Marriage and family therapists provide talk therapy and mental health assistance with a focus on family and relationship dynamics. They can help families and couples maneuver emotional experiences like divorce in addition to teaching relationship and life skills. A marriage and counseling therapist may work with individual clients, but their perspective remains on family units and marriage partnerships.

You need a master's degree from an accredited educational program to begin a career as a marriage and family therapist. While it's common for therapists to secure a bachelor's and master's degree in psychology, there are some related degree fields that are acceptable for future marriage and family therapists.

You can find many marriage and family therapy degrees available in an online format. To learn more, see the sections below.

Choosing the Right Online Marriage & Family Therapy Degree Program

An online master's in psychology is the most common degree for marriage and family therapists. It's important to select an accredited program to ensure you have the knowledge needed to pass the licensing exam in your state. Many employers also look for therapists with degrees from accredited programs, so you may limit your job opportunities if your program isn't accredited.

Counseling and therapist educational programs are accredited by one of the following organizations:

Let's take a brief look at each degree that you may need to become a marriage and family therapist.

Bachelor's Degree

You can't legally secure a job as a marriage and family therapist with just an online bachelor's degree, but you still need this degree to get to the master's level. Most students complete a bachelor's in psychology program, but you can select virtually any other major and then specialize in the right field when you complete your master's degree. Check with your preferred master's degree program to see what bachelor's degrees are accepted.

Many bachelor’s of psychology degrees include around 120 credit hours and are easily completed within four years. Some schools offer both the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and the Bachelor of Science in Psychology. The difference is in the type of courses included in the program. Bachelor of Arts programs often allows students to select a variety of elective courses while Bachelor of Science programs include more science and math courses.

Master's Degree

An online master's degree in marriage and family therapy is the most applicable degree for this job, but some students also pursue a master's in psychology with an intention of specializing in marriage and family therapy. This is the degree needed to successfully pass the state licensing examination and start working as a marriage and family therapist.

Most online marriage and family therapy master's programs are easily completed within three years. Some schools may have accelerated programs that are completed within a year or two when you attend full-time.


You don't need a doctorate degree to become a marriage and family therapist. Some students choose to complete a doctorate program in psychology with hopes of elevating their careers to the psychology level.

What Marriage and Family Counseling Degree is Right for Me?

Bachelor’s DegreeMaster’s DegreeGraduate CertPh.D. or PsyD
I am interested in gaining entry-level experience in marriage and family counselingx
I want to get started in my marriage and family counseling career before I pursue more educationx
I want to become a licensed professional counselorx
I want to pursue or switch to a niche counseling specialtyxx
I already have a counseling degree and want to gain specialized knowledgexx
I want to work in academia, administration, or clinical practicex

Marriage & Family Therapy Degree Program Curriculum

An online marriage and family therapy curriculum covers a variety of therapy-related coursework, including theories, laws, ethics, research methods, and psychopathology. Topics like couples therapy, human sexuality, and group therapy are common as well. The goal is to produce therapists prepared to serve a diverse population with a variety of family and relationship dilemmas.

The number of credit hours required to complete a program in this field varies by school, but the following averages will give you some idea of what is required:

Bachelor's Degree: 120-126 credit hours
Master's Degree: 45-60 credit hours

Marriage & Family Therapy Degree Program Clinical Requirements

Most states require new marriage and family therapists to complete clinical and/or supervised work hours in order to gain hands-on experience. For instance, North Carolina requires therapists to complete 1,500 hours of clinical experience. Students can complete up to 500 of those hours as graduate students. The rest is completed after graduation.

Each school has its own process for placing students, and that's something students should consider when selecting online marriage and family therapy degree programs. Because you will not be on campus, your program will likely work with you to find clinical opportunities in your own community.

List of Marriage and Family Therapy Degree Programs

Looking for an online or campus-based marriage and family therapy degree program near you? Browse our state-by-state school listings below.

Jump to Your State Listings


Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
(205) 934-4011


10455 Pomerado Road
San Diego, CA 92131
(858) 635-4000

First and Normal Sts
Chico, CA 95929-0150
(530) 898-6116

5241 N Maple Ave
Fresno, CA 93740
(559) 278-4240

18111 Nordhoff St
Northridge, CA 91330
(818) 677-1200

6000 J St
Sacramento, CA 95819-2694
(916) 278-6011

Master's Programs
One University Dr.
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 997-6815

Master's Programs
50 Acacia Ave
San Rafael, CA 94901-2298
(415) 457-4440

135 N Oakland Ave
Pasadena, CA 91182
(626) 584-5200

11139 Anderson Street
Loma Linda, CA 92350
(909) 558-1000

2075 E. Madison Avenue
El Cajon, CA 92019-1108
(619) 201-8999


1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400
Denver, CO 80217-3364
(303) 556-5600

Carter Hall - Rm 4000
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1890


1615 Stanley St
New Britain, CT 06050
(860) 832-2278

Master's Programs
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT 06515-1355
(203) 392-5200


