Master's Degree in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling

Earn a master's degree in Marriage, Couple and Family Therapy, formerly Marriage and Family Therapy, in Portland, Oregon.

This degree will prepare you to provide counseling to individuals, couples, families, and groups across the life cycle. You will be able to work in a variety of settings, such as private, institutional, community, faith-based, and cross-cultural. You can work in private practice (group or individual), profit and nonprofit organizations, hospitals, schools, etc.

Our counseling programs are rooted in the belief that:

  • People are spiritual-psychological-physical-relational beings
  • Marriage and family therapists need to be able to understand and articulate individual, couple, and family presenting problems and provide treatment from sound psychological and theological principles
  • Marriage and family therapists need to possess the skills of a generalist and be equipped to work with a variety of clients and client modalities of diverse backgrounds and varied developmental stages across the life cycle

Spiritual Integration

Because of George Fox University's identity as a Christian university, the programs in the Graduate School of Counseling are grounded in and shaped by our commitment to an integrated understanding of the Christian faith and mental health that embraces diversity and promotes justice.

Our approach to spiritual integration does not specifically prepare graduates to be Christian counselors or work at faith-based organizations.

All together, our students are learning how to integrate the worldview of any person they work with, whether or not they share the same spiritual perspectives.

» Learn more about spiritual integration


The marriage, couple and family counseling master's degree is designed to prepare students to sit for dual licensure, both the national licensure exam to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) as well as the national licensure exam to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in Oregon. The opportunity to earn dual licensure is a unique and valuable feature of this program.

» More about counseling licensure

Program Advantages

  • Accredited by CACREP (Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs)
  • Three- and four-year program options (see curriculum sequence)
  • Flexible schedules (day, evening and weekend classes) for working adults
  • Convenient locations at our Portland Center (near Tigard) and Salem Site (Salem students can take all but 15 credit hours of MFT specialization at the Salem site; those 15 hours must be taken at the Portland Center)
  • An environment that encourages the integration of faith and learning
  • Full-time, accessible, widely-trained faculty
  • Courses taught from a systemic perspective
  • Opportunities to interact with students who are pursuing other mental health professions

Play Therapy and Trauma Courses

Students in the MA Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling program are required to take at least one introductory play therapy course through the Northwest Center for Play Therapy Studies. The center is directed by Dr. Daniel Sweeney, past president of the Association for Play Therapy and both author and co-author of several books on play therapy and child therapy. The center hosts graduate courses in filial therapy, sandtray therapy and special topics courses, as well as biannual conferences offering workshops that attract presenters and participants from across the nation.

The Trauma Response Institute (TRI), directed by Dr. Anna Berardi, offers individual specialization classes in trauma response and a full 12-credit certificate program.

Program Requirements

The master’s degree program requires a minimum of 68 semester hours of course work for graduation. Of those hours, a minimum of 46 hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University, and each student must complete a minimum of 20 hours of personal counseling/therapy as part of the program.

Students must also complete a 700-hour supervised clinical internship in marriage and family therapy that meets the currently articulated criteria for such training, with at least 270 hours of direct client contact. 135 of those 270 direct client contact hours must be with couples and families.

Curriculum Sequence

The Master of Arts (MA) in Marriage, Family and Couple Counseling is generally completed in three or four years. The PDF below lists out the curriculum sequences for each program length by start date (fall, spring or summer).

»  MA in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling curriculum sequence

Master of Arts in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling

Program length 3 to 4 years
Semester hours 68
Cost per semester hour $710*
Tuition cost for entire program $48,280*
Accreditation CACREP; approved by Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists
Dual licensure option LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) and LMFT (Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist)
Format In-person
Location Portland Center (near Tigard) and Salem, Oregon

*All stated financial information is subject to change.

CACREP Accredited

Accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP)