chemical Dependency and the Family
- Parent-Child Therapy Techniques
- Couples Therapy
Starting with the third semester of their first year, students begin their MFT Practicum, which helps them to transition their learning from the classroom into their professional experience. Notables
Applicants to the program are required to have an undergraduate bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Students with a GPA below this level are required to provide a personal statement explaining the reasoning behind this level of academic performance.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
OverviewUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas is a public university located in Paradise, NV. UNLV is home to the only dental and law schools in the state of Nevada. They have 1,000 academic staff members and around 30,000 total students. From this group, around 25,000 students are undergraduates and the other 5,000 are postgraduates.Program FeaturesThe University of Nevada, Las Vegas offers a Master of Science in Couple and Family Therapy. Graduates from the program have become licensed marriage and family therapists, and have also gone on to careers as agency setting clinicians or marriage and family therapy researchers. Courses in the program include:
- Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy
- Principles and Practices of Marriage and Family Therapy
- Advanced Family Practicum
- Couples Therapy
The program culminates with a capstone research project that ties together the student’s in-class and professional experiences. Notables
Students will complete a full-time practicum internship during their course of study. The student’s faculty advisor will consult the student in regards to the location and timing of their internship, and the skills gained during this time will be used both in the capstone course and after graduation.
OverviewPalo Alto University is a private, non-profit university located in Palo Alto, CA. PAU was founded in 1975 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, before being officially reformed as PAU in August 2009. They have 81 academic staff members and just under 1,100 total students. They have an interconnected relationship with Stanford University.Program FeaturesPAU offers a Master of Arts in Counseling degree, with an emphasis in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. Students pursue a course of 93 quarter-credit hours of coursework such as:
- Counseling Theory
- Legal and Ethical Foundations
- Child and Adolescent Counseling
- Substance Abuse
In addition to their coursework, students complete mandatory fieldwork, workshops, and intensives that are progressive and designed to prepare students for their final, capstone project at the end of the program.Notables
This program fulfills the educational requirements in California for the state’s Marriage and Family Therapist license. Students have the option of pursuing either an on-campus or distance/online sequence of courses in the program. All on-campus requirements must be fulfilled with either sequence, namely the practicum and necessary fieldwork.
Mid-America Christian University
Oklahoma City, OK
OverviewMid-America Christian University is a private, liberal-arts college located in Oklahoma City, OK. The school was previously located in Houston, and was known as the Gulf Coast Bible College. They are associated with the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana and have a student population of approximately 2,500.Program FeaturesMid-American Christian University offers a Master of Science degree in Counseling with a Marital, Couples and Family Counseling/Therapy emphasis. It is a 60-63 credit-hour program, which is intended to help students pursue licensure as a Marital and Family Therapist. This is done through courses including:
- Marriage and Family Systems and Treatment
- Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy
- Human Sexuality Counseling
- Chemical Dependency Counseling
Towards the end of their course of study, students will enroll in a therapy practicum/internship course that will be used to gain professional experience.Notables
Mid-American also offers Masters of Science Counseling degrees in Addiction and Substance Abuse, Applied Behavioral Science, Clinical Mental Health Counseling. These degrees have similar admissions criteria to the Family Counseling option. All of these programs offer a Christian faith-based perspective on counseling.
OverviewLeTourneau University is a private university located in Longview, TX. It is an interdenominational Christian university, which offers programs in engineering, aeronautical science, education, and business. They have around 3,000 total students, which includes their online degree programs for working adults and additional education centers in Dallas and Houston, TX.Program FeaturesLeTourneau has a Master of Arts program in Marriage and Family Therapy. It is a 66 credit-hour program composed of core, clinical theology, and required courses. Sampling from these groups include:
- Couples Therapy
- Family Assessment
- Trauma and Theodicy
- Integrative Theology for Counselors
- Lifespan Human Development
44 credits come from the Core Section, 8 from Clinical Theology, and 14 from the Required LMFT Courses. In addition to the direct theology courses, there is a Christian framework/foundation for each of the courses that students take in the program.Notables
Graduates from the program have the necessary academic program to take state licensure exams for positions such as employment counseling or mental health counseling. Alumni from the program have also pursued careers as school counselors. Students may pursue a Licensed Professional Counselor or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist license.
University of Southern Mississippi
OverviewThe University of Southern Mississippi, also known as Southern Miss, is a public university located in Hattiesburg, MS. The university was founded in 1910 as the Mississippi Normal College, which helped to prepare and train educators. The school now offers a wide range of degrees and major programs. The Carnegie Foundations designates the school as having a “High Research Activity” level. Southern Miss has around 14,500 students.Program FeaturesSouthern Mississippi has a Master’s program in Marriage and Family Therapy. It is a 60 credit-hour program, which also requires the completion of client contact hours. Students may take courses including:
- Introduction to Marriage and Family Theories
- Individual and Family Life Cycle
- Gender/Culture in MFT
- Couples Therapy
Students are required to complete 500 client contact hours, of which 250 must be relational. Students must also complete 250 hours in the University Clinic for Family Therapy.Notables
Students are also required to complete 100 hours of supervision, and maintain a 1:5 ratio of supervision-to-client contact hours. Fifty percent of these supervision hours must be individual supervision, and 50 percent of the data must be raw data. Some portions of these may overlap with one another, as confirmed by the student’s academic advisor.