Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy

Learn to apply theory and therapeutic techniques to address a wide range of issues and to diagnose and treat problems within the family system.

This CACREP- and COAMFTE-accredited program is designed to prepare you for positions in marriage and family therapy in agency, community, and private practice settings. You'll receive academic preparation and clinical training intended to instill high standards for professional practice. Develop the ability to apply counseling theory, wellness theory, and research to relationship-building with families and couples.

Outcome goals and graduates’ proficiency levels

These results show recent Capella graduates' proficiency levels in the expected learning outcomes for this program. Faculty make this assessment in the capstone course—the final course in which Capella students demonstrate what they’ve learned.

2014-2015 Demonstration of Program Outcomes MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy

  • Non-Performance
  • Basic
  • Proficient
  • Distinguished

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  • 20%
  • 40%
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  • 80%
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Integrate and apply research, relational and systemic theories, and theories of individual and family development across the life span to clinical practice settings.
Deliver culturally and ethnically sensitive counseling and therapy services to clients in agency, institutional, health care, community, and private practice settings.
Think critically and write effectively in the marital, couple, and family counseling and therapy discipline and/or professional practice.
Communicate professionally and empathically with others in all professional contacts.
Apply theories, practices, and professional standards to the marital, couple, family, and group counseling and therapy discipline.


Outcome Demonstrations
Source: Aggregated outcome assessment results from Q2 2014 – Q1 2015 capstone courses



Master of Science (MS) in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy1, 2 specialization

  • General Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy

Quality and Professional Relevance

  • The MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy program at Capella University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; 703.838.9808.
  • Capella University's Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy programs are accredited by the American Counseling Association's Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) from July 18, 2009 through March 31, 2020. The 2013 Counseling Education Unit Annual Report is available
  • Capella is the leader in distance education and offers a broad portfolio of counseling-related specializations.
  • All members of Capella's counselor education faculty hold doctoral degrees from accredited institutions.
  • Graduates across all masters' counselor education specializations have a 79% pass rate on the National Counseling Exam.3
  • Of the Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy graduates surveyed who reported taking a national or state licensure exam, 80% reported passing the exam.4
  • 106 learners graduated from the Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy program between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.
  • The current completion rate for learners from the Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy program that enrolled in 2008 and 2009 and graduated within 24 quarters is 28%.5
  • 12% of Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy graduate survey respondents reported LMFT attainment and 50% reported attainment across various relevant licenses.6
  • Of those that reported actively seeking employment, 100% of the Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy surveyed reported job placement within 180 days of graduation.7

1Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, endorsement, certification, authorization, other professional credential or salary advancement. State regulations and professional credential standards vary. It is the learner's responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for their states and professional associations. For more information on licensure, see: http://www.capella.edu/counseling-psychology-degrees/licensure/.

2Graduates of this program are not eligible for licensure in South Carolina. Learners residing in South Carolina should check with the state licensing agency for specific requirements for professional licensure.

3Capella is notified of exam scores by the exam proctor only if the exam takers identify Capella as a recipient of their scores. 80 out of 101 Capella learners and alumni took and passed the April 2013 NCE.

4Data for exam pass rates were gathered via an alumni survey distributed to alumni that graduated from Capella's CACREP-accredited programs between 1/1/13 and 12/31/13. Out of 24 Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy graduates responding to the Alumni Survey, 15 reported taking a national or state licensure exam, with 12 reporting passing the exam.

5Completion rate is the percentage of those learners from 2008 and 2009 cohorts (learners who register for a second course in the year specified and complete their degree) - who finished their degree within 24 quarters. Within this group, out of 488 Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy learners, 138 graduated within 24 quarters.

6Data for licensure rates were gathered via an alumni distributed to alumni that graduated from Capella's CACREP-accredited programs between 1/1/13 and 12/31/13. Out of 24 Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy graduates responding to the Alumni Survey, 3 reported that they had attained LMFT licensure, and 9 reported other relevant licensure.

7Capella does not offer job placement. Data for job placement were gathered via an alumni survey distributed to alumni that graduated from Capella's CACREP-accredited programs between 1/1/13 and 12/31/13. 17 Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy respondents to the Alumni Survey reported actively seeking employment. Of those seeking employment, all 17 reported being employed within 180 days of graduation.

Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling Degree Program Graduates

Data from graduates of the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling degree program have been combined for these Career Outcomes results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni are using their degrees.

Capella's Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences master's graduates report satisfaction with responsibilities and career growth potential. About 40% of graduates are employed in government/public sector or mental health industries. An additional third are employed in higher education, healthcare, non-profit, or social/community service settings.

Satisfaction with Capella Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered "strongly agree" or "agree."
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2014 – Q1 2015.

Improvement in Skills & Abilities Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who indicated they had accomplished each item.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2014 – Q1 2015.

Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling Degree Program Graduates

Data from graduates of the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling degree program have been combined for these Student Experience results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni feel about Capella and what general skills and abilities they gained.

Satisfaction with Capella Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered affirmatively.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2014 – Q1 2015.

Improvement in Skills & Abilities Social & Behavorial Sciences Master's Graduates

Percentage of respondents who rated themselves as "proficient" or "exceptional" on ability to demonstrate the skill or ability on the job.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2014 – Q1 2015.

Expense, completion, & career information (Gainful Employment)

Capella believes in being clear about the real cost, time, and value of a Capella degree The Gainful Employment disclosures, required by the US Department of Education (ED) (under 34 CFR 688.6 ), provide some information about completion, expenses and occupations based on learners who graduated between July 2013 and June 2014. Most of our students are part-time so they might not take a full course load or attend all 4 quarters each year. We took that into account in calculating these data. For example, we define program length for certificates and master's and doctoral degrees as the number of calendar quarters it takes a typical student to complete a program. The ED has defined time to complete for a Bachelor's degree as 4 years. Program cost is based on the specific pricing structure for each program which is either a cost per credit or a cost per active quarter.

Other related information may be found on the Learning Outcomes, Career Outcomes, and Student Experience tabs on this page.

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Learn more about these values and how they are calculated»

See Gainful Employment data for this program's specializations

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Alumni Success Story Quote

Photo of Synthia Smith, MS Synthia Smith, MS

"It was a huge accomplishment just to complete the degree. Everything that I have learned at Capella has definitely prepared me and given me the courage to start my own nonprofit."

Watch Synthia's story »