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Top 20 Marriage and Family Counseling Online Degree Programs 2018

Online MFT programs provide the schooling needed to prepare students to successfully enter the job market as counselors in mental health agencies, correctional institutions, churches, hospitals and a broad array of self-employment opportunities. This list of online programs gives students the world resources to access information on skills that will bring them into a lifelong career. All of the programs have well-qualified instructors and similar goals, but tuitions vary significantly.

Featured Marriage and Family Counseling Degree Programs

Each state has its own requirements for licensing marriage and family counselors. In addition to obtaining a master’s degree, counselors must generally complete 2,000 to 4,000 internship hours as well as pass a state competency test. Once therapists are licensed, they must take continuing education classes annually to retain it.

Ranking the Top 20 Marriage and Family Counseling Online Degree Programs

These profiles of the top 20 online MFT programs provide an overview of the attributes inherent in each institution. All programs are accredited, and many have received rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report. The schools are listed in order of affordability, with our #1 spot going to the most affordable.

#20 – Palo Alto University

Online Master’s in Counseling

Palo Alto, California

Website

Palo Alto University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Palo Alto University offers an online master’s in counseling that aligns with MFT requirements.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $49,995

Palo Alto University’s online counseling program may appeal to individuals who want to pursue online marriage and family counseling degrees. This CACREP-accredited program offers two areas of emphasis so that the degree may be tailored to fit career goals. These specialty areas include clinical mental health and marriage, family, and child counseling. The rigorous curriculum aligns with the expectations of the industry in which a master’s in marriage and family counseling is best suited. Online courses include counseling theory, family systems theory, life span development, and professional identity. A clinical practicum or fieldwork experience is also required. The program fits the needs of individuals interested in pursuing MFT licensing. Also, U.S. News and World Report ranks Palo Alto as a top counseling school.

#19 – Wake Forest University

Online Master’s in Counseling

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Website

Wake Forest University - Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Accredited and ranked – Wake Forest University’s online master’s in counseling may appeal to those interested in an online MFT degree.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $38,010

Wake Forest University is one of our top picks for accredited online master’s in marriage and family counseling degree programs. The online master’s in counseling program is designed for individuals who want to become advocates and community leaders in clinical mental health counseling and human services. The children’s advocacy emphasis area provides rigorous study in how to effectively guide, support, and communicate with school-aged children and at risk youth. Courses may be completed online and are led by the same university professors who instruct on campus. The institution is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as a top national university and best value school.

#18 – California Southern University

Online Master’s in Psychology

Costa Mesa, California

Website

California Southern University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

California Southern University’s online master’s in psych offers courses in marriage counseling.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $30,690

California Southern University offers online marriage and family counseling degrees that allow students to major in psychology while taking courses in child therapy and couples counseling. The MA program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in marriage and family therapy or clinical counseling. The program satisfies all educational requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist (MFT). When attending on a full-time basis, students can expect to complete their degree in four years. Some of the courses offered include advanced counseling techniques, child and adolescent therapy, counseling theories and strategies, couples and sex therapy, and systems of family therapy.

#17 – Antioch University

Online Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy

Keene, New Hampshire

Website

Antioch University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Antioch’s online MFT program is COAMFTE-accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,650

One of the top picks on our list for online marriage and family therapy programs is the online MFT degree from Antioch University. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), the program meets national as well as state or regional standards for marriage and family therapy education. Classes are delivered one day and one evening every week in fall and spring and explore topics such as couples therapy from a systemic perspective, foundational theories in MFT, and special issues in family therapy. Admission to the program requires an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, letters of recommendation, and an in-person or telephone interview.

#16 – LeTourneau University

Online Master’s in Counseling

Longview, Texas

Website

LeTourneau University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

LeTourneau University’s online master’s in counseling requires a 3-day on-campus intensive.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,115

LeTourneau University offers a marriage and family counseling degree online that consists of a combination of hybrid and online classes. A three-day intensive learning experience is also required at the main campus in Longview, Texas. Three program specialty tracks are offered, including licensed marriage and family therapist. Some of the required courses for the LMFT track include family assessment, family systems theory and therapies, group counseling methods, structural and intergenerational approaches to counseling and MFT. Upon satisfaction of all degree requirements, students will be eligible for licensure as an LMT. LeTourneau is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 23rd best regional university in the West.

#15 – Eisner Institute for Professional Studies

Online Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy

Encino, California

Website

Eisner Institute - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Eisner’s online MFT program leads to licensure.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,600

One of the more affordable online marriage and family therapy programs on our list is offered by Eisner Institute of Professional Studies. This program provides professional training that leads to licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT). Curriculum meets the educational requirements for licensure in the state of California as specified by the California Business Code. The program is offered 100% online and requires no residency. Courses are delivered conveniently with the working student in mind. These courses include couples therapy, family therapy, group counseling, human cultural diversity, legal and ethical issues, and special topics in marriage and family therapy. After two quarters, students generally begin a practicum that lasts approximately six months. Internship options are also available.

#14 – Northcentral University

Online Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy

San Diego, California

Website

Northcentral University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Northcentral University’s online MFT program may be completed in 33 months.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,781

Northcentral University offers an accredited marriage and family counseling degree online. The school is a regionally accredited online institution offering the first distance-based master’s in marriage and family therapy. Six professional relevant specializations are also offered so that students have the opportunity to tailor their classes toward career goals and interests. These specializations include couple therapy, general family therapy, LGBTQ couple and family therapy, or marriage and family therapy California licensure. The program completion time is approximately 33 months, although students may work at their own pace. The school and its programs are accredited (COAMFTE) and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

#13 – Capella University

Online Master’s in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Website

Capella University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Capella’s online MFT program is accredited and ranked.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,003

The online master’s in marriage and family counseling degree program from Capella University is COAMFTE- and CACREP-accredited. Online and in-person courses prepare students for state licensure eligibility. Rigorous curriculum aligns with the expectations of the industry and helps ready students for careers in marriage and family counseling. All core faculty members hold doctorate degrees and are active within their professions. Some of the courses offered include couple and marital therapy, marriage and family counseling, marriage and family systems, systemic approaches to sexual and gender issues, and utilizing systemic approaches – infancy through adolescence. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Capella as a top national university.

#12 – Walden University

Online Master’s in Marriage and Family Counseling

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Website

Walden University - Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Walden University’s online master’s in marriage and family counseling is CACREP-accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,555

At Walden University, students may earn a master’s in marriage and family counseling degree online. This CACREP-accredited degree program offers several specializations that allow students to tailor their degree to meet career goals within the field of marriage and family counseling. Specializations include addiction counseling, career counseling, forensic counseling, military families and culture, and trauma and crisis counseling. Some of the online courses offered include child and adolescent counseling, introduction to marriage and family counseling, multicultural counseling, and theories and techniques in marriage and family counseling. Students without a bachelor’s degree may take non-degree courses, but to pursue the master’s in marriage and family counseling, an undergraduate degree is required.

#11 – Regent University

Online Master’s in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Website

Regent University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Regent’s online marriage and family counseling degree program is CACREP-accredited.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,226

One of the most affordable online marriage and family counseling degrees on our list is offered by Regent University. This CACREP-accredited program may be completed online or on-campus and is designed to prepare students to sit for the marriage and family therapy licensing examinations in most states. A total of sixty credits is required and is comprised of a series of rigorous courses led by Regent professors. These classes include assessment techniques in counseling, concepts of family systems, counseling skills and techniques, marital and couple therapy, orientation to the counseling profession, and psychopathology and diagnosis. Students must also participate in two instructional residency requirements prior to graduation.

#10 – Amridge University

Online Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy

Montgomery, Alabama

Website

Amridge University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Amridge’s online marriage and family therapy programs prepare students for licensure.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,090

Amridge University’s online marriage and family therapy programs include the master’s in marriage and family therapy. This graduate, professional-level program prepares students for licensure as a MFT through classes and comprehensive clinical training. The normal completion time for the degree is seven semesters, although students may enroll on either a part-time or full-time basis. Aside from the core required courses, several certification classes are required for those pursuing licensure. These courses include lifestyle and career development, MFT clinical training, professional ethics and law, and psychology of grief – death and dying. Amridge is ranked and accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#9 – Brandman University

Online Master’s in Psychology – Marriage and Family Therapy

Irvine, California

Website

Brandman University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Brandman University’s online MFT program is accredited and affordable.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,460

One of the top marriage and family counseling degree online programs on our list is offered by the accredited Brandman University. Classes are delivered online and taught by the same Brandman professors who instruct on campus. These courses include clinical issues in human diversity, ethical and professional issues, family systems theories and techniques, and marital systems and studies in domestic violence. What makes this program unique is the series of specialized topics addressed outside of the core curriculum. Students may take additional electives in areas like child and adolescent abuse, community and environmental health, or theory and practice in group counseling. The program is accredited and designed to provide students with a strong foundation of knowledge that serves as preparation for the certification exam. Most students complete a practicum prior to graduation.

#8 – Messiah College

Online Master’s in Counseling

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania

Website

Messiah College - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Messiah College’s online master’s in counseling program requires internship and practicum completion.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,280

One of the most affordable online master’s in marriage and family counseling degree programs on our list is offered by Messiah College. This CACREP-accredited program offers online courses with week-long intensives at the main campus. Three tracks of study are available and designed for students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest like marriage, couple, and family counseling. To graduate from the program, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and complete the required examination for their chosen track of study. Internship or practicum experience is also required. Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Messiah College as the 4th best regional college in the North and 3rd best value school.

