Master’s in Family Counseling Degrees

A Master's in Family Counseling is oftentimes a specialization track of a MA in Counseling (or similar). There is overlap with other Masters level counseling degrees, such as the Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Sometimes you will find graduate programs that are combined across multiple areas, such as the Master's in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling degree.

There are a number of online Master's in Counseling degrees that have a Family Counseling focus and are CACREP accredited.

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MA in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine
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Master of Family Counseling courses can help identify behavioral problems and conflicts between couples and/or their children and utilize practices they have learned in order to solve these issues. Obtaining a Master's degree in family counseling can aid students in further education to help build and strengthen relationships with their clients.

Usually, holding a Master's degree is required in order to have a state license in marriage and family counseling (also known as LMFT licensure).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected 23 percent growth in licensed counseling from 2016 through 2026.

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☰ For detailed degree information, view the guides to:
Online CACREP Accredited programs | Online MPCAC Accredited programs

CACREP Accredited MFT Programs

It is important to look at programs that are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

These programs offer the highest quality of courses with rigid standards that a school curriculum must adhere to. Other advantages include more employment options, a better pathway through the licensing process, and getting an upper hand when applying for a doctoral degree.

Regent University: APA and CACREP Accredited Masters Program

Through the Regent University School of Psychology and Counseling, the online Master's in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling is accredited by both the CACREP and the American Psychological Association (APA). They provide therapeutical practices through both science and Christian faith for counseling. Two week-long residencies are required to complete the program, and those with an accelerated program will have to go twice in their first year. This provides course orientation and to set up student networking and mentoring opportunities, and there is no option for these to be waived.

Applications have a $50 non-refundable fee and must be received before July 1st for the fall semester and December 1st for the spring semester. In order to apply for the program, a Bachelor's degree is recommended from counseling, psychology, or other human behavioral fields with a minimum 3.00 GPA. Applications must also include a background questionnaire survey provided from the school, GRE/MAT scores, your resume, and college transcripts. 60 credit hours are required to complete the Master's degree, and the cost is set a $710 per credit. A university services fee is $550 for online students per semester.

Students are free to choose what courses they want to take each semester as long as they have met the prerequisites. The school recommends no more than 20 credit hours taken per week. Here is a sampling of core courses available through the School of Psychology and Counseling:

  • Research and Statistics
  • Counseling Skills and Techniques
  • Practicum and Advanced Skills
  • Theories of Counseling
  • Addiction Therapies for Individuals and Families
  • Career and Lifestyle Development
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Concepts of Family Systems
  • Ethics, Professional Orientation, and Legal Issues in Counseling
  • Counseling and Christian Thought

The remainder of the 15 credits are in the program-specific courses along with two separate internships:

  • Martial and Couple Therapy
  • Models of Family Therapy
  • Theories of Human Sexuality

These courses will fully evaluate techniques and concepts to help non-married and married couples, families, and human sexuality through a number of different perspectives. A number of these courses will tie in biblical references and scripture.

Capella University

The School of Counseling and Human Services offers a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy. They are also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). The online program requires nine core courses and seven specialization courses, along with two residencies, an integrative project, a practicum, and three internships.

Admission into the program requires a Bachelor’s degree, a transcript that contains a minimum 2.7 GPA, and two letters of recommendation given by professionals in counseling. A resume and three-to-six page essay should detail your experience, accomplishments, skills, and future goals in the industry, and there will be a $50 fee that can be waived if the school offers a discount code on their website. GRE/MAT scores are not required to submit.

Capella uses a GuidedPath learning format that enforces weekly deadlines and class discussions for students to develop better study habits. It also provides a flexible schedule for those that are willing to be either a part-time or full-time student based on availability and budget. Tuition is $487 per credit — each course is generally listed as four credits and 23 courses are required — with a resource kit fee of $175 per quarter.

Here is a listing of some of the required courses in the curriculum:

  • Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors
  • Principles of Psychopathology and Diagnosis
  • Foundations of Addiction and Addictive Behavior
  • Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling
  • Professional Ethics in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy
  • Systemic Approaches to Gender and Sexuality
  • Marriage and Family Systems
  • Life Planning and career Development
  • Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations

These courses will provide an education theories to counseling and how to serve and evaluate clients through family dynamics and customs. Along with receiving hands-on training and evaluating real-life therapy sessions, students will be able to develop their own approach to helping clients that matches professional standards and requirements.

Two week-long counseling residencies will be required with a minimum of 40 total hours of training. The practicum requires 100 hours of supervised counseling at an approved location and three internships in total require 600 total hours of supervised fieldwork.

LMFT Career Options

Couples Therapist

When romantic relationships have hit difficult times, both married and non-married couples should seek therapy to get professional help. These issues could involve topics around jealousy or selfishness, future goal differences, and sexual struggles. A licensed therapist will use their skills to dictate the problems and find a solution that requires both partners to work together.

Educational Counselor

Guidance counselors in grade schools can have a dramatic impact on children’s lives, guiding them through any difficulties they face throughout their education. Common issues counselors will deal with are private and/or sensitive topics such as bullying, puberty, abuse, or schoolwork struggles.

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Capella University 🗹 Online Masters

Counseling Career Guide

Still Looking for a Counseling Degree?

Here are some of the most popular online counseling programs. On each page you will find a detailed write-up of the program, specific courses, and schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.