Master's Degree in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling Equipped to guide through our dual-licensure program

At a Glance

3-4 Years Program length
Dual Licensure option (LPC and LMFT) - more

Accreditation

CACREP; approved by Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists

Format & Location

In person at the Portland Center (near Tigard) or Salem Site

Semester Credit Hours

68

Cost per Semester Credit Hour

$756*

Tuition cost for entire program

$51,408*

* All stated financial information is subject to change. Financial aid available.

How will you use your degree to

Make an Impact?

Our program will equip you to provide counseling to individuals, couples, families and groups across the life cycle.

Upon completion of the program, you will be prepared to work in a wide variety of settings, whether private, institutional, community, faith-based or cross-cultural in nature. And you will have the option of working in private practice (group or individual), at profit and nonprofit organizations, in hospitals or at schools.

Family stands outside on a sunny day, embracing each other. Notably, not a stock photo.

Program Philosophy

Our counseling programs are rooted in the belief that:

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, we believe it’s our duty to prepare our students to know 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

Licensure

The marriage, couple and family counseling master of arts 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.

Already have a mental health degree?

George Fox’s Certificate in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling program is available to those who wish to work with couples and families as a practitioner in their helping profession of choice.

Program Advantages

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

Program Requirements

The master’s degree program requires a minimum of 68 semester hours of coursework 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. One-hundred and thirty-five of those 270 direct-client contact hours must be with couples and families.

View Courses
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Play Therapy and Trauma Courses

As a student in our counseling program, you will have the opportunity to take introductory play therapy courses through the Northwest Center for Play Therapy Studies.

The center, directed by Dr. Daniel Sweeney, past president of the Association for Play Therapy and both author and coauthor of several books on play therapy and child therapy, 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.

Learn more about our specialized training centers

Employment Outlook

Job prospects in the field are promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for marriage and family therapists is expected to increase 22% in the U.S. between 2019 and 2029, a rate much faster than the average profession.

Learn more about the salary and employment outlook for marriage and family counselors

Tim in an orange hat outside.

Why George Fox? A Testimonial by Tim Ide

When I began George Fox's Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling program I had owned an electronic manufacturing business for 22 years. Some things had happened in my family that were dramatically assisted by a counselor, and while going through the process of therapy I gained a newfound respect for counseling. My own experience with a counselor was compelling as I realized that counseling is a process more than simply finding solutions to problems. I realized I was far more interested in working with people than machines at this stage in my life, so I was highly motivated to go back to school and get my counseling degree. 

I was able to keep working full time while completing the program. At times it was difficult getting acclimated to the academic discipline of school after being away for so long. I was initially intimidated by the idea of being in class with students who were younger than me. But in the end I found that age differences between students were not an issue. I had a really good experience in the program.

I chose George Fox because of its in-person class format. I considered online programs, but because counseling is such a human field I chose an in-person program, and George Fox's location and cost were a fit for me. I appreciate how the program shaped me as a person. Counseling is very relational. There is a lot of observation needed in terms of body language and expression, and you lose a lot of that online.

The counseling program at George Fox enhanced my empathy and really taught me that every person is going through something. 

During my internship and after graduation I had the opportunity to be a counselor for the population I really wanted to work with: kids, youth and families. The most fulfilling thing about my internship through George Fox, at Yamhill Family & Youth Programs, was the supervisors. All of them were right on point, and I know other students from George Fox would say the same thing about their supervisors. At the end of the day, great supervision was huge for me.

Tim Ide (M.A. '18)

Marriage, Couple & Family Counselor

Questions?

Photo of Gabriela Elkins

Gabriela Elkins

Admissions Counselor, Graduate Counseling Programs

Other Careers in Behavioral Health

Not sure if counseling is right for you? George Fox also offers degrees in social work and psychology. Check out our other offerings on our Careers in Helping Professions page.