Find Your Degree
Bestcounselingdegrees.net is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

The Most Accessible Online Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s Degrees

Best Counseling Degrees - Top Master's Programs

Click here for high resolution badge.

By Staff Writer
Last Updated: May 19, 2020

If you can picture yourself working closely with couples and families in a therapy setting, earning a master's in marriage and family therapy (MFT) online may make for an excellent career choice. These professionals work in mental health centers of private practices to help their patients overcome daily challenges in their relationships and families. They help patients focus on specific, attainable goals with solution-focused therapeutic methods.

Prospective students can find some of the top marriage and family therapy graduate programs online. These remote programs offer many perks. Remote learners often find that online education costs less and provides more scheduling flexibility than on-campus programs. Many schools offer online marriage and family therapy programs that fit into working adults' busy schedules.

State licensing boards require each professional to possess a degree from an accredited institution before they can offer therapy services. The schools included in this ranking meet these requirements and can position you for success in the field.

Methodology

View ranking methodology here.

Most Accessible Online Marriage and Family Therapy Master's Degrees
Rank University
1 LeTourneau University
2 John Brown University
3 Concordia University-Saint Paul
4 Pepperdine University
5 Concordia University, Wisconsin
6 Amridge University
7 Touro University Worldwide
8 City University of Seattle
9 Fresno Pacific University
10 Abilene Christian University

 

What to Expect From an Online Marriage and Family Therapy Program

Colleges for marriage and family therapy prepare students with the essential skills to help patients of all kinds. To start, each prospective therapist needs to earn a bachelor's degree, and many learners choose to major in areas like psychology, social work, or sociology. This four-year undergraduate curriculum provides a strong academic foundation for advanced therapy-focused knowledge in graduate school.

After completing their bachelor's degrees, prospective therapists move on to two-year master's programs. In general, the best MFT programs cover human development, marriage and family therapy, and marriage and family studies. Students may also develop skills in a specialized area, such as school counseling, community programming, or trauma in relationships.

Upon completing a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution with programmatic accreditation, degree-holders enter a postgraduate training phase before practicing. Licensure requirements vary among states, but each master's student should plan on completing a 500-hour supervised internship or practicum.

Career Outlook for Marriage and Family Therapists

These professionals typically work in mental health centers, hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, and private practices. Depending on their location and specialty, marriage and family therapists work with couples, individuals, and families. During therapy, they evaluate relationships, diagnose disorders, and investigate behavioral patterns to develop the best treatment plans and attainable goals for their patients.

These therapists offer treatment for domestic violence, substance abuse, marital conflicts, LGBTQIA+ issues, depression and anxiety, and grieving. According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, approximately 90% of marriage and family therapy patients reported improvement in their emotional health after treatment.

The job outlook for professionals with a master's in marriage and family therapy looks bright. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects jobs in this field to grow by 22% from 2018-28. These professionals also make a median annual wage of $50,090, approximately $11,450 more than the median annual wage of all other occupations in the United States.

Most Accessible Online Marriage and Family Therapy Master's Degrees 2020

19

University of West Alabama

Livingston, AL

UWA in Livingston, Alabama, offers a master of science in family counseling. The program, which students can complete in 1-2 years, takes a systematic and non-pathological approach to family counseling. The curriculum does not prepare graduates to obtain state licenses; it provides advanced knowledge, including a three-credit internship, for counselors already licensed or those who do not need or want to pursue licensure.

An accessible admissions process requires an online application and submission of official transcripts. About 80% of UWA students receive financial aid or scholarships, and the school encourages applicants to apply. Admitted students may transfer up to nine graduate credits.

Courses Include:

  • Advanced Techniques in Family Counseling
  • Assessment Techniques in Family Counseling
  • Lifespan Development and Learning
  • Systems of Psychotherapy
  • The Therapeutic Relationship

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $429/credit
  • Credits Required: 33
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

 

Visit School
18

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

The online master's in marriage and family therapy at Brandman in Irvine, California, meets the MFT licensing requirements of 41 states, including California and Washington. Brandman provides students with available practicum sites to assist them in completing their clinical hours.

