Online Master’s Degree in Family Counseling

Family counseling master’s degree programs train students to counsel families and couples toward healthier, more functional relationships. It is an ideal degree for individuals with a high capacity for empathy, patience, and compassion and a strong desire to work closely with and help others. Many family counseling programs require thirty to sixty hours of coursework. Full-time students will usually take three to five classes at a time to complete the program in two to three years. However, these times may vary depending on the student’s individual circumstances or their chosen program’s requirements.

Classes for an Online Master’s Degree in Family Counseling

Family counseling programs often include courses in psychology, theory, and counseling practice. Students will take numerous courses in psychology and sociology to develop their understanding of human development and psychology, relationships, and family dynamics in order to develop solutions to real family problems. Courses in counseling practice, strategy, technique, and theory will also make up a substantial portion of the coursework. In these courses, students discuss the issues at play when counseling different groups and demographics. They will also learn about laws and liabilities relevant to a counseling environment and study ethical issues related to counseling families. Other coursework might include:

  • Cross-Cultural Counseling
  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • Group Counseling Processes
  • Sexual Counseling
  • Human Growth and Development

A graduate degree in family counseling will come with an internship, residency, or field work requirement. Even online master’s degrees in family counseling require students to complete clinical practice hours in their communities with local agencies. Some programs allow student to elect a thesis option. This allows them to complete additional coursework and research that is presented in a final paper.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Master’s Degree in Family Counseling

Family counseling may be a promising field with lots of opportunities in the near future. Marriage and family counselors often work in schools, non-profit organizations, rehabilitation centers, charitable organizations, adoption agencies, and more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for marriage and family counselors is expected to expand by 37%, which is much faster than average for other occupations. Family counseling positions require a master’s degree as well as certification and marriage and family therapists earn approximately $39,000 per year on average, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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