Earn Your Marriage and Family Therapy Master's Online

The online Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program prepares students to work directly with individuals, couples, and families in need of therapeutic services.

While earning your clinical psychology degree online, you will be placed in direct contact with esteemed Pepperdine faculty without having to relocate to attend class on campus. You will complete the same highly regarded curriculum and clinical placements that are required of on-campus students.

Online MFT Program Highlights

  • 8–12
    sessions
  • 62–68
    units
  • 4
    sessions of
    field placement

After you earn your online marriage and family therapy master’s degree, you will be ready to positively affect the health and well-being of those in need.

Online MFT Curriculum Overview

Our curriculum focuses on current applied methods of psychotherapy, offering a practice-based course of study focused on clinical applications. The online MFT degree program will teach you about the social and psychological implications of socioeconomics and how poverty and social stress affect the ability of individuals, couples, and families to thrive. Courses will teach you how to diagnose clients, formulate clinical cases, develop treatment plans, and facilitate therapeutic processes.

Online MFT Degree Courses

The MFT course catalog includes 6 units of core courses that build the foundation of your MFT education and frame the concepts you’ll explore throughout the program. After you complete these foundation courses, you will complete 62 units of master’s-level courses that expose you to the latest theories and advancements being discussed in the field today.

Core courses cover key topics such as multicultural counseling, sexuality and intimacy, and substance abuse treatment.

Foundation courses include PSY 657 Psychopathology, PSY 659 Behavioral Principles, and Theories of Learning. You may be able to waive these foundation courses if you have completed them as part of your undergraduate degree. To qualify for a waiver, course work must have been completed within the last seven years at a regionally accredited institution, and you must have earned a grade of “B” or better.

Here is a sample of course topics you will study in the online master’s in marriage and family therapy program:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders
  • Assessment of individuals, couples, and families
  • Multicultural counseling
  • Theory of counseling and psychotherapy
  • Trauma in diverse populations

Read course descriptions for more information about the classes you will take in the MFT online program.

Clinical Training

To prepare you for direct clinical experience during your four sessions in placement, you will first complete PSY 661 Preparation for Practicum. This course will introduce you to key skills such as completing case notes, applying advocacy and recovery-oriented practices, and working directly with diverse individuals and groups who may be experiencing crises or mental illnesses.

The licensure path you choose and state of intended employment will determine the breakdown of hours you must complete as part of your clinical training.

For the licensed marriage and family therapy (LMFT) option, 225 of the 700 total hours will be spent directly with clients. For the licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC) option, 280 of the 700 total hours will be spent directly with clients. All students out of California will be required to complete 700 total placement hours as a result of the current national requirements for LPCC and LMFT licensure.

Regardless of your licensure option and state, you will spend approximately 16 hours a week over the last four terms of the program working under the supervision of a licensed therapist or counselor at a clinical site near your community. Placement hours must be completed during regular business hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

The licensure path you choose and state of intended employment will determine the breakdown of hours you must complete as part of your clinical training.

Our dedicated placement team will work with you to find and secure Pepperdine-approved practicum and internship opportunities, where you can observe professional counselors and gain experience working directly with clients.

Our dedicated placement team will work with you to find and secure Pepperdine-approved practicum and internship opportunities, where you can observe professional counselors and gain experience working directly with clients.

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Learn more about earning your master's in marriage and family therapy from Pepperdine University.

Obtaining Your Marriage and Family Therapy License

Pepperdine’s online MFT program prepares you to pursue licensure as a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) or a licensed professional clinical counselor (LPCC).

The online Pepperdine MFT program is designed to ensure that upon graduation, you will have met all academic requirements to sit for the LMFT or LPCC licensure exams in the state of California. Visit the following pages for an overview of the requirements for each license:

OnlinePsychology@Pepperdine’s online Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy program offers LMFT or LPCC licensure paths to students in the following states outside California.