#7 – Regis University

Online Master’s in Counseling

Denver, Colorado

Website

Regis University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Regis University’s online master’s in counseling can be completed in 32 months.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,250

One of the top marriage and family counseling degree online programs on our list is the graduate counseling degree offered by Regis University. This program offers flexible, online courses and three admission start times throughout the year. Also, admission is convenient and requires no GRE scores. The program is designed to complete in as few as 32 months. Regis boasts that 100% of full-time faculty hold doctoral or other terminal degrees, which adds to the value of this unique program. For those interested in marriage and family counseling or therapy, electives may be taken in this specialized field of study. The program and school are accredited, and the curriculum is aligned with the common educational requirements for the Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) or the Licensed Professional Counseling (LPC) exam.

#6 – Mid-America Christian University

Online Master’s in Counseling, Marital, Couples and Family Therapy

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Website

Mid America Christian University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Prepares for licensing as an MFT – Mid America Christian University’s online MFT program.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,992

Mid-America Christian University, a private Christian school, offers accredited online marriage and family counseling degrees, including the master’s in counseling with emphasis in marital, couples, and family therapy. The program is designed to develop a solid foundation for licensure as a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist. With a Christian faith-based perspective, students learn how to provide counseling services in secular and ministry settings. Some of the required courses include assessment of individuals and families in counseling, ethics and professional studies, marital and family treatment techniques, and theories of counseling and psychotherapy. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school as a top regional university in the West.

#5 – Grand Canyon University

Online Master’s in Professional Counseling – Marriage and Family Therapy

Phoenix, Arizona

Website

Grand Canyon University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

The online marriage and family counseling degree from Grand Canyon University is highly affordable.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,612

Grand Canyon University’s online marriage and family therapy programs includes the master’s in professional counseling with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy. This completely online degree program offers curriculum aligned to the standards established by the National Board for Certified Counselors. While the degree does not lead to family licensure, the program provides comprehensive training for individuals moving toward national certification and licensure as a counselor in the state of Arizona. Some of the program courses include counseling theories, couples and family dynamics, diversity in family systems, marriage and family therapy, and research methods. Grand Canyon is accredited, and graduates of the program may apply for state licensure after passing the state-mandated testing.

#4 – Bellevue University

Online Master’s in Clinical Counseling

Bellevue, Nebraska

Website

Bellevue University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Bellevue University offers one of the most affordable online MFT programs on our list.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,335

Bellevue University’s online master’s in marriage and family counseling is a CACREP-accredited program with courses appropriate to the couples and family counseling fields. Students earn a clinical counseling master’s by taking courses online and completing a set of internship or residency classes. While the program does not lead to licensure, students considering professional licensure or certification should verify that the university’s offerings meet the requirements with the chosen organization and field. Foundation and advanced courses cover various topics found in most marriage and family counseling degree programs, such as advanced counseling skills, couples and family counseling, and treatment of child and adolescent disorders.

#3 – Concordia University

Online Master’s in Family Life

Mequon, Wisconsin

Website

Concordia University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Concordia’s online master’s in family life leads to certification and is 100% online.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,290

Concordia University offers a type of online master’s in marriage and family counseling degree program that emphasizes family life and education. This uniquely designed master of education degree is designed so that students may earn their Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation upon completion of the program. Classes are delivered 100% online and cover a wide range of marriage and family counseling topics. Some of the courses include Christian perspectives of family development, contemporary issues of family and parenting, family law and public policy, marriage and family relations, and professional ethics in the helping profession. The school is accredited and ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school #51 among the best regional universities in the Midwest.

#2 – Touro University Worldwide

Online Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy

Los Alamitos, California

Website

Touro University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Touro University’s online master’s in marriage and family therapy is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Science.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,000

Recognizing the evolution of the state of the family and how it is changing in the 21st century, Touro University offers accredited online marriage and family therapy programs that adhere to the needs of this ever-changing field. The program may be completed entirely online and with no residency requirement. Admission is flexible, requires no GRE, and offers an accelerated admittance process. The master’s in marriage and family therapy (MFT) program is approved by the California Board of Behavior Sciences and is designed so that graduates become eligible for MFT licensure in the state of California and other states. In fact, the program is designed specifically for those interested in professional licensure, although degree completion does not guarantee qualification for licensure.

#1 – Liberty University

Online Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Liberty University - Top 20 Online Marriage and Family Counseling Degrees

Liberty University’s online MFT program is the most affordable on our list.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,430

Liberty University’s online marriage and family counseling degrees include the master’s in marriage and family therapy–a 60-credit hour program that may be completed entirely online. The program is aligned with state licensure requirements, and successful completion of the degree may lead to licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) in most states. All classes are delivered online and include clinical diagnosis and treatment planning, counseling children and their families, human sexuality, and premarital and marital counseling. Admission to the program requires a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA, along with six credit hours of psychology and three credit hours of statistics. Liberty is accredited and ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report among the top national universities.

This concludes our list of the top 20 online marriage and family counseling degrees for 2018.

Also see:

Online Counseling Degree Rankings