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

CACREPWalden’s online MS 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.

Through Walden's MS 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.1
  • 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.

Evidence-Based Practice

Study the most contemporary approach in the mental healthcare profession in Walden’s online master’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.

Learning Outcomes

The following learning outcomes are common to all MS in counseling programs. Graduates of these programs will be prepared to:

  1. Analyze the different roles and settings of a counselor.
  2. Apply sound ethical and legal practices in the work of a counselor.
  3. Analyze cultural development theories and models.
  4. Examine empirically based theories of human development.
  5. Evaluate approaches of career development appropriate to diverse needs and life experiences.
  6. Examine appropriate evidence-based counseling practices for prevention and intervention.
  7. Apply essential counseling skills across multiple settings.
  8. Select group facilitation strategies that are culturally and ethically relevant.
  9. Analyze assessment procedures to support planning for appropriate counseling interventions.
  10. Evaluate research methods commonly used in the counseling profession.

The competent and confident counseling professional will:

  1. Evaluate therapeutic models appropriate to marriage, couple, and family counseling.
  2. Develop systems-based treatment strategies for addressing the needs of couples and families.
  3. Evaluate the impact of complex life-based factors (e.g., crisis and trauma, addiction, interpersonal violence, employment) on marriages, couples, and families.
  4. Identify prevention-based strategies that foster family wellness.

Career Impact

The MS 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, but not limited to the licensed professional counselor credential.12

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

Read our MS in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling Program Outcomes Report.

Find detailed information for the general specialization of this program, or all other specializations of this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.


Adrian Hall

Adrian Hall

MS in Mental Health Counseling Graduate
No other school would have enabled me to complete my degree, be a mother, and travel in and out of the country as a working professional.
What an amazing payoff and reward when so many are focused on the common goal of learning.
When I started my first official job as a counselor and was asked to read over a clinical assessment and treatment plan, I realized that I literally had a license to be a positive influence in the lives of those I serve on a daily basis.
Linnaya Graf MPH & PhD in Public Health Graduate / MS in Psychology Student
Linnaya Graf
Gail Amalfitano MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Student
Iara Paz MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduate
Lara Paz

Walden University’s MS in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling program 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). CACREP accreditation is a requirement for licensure in many states.

Note on Licensure:
The MS 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; however, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand and comply with all state licensure requirements. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of Walden coursework or programs will permit an individual to obtain state licensure. Learn more about professional licensure.

1Licensing regulations vary from state to state. Walden University cannot guarantee professional licensure. See Note on Licensure.

2Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.

Man sitting at latop
Questions about our MS in Marriage Couple and Family Counseling?
Questions about our MS in Marriage Couple and Family Counseling?
We're here to help. Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our International Form if you live outside of the U.S.
We're here to help. Talk to your personal enrollment advisor for more information today. Please use our Domestic Form if you live in the U.S.
*Required Field
Academic Interests
Contact Information
Invalid email address
Please provide a valid phone number
Please provide a valid zipcode
Additional Information
Get Started

By submitting this form, I understand and agree that Walden University may contact me via email, text, telephone, and prerecorded message regarding furthering my education and that calls may be generated using automated technology. You may opt out at any time. Please view our privacy policy or contact us for more details.


By checking this box, I agree that Walden University may contact me by email, text message, autodialed telephone call, and prerecorded message at the contact information provided above regarding opportunities and offers to further my education. I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time and that my consent is not a condition of any purchase. I have received the Walden University Privacy Policy