Applicants qualify for admission in one of four ways: a minimum 3.0 GPA for the most recent 30 undergraduate credits; a minimum 2.5 GPA or GRE/MAT test scores; a master's degree from a regionally accredited school; or a portfolio showing readiness for graduate work. Admission also requires three references, official transcripts, and an autobiographical essay.

Courses Include:

  • Clinical Issues in Human Diversity
  • Family Systems Theories and Techniques: A Postmodern Amphasis
  • Family Therapy Theories and Techniques: A Modern Emphasis
  • Lifespan Development/Aging and Long-Term Care
  • Marital Systems and Studies and Domestic Violence

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $660/credit
  • Credits Required: 60
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission

 

Visit School
17

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Lynchburg, Virginia-based LibertyUniversity offers a marriage and family therapy master's program online with two weeklong on-campus intensives. Taught with a biblical foundation, the program covers counseling theory, techniques, and clinical practice to prepare graduates for Virginia MFT licensure. Supervised, in-person practicums and internships provide clinical learning experiences. The online class format offers added flexibility for enrollees.

The 30-month program allows students to transfer up to 50% of the credits required for the degree. Each applicant must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.7 GPA and submit academic transcripts, two references, and a statement of purpose, goals, and interests.

Courses Include:

  • Advanced Couple and Marital Counseling
  • Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning in Family Counseling
  • Counseling Children, Adolescents, and Families
  • Human Sexuality
  • Substance Abuse: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $565/credit
  • Credits Required: 60
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

 

Visit School
16

Prescott College

Prescott, AZ

This leading Arizona college for marriage and family therapy offers a hybrid master of science in counseling with an emphasis in marriage, couple, and family counseling. Prescott's program follows a client-centered philosophy that emphasizes critical thinking, community engagement, and rigorous scholarship. Graduates pursue careers as licensed professional counselors or licensed mental health counselors.

Application requirements include two letters of recommendation, a resume, official transcripts, and a personal essay. Each candidate must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. To graduate, an enrollee completes online and in-person coursework, 700 hours of in-person practicum and internship experiences, and an exit exam. They also must attend 20 counseling sessions as clients, along with four colloquiums, one of which may consist of a professional conference or a graduate counseling certificate intensive.

Courses Include:

  • Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Counseling Theories
  • Helping Relationships
  • Mindfulness in Clinical Practice
  • Social Justice in Counseling

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $825/credit
  • Credits Required: 60
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

 

Visit School
15

Regent University

Virginia Beach, VA

Regent, a Christian-based school located in Virginia Beach, houses one of Virginia's best MFT programs. Students earn their master of arts in marriage, couple, and family counseling online with two residency courses. The program prepares graduates for licensing exams in most U.S. states through coursework and in-person experiential learning.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA. Regent prefers candidates with degrees in counseling, psychology, or human behavior. Each applicant must submit to a background check and provide transcripts, a government I.D., and GRE or MAT test scores. The department may invite selected applicants to pre-admission online interviews.

Courses Include:

  • Addiction Therapies for Individuals and Families
  • Concepts of Family Systems
  • Counseling and Christian Thought
  • Models of Family Therapy
  • Theories of Human Sexuality

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $710/credit
  • Credits Required: 60
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

 

Visit School
14

University of Massachusetts Boston

Boston, MA

UMass Boston, as one of the top colleges for marriage and family therapy, confers a master of education in counseling. Delivered in a hybrid format, the curriculum prepares students to work in school settings with children, young adults, and their families. Participants join a cohort and take their first two clinical courses on or near the campus. Supervised fieldwork takes place at students' nearby schools.

Each applicant must submit two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, transcripts, and a resume. The program requires MTEL scores from candidates seeking Massachusetts licensure and GRE scores from those without an existing master's degree. A candidate with low GRE scores may need to submit a writing sample.

