Online Master’s Degree Programs in Family and Marriage Counseling

family and marriage counseling programs

When deciding what to study for your next career move, the next step should be to consider your family and marriage counselor’s training. A family and marriage therapist will listen more than talk during a meeting, looking for non-verbal body language. The therapist may deduce a problem from a teenager’s behavior. They may ask clients to put themselves in other people’s shoes, a role-playing exercise that helps build empathy.


Graduates of online master’s degree programs in family and marriage counseling can pursue a variety of social service and community careers. Among the new employment opportunities in this field, most involve education, counseling, or social work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates 346,900 new community and social service jobs from 2020 to 2030. Employment in these fields is projected to grow at a rate of 12% over the next several years, faster than the national average.

Regardless of location, career prospects for marriage and family counselors are bright. The average American works into their 60s and enjoys good work-life balance. There are also solid prospects for upward mobility, increased salary, and job satisfaction. Here are some of the benefits of careers in family and marriage counseling programs. While they do require some education, these jobs are often rewarding and have good job outlooks. Once licensed, counselors can work anywhere in their state.

Marriage and family counselors can practice individual and group sessions, diagnose and treat disorders, and provide interventions to combat negative behavioral patterns. They may also mediate conflicts and help foster better communication. Some counselors work in mental health facilities and social service agencies. In large private practices, clinical directors are responsible for the day-to-day administrative operations of a counseling department. This ensures that patients receive quality care. These counselors are in demand, and the market is expanding fast.

Graduate students can pursue a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling at Pacific Oaks College. Programs at this college blend theory and practice with an emphasis on holistic treatment. Students will gain valuable experience by maintaining relationships with community organizations and clinics. Graduates may find employment as soon as they complete the program. They can practice their newly acquired skills by working for local mental health facilities. The programs also provide practicum hours that can lead to licensure in New York State.


An education in family and marriage counseling will prepare you to practice in a variety of settings, including private practice, hospital, and community mental health agencies. Students will learn how to engage in solution-oriented conversations with various stakeholders to develop strategies and implement solutions to various problems. These conversations can improve the functioning of families and strengthen relationships. In addition, education in family and marriage counseling will provide you with the skills to manage diverse client populations and navigate the complexities of changing social environments.

In addition to the educational requirements, you’ll need to complete some supervised clinical work as a marriage and family therapist. This is commonly known as a residency or internship. This training includes family therapy, marriage counseling, and other therapeutic interventions. After graduating, you’ll need to pass a state exam and continue to complete annual education classes to keep your license current. For example, an online master’s in family and marriage counseling can cost between $15,000 and $55,000, depending on your chosen program.

While most programs require practical internships, some do not. In addition to an academic internship, marriage and family counselors must complete 500 hours of field-related experience under the supervision of a practicing counselor. A practical internship can be completed by working in a mental health agency or volunteering in another way. Either way, you should be prepared to put in several years of practice before you can practice in the field. If you’ve already begun your training, make sure to check with your state board before enrolling in a program.

After completing a marriage and family counseling program, you’ll have the skills to work in a wide range of settings. If you’re a licensed marriage and family therapist, you can choose to be a school counselor, substance abuse counselor, or mental health counselor. You’ll also need to take a certification test from the National Board for Certified Counselors before you can start working. There are many ways to earn a living as a marriage and family therapist.


Coursework in family and marriage counseling provides students with theoretical and practical training in working with families and couples. They learn how to evaluate a client’s needs, develop therapeutic objectives, and apply a systems-based approach to therapy. Students also study various clinical issues, including abuse, divorce, and mood disorders. They learn how to develop an effective therapeutic plan for each situation and how to address common problems. In addition, students learn how to conduct research while pursuing their professional goals.

Before becoming a counselor, aspiring therapists need a bachelor’s degree and complete a master’s program. To fulfill these requirements, some schools offer online bachelor’s degree programs. Maryville University’s online bachelor’s degree in human development is convenient for students who are balancing family and employment. Online courses also offer service learning opportunities. The school waives the application fee for online students. Further, its accredited program is widely accepted by employers.

A Master’s degree in family and marriage counseling programs focus on fostering the development of students as “empirical practitioners” who are able to develop effective solutions for patient-centered practice. During the course, students learn how to moderate problem-solving conversations among parties with diverse interests. In such conversations, students invite stakeholders to identify two sets of problems and develop multiple solutions to them. This allows students to engage in a wide range of mental health interventions, including family of origin and transgenerational approaches.

MFT programs are offered at both public and private universities. When considering an MFT program, prospective students should check the school’s accreditation status. The United States Department of Education accredits colleges and universities. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (COAMFTE) accredits master’s and doctoral training programs. Some schools are also accredited by professional associations, which can increase employment opportunities.


Students pursuing a degree in marriage and family therapy should consider the program’s accreditation. These programs prepare students to work in a variety of settings, including community mental health agencies, substance abuse treatment facilities, and colleges. Students also learn about various issues that face families, such as anger management and self-esteem. Programs also help students learn how to implement collaborative treatment plans. This way, graduates can work with people from all walks of life.

The Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education, part of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, sets standards for clinical education in marriage and family therapy. OLLU is one of the few institutions in Texas with COAMFTE-accredited master’s programs. Students who have this accreditation may pursue employment in federal government agencies. The Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (CAMFTE) evaluates programs nationwide.

A Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, or COAMFTE, is an independent, third-party body that evaluates post-graduate family and marriage therapy education. Accreditation by COAMFTE ensures quality education and enhances public awareness and confidence in the profession. Programs accredited by COAMFTE meet the standards for licensure by the New York State Department of Education and are recognized by the state. To date, only Syracuse University is COAMFTE-accredited.

The program’s Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy degree takes two and a half years to complete. It features a 45-credit curriculum focused on prevention of emotional problems caused by illness, job loss, or family dysfunction. The program is suitable for students seeking employment and has excellent relationships with mental health care facilities in the region. It also provides students with practicum hours that count toward licensure in New York State.

Distance-based programs

While there are many options available to those interested in a degree in marriage and family counseling, not all of them have the same level of accreditation. Some are accredited by the Better Business Bureau, while others are not. The most respected accreditation agency in the field is the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, or WSCUP. To find out more about accredited programs, see the list below. Distance-based family and marriage counseling programs can provide the education you need to work as a counselor in a variety of settings, including hospitals, private practices, and churches.

The minimum educational requirement for a master’s in marriage and family counseling is a bachelor’s degree, and many of these programs require a minimum GPA of 3.0 to be eligible for admission. Graduates of any major are welcome, but graduates of closely related fields have an edge. Graduates may also be required to take graduate entrance exams. Those who are interested in academic roles may want to consider doctoral programs in marriage and family counseling.

The Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program at Regent University includes a comprehensive curriculum, qualified fieldwork, and an established network of professional marriage and family therapists. Regent offers an accelerated program with an emphasis on applied research and extensive clinical training. The program also includes a clinical internship with a licensed mental health agency or a nonprofit counseling organization. And graduates are successful in securing employment.

Marriage and family therapists focus on treating individual clients and families. They provide strategies to strengthen relationships and overcome difficult life circumstances. They may specialize in a specific issue, like infidelity or premarital counseling. In addition to marriage, some of these therapists specialize in other aspects of family life, such as infertility and childbirth. The goal of marriage and family therapy is to strengthen and heal the relationships between spouses and children.