Walden is among a select group of universities that offer this CACREP-accredited master’s degree in counseling online.

CACREP logoWalden’s M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program helps prepare you for the evolving method of evidence-based counseling practice, the most contemporary approach in the mental healthcare profession. With this marriage and family counseling degree, you can gain experience in diagnosing mental and emotional disorders and resolving marriage and family conflicts related to divorce, mediation, child rearing, school issues, and family violence. Designed to reflect professional criteria published by leading counseling organizations, this master’s in family counseling helps to prepare you to work in culturally and contextually diverse settings, including in community, county, and state agencies; in hospitals and private practices; and in consultation with businesses and agencies.

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

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Walden’s M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program offers a General Program as well as specializations to prepare you to become a professional counselor with expertise in couples and families.

Specializations

A Master’s Degree Program That Meets Rigorous CACREP Standards

Walden’s M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which is a requirement for licensure in many states. This accreditation attests to the quality of Walden’s program and increases the value of your master’s degree in counseling in a variety of ways.

Note on Licensure: The M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program is designed to prepare graduates to qualify to sit for licensing exams and to meet the academic licensure requirements of many state counseling boards. Walden enrollment advisors can provide guidance on licensure issues, state-by-state educational requirements, and internship and practicum requirements; however, it remains the student’s responsibility to evaluate and understand the licensure requirements for the state or international location in which he or she intends to work as requirements vary widely. Walden University makes no representation or guarantee that the completion of a degree or coursework for graduate credit will permit the student to obtain licensure.

 

Find out more about the M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling now.  Request Information

General Program

Completion Requirements

  • 90 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional Development Plan, licensure Plan 
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

The courses are delivered in a prescribed sequence. Each quarter includes two concurrent 12-week courses.

Addiction Counseling

The harrowing consequences of addiction affect not only addicts themselves but also the lives of everyone around them. In this specialization, you’ll explore the various types of dependence, the devastating impact of addictive behavior, and current treatment and intervention approaches. Whether you want to work in an agency, business, or school, this specialization can prepare you to help individuals who are battling addiction as well as families coping with the emotional burdens of the situation.

Completion Requirements

  • 100 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional Development Plan, licensure Plan 
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Career Counseling

Help people from all walks of life achieve their professional and personal goals with a specialization in Career Counseling. In addition to exploring the history, theories, and approaches behind career counseling, you’ll examine the qualities inherent in an effective career counselor and the various modern approaches to counseling and assessment. You can also gain insight into academic development from elementary school through higher education and develop the skills necessary to guide students toward successful vocations.

Completion Requirements

  • 100 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional Development Plan, Licensure Plan 
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Forensic Counseling

The expert advice and skills of forensic counselors are in constant demand within the legal system. Through this specialization, you can build your knowledge of mental health law and enhance your competencies in conflict management and negotiation. Study how those skills can be applied to resolve marriage and family conflicts in the criminal justice system, from parental mediation services and divorce adjustment counseling for families to court-ordered parenting skills training and anger management sessions.

Completion Requirements

  • 100 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional Development Plan, licensure Plan 
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Military Families and Culture

Prepare to provide essential emotional support to military personnel and their families with a specialization in Military Families and Culture. In addition to acquiring an understanding of the military culture and lifestyle, you can gain skills critical to helping military personnel and their spouses and children cope with a variety of challenges, including long-term deployments, frequent relocation, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Coursework also explores modern approaches and best practices for working with active and former military personnel and their families in a counseling context.

Completion Requirements

  • 100 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional Development Plan, Licensure Plan 
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Trauma and Crisis Counseling

If traumas or crises are not resolved in healthy ways, the experiences can lead to lasting psychological, social, and medical problems for couples, families, and children. Through this specialization, you will learn the skills and practices specific to crisis counseling, including theories of crisis intervention and models for working with children and adolescents. Develop the skills needed to help couples and families address health-related, school, and mental health crises, including interventions with suicidal clients and victims of abuse.

Completion Requirements

  • 100 total quarter credits
    • Foundation course (1 cr.)
    • Core courses (80 cr.)
    • Specialization courses (10 cr.)
    • Field experience (9 cr.: Practicum, 100 hours; Internship, 600 hours)
  • Professional Development Plan, licensure Plan 
  • 12 days of residency (two 6-day residencies)

Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Courses

Curriculum Component Requirements  Cost  Total* 
Tuition 90 total quarter credit hours  $465 per quarter hour $41,850
Residency Fee Two 6-day residencies $1,645 (travel, lodging, and other expenses are additional) $3,290
Technology Fee  Per quarter $120 $1,560
    Total $46,700
    Transfer up to 45 credits  $21,705
    Total with Maximum Transfer Credits $24,995

Tuition Savings Available

*Time to completion may vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.

Maximum transfer credit total includes reduction in technology fee as related to reduced number of courses over time.

*Books and material costs are additional and can range from $3,500-$4,500.

*Tuition and fees are subject to change.

Call 1-866-492-5336 for information about a full range of options for:

Transfer credits for your masters program

The M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program can help prepare you for a variety of career options. Depending on the state in which you intend to practice, you may be eligible to pursue the appropriate credentials and licensure, including the licensed marriage and family therapist or licensed professional counselor with a specialization in marriage, couple, and family counseling.*

You may prepare for a career in a broad range of professional settings, including:

  • Inpatient facilities
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Community mental health centers
  • Business and consulting companies
  • Schools and Head Start centers
  • Social service agencies
  • Universities and research centers
  • Courts and prisons
  • Private practice
  • Marriage and family clinics
  • Community churches and other places of worship and communal gathering

*Licensing regulations vary from state to state. Walden University cannot guarantee professional licensure. See Note on Licensure.

Through Walden’s M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program, you can:

  • Prepare to work with families to address a range of issues, including the impact of crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events, as well as family conflicts that must be resolved in the criminal justice system. 
  • Discover the roles and functions of marriage, couple, and family counselors in a variety of settings to gain an understanding of the cross-cultural competencies and skills required to understand family structures, life-cycle dynamics, intergenerational influences, and healthy family functioning.
  • Prepare to advance your career and, depending on the state in which you intend to practice, pursue the appropriate credentials that could qualify you to become a licensed professional counselor with a specialization in marriage, couple, and family counseling.*
  • Study with well-respected educators and/or active professionals in the field who integrate their research and clinical experience into the classroom.
  • Create an electronic portfolio of your work that can be shared with potential employers.
  • Develop a social change project that can have a direct impact on the lives of children and families who may not have access to mental health services.

As a student in Walden’s online family counseling degree program, you can choose when, where, and how you learn thanks to our online format and MobileLearn®. Through this education technology, you can listen to coursework on your MP3 player, access your classroom from your iPhone, download coursework to your laptop, and more.

Find out more about what defines Walden’s M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program:


*Licensing regulations vary from state to state. Walden University cannot guarantee professional licensure. See Note on Licensure.

CACREP Accreditation

Walden’s M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). CACREP is an independent accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation that accredits counselor-preparation master’s degree programs. Walden is one of the few higher education institutions to offer a CACREP-accredited master’s degree in professional counseling program with a specific focus on marriage, couples, and family counseling online.

This accreditation ensures that our program meets CACREP standards of quality and relevance to the profession. Graduating from a CACREP-accredited master’s degree program can provide you with:

  • Access to more employment opportunities nationwide.
  • An advantage when applying to doctoral degree programs.
  • A streamlined state counseling licensing application process.
  • The skills and credibility to maximize your impact on the profession.

In addition, several recent studies have shown that test takers from CACREP-accredited programs scored significantly higher on the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE) than test takers from non–CACREP-accredited programs.*

Learn more about accreditation at Walden.

*Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, “Research,” on the Internet at http://www.cacrep.org/template/page.cfm?id=138 (viewed online November 26, 2013).

Evidence-Based Practice

Study the most contemporary approach in the mental healthcare profession in Walden’s M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program. This type of practice, increasingly recognized in the healthcare industry, will prepare counselors to improve the quality of client care by learning to combine their own clinical and observational skills with the best of research-supported interventions to help clients make positive and healthy choices.

Evidence-based practice is part of a growing trend in healthcare and mental healthcare to improve patient outcomes. Increasingly, health insurance companies are recognizing this approach in determining insurance reimbursement.

Walden’s evidence-based practice approach allows you to:

  • Improve client satisfaction as you demonstrate progress with outcomes that can be documented and measured.
  • Embrace a methodology that may allow you to:
    • Be better prepared to meet the newest requirements for health insurance billing and reimbursement. 
    • Write effective grants.
    • Work more effectively across interagency areas.
    • Sharpen your clinical judgment with a thorough understanding of the most current methodologies in the profession.
    • Enhance the well-being of marriages, couples, and families.

Residencies

Face-to-face residencies are held in convenient locations throughout the year and offer:

  • An orientation to the marriage, couple, and family counseling profession
  • Preparation for your field training
  • Skill development in individual and group counseling
  • Individual interaction with faculty members
  • Opportunities to share insights with students who share your interests
  • Academic advising

See the locations and dates of residencies that are available to current students.