Courses Include:

  • Behavioral Counseling
  • Group Counseling for Children and Adolescents
  • Life Span Human Development
  • Sociocultural Considerations in Counseling
  • Trauma and Crisis Counseling

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $768/credit in-state; $1,247-$1,499/credit out-of-state
  • Credits Required: 60
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

 

Visit School
13

Houston Baptist University

Houston, TX

An enrollee in the marriage and family therapy master's program at HBU can earn a master of arts degree and become eligible to apply for licensure in Texas. The hybrid program focuses on research-supported counseling and provides the requisite 700-hour supervised practicum. Students split their time between online and on-campus classes. Each enrollee must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and pass a comprehensive written exam. Along with marriage and family therapy topics, course content includes core subjects in professional counseling.

Candidates apply to the online graduate school. Admission requirements include official transcripts, two recommendations, a resume, and an interview, along with GRE scores, which HBU may waive for candidates with 3.0 GPAs in undergraduate coursework.

Courses Include:

  • Assessment and Counseling with Couples and Families
  • Counseling Children, Adolescents, and Families
  • Gender Issues and Differences
  • Multicultural Counseling
  • Premarital Counseling and Marital Enrichment

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $575/credit
  • Credits Required: 60
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

 

Visit School
12

Mid-America Christian University

Oklahoma City, OK

Students exploring master's in marriage and family therapy schools in Oklahoma should consider MACU in Oklahoma City. MACU offers an online program leading to a master of science in counseling with an emphasis in marital, couples, and family counseling/therapy. The curriculum and clinical experiences focus on the dynamics in family and couples relationships. Interactive online learning takes place through webinars, discussion boards, and social media. Students prepare for Oklahoma licensure through coursework, in-person practicums, and internships.

Admission requires photo identification and official transcripts demonstrating a bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA from a regionally accredited school. Before enrolling, each admitted student must take five undergraduate courses in behavioral science.

Courses Include:

  • Child/adolescent Psychopathology/Counseling
  • Clinical Issues of Aging, Death, and Dying
  • Human Sexuality in Counseling
  • Interpersonal Communication in Counseling and Relationships
  • Marital and Family Treatment Techniques

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $642/credit hour
  • Credits Required: 60
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

 

Visit School
11

Lee University

Cleveland, TN

The online marriage and family therapy program at Lee in Cleveland, Tennessee, culminates with a master of science and state licensure eligibility. The program merges experience, faith, and science with clinical MFT practice, and 90% of its 2018-19 cohort found employment after graduation. Students can complete the program in 2-3 years, including clinical internships and practicums.

Prospective students must hold an undergraduate 3.0 GPA or a graduate degree. Those lacking either of these can provide GRE or MAT scores. Applicants also submit official transcripts, a personal statement of background and goals, three recommendations, and a resume. Select candidates participate in personal interviews.

Courses Include:

  • Christian Perspectives in the Helping Professions
  • Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy
  • Family Stress and Resilience
  • Play Therapy and Child Trauma
  • Research Methods in Relationship Science

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $785/credit
  • Credits Required: 60
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education

 

Visit School
10

Abilene Christian University

Abilene, TX

ACU in Abilene, Texas, boasts one of the top MFT programs in the state. Each online enrollee can earn a master of marriage and family therapy that includes a 500-hour internship and prepares them for the MFT national examination. The program spans a minimum of 33 months, and students can opt to specialize in child and adolescent therapy, medical family therapy, or treatment of trauma.

Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA from an accredited school, official transcripts, three recommendation letters, and a statement of purpose. The program director may request to take part in video conferences with applicants.

Courses Include:

  • Addictive Disorders
  • Couples Therapy
  • Ecology of Trauma and Crisis for the Therapist
  • Intervention in Family Medical Therapy
  • Systemic Diagnosis and Assessment

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $825/credit (coursework); $470/hour (internship)
  • Credits Required: 60
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education

 

Visit School
9

Fresno Pacific University

Fresno, CA

One of California's top MFT programs offers a master of arts in marriage and family therapy. The blended curriculum at FPU includes online classes, integrating professional practice and personal development with theory and theology. Students graduate ready to complete state-board required internships and take the California MFT licensure exam. The program boasts a 71% pass rate on the 2018 licensed clinical exam and 100% on the law and ethics exam.

Admission requires GRE scores and 50 hours of client counseling experience. Applicants must submit official transcripts demonstrating completion of a bachelor's degree with a 3.0 GPA, along with coursework in abnormal psychology, human development, and introduction to psychology. Additional submissions include a personal profile, short essay responses, and three references.

Courses Include:

  • Aging and Long-Term Care
  • Counseling Children
  • Discipleship and Ethics
  • Family Violence
  • Person, Family, and Culture

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $530/credit
  • Credits Required: 65
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission

 

Visit School
8

City University of Seattle

Seattle, WA

CityU ranks among the best colleges for marriage and family therapy with its master of arts in counseling. The 2-3-year program features a mixed-mode curriculum that includes in-person classes, online learning, and clinical training. Admission requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.

Students can select among four tracks: clinical mental health counseling, leading to licensure as a mental health counselor (LMHC); marriage, couple, and family counseling, meeting requirements for LHMC and licensed MFT; addiction counseling, preparing graduates for careers as LHMCs or substance abuse disorder professionals; or K-12 professional school counseling.

Courses Include:

  • Advanced Child Development and Play Theory
  • Introduction to School Counseling
  • Loss and Grief Counseling
  • Child and Adolescent Psychopathology and Psychopharmacology
  • Trauma Counseling and Disaster Mental Health

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $630-$695/credit
  • Credits Required: 90
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities; Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

 

Visit School
7

Touro University Worldwide

Los Alamitos, CA

A student attending TUW in Los Alamitos, California, can earn a master's in marriage and family therapy online. The comprehensive program offers three tracks: clinical, requiring 500 additional clinical practicum hours; non-clinical, with no clinical requirements; and licensed professional clinical counseling (LPCC), requiring four additional LPCC courses and 500 clinical practicum hours. Graduates emerge ready to apply for California MFT licensing.

The program spans 18-30 months and focuses on understanding interpersonal relationships to treat mental health issues. Students complete their degrees entirely online, except for in-person clinical practicums. Admission requires either a bachelor's degree, graduate transfer status with a 2.75 GPA, or a cumulative 2.5 GPA.

Courses Include:

  • Aging, Illness, and Long-Term Care Concerns
  • Contemporary Issues in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Couples Counseling
  • Development within the Family Life Cycle
  • Studies in Human Communication

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $500/credit
  • Credits Required: 54-82
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission

 

Visit School
6

Amridge University

Montgomery, AL

Students considering master's in marriage and family therapy schools should consider Amridge in Montgomery, Alabama. Amridge offers an online master of arts in marriage and family therapy that prepares graduates for MFT licensing in their home state. Students can opt to take additional courses leading to dual licensure as an MFT and a licensed professional counselor (LPC). The seven-semester program includes in-person clinical training, which students must arrange.

The curriculum centers on skills training and cultural sensitivity. Each applicant must submit official transcripts demonstrating completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Amridge prefers prospective dual MFT/LPC applicants to hold degrees from programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs.

Courses Include:

  • Community and Social Systems
  • Counseling for Abusive Relationships
  • Ethics and Professional Identity
  • Marriage and Family Development
  • Theories of Personality Development

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $650/credit full time; $750/credit part time
  • Credits Required: 60
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

 

Visit School
5

Concordia University, Wisconsin

Mequon, WI

The marriage and family therapy program at CUW in Mequon culminates in a master of science in family life. Grounded in Christian faith, the program focuses on strengthening families through education and inspiration in the context of society.

An interested candidate can apply to the CUW graduate school with a personal essay, a resume, two recommendations, and official transcripts. CUW prefers applicants who possess bachelor's degrees with 3.0 GPAs from regionally accredited schools.

