Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy Online 2020

//Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy Online 2020
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Top 30 Master’s Degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy Online 2020 2019-11-12T16:47:49+00:00

Online Psychology Degrees - Top Masters Degree Programs-01

A Master’s in Family Counseling can lead to a stable yet exciting career path helping others. Family counselors, also referred to as marriage and family therapists, are mental health professionals who help other with problems such as depression and alcoholism by focusing on the individual as well as his or her relationships. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), family counselors earn an average salary of $48,790 per year as of May 2017, and with more companies reimbursing for mental health treatment, employment is projected to grow 23 percent from 2016 to 2026. Our ranking of the best online Master’s in Family Counseling degree programs will help you decide whether this career is right for you.

Methodology

The following list of schools was organized and developed to help students on their journey of finding the best school to meet their needs. We understand how overwhelming it can be, particularly when students first begin to compare prospective schools. To aid in the search process, we attempted to narrow down hundreds of schools by first searching for the term “Master’s in Family Counseling degree online” and compiling information obtained from the College Navigator Tool at the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) website. We took the search results, an initial pool of 35 schools, and narrowed down the list to find the top 30 institutions based on the following ranking criteria.

Average Cost of Graduate Attendance

In addition to looking at the quality of academic programs, one of the most important factors for students looking for a potential program is the cost of attendance. It is important to consider that although the most inexpensive school may appear the best choice at first glance, the quality of education may not be up to par with institutions that are slightly more expensive. We have awarded points based on the average cost of attendance using information taken from each school’s website as well as data obtained from the College Navigator Tool.

Points:
Under $20,000: 3 points
$20,001 to $24,999: 2 points
$25,000+: 1 point

College Ranking

American media companies such as U.S. News & World Report are dedicated to reviewing institutions, their academic programs, tuition rates, student learning experiences, and other factors to determine how schools across the country compare to each other. For the purpose of this list, we awarded points accordingly based on each institution’s recognition as determined by U.S. News & World Report in categories such as overall value, regional status, national ranking, and the quality of each school’s specific academic programs.

Points:
U.S. News & World Report: Best Regional University, Best Value School, and Top Public School Ranking
Top 50: 3 points
Top 100: 2 points
Top 150: 1 point

U.S. News & World Report: Best National University, Graduate Psychology Program, Clinical Psychology Program Ranking:
Top 50: 5 points
Top 100: 3 points
Top 150: 2 point
Top 200: 1 point

Accreditation

When considering a potential school, it is important to also consider whether the school has earned regional accreditation. Accreditation is achieved through a peer-review process that looks at many factors surrounding a school, including student experience, quality of programs, faculty, and whether the institution can be expected to adhere to these set standards of quality in the future. Although every school on this list has earned regional accreditation, extra points are awarded for program-specific accreditation.

Points:
American Psychological Association: 3 points
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP): 3 points
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE): 3 points
Regional Accreditation: 2 points
Non-Regional Accreditation: 1 point

Ranking Master’s in Family Counseling

30. Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, Arizona

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires 74 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 5
Program Website

Grand Canyon University is a Christian, non-profit, private university in Phoenix, Arizona and the largest Christian university in the world. The online M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy is a 74-credit program that provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary to address, assess, and identify family- and marriage-related issues, including couples’ issues, different family dynamics, parent-child relationships, and communication issues. Some of the program courses include research methods, marriage and family therapy, diversity in family systems, couples and family dynamics, and counseling theories. After completing the program, students may apply for national certification.

Degree Options:
Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling With an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $19,055
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

29. Dallas Baptist University

Dallas, Texas

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Family Therapy is a hybrid program.

Points: 5
Program Website

Founded in 1898, Dallas Baptist University offers an online M.A. in Family Ministry. Students can choose from four concentrations, including leadership, Christian counseling, special needs family ministry, and a general option. Those following the general track choose three classes that align with their personal and career interests. All students complete 36 credits of hybrid and online courses, including the nine-credit concentration, three elective credits, and 15 credits of family ministry. Dallas Baptist also offers accelerated degree options, and the school maintains partnerships with other institutions that can benefit students in a number of ways.

Degree Options:
M.A. in Family Ministry
Average Program Cost: $17,262
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

28. Mid-America Christian University

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MS in Counseling requires 60-63 credit hours of coursework.

Points:
Program Website

Mid-America Christian University is a liberal arts, private college in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The school, initially known as Gulf Coast Bible College, reports a student population of 2,500 and is associated with the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana. The online M.S. in Counseling with an emphasis on marital, couples and family counseling/therapy is a 60- to 63-credit program intended to help students pursue licensure through courses in chemical dependency counseling, human sexuality counseling, theories of counseling and psychotherapy, and marriage and family systems and treatment. At the end of the program, students enroll in a therapy internship/practicum course to gain professional, hands-on experience.

Degree Options:
Master of Science in Counseling With a Marital, Couples, and Family Counseling/Therapy
Average Program Cost: $15,446
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

27. Eastern University

St. Davids, Pennsylvania

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Clinical Counseling can be completed in three years of full-time study.

Points: 5
Program Website

Eastern University is a Christian university located in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. The school is affiliated with the American Baptist Church and offers online and on-campus undergraduate and graduate programs. Throughout the M.A. in Clinical Counseling program, students learn to implement strategies for positive change in communities, churches, families, and individuals as well as develop an understanding of human personality experience and organization. The program also prepares students to seek credentialing as licensed professional counselors. Students can choose from a general track, trauma studies, or applied behavior analysis certification, and the program can be completed within three years of full-time study.

Degree Options:
MA in Clinical Counseling
Average Program Cost: $14,140
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

26. Northcentral University

San Diego, California

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Marriage and Family Therapy offers six degree specializations.

Points: 5
Program Website

Established in 1996, Northcentral University is a virtual, for-profit university headquartered in San Diego, California. The school offers an online M.A. in Marriage and Family Counseling Therapy program that was the first distance-based master’s degree in the field. Students can choose from six professional relevant specializations, tailoring their classes toward their interests and career goals. These include military family therapy, medical family therapy, LGBTQ couple and family therapy, general family therapy, couple therapy, child and adolescent family therapy, and marriage and family therapy with a California licensure track. Students may work at their own pace, although most complete the program within 33 months.

Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $13,847
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

25. Touro University Worldwide

Los Alamitos, California

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online Marriage and Family Therapy program offers three degree tracks.

Points: 5
Program Website

Touro University Worldwide, based out of Los Alamitos, California, is a Jewish-sponsored institution that offers an online master’s degree in marriage and family counseling. Students may choose from three tracks, and coursework can be completed entirely online. The non-clinical track requires 54 credits of coursework, and no practicum is required. Students pursuing the clinical track must complete 60 credits of coursework as well as six practicum credits. Finally, the licensed professional clinical counseling track consists of 73 credits of coursework and nine practicum credits. Students following the licensure pathway are eligible to become marriage and family therapists in California.

Degree Options:
Online Marriage & Family Therapy Graduate Degree Program
Average Program Cost: $13,500
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

24. Clarks Summit University

Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MS in Counseling at CSU requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 5
Program Website

Clarks Summit University, located in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, offers a range of academic degrees at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Programs are offered on-campus and through online distance learning. The 60-credit online M.S. in Counseling prepares students for careers in professional positions that require licensure. The curriculum places an emphasis on a biblical counseling model and features specializations in therapeutic recreation, mental and mood disorders, marriage and family, hospital chaplaincy, general counseling, and addictions. All students must complete supervised internship and practicum requirements before graduating from the program.

Degree Options:
Master of Science in Counseling
Average Program Cost: $8,300
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

23. City University of Seattle

Seattle, Washington

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Counseling requires a four-part practicum sequence as part of the degree program.

Points: 6
Program Website

City University of Seattle, or CityU, operates more than 20 locations in the Northwest U.S. and across the globe. The online M.A. in Counseling with a concentration in marriage, couple, and family counseling meets the educational requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist or a mental health counselor. This track consists of core areas in multicultural counseling, counseling practice, research methods and statistics, ethics and law, human growth and development, group counseling, testing and assessment, and counseling theory. Students must also take a four-part practicum sequence as well as an internship.

Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Counseling
Average Program Cost: $26,550
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

22. Amridge University

Montgomery, Alabama

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Marriage and Family Therapy requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 6
Program Website

Located in Montgomery, Alabama, Amridge University is an independent Christian school committed to spiritual vitality and distance education. The school offers an online M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy that consists of 60 semester credits and prepares students to seek licensure in marriage and family therapy in the state in which they intend to practice. Students seeking licensure in both marriage and family therapy and professional counseling have the option of a dual licensure program that involves additional coursework. The program can be completed in seven semesters of full-time study; part-time options are available.

Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $19,500
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#108-#141 in Regional Universities South
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

21. University of West Alabama

Livingston, Alabama

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MS in Family Counseling  can b e competed in 12-18 months of study.

Points: 6
Program Website

Chartered in 1835 as a church-related academy for women, the University of West Alabama in Livingston, Alabama offers an affordable master’s degree in marriage and family counseling. The 33-credit-hour program lasts 12 to 18 months and is designed for students who are not seeking professional certification or licensure. The curriculum emphasizes a non-pathology-based perspective and is delivered in eight-week terms. Coursework includes educational statistics, systems theory in psychology, techniques of educational research, marriage and family therapy, professional orientation and ethics, and systems of psychotherapy. Students must complete an internship as part of the program.

Degree Options:
M.S. in Family Counseling
Average Program Cost: $7,078
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#107-#141 in Regional Universities South
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

20. Houston Baptist University

Houston, Texas

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Marriage and Family Therapy requires a 700 hour practicum.

Points: 7
Program Website

Founded in 1960, Houston Baptist is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Church and offers an online M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy that prepares students for licensure as a marriage and family therapist in the state of Texas. Required coursework is delivered on-campus and online, and the program emphasizes research-supported counseling skills. A three-semester, supervised practicum consisting of 700 clock-hours in an approved setting is also required, and graduates must pass an exam and complete at least 3,000 hours, or two years, of supervised work experience in family and marriage services prior to seeking licensure.

Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $16,500
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#69 (tie) in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

19. Regent University

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

Their online MA in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling requires 57 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 7
Program Website

Founded in 1977 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Regent University is a Christian institution that offers an online M.A. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling. The program prepares students to sit for the licensing exam to become a marriage and family counselor. The curriculum consists of 57 credits of coursework as well as two one-week residencies offered in August and January. Studies who attend both residencies during the first year of the program may be eligible for an accelerated option. Areas of study include counseling skills and techniques, research and statistics, assessment techniques, addiction therapies, theories of counseling, and marital and couple therapy.

Degree Options:
M.A. in Marriage, Couple, & Family Counseling
Average Program Cost: $14,200
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

18. Bethel College Indiana

Mishawaka, Indiana

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Counseling can be completed in two to three years.

Points: 8
Program Website

Founded in 1947, Bethel College, a Christian liberal arts college in Mishawaka, Indiana, is affiliated with the evangelical Christian Missionary Church and offers adult, graduate, and undergraduate degree programs across a spectrum of disciplines. Combining hands-on training with a rigorous academic curriculum, the online M.A. in Counseling offers concentrations in addiction counseling, mental health counseling, and marriage and family counseling. In addition to core coursework, students must take six credit hours of an internship and three hours of a practicum. Upon graduation, students are prepared to sit for the Indiana licensing exam as well as the National Counselor Certification exam. Students may complete the 60-credit-hour program within two to three years.

Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Counseling
Average Program Cost: $13,650
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#29 (tie) in Regional Universities Midwest
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

17. Palo Alto University

Palo Alto, California

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Counseling requires 39 quarter-credit hours of coursework.

Points: 9
Program Website

Founded in 1975, Palo Alto University in Palo Alto, California offers programs in the social and behavioral sciences, including an M.A. in Counseling with an emphasis in marriage, family, and child counseling. Students are required to complete 39 quarter-credits, intensives, and mandatory fieldwork as well as a 700-hour practicum. The entire program can be completed online with the exception of a required one-week summer residency on-campus in Palo Alto. Most online students can complete the program in three years or 11 to 12 quarters. After graduation, students may be eligible to pursue licensure in California as a professional clinical counselor or a marriage and family therapist.

Degree Options:
M.A. in Counseling
Average Program Cost: $25,947
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

16. Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Nova Southeastern University

The online MS in Family Therapy requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 9
Program Website

Nova Southeastern University, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is committed to international sensitivity, the inclusion of marginalized groups, and cultural diversity. The 60-credit online M.S. in Family Therapy provides training using a theoretical, systemic curriculum, focusing on cost-effective, brief models of family therapy. Students pursuing the degree full-time can complete the program in two years, including an on-campus residency over the summer. The program fulfills the academic requirement for state licensure in Florida and for clinical membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). However, students may be required to complete additional post-master’s clinical experiences in order to take the examination.

Degree Options:
MS in Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $22,650
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#157 (tie) in Clinical Psychology
#191 (tie) in National Universities
Accreditations:
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

15. Medaille College

Buffalo, New York

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Marriage and Family Therapy requires 1500 of supervised practiced.

Points: 9
Program Website

Medaille College, located in the historic Olmsted Crescent of Buffalo, New York, is a private, co-educational, non-denominational liberal arts college. The school offers a 51-credit online M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy that can be completed in seven semesters or two and a half years. The program is designed to prepare students to work with families and couples by engaging them in the development of practical and theoretical skills. Students must also complete 1,500 hours of supervised practice in order to meet the New York State experience requirement for licensure. After graduation, students may seek careers as eldercare industry therapists, public sector clinicians, or private practice therapists.

Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $19,482
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#142-#187 in Regional Universities North
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

14. Montana State University

Bozeman, Montana

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Marriage, Couples and Family Counseling can be completed in two years of study.

Points: 9
Program Website

The largest university in the state, Montana State University is a land-grant institution located in Bozeman, Montana. The master’s degree in marriage, couples, and family counseling is designed to prepare counselors to identify and address a range of relationship and mental health issues from a family systems framework. The program meets all educational licensure requirements for licensed clinical professional counselors in Montana, and students can apply 1,500 hours of the supervised counseling experience obtained during the program to the required 3,000 hours needed for licensure. Students can complete the 60-credit master’s degree within two years.

Degree Options:
Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling
Average Program Cost: $8,012
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#112 (tie) in Top Public Schools
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

13. Antioch University New England

Keene, New Hampshire

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Marriage and Family Therapy is a low-residency program.

Points: 10
Program Website

Antioch University is a private graduate school located in Keene, New Hampshire. Established in 1964, it is part of the larger Antioch University System and enrolls more than 1,200 students per year. The school features an M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy for those pursuing careers as counselors. The program is low-residency and typically involves 33 months, or three years, of full-time enrollment. Courses include topics in psychopathology, social and cultural diversity, human sexuality and sex therapy, and special issues in family therapy such as domestic violence. Students must come to campus to complete four- to five-day residencies, which combine student presentations, peer discussions, advising sessions, guest lectures, workshops, and seminars.

Degree Options:
MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $24,665
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

12. Capella University

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy requires 92 quarter-credit hours of coursework.

Points: 10
Program Website

Capella University is an online, for-profit university based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Approximately 36,000 students enroll through the school’s online courses, and Capella offers more than 140 undergraduate and graduate degrees. The online M.S. in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy is a 92 quarter-credit program that delves into topics such as couple and marital therapy, marriage and family systems, systematic approaches to sexual and gender issues, and therapy theory and practice. Students can expect a combination of face-to-face experiences and online coursework that prepares them for licensure in the field. Students are also required to complete on-site, intensive residencies with faculty and other students from the program.

Degree Options:
Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy
Average Program Cost: $22,402
U.S. News & World Report Ranking: N/A
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

11. LeTourneau University

Longview, Texas

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires 66 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 10
Program Website

Located in Longview, Texas, LeTourneau University is an interdenominational Christian university that offers programs in business, education, aeronautical science, and engineering to more than 3,000 students. The 66-credit-hour M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is composed of required, clinical theology, and core courses. Courses cover areas such as lifespan human development, research methods, counseling skills and techniques, integrative theology for counselors, trauma and theodicy, family assessment, and couples therapy. In addition to the clinical theology coursework, there is a Christian foundation for each of the courses throughout the program.

Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Average Program Cost: $20,295
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#12 in Best Value Schools
#28 (tie) in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

10. Pepperdine University

Malibu, California

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Clinical Psychology requires 62-68 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 11
Program Website

Located in Malibu, California, Pepperdine University is a private, non-profit institution that is affiliated with the Churches of Christ. The school offers an M.A. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy. The 62- to 68-unit program is organized into eight to 12 sessions, including four clinical rotations, and the curriculum provides a practice-based course of study. Students are required to delve into areas such as multicultural counseling, interpersonal skills and group therapy, and theories of counseling and psychology. The program also meets the requirement for licensure as a licensed professional clinical counselor or a licensed marriage and family therapist in California.

Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology With an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $31,620
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#39 in Best Value Schools
#46 (tie) in National Universities
Accreditations:
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

9. Fresno Pacific University

Fresno, California

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Marriage and Family Therapy requires 65 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 11
Program Website

Founded in 1944, Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, California offers an online M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy that integrates theory and practice with Christian theology. Students must complete 65 credits of blended residential and online courses in order to prepare for the licensure exam for marriage and family therapy in California. Students benefit from diverse practicum opportunities, including options for a Hispanic summer program and summer study in Israel. In addition to coursework in ministry and marriage and family therapy, students also cover topics such as aging and grief counseling.

Degree Options:
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $17,062
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#39 (tie) in Regional Universities West
#42 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

8. John Brown University

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MS in Marriage and Family Therapy requires 64 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 11
Program Website

Located in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, John Brown University is a private liberal arts college that enrolls 2,100 students each year at its main campus as well as at education centers in Fort Smith, Little Rock, and Rogers as well as online. The M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy program consists of 64 credit hours of coursework, including core courses such as Child and Adolescent Counseling, Principles of Family Therapy, Advanced Psychopharmacology, and Family Sexuality. The courses are offered in a hybrid format, and all are taught from a Christian worldview by faculty committed to both the spiritual and academic growth of their students.

Degree Options:
Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $14,336
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#13 in Regional Universities South
#13 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

7. Concordia University-Wisconsin

Mequon, Wisconsin

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MS in Family Life requires 36 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 11
Program Website

Founded in 1881, Concordia University-Wisconsin is affiliated with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and includes professional church work as part of its curriculum, offering a Christian education with a holistic approach. Students may earn an online M.S. in Family Life degree through the School of Education, completing a capstone project and 36 credits of coursework in areas such as human development, marriage and family relations, ethics, research methods, and human sexuality. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to earn a certified family life educator designation and are ready to enter the field as family social workers, family therapists, and life scientists.

Degree Options:
Master of Science in Family Life
Average Program Cost: $10,728
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#62 in Best Value Schools
#70 (tie) in Regional Universities Midwest
Accreditations:
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

6. Abilene Christian University

Abilene, Texas

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online Master of Marriage and Family Therapy offers three tracks of specialization.

Points: 13
Program Website

Founded in 1906 as the Childers Classical Institute, Abilene Christian University is a non-profit university affiliated with the Churches of Christ and located in Abilene, Texas. The school offers a 60-credit-hour Master of Family Therapy degree that prepares students for Christian leadership and service in a number of faith-based and secular settings. Three tracks are available: Treatment of Trauma, Medical Family Therapy, and Child and Adolescent Therapy. Courses cover theological perspectives on human behavior, family therapy across the life cycle, couples therapy, and family therapy. Before graduating, students are required to complete a 500-hour internship, typically held on-site at ACU’s Marriage and Family Institute.

Degree Options:
Master of Marriage and Family Therapy
Average Program Cost: $24,000
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#10 in Best Value Schools
#21 (tie) in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

5. University of Massachusetts-Boston

Boston, Massachusetts

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MS in Family Therapy requires a two-week summer session at UMass.

Points: 14
Program Website

Established in 1964, the University of Massachusetts-Boston offers an online M.S. in Family Therapy. Students are required to complete 60 credits of coursework, including a capstone project, in preparation for licensure as a family therapist in Massachusetts. Students must also complete 900 to 1,200 hours of an internship at an approved site near their home. Most coursework is available online, but students are required to participate in an intensive two-week summer session at UMass. Graduates are prepared to strengthen healthy families by viewing them as entities within larger social systems, promoting an integrative, inclusive, and collaborative systems approach.

Degree Options:
Family Therapy, MS
Average Program Cost: $18,250
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#87 in Clinical Psychology
#104 (tie) in Top Public Schools
#148 in Psychology
#191 (tie) in National Universities
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

4. Messiah College

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 14
Program Website

Located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, Messiah College offers one of the top master’s in family counseling online degrees available. The M.A. in Counseling with a concentration in marriage, couple, and family counseling is a 60-credit program that provides coursework predominately online. Areas of study include group counseling, multicultural issues, lifespan development, career counseling across the lifespan, assessment techniques, faith-based counseling, and counseling theories. The program is organized into eight-week courses as well as one-week intensive courses in January and July. After graduation, students are prepared to take the licensed marriage and family therapist exam in Pennsylvania.

Degree Options:
Master of Arts – Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
Average Program Cost: $15,840
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#4 in Best Value Schools
#5 in Regional Colleges North
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

3. Lee University

Cleveland, Tennessee

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MS in Marriage and Family Studies can be completed in two years of study.

Points: 14
Program Website

Lee University is a Christian institution that was founded in 1918 in Cleveland, Tennessee and sponsored by the Church of God. Students considering pursuing administrative roles in family church ministry or family services may consider the M.S. in Marriage and Family Studies. This two-year program consists of 36 credits, which includes 15 elective credits, 21 core credits, and either a thesis for students considering doctoral work or a comprehensive final exam. Core coursework focuses on systems theory, human sexuality, and human growth and development. The program does not lead to licensure as a marriage and family therapist.

Degree Options:
Master of Science in Marriage and Family Studies
Average Program Cost: $12,780
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#24 in Best Value Schools
#47 (tie) in Regional Universities South
Accreditations:
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)

2. Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion, Indiana

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MA in Counseling requires 60 credit hours of coursework.

Points: 16
Program Website

The largest private university in the state, Indiana Wesleyan University is a private liberal arts school located in Marion, Indiana that enrolls 16,000 students in undergraduate and graduate degree programs each year. The online 60-credit-hour M.A. in Counseling with a focus on marriage and family counseling/therapy is holistic in approach and interpersonal in focus, emphasizing family systems within the context of each student’s Christian worldview. Courses from the program include Appraisals of Individuals and Families, Psychopathology, Integration of Christian Faith in Professional Counseling, and Sexuality, Intimacy, and Gender. The curriculum meets the academic requirement for licensure as a marriage and family counselor/therapist in Indiana.

Degree Options:
M.A. in Counseling With a Major in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy
Average Program Cost: $16,380
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#32 (tie) in Regional Universities Midwest
#67 in Best Value Schools
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

1. California State University, Northridge

Northridge, California

Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online

The online MS in Counseling prepares students to pursue licensure in California.

Points: 16
Program Website

California State University, Northridge is located in Northridge, California and is the largest school in the California State University System. The M.S. in Counseling degree with an option in marriage and family therapy/counseling prepares students to pursue licensure in California. Coursework includes topics such as substance abuse and addictions treatment, a seminar in counseling theory and practice, couples and sex therapy, and community mental health. Students complete 12 units of counseling core courses, 24 units in the marriage and family specialization, 12 units of clinical assessment and research courses, and 13 units in fieldwork and practicum courses. Students round out their degree with a three- to six-unit culminating experience such as a thesis or graduate project.

Degree Options:
M.S. in Counseling With an Option in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling
Average Program Cost: $10,764
U.S. News & World Report Ranking:
#21 (tie) in Top Public Schools
#73 (tie) in Regional Universities West
Accreditations:
Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)
WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can You Work With a Master’s in Family Counseling Degree?

Graduates with a Master’s in Family Counseling or Marriage and Family Therapy are highly trained mental health professionals who bring a family-oriented treatment approach and perspective to healthcare that is related to behavioral, mental, interpersonal, and emotional disorders. Addressing a wide range of relationship issues that affect communication between loved ones as well as the family dynamic, a family counselor also provides divorce, separation, child, relationship, and premarital counseling. Family counselors may seek employment in a number of settings, including:

  • Offices of health practitioners
  • Inpatient care facilities and hospitals
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Private practices
  • Social service agencies
  • Schools
  • Mental health centers
  • Medical centers
  • Substance abuse and addiction treatment centers
  • Legal and correctional systems
  • Nursing and residential care facilities

Family counselors may also hold positions in churches and religious settings, the military, government facilities, and health maintenance organizations.

Is Accreditation Important for an Online Graduate Degree in Family Counseling?

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education recognize several national and regional accrediting agencies that evaluate institutions that offer online degrees. In additional to regional accreditation, those considering a career in family counseling are encouraged to choose an online master’s in family counseling program that is offered by a specialized accrediting agency such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) or the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) to ensure that the program can offer a valuable education while meeting national academic standards.

This concludes our ranking of the Top 30 Master’s in Family Counseling Online degree programs.

By OPD Staff
September 2019