Residency 1

Days: Six (Completed before the end of your third quarter and is a prerequisite for COUN 6723 Multicultural Counseling)

Format: Face-to-face workshops and group activities

Focus:

  • Multicultural competencies
  • Orientation to the profession, licensure, and professional identity
  • Practicum and internship preparations
  • Skill development

Residency 2

Days: Six (Completed before the end of your eighth quarter and is a prerequisite for COUN 6671 Counseling Practicum)

Format: Face-to-face sessions, including a 10-hour group experience

Focus:

  • Foundations of marriage, couple, and family counseling sessions
  • Career development
  • Consultation and supervision
  • Family dynamics, prevention and wellness, and working with children
  • Individual counseling skill development
  • Social change project

 

Residency Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate basic interviewing skills
  2. Apply multicultural competencies to basic counseling skills
  3. Demonstrate critical thinking skills of diverse and multicultural perspectives, and apply them to counseling practice
  4. Describe the process of professional identity development
  5. Provide constructive feedback on others’ counseling skills
  6. Present research focused on program development that includes components of consultation and evaluation
  7. Present collaborative research focused on social change
  8. Effectively lead groups and incorporate insight from practice as a member/counselor of a small group
  9. Utilize feedback to improve performance
  10. Demonstrate advanced counseling skills
  11. Apply multicultural and diversity competencies to advanced counseling skills
  12. Describe the process of preparing for field experience
  13. Prepare for the NCE, NCMHCE, or other licensure exams
  14. Prepare for eventual accrual of post-master’s experience toward licensure

For more information about how residencies enhance your academic experience, call 1-866-492-5336.

Which Counseling Program Is Right for You?

Walden offers three online master’s programs to help you gain the skills and knowledge you need for a career in counseling. Choosing the course of study that is right for you depends on your professional and educational goals.

M.S. in Mental Health Counseling

Learning Styles

  • I want to learn to perform the appropriate counseling, remediation, and intervention for a variety of situations.
  • I want to understand the counselor’s role as client-advocate with families, agencies, and institutions.
  • I want to earn a CACREP-accredited M.S. degree in Mental Health Counseling online.

Career Focus

  • I want to advance mental healthcare for all citizens by adopting a cross-cultural approach to counseling.
  • I want a career as a mental health counselor, clinical therapist, or counselor in the criminal justice system, so I can effect positive social change.

Learn more about this online master’s program.

M.S. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling

Learning Styles

  • I want to understand family structures, life-cycle dynamics, intergenerational influences, and healthy family functioning in diverse cultural settings.
  • I want to gain experience in evidence-based practice to provide better, more informed care for my clients.
  • I want to study with professionals in the field who integrate their research and clinical experience into the classroom.

Career Focus

  • I want to work with families to address issues and resolve conflicts related to divorce, school problems, parenting, and violence.
  • I want a position as a Licensed Professional Counselor with expertise in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling, so that I can enhance the well-being of children, couples, and families.

Learn more about this online master’s program.

M.S. in Clinical Psychology with a Specialization in Counseling

Learning Styles

  • I want to gain insight into various models of counseling (including group; substance abuse; career; couples, marriage, and family).
  • I want to interpret and describe psychological theory and research from a multicultural and global perspective.
  • I want to prepare for doctoral study and qualify for licensure.

Career Focus

  • I want to apply psychological theory and research to real-world situations.
  • I want a position as a professional counselor or therapist where I can work in a variety of settings.

Learn more about this online master’s program.

Career opportunities may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Engage in ethical and legal practices as a marriage, couple, and family (MCF) counselor.
  2. Work successfully with couples and families from multicultural and diverse backgrounds.
  3. Promote diversity and advocacy as related to the work of a marriage, couple, and family (MCF) counselor.
  4. Employ various assessment techniques to appropriately intervene in meeting the needs of diverse clientele.
  5. Evaluate evidence-based research to inform practice in meeting the needs of couples and families from multicultural and diverse backgrounds.
  6. Apply preventive, developmental, and wellness strategies to strengthen couples and family systems.

Additional Learning Outcomes for Counseling Programs

Graduates of this program will be prepared to:

  1. Develop a professional orientation and identity as a counselor.
  2. Effectively address the social and cultural diversity issues that impact the counseling process.
  3. Synthesize theories of human growth and development to develop culturally responsive counseling practices.
  4. Apply theories and models of career development to related life factors, which affect an individual’s lifestyle and mental health.
  5. Utilize major counseling theories to develop an empirically-based, personal theoretical orientation that integrates theory and best practices.
  6. Apply theoretical and experiential principles of group work to develop targeted interventions within group contexts.
  7. Evaluate and interpret individual and group assessment in a multicultural society.
  8. Utilize research methods commonly used in the counseling profession.
  9. Demonstrate skills in applying principles of advocacy toward promoting cultural understanding and positive social change in individuals, communities, and society.
  10. Demonstrate knowledge and skills in the areas of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and referral.
  11. Achieve personal growth and sustainability in the profession.

For assistance in deciding which online degree program fits your goals, request information or speak with an enrollment advisor by calling 1-866-492-5336. A list of international toll-free phone numbers is available for students outside the United States.