Discover how a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling can prepare you for a career as a family therapist. Find out about courses and online degree options, along with licensure requirements and salary potential after graduation.
Marriage & Family Therapy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Is a Marriage and Family Counseling Master’s Program?
A marriage and family counseling master’s program provides you with the knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective counselor. In your program, you’ll become familiar with the latest research on family therapy and some of the most common issues that couples and families face. You’ll also learn about the most up-to-date counseling techniques, such as evidence-based counseling. In order to gain admission, you first have to earn a bachelor’s degree and complete certain prerequisite courses in psychology and related subjects.
|Prerequisites||Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, possible coursework in psychology and related topics|
|Online Availability||The coursework offered online, but in-person clinical training is typically necessary|
|Common Courses||Human development, child psychology, family systems, Psychopathology, research methods|
|Additional Requirements||Two years of post-master’s experience in a guided clinical setting leading to licensure|
|Median Salary (2018)||$50,090 (for all marriage and family therapists)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Why Should I Earn My Degree Online?
Earning your degree online offers you flexibility in how quickly you complete your degree. This is especially beneficial if you are currently working or gaining experience in a clinical setting. Online courses typically have course websites where you can access lectures and assignments at any time at your convenience.
What Courses Will I Take?
You’ll take a wide variety of courses in your online master’s degree program. Examples of courses include:
- Counseling theories and strategies
- Human development
- Child psychology
- Family systems
- Multicultural issues
- Human sexuality
- Research methods
You may also complete practica during your course of study. This will allow you to gain experience working with individuals, couples, and families in a supervised clinical setting.
Are There Other Requirements?
Earning your master’s degree is an important and necessary first step to becoming a marriage and family therapist, but there is more that you must do. In addition to earning your degree, you must also gain two years of post-master’s experience in a guided clinical setting. After completing your degree and gaining the required experience, you can apply to take an exam to become a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state in which you would like to practice. You must then earn continuing education credits throughout your career to maintain your license.
What Salary Can I Expect?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), marriage and family therapists earned a median salary of $50,090 as of 2018. The BLS also predicted that the field of marriage and family therapy would grow much faster than the national average at a rate of 23% between 2016 and 2026.