Alaska

Available Tracks: LPCC only

Arizona

Available Tracks: LPCC only

Connecticut

Available Tracks: LPCC only

Idaho

Available Tracks: LPCC only

Illinois

Available Tracks: LPCC only

New Hampshire

Available Tracks: LPCC only

New Jersey

Available Tracks: LMFT and LPCC

Oklahoma

Available Tracks: LPCC only

Tennessee

Available Tracks: LMFT and LPCC

Texas

Available Tracks: LPCC only

Virginia

Available Tracks: LPCC only

The licensure paths available to students outside of California are tied specifically to the program's ability to operate within certain states. Based on your state of residence, you may be restricted in which licensure path you can pursue. You will be asked to declare a licensure path when you apply for the program, and based on the approval in your state, you may not be able to change your path while enrolled.

Licensure requirements vary by state, therefore Pepperdine University strongly encourages you to contact the licensing board in the state in which you intend to practice prior to enrolling in the OnlinePsychology@Pepperdine program. Learn more about LMFT licensure requirements or LPCC licensure requirements in your state.

Admissions Overview

OnlinePsychology@Pepperdine seeks students who are committed to cultivating a deep understanding of human behavior while advancing their capability to serve those in need. We accept applications on a rolling basis and offer you the option to start earning your psychology degree at various times throughout the year.

Cohorts start in the winter, summer, spring, and fall.

To apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. You are not required to provide GRE scores as part of your application. Applicants who take advantage of the priority submit deadline will have their application fee waived.

Visit our Application Requirements page for further details.

Cohorts start in the winter, summer, spring, and fall.

Financial Aid

Financial aid opportunities are available for Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology students. Students may utilize scholarships, employer tuition assistance, federal student loans, or private loans to assist with program expenses. To gain a better understanding of the total cost of your degree, Pepperdine’s calculator tool can help you approximate the cost of tuition.

For more information, visit the Tuition and Financial Aid page.

Careers in Marriage and Family Therapy

The online Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy prepares students to work in community counseling, governmental entities, or education settings, or to start their own private practice. It also prepares students to pursue further education in doctoral programs in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or family therapy.

23%

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities for marriage and family therapists will continue to grow between 2016 and 2026.1

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this occupational demand is due to the increasing use of integrated care, which enables marriage and family therapists to work with other specialists to address client issues as a team. Marriage and family therapists commonly work together with other counselors who specialize in fields such as substance abuse, behavior disorder, and mental health.

Whether you choose to pursue a career as a marriage and family therapist or as a professional counselor, you will be able to pursue opportunities in many settings where a psychology expert is needed. After graduating from the MFT program, you will be equipped to counsel a variety of patients across a range of settings and environments.

After earning your degree, you will be eligible to pursue professional licensure to work in a variety of roles, including:
  • Clinical therapist
  • Clinical/program director
  • Community outreach specialist
  • Mental health therapist
Earn Your Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s Online with Pepperdine

The MFT online program is designed for students who seek to become catalysts for improvement within their communities. You will gain in-depth clinical training that develops your skills as a counselor and prepares you to pursue licensure as an LMFT or LPCC based on your career goals and location.

Earn Your Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s Online with Pepperdine

The MFT online program is designed for students who seek to become catalysts for improvement within their communities. You will gain in-depth clinical training that develops your skills as a counselor and prepares you to pursue licensure as an LMFT or LPCC based on your career goals and location.

Learn the benefits of earning your MA in Clinical Psychology.

Pepperdine’s Professors and Clinicians at Your Service

Master’s degree students no longer have to relocate to become highly educated in the specific discipline that most interests them. Pepperdine’s faculty and virtual tools are at your disposal around the clock.

Robust Online Campus

As a student in the online MFT program, you will attend seminar-style sessions in a virtual classroom where you will collaborate with approximately 12 other students.

Self-paced video lectures can be downloaded or viewed anywhere with an internet connection. Interactive course work is available 24/7 via our virtual campus and is available offline via our mobile app.

Engaging Faculty

Graduate School of Education and Psychology faculty are active clinicians and experts in their disciplines who are dedicated to helping you grow as you pursue your career as a counselor or marriage and family therapist. The practitioners and professors who you’ll collaborate with have a deep passion for inspiring future leaders in the field of psychology.

1 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/marriage-and-family-therapists.htm - tab-6 Return to footnote reference