Richmond-Area Marriage and Family Counseling Schools
Marriage and family counseling degree and diploma programs aren't currently available within the city of Richmond, VA. However, students can find some schools in the state that offer graduate programs in the field. This article discusses the required coursework and internships at three institutions; it includes a table of statistics for comparison of the schools, as well. A little information on a fourth college choice is also provided.
- The closest school to Richmond that offers a degree in marriage and family counseling is the College of William and Mary, which is about 44 miles away in Williamsburg and offers a master's degree program.
- Liberty University in Lynchburg is approximately 96 miles from downtown Richmond and offers a master's program that covers marriage and family therapy.
- Although Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's program is located about 106 miles from central Richmond, at the Falls Church campus, it's the only school in the region that offers a certificate in marriage and family therapy. It also has a master's degree program in the field.
Comparison of Schools
Take a few moments to review the table below for more details on the profiled institutions. The facts and figures in areas like tuition and student enrollment just might be deciding factors when it comes to choosing a college.
|College of William and Mary||Liberty University||Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University|
|School Type||Four-year; public||Four-year; private, not-for-profit||Four-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||8,740*||75,044*||34,440*|
|Campus Setting||Small suburb||Small city||Small city|
|Average Graduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)||$15,002 in-state; $31,292 out-of-state*||$8,723*||$15,072 in-state; $28,206 out-of-state*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
College of William and Mary
This public school offers a master's program through its School of Education that can prepare graduates to become licensed marriage and family therapists in the state of Virginia.
Master of Education in Couples, Marriage and Family Counseling
This 63-credit program can be completed in four semesters plus one summer session. In addition to qualifying for a therapist license, students who elect to complete two additional courses should meet the education requirements to become Licensed Professional Counselors in Virginia. Some of the courses students can expect to take include family and development processes, counseling techniques, addictions and couples counseling. Students typically complete a practicum during their second semester, and they participate in family counseling internships in each of the subsequent semesters.
Liberty University is the largest non-profit, private school in the nation and was founded in 1971. The School of Health Sciences administers a master's degree intended for students looking to become licensed marriage and family therapists.
Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
Incoming students are required to complete a statistics course and six units of psychology courses if they did not do so in their undergraduate program. This program covers topics in appraisal and assessment of counseling issues, counseling theories, research methodology, group dynamics and human development. Students gain hands-on experience through direct-contact internship experiences with couples, individuals and families. The school offers this 60-credit program in a traditional semester format that's taught at the campus as well as an online format. Several on-campus intensives are required for the students completing this degree online.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Commonly referred to as Virginia Tech, this school has a master's program and a post-master's certificate program useful to students interested in marriage and family counseling. The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) approves the master's program. These programs are available through the Falls Church campus, which is one of seven Virginia Tech locations within the National Capital Region.
Master of Science in Human Development - Marriage and Family Therapy
This 51-54 credit, three-year program prepares individuals to become marriage and family counselors. Coursework includes the clinical and theoretical study of marriage and family therapy, ethical issues, human development, assessment and psychopathology. Students are required to complete 500 hours of client contact during the clinical training portion of the program. The first year of clinical training is completed under close supervision at the Center for Family Services, while the second year of experience is usually completed away from the campus.
Post-Master's Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy
This program is intended for individuals who have already earned a master's degree in a mental health field and wish to obtain training focused in marriage and family counseling. Most students complete the 21 semester-hour program in two or three years of part-time study. In addition to the classroom instruction in clinical and theoretical concepts, students are expected to complete a one-year practicum at the university's on-site clinic.
Other School Options
For students who don't mind traveling out of the state to pursue marriage and family counseling studies, the University of Maryland offers a graduate program that may be of interest. This school is about 103 miles from downtown Richmond.