Salt Lake City Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy Online Programs

Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy programs provide students the training to work as Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs). While like the study of psychology, marriage and family therapy is well-defined. Students in Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy Online programs study behavior, communication patterns and learn how to help resolve intrapersonal conflicts. However, Marriage and Family Therapy addresses these topics from a family systems perspective. These theories are reflected in therapeutic intervention techniques. 

Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy

What Is an Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy?

An Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy is earned through the study of broad areas of theory and practice in marriage and family therapy. Plus, Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy Online programs are often designed with the working professional in mind. As marriage and family therapists are required to have a masters degree and license to practice, this could be a great way to pursue your goals.i

Format and Structure

Most Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy programs offer flexible schedules. Students take the same challenging classes as their campus friends but attend the virtual classroom. And, there may be an added element of self-pacing. Some Masters in Family Counseling Online programs are offered in sessions. Students complete the coursework at a speed and time most convenient to them. To add to that, students often gain clinical experience through supervised direct client contact in their local community.

EXPERT INSIGHT
We asked Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Dr. Paul Hokemeyer about the biggest benefit of earning his Masters if Marraige and Family Therapy:

"My training as a MFT taught me to think systemically. Mental health and addictive disorders do not occur in isolation. They impact the person who suffers as well as the people around them. My M.A. in marriage and family therapy has enabled me to address disorders in the fullness of their expression and impact."

~Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, Licensed Marriage and Family TherapistClick to Tweet

Why Consider a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy Online?

Earning a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy Online may take you one step closer to a counseling career. Even though each state has its own requirements for licensing marriage and family therapists, an MFT degree may be a basic step. Some students work towards licensure as an LMFT. Others might choose general professional counseling with a specialization in marriage, family and couple counseling. Not all Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy Online Degrees lead to MFT licensure. However, a program may meet the academic requirements established by the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy Basics

It usally takes two to three years of full time study to earn an Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. To apply into programs, students need a bachelors degree from an accredited college. Some students have an undergraduate human services, counseling or psychology background. Other requirements vary by school.

DID YOU KNOW? LMFT stands for ‘licensed marriage and family therapist’ ii

Types of Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy Online Degrees

An online graduate school might offer either a Master of Arts Marriage and Family Therapy (MA MFT) or a Master of Science Marriage and Family Therapy (MS MFT) degree program. These programs provide entry-level knowledge for independent clinical practice in the profession. They are designed to prepare individuals for initiating a career in marriage and family therapy. Students learn basic theories, clinical skills, and professional development. 

Online MS MFT Degree Programs

The online Master of Science MFT program is often a terminal, professional practice degree. Students may complete their courses first. Then, following post-graduate supervised practice hours, may be prepared to take state licensure exams. Licensure requires a masters degree, 2,000 to 4,000 hours of post-degree internship.i

Online MA MFT Degree Programs

Online MA MFT programs are sometimes considered academic. In fact, students may be required to complete a research project or thesis. Students may still fulfill licensure requirements but may opt to pursue a doctorate degree. The PhD in MFT is designed for students who wish to conduct more research and clinical work .

Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy Potential Requirements

Aside from web-based courses, Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy Online students may have a for-credit residency and a practicum. The clinical practicum is designed to prepare graduates for state licensure eligibility. Programs may also have a research course focused on a specific concentration area. While your best bet is not to assume all MFT programs are the same, here is a ‘cheat-sheet’ of possible degree components.

Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy Online at a Glance

  • Core courses (complete credit requirements)
  • Specialization courses
  • Research
  • Residency requirements (learning and community building experiences)
  • Internship - Fieldwork (apply what you have learned)

Potential Marriage and Family Therapy Masters Programs Online Courses

Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy curricula may vary from school to school. Prospective MFTs need to learn theories, build diagnostic skills and have a tool box of intervention strategies for different scenarios. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy organizes MFT core competencies around six primary domains.

  • Admission to treatment. This includes the therapeutic contract between clients and therapist.
  • Clinical assessment and diagnosis.
  • Treatment planning and case management
  • Therapeutic interventions to address the issues that are identified.
  • Legal issues, ethics and standards. This includes regulations and values.
  • Research and program evaluations.

Potential MFT Concentration (Specialization) Courses

One of the distinguishing features of Marriage and Family Therapy Masters programs online, aside from course content, is the opportunity to choose a concentration area. Marriage and family therapists work explicitly in the context of families, couple and marital intervention. And that is saying a lot. MFTs may be also be licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders. What sets them apart from those using the one-to-one counseling approach? For MFTs, the unit of treatment is not the person. It is the set of relationships. An MFT might treat issues such as the following.ii

  • Substance abuse within a family or couple
  • Custody issues
  • Family violence
  • Marital distress, divorce, or separation conflicts
  • Sex therapy
  • LGBTQ couple and family issues
  • Military families

Are Accredited Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy Available?

First off, accreditation is a type of quality assurance. It is an important credential to look for in a university. A regionally accredited school has met or exceeds standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, student services, and fiscal stability. Regional accreditation is critical if you hope to transfer credits between universities. Several regionally accredited universities offer online masters in marriage and family therapy programs.

COAMFTE Accredited Online MFT Programs

In addition to regional accreditation, a Masters in Family Therapy program may be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). What this means is that a program is compliant with specified professional standards developed by others in the field. Students with a COAMFTE-accredited MFT degree may apply for Clinical Membership in the parent organization, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). This is done through the accelerated Accredited Program Track in the absence of state licensure.

Take the Next Step

As more people have access to insurance, many counseling facilities are expected to hire more marriage and family therapists. This is one reason the Bureau of Labor Statistics considers marriage and family therapy a faster-than-average growing field.With the potential to choose courses that might shape your career, not your lifestyle, there is no time like the present to search for an Online Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy program. Look through sponsored listings on our site. Submit a form to request more information. Many online schools have rolling admission and use electronic admissions forms. If you are all about efficiency, take these next steps now!


[i] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1013.00

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