Enrollees work with online student advisors to help them navigate the online curriculum, including an accelerated learning option. Each student completes 120 practicum hours, along with a thesis. The program has applied to the National Council on Family Relations for certification.

Courses Include:

  • American Family Today
  • Contemporary Issues in Family and Parenting
  • Human Development
  • Marriage and Family Relations
  • Professional Ethics

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $614/credit
  • Credits Required: 36
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

 

Visit School
4

Pepperdine University

Malibu, CA

Christian-based Pepperdine, located in Malibu, California, offers one of the best MFT programs through its online platform. An enrollee can earn a master of arts in clinical psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy in as little as two years. The interactive, cohort-based distance learning model includes state board-required clinical training. The curriculum trains MFTs to assist couples and families dealing with depression, substance abuse, stress, and psychological disorders. Graduates pursue careers as licensed marriage and family therapists.

Admission requires a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Each candidate submits official transcripts, two recommendation letters, and a statement of purpose focusing on goals and past experience.

Courses Include:

  • Assessment of Individuals, Couples, and Families
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Health Disorders
  • Multicultural Counseling
  • Theory of Counseling and Psychotherapy
  • Trauma in Diverse Populations

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $1,585/credit
  • Credits Required: 62-68
  • Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission

 

Visit School
3

Concordia University-Saint Paul

Saint Paul, MN

CSP in St. Paul, Minnesota, features a master of arts in family science among its many online programs. This top marriage and family therapy graduate program approaches MFT counseling from the perspective of the family as part of a larger societal system. The fully online course delivery follows an accessible and flexible format geared toward students' schedules.

Each applicant must submit official transcripts and a personal statement of 400-1,000 words that describes their employment history, reasons for attending graduate school, goals, and a noteworthy personal and professional experience. Admitted students select a certified family life educator (CFLE) or non-CFLE track. Both tracks culminate in a capstone project. Students can also opt to study abroad.

Courses Include:

  • Families in Society
  • Family Communication and Relationships
  • Intimate Relationships
  • Navigating the Oceans of Data and Information in Family Life Education
  • Systemic Dynamics of Families

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $395/credit
  • Credits Required: 36
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; National Council on Family Relations

 

Visit School
2

John Brown University

Siloam Springs, AR

The master's in marriage and family therapy at JBU leads to a master of science and state licensing. The program prepares students for counseling and ministry careers and boasts a 90% passage rate on national board exams. The hybrid course delivery combines online learning with in-person evening classes held once a week at Arkansas campuses in Siloam Springs, Little Rock, or Rogers. Students interested in working with children can opt to specialize in play therapy.

The program takes 30-42 months to complete and includes the in-person clinical practicum and internship hours required for professional credentials. Each candidate must hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited school. Those with lower GPAs can apply for provisional acceptance and may need to submit GRE scores.

Courses Include:

  • Advanced Psychopharmacology
  • Child and Adolescent Counseling
  • Family Systems
  • Principles of Marital Therapy
  • Relationship Assessment

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $560/credit
  • Credits Required: 64
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

 

Visit School
1

LeTourneau University

Longview, TX

A student at LETU in Longview, Texas, seeking an online master's in marriage and family therapy can earn a master of arts in clinical mental health counseling. The flexible program allows distance learners to access course materials from anywhere in the world. The curriculum integrates MFT training from a Christian viewpoint and includes in-person internships, along with topics in ethical decision-making, spirituality in counseling, and sensitivity when working with diverse populations.

Applicants must submit official transcripts demonstrating completion of a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited school, a 2.75 GPA, and coursework in psychology and statistics.

Courses Include:

  • Addictions Counseling
  • Couples Therapy and Treatment Planning
  • Counseling Skills and Techniques
  • Counseling Theories and Family Therapies for Professional Counselors
  • Family Assessment

 

Unique Features:

  • Cost: $615/credit
  • Credits Required: 66
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

 

Visit School