Marriage and Family Counseling Degree Programs in Sacramento

Nov 20, 2018

There are a few schools within about 20 miles of Sacramento that offer counseling degree programs. Read an overview of these schools' programs, requirements and admission info and find out which school is the right one for you.

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Sacramento Marriage and Family Counseling Degree Programs

Those seeking marriage and family counseling degree programs near Sacramento have several solid options. This article provides information about the programs at three schools located within a 20-minute drive of downtown Sacramento. The table in the following section offers extra details about each school. In addition, a paragraph about one other educational option is also included.

  • California State University - Sacramento, located about 10 miles from downtown Sacramento, offers a marriage and family counseling degree program approved by California's Board of Behavioral Sciences, which oversees the licensing of counselors, social workers and psychologists.
  • Western Seminary is a private, not-for-profit institution that offers a religious focus to the study of psychology. While this school has three campuses, the Sacramento location is approximately 10 miles from downtown.
  • Alliant International University is another private school that offers two graduate degree options in marital and family therapy at its Sacramento campus about five miles from downtown.

Comparison of Schools

Tuition charged by schools is often an important consideration for potential students. Use the following table to compare those rates and to learn other bits of information about these schools.

California State University - Sacramento Western Seminary Alliant International University
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 31,255* N/A N/A
Campus Setting Large city Fringe rural Large city
Tuition & Fees (for 2017-2018) $8,638 in-state*
$18,142 out-of-state* (graduate)
N/A N/A
% of Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2017) 84%* N/A N/A
Acceptance Rate (2017) 68%* N/A N/A
Overall Graduation Rate (for those who began their studies in 2011) 48%* N/A N/A

Source: *NCES College Navigator

California State University - Sacramento

Nicknamed Sacramento State University, this 4-year, public institution awards bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The school has a master's degree program for marriage and family therapy that complies with the newly enacted counseling licensure requirements in the state.

Master of Science in Counseling

The Department of Counselor Education offers this 60-unit program to prepare individuals for entry-level professional counseling positions. Students choose from four specialized areas, three of which are career, community and school counseling. The fourth is marriage, family and child counseling, which includes general therapy classes applicable to all specializations, but also covers core topics such as substance abuse and psychotropic medicine.

In addition to completing this program, California's Board of Behavioral Sciences requires counselor candidates to complete additional coursework, gain internship experience and pass a licensing exam. The program is clinically oriented, focusing on both theory and real-world experience. It includes supervised practice in the field.

Western Seminary

Western Seminary offers programs grounded in the teachings of the Bible. While this school focuses on the study of the gospel, students are not limited to a particular doctrinal system or creed. There are three campuses available, with a Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy degree program offered at the Sacramento location.

Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy

This degree program requires three years of study and a total of 68 credit hours. Students are prepared for careers as Christian counselors in school, church, clinical and non-profit settings. While some courses can be completed online for this curriculum, the remaining requirements can be completed through evening and weekend courses. The curriculum is divided into three sections, including biblical interpretation, theological and counseling studies.

Courses include a survey of the gospels, psychological theory, family systems theory, marriage counseling, adolescent therapy, psychopharmacology and crisis management. Students must also complete a supervised counseling practicum and 30 hours of personal therapy for personal growth to earn this degree. Completion of this program qualifies graduates to become Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC) and Licensed Marital and Family Therapists (LMFT).

Alliant International University

Alliant International University is a 4-year, private, not-for-profit university with its main campus in Fresno, CA. The Sacramento campus offers two higher education degrees in marriage and family therapy, resulting in a master's or a doctoral degree. Other campuses hosts related programs in areas such as clinical psychology. Alliant International University, Sacramento students are eligible to visit and access resources at other sites.

Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy

This 60-unit program includes classes in law and ethics, family diversity and parent-child therapy. Classes are held at night so that students can work during the day. The program also includes 600 hours of direct client contact; 250 of these hours must be conducted with couples or families. Faculty supervises most experiential work. This program can prepare students to earn LMFT licensure.

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Marital and Family Therapy

This 114-credit program fulfills academic requirements to become a licensed marriage and family therapist as well as a psychologist. Classes are balanced by significant research and clinical experience. With additional coursework, students can specialize in chemical dependency, biofeedback or gerontology. A practicum or internship, as well as a dissertation, is required.

Other School Option

A master's degree program in counseling psychology with a concentration in marriage and family therapy is available at the University of San Francisco, located 90 miles outside of Sacramento, CA.

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