Certificate Programs
10501 Fgcu Blvd S
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
(239) 590-1000

3301 College Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314-7796
(954) 262-7300

421 N Woodland Blvd
DeLand, FL 32723
(386) 822-7000

Master's Programs
4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816
(407) 823-2000

Graduate Certificate Programs
4202 East Fowler Ave
Tampa, FL 33620-9951
(813) 974-2011


Certificate Programs
Administration Building
Athens, GA 30602
(706) 542-3000

1500 N Patterson St
Valdosta, GA 31698
(229) 333-5800


3140 Waialae Avenue
Honolulu, HI 96816-1578
(808) 735-4711


1 University Pky
University Park, IL 60484
(708) 534-5000

Master's Programs
5500 N Saint Louis Ave
Chicago, IL 60625-4699
(773) 583-4050

Graduate Certificate Programs
1425 W. Lincoln Hwy.
Dekalb, IL 60115-2828
(800) 892-3050

633 Clark St
Evanston, IL 60208
(847) 491-3741


Master's Programs
2200 169th Street
Hammond, IN 46323
(219) 989-2400


PhD Programs
101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242-1316
(319) 335-3500


2030 E College Way
Olathe, KS 66062-1899
(913) 782-3750


204 N Lexington Ave
Wilmore, KY 40390-1199
(859) 858-3581

1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000
(270) 745-0111



Bachelor's Programs
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-1099
(301) 687-4000


10225 Yellow Circle Dr.
Minnetonka, MN 55343
(612) 861-7554

Master's ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55402-3389
(866) 808-4080

Master's Programs
720 Fourth Ave. South
Saint Cloud, MN 56301-4498
(320) 308-0121


Master's Programs
200 South Capitol Street
Clinton, MS 39058
(601) 925-3000


Master's Programs
One North Grand Blvd
Saint Louis, MO 63103-2097
(314) 977-2222

108 W South Street
Warrensburg, MO 64093
(660) 543-4111

Graduate Certificate Programs
One University Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63121-4400
(314) 516-5000


Graduate Certificate Programs
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT 59717
(406) 994-0211


4505 S Maryland Pky
Las Vegas, NV 89154
(702) 895-3011

New Hampshire

Bachelor's Programs
25 Hall Street
Concord, NH 03301-3471
(603) 228-3000

Master's Programs
17 High Street
Plymouth, NH 03264-1595
(603) 535-5000

New Jersey

Master's Programs
1000 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
(908) 737-5326

New York

Graduate Certificate Programs
South Ave
Garden City, NY 11530-0701
(516) 877-3000

Master's Programs
100 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
(516) 463-6600

Master's Programs
555 Broadway
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
(800) 637-2969

500 W 185th St
New York, NY 10033-3299
(212) 960-5400

North Carolina

1400 Spring Garden St
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
(336) 334-5000


3500 SW 119th St
Oklahoma City, OK 73170-9797
(405) 691-3800

Master's Programs
107 Whitehurst
Stillwater, OK 74078-1015
(405) 744-5000


615 S Palatine Hill Rd
Portland, OR 97219-7899
(503) 768-7000

724 SW Harrison
Portland, OR 97201
(503) 725-3000

Master's Programs
110 Johnson Hall
Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 346-1000


450 S Easton Rd
Glenside, PA 19038-3295
(215) 572-2900

Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
(412) 396-6000

15200 Kutztown Rd
Kutztown, PA 19530-0730
(610) 683-4000

Master's Programs
1900 W Olney Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19141-1199
(215) 951-1000

Rhode Island

Green Hall, 35 Campus Avenue
Kingston, RI 02881
(401) 874-1000

South Carolina


1120 N Ocoee St
Cleveland, TN 37311
(423) 614-8000

One University Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37204-3951
(615) 966-1000

Graduate Certificate Programs
1815 McCallie Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404
(423) 226-4574

333 Murfreesboro Rd
Nashville, TN 37210
(615) 248-1200

Southern Avenue
Memphis, TN 38152
(901) 678-2000


Master's Programs
6425 Boaz St
Dallas, TX 75275-0221
(214) 768-2000

304 Administration Dr
Denton, TX 76204
(940) 898-2000

Master's Programs
2700 Bay Area Blvd
Houston, TX 77058-1002
(281) 283-7600



Master's Programs
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000

200 Richmond Road
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
(757) 221-4000


Master's Programs
2326 6th Ave
Seattle, WA 98121-1814
(206) 441-5352

Master's Programs
E 502 Boone Ave
Spokane, WA 99258-0001
(800) 986-9585

3307 3rd Ave W
Seattle, WA 98119-1997
(206) 281-2000

Master's Programs
300 W Hawthorne Rd
Spokane, WA 99251
(509) 777-1000

West Virginia

PO Box 6201
Morgantown, WV 26506
(304) 293-0111


2100 Main St
Stevens Point, WI 54481-3897
(715) 346-0123

Master's Programs
712 S Broadway St
Menomonie, WI 54751
(715) 232-1122

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

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