How To Choose The Best Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate Program

Families continue to evolve as the 21st century comes toward the end of its second decade. Dynamics have changed not only within the family itself, but also in the family’s relationship to society.

These ongoing changes have made family therapy even more complex. It also presents many unique challenges to those who enter the psychology profession and focus on marriage and family.

Many in the field pursue a master’s degree in marriage and family. This degree prepares students for offering holistic treatment to families, as well as treating a marriage and the family as a system by focusing on family relationships and dynamics.

Choosing the right program to earn a graduate degree can seem daunting. Here are some questions to consider.

Is It Worth The Time and Effort?

If you want to get into marriage and family therapy, it’s typically required to obtain at least a master’s degree before earning the licensure needed to work in most U.S. states. That makes earning a master’s degree a necessary step to enter the profession.

Should I Consider Online Programs?

College courses have moved online in a big way in the 21st century. Now regarded as highly as degrees earned in traditional classroom settings, online learning gives students more flexibility in scheduling classes around a busy professional and personal life.

Such programs, like the one offered through Touro University Worldwide, are completely online. In the case of Touro, no GRE is required for admittance.

If a student goes with an online course, they should do research to ensure the program is properly accredited. For example, the Touro program is both properly accredited and approved by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Completion of the degree program makes students eligible for a state license in California and many other states.

Are Online Courses As Good As Traditional Classes?

These days, with the better designed online courses, the answer is, “yes.”

Online courses now offer students the opportunity to speak often with other students and professors through messaging, email and online boards. They also, as the courses progress, get opportunities for the clinical studies and supervised fieldwork needed to earn their degree.

Just like brick-and-mortar schools, online courses prepare students to work as marriage and family therapists in private clinics, hospitals and community centers.

What Type of Coursework Is Needed?

Programs, online and otherwise, vary in the type of courses they offer. However, it’s best to look for those that address modern issues rather than older, less applicable concerns.

Using the Touro program again as an example, the coursework focuses on research that show the relationship between family dynamics and mental and emotional health disorders such as chemical dependency, eating disorders and substance abuse.

Marriage and family therapists also often work as part of a team that treats an individual patient, and students should look for programs that recognize that fact.

There are many options to earn a degree in this challenging, rewarding and very important field. Look for some of the factors listed above and you will take a first crucial step toward a career in marriage and family therapy.

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