In Virginia, marriage and family counseling studies are offered at the master's and doctoral degree levels. One school offers family counseling as a specialization within a master's degree program in education. Courses cover couples counseling, addictions counseling and family development. All programs integrate training in the field, either through several internships or a combination of a practicum and an internship experience. Doctoral students also complete a dissertation.
College of William and Mary
The College of William and Mary is located in Williamsburg and offers a Master of Education in Family Counseling. This program requires completion of 63 credit hours of study in courses like couples counseling and sex therapy, counseling techniques, family development and addictions and family systems. The program's curriculum also includes several internships and is designed to prepare students for licensure as marriage and family therapists. Students who complete two additional courses can also qualify to become Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
This institution is based in Blacksburg and has a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy at its Northern Virginia Center location. This program requires a minimum of 51 credit hours of study consisting of coursework, a thesis, a practicum and 500 hours of clinical experience. Students train at the school's on-site clinical center for their first year and typically complete an off-site clinical experience during their second year. This program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.
The school also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy at its Blacksburg campus. This program's curriculum includes coursework, a 200-hour clinical practicum and a 500-hour internship. Prior to graduation, students must write a dissertation. Courses in this program cover systems theory, diagnosis and experimental models.
Virginia requires marriage and family counselors to be licensed. The Virginia Board of Counseling oversees the state's licensure process. To become a licensed marriage and family therapist in Virginia, an individual must have a graduate degree from an accredited institution that prepared him or her to work in the field, complete 600 hours of clinical experience and pass an exam. All license holders must renew their license each year, which requires them to complete 20 hours of continuing education courses.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Marriage and Family Counseling Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2018-2019)|
|College of William and Mary||Four-year; public; small suburb||Master of Education in Family Counseling||$15,760 in-state; $32,782 out-of-state*|
|Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||Four-year; public; small city|| Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy,
Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy
|$15,510 in-state; $29,025 out-of-state*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator