2023 Best Master’s in Family Counseling Programs

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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student/teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.

Do you want to acquire a master’s in family counseling, but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best master’s in family counseling programs.

What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

  1. Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Brigham Young has a master of science degree in marriage and family therapy. Learners select between a clinical path or research path for their degree, depending on their career plans. Along with class requirements, the clinical path requires a final presentation; the research choice requires the preparation of a final thesis. Learners must also finish 500 hours of direct face to face client experience, regardless of path.

Candidates to the degree program are required to submit GRE scores. Learners should also provide lists of clinical/human services experience and research experience. Learners will also finish a video interview, for which they will obtain further instructions during the application process.

  1. Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA

Pepperdine has a master of arts degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy. This is a 62-unit degree program, which generally lasts two years. The degree program meets requirements for licenses, including the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist license or the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor license in California.

Pepperdine utilizes a small cohort method, which offers a shared-learning experience among learners in the degree program. Also, the degree program includes small class sizes and automatic class registration in each term. Learners also engage in supervised counseling experience in the local community during their second year.

  1. University of San Diego, San Diego, CA

The University of San Diego has a Master of Family Therapy degree program. Full-time learners generally graduate in two years and are required to finish a total of 59 units during their time in the degree program. Along with class requirements, learners must finish a total of 500 clinical contact hours, which include a minimal of 250 relational hours, and 100 supervision hours (including 50 with raw data). These are finished during a learner’s practicum class near the end of the degree program.

All masters and doctoral learners are required to partake in an international experience, which is designed to support the growth of their cultural expertise. USD’s degree program utilizes a biopsychosocial systems approach, which focuses on the deep relationships that evolve within families that affect people’s everyday lives.

  1. Nova Southeastern, Davie, FL

Nova Southeastern University has a master of science in family therapy. It is a 60-credit degree program, which is intended to last for a total of two years. The degree program is designed to develop learners’ research skills and prepare them for careers as marriage and family therapists.

Learners are allowed to enter the degree program in either the Fall or Spring semesters. They may enroll part-time or full-time, taking somewhere between six and twelve credits per semester. Candidates to the degree program should possess at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally sanctioned institution. Learners also provide letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and an academic writing sample.

  1. Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Syracuse has a masters of arts degree in marriage and family therapy. The degree program requires learners to finish 60 credits and normally takes two years to finish. The first 51 credits of the degree program come from a pre-set list of required classes. The last nine credits are chosen from a list of electives, which learners select after consultation with their advisors.

Elective classes consist of options such as family therapy with LGBT couples and families. Learners have the choice of completing the degree program on a three-year, part-time basis. Learners are allowed to transfer a maximum of 12 units of degree-applicable work (must have a grade of B or higher in transferred classes).

  1. Bethel University, St. Paul, MN

Bethel has a master of arts degree in marriage and family therapy. It is a 60-unit degree program, which combines training in clinical practice and theory with Christian theology. Graduates from the degree program have gone on to careers such as school-based therapists, directors of children’s and family ministry, and case managers. Graduate employers consist of companies such as the Minnesota Renewal Center and the Neighborhood Involvement Program.

Coursework from the marriage and family therapy degree program meets the academic requirements for licensure in the state of Minnesota. To obtain a license, learners must then only finish the additional supervised clinical practice to pass the licensure exam. Most classes are offered during the day, with a few weeklong intensives provided in June.

  1. Friends University, Wichita, KS

Friends University has a master of science degree in family therapy. Learners are required to finish a total of 60 credit hours from the core coursework, clinical training, and elective classes.

Candidates to the degree program are required to have a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. A brief autobiography and statement of objectives will also be required. Prerequisite classwork is required in research methods/designs, along with two upper-division classes in family studies, human development, psychology, or sociology.

  1. Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN

Indiana Wesleyan has a master of arts with a major in marriage and family counseling/therapy. It is a 60-credit graduate degree program that emphasizes family systems within each learner’s Christian worldview. Along with classwork, learners must finish 100 practicum hours and 900 internship hours. These hours are finished at the Marion or Indianapolis campus.

The coursework is designed so that learners meet the academic requirements for licensure as a family or marriage therapist in the state of Indiana. To apply, learners are required to possess a bachelor’s degree from a college or institution sanctioned by a regional accrediting body or the Association for Biblical Higher Education.

  1. Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT

Fairfield has a master of arts in marriage and family therapy degree program. Learners finish a pre-set arrangement of classes, which begins with the foundations of relational/systematic theories and models. Learners finish the degree program by taking a holistic exam, giving a capstone presentation, or taking a thesis seminar. The thesis is recommended for learners who wish to further pursue their academic career in marriage and family therapy.

Fairfield also has a master of arts degree program in family studies, which has comparable admissions requirements to the therapy degree program. All learners being considered for admission to the degree program will be required to finish an on-campus interview with staff from the degree program.

  1. Regis University, Denver, CO

Regis has a master of arts in marriage and family therapy degree program. This is a 60-credit degree program, which meets the academic requirements for Colorado Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. Learners are required to finish a prerequisite class in human growth and development (3 semester hours) before beginning their graduate study.

Regis has several related postgraduate certificates, including certificates in counseling children & adolescents, marriage and family therapy, depth psychotherapy counseling, and counseling military families. Candidates to the degree program should have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or family studies. Strong candidates will also have experience relating to psychotherapy, either individual or professional.

  1. Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN

The Christian Theological Seminary has a master of arts degree in marriage and family therapy. Coursework contains a blend of psychological and theological study with clinical practice, which enables learners to mentor individuals and families on mental and spiritual levels. Learners obtain at least 100 hours of individual and group supervision in practicum.

The CTS Counseling Center gives learners a choice to finish their practicum and resident hours on campus. Learners can network and seek clients without having to leave campus. CTS also has a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling, which has comparable admission and degree program requirements to the marriage and family therapy degree program, along with some of the same professors.

  1. University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Denver, CO

The University of Colorado has a master of arts degree in counseling, with a concentration in couple and family counseling/therapy. Learners are required to take at least 63 credit hours of classwork to graduate. Along with classwork, learners finish a practicum and internship experience that help to professionalize their in-class learning. Learners finish the degree program by either taking a holistic exam or by writing a thesis.

Candidates to the degree program must have a bachelor’s degree from a sanctioned college or institution. Learners will also craft an individual statement and engage in the candidate interview process.

  1. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX

Abilene Christian University has a master of family therapy degree program, which prepares learners for Christian service and leadership in an array of secular and faith-based settings. It is a 60-credit degree program. Learners also finish a 500-hour internship, normally at ACU’s on-site Marriage and Family Institute.

Learners may choose from three classes of study: a two-year degree program in pursuit of an MFT degree; a three-year degree program, which includes an extra year in the School of Divinity and leads to a master of arts in Christian ministry along with the MFT degree; and a four-year plan leading to the MFT and an MDiv degree from the School of Theology.

  1. Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Drexel has a master of family therapy degree program, which involves the completion of 90 credit hours. The degree program merges the person of the therapist model with social justice frameworks for education, supervision, and training. Learners finish the degree program with a one-credit capstone project class. Learners must also finish clinical practicum experiences, one lasting nine months and one last twelve months, before graduation.

Learners applying to the degree program should possess a bachelor’s degree and have had an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Learners are not required to send GRE scores to Drexel. Learners also finish an in-person interview along with presenting three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose.

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