While diploma programs aren't typically available in this field, Pennsylvania boasts of a few schools that offer programs directly related to the field of marriage and family therapy. Students may earn a master's or doctoral degree, or a graduate certificate; at least one bachelor's degree in the field is offered that will suit to prepare students for graduate programs. Some programs include online class options and others may require the completion of a thesis, dissertation, and/or final project. Internship or other practicum experiences are possible. Not all of the following programs lead to licensure; read on for detailed information about each of the available programs.
Profiled below are the eight schools offering degree and certificate programs in marriage and family therapy in Pennsylvania.
Drexel University is located in Philadelphia. The Couple and Family Therapy Department offers a Master of Family Therapy program that includes classes in family violence, the family life cycle and medical family therapy. The program's curriculum also includes several clinical practicum experiences. This program meets the requirements to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).
The school also offers a post-master's certificate program designed for mental health professionals with a master's degree. This program's curriculum includes coursework and several practicum experiences, and graduates are qualified to pursue licensure in marriage and family therapy. Classes focus on subjects such as research in couple and family therapy, historical influences and structural family therapy.
Additionally, the university offers a post-graduate certificate program that is available to health practitioners and marriage and family therapists. This program requires 14 credits of study and takes one year to complete. Classes examine issues and trends in health policy for families, addictions in the family and sex therapy.
This university is located in Pittsburgh and enrolls about 10,000 students annually. It offers a Master of Science in Education in Marriage and Family Counseling program that requires a minimum of 48 credits of study. The program's curriculum includes classes in lifespan development and counseling, therapeutic techniques in counseling and psychological testing. Students also complete a practicum and two internships. While this program prepares students to become licensed professional counselors (LPC), students won't qualify for licensure as marriage and family therapists.
Eastern University is a four-year private school that educates more than 4,000 students at its Saint Davids campus. The Campolo College of Graduate and Professional Studies offers a Doctor of Arts in Marriage and Family program that requires 48 credit hours and does not lead to licensure. Applicants must have earned a master's degree in a related field. Classes include the theology of marriage and family, systems theory and diversity issues in marriage and family therapy. In addition to coursework, students complete a thesis. The program is delivered through a hybrid online and in-person format.
Evangelical Theological Seminary
The Evangelical Theological Seminary is located in Myerstown and enrolls approximately 125 students annually. The school offers a 126-credit Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program, which includes classes in theories of marriage and family therapy, Christian theology and premarital counseling. In addition to courses, students complete 300 hours of practicum experience. Graduates of the master's degree program are prepared to take the national LMFT licensure exam.
Additionally, the seminary offers a Master of Divinity with a track in marriage and family counseling program that requires 90 credits of study. Coursework includes evangelism and discipleship, spiritual formation in ministry and the theories of marriage and family therapy.
Located in Philadelphia, Newton and Plymouth Meeting, LaSalle University offers a master's and certificate program. The COAMFTE-accredited Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program requires 60 credit hours of study and can be completed on a part- or full-time basis. The curriculum includes coursework in working with families, human sexuality and marital and couples therapy, as well as an internship. This program is also available through an accelerated, full-time format in which classes are held on the weekends. The accelerated program takes two years to complete. Both programs prepare students for the LMFT licensure exam.
Lancaster Bible College
Lancaster Bible College is located in the city of its name, Lancaster, and offers a five-year dual Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and Professional Counseling and Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling. In addition to completing a practicum experience, students delve into counseling systems; human growth and development; Christianity and culture; and abnormal psychology.
The college offers a 48-credit Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling program as well. Students can elect to complete additional coursework so that they are eligible to take the state's LPC licensure exam, but they aren't eligible for licensure as marriage and family therapists. Class topics explore abnormal psychology, family counseling and marriage issues, and students complete a practicum and internship.
Seton Hill University
Greensburg's Seton Hill University offers a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy that is available on a full- or part-time basis. This 60-credit-hour, COAMFTE-accredited program includes classes in interpersonal processes, couples therapy and multicultural therapy, along with several practicum experiences. Graduates are eligible for the state LMFT licensure exam. Students can gain hands-on training through the Seton Hill Center for Family Therapy; they also have access to a diverse faculty of clinicians and counselors.
Thomas Jefferson University
Located in Philadelphia, Thomas Jefferson University offers a 66-credit master's program in family therapy with a concentration in sex therapy or family therapy through the School of Health Professions. Within the program, students delve into assessment in couple and family therapy, concepts of human sexuality and issues of violence in the family. In addition to several practicum experiences, students complete a master's project. While the curriculum is not approved by the AAMFT, the program is modeled on the AAMFT's curricular recommendations and meets the eligibility requirements for the LMFT licensure exam.
Pennsylvania requires that marriage and family therapists obtain licensure. To become licensed, an individual must meet specific education requirements and pass the National Marriage and Family Therapist Examination offered by the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors.
The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) provides voluntary accreditation to marriage and family therapy programs.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Marriage and Family Therapy Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Drexel University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Master of Family Therapy,
Post-Master's Couple and Family Therapy Certificate,
Post-Graduate Medical Family Therapy Certificate
|Duquesne University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Master of Science in Education in Marriage and Family Counseling||$21,402*|
|Eastern University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Doctor of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy Studies||$16,060*|
|Evangelical Theological Seminary||Four-year, private not-for-profit; small suburb|| Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy,
Master of Divinity: Marriage and Family Counseling
|LaSalle University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy||$22,920*|
|Lancaster Bible College||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb|| Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and Professional Counseling/Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling,
Master of Arts in Professional Counseling- Marriage and Family Counseling
|Seton Hill University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large suburb||Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy||$15,900*|
|Thomas Jefferson University||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city||Master's of Family Therapy||$28,648*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.