Universities in Texas offer degree programs in marriage and family therapy at the graduate level. These master's and doctoral programs include practicums and internships for students to gain hands-on experience. Students may also need to complete a thesis or a dissertation. Master's degree programs often take between two and three years to complete, while doctoral degrees can take between four and seven.
Abilene Christian University
Located in Abilene, this university offers a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program that takes two years to complete. This 60-credit hour program is approved by COAMFTE and includes coursework in couples therapy, advanced psychopathology, family therapy and addictive disorders. Students are required to complete a 500-hour internship prior to graduation. Internships are typically completed at the school's on-site clinic, but there are also a variety of off-campus opportunities that students may pursue.
St. Mary's University
St. Mary's University is located in San Antonio and offers a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy that requires 54 semester hours of study. The program includes 500 hours of client contact experience. Courses in this program include human growth and development, marital therapy and therapeutic methods for children.
The school also offers a Doctor of Philosophy program that requires 80 semester hours of study. Students in this program complete coursework, an internship and several practicum experiences. Towards the end of the program, students are also required to complete a dissertation. The program's curriculum includes coursework in family social science theories, working with Latino families and marriage and family therapy outcome research. Students who already have a master's degree in the field can complete the program in about four years, and those who only have a bachelor's degree may spend up to seven years in the program. Both programs are accredited by COAMFTE.
Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University in Lubbock has a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy. The master's degree program includes 53 credit hours of study and includes courses in family therapy, eating disorders and family systems. This program is not accredited by COAMFTE.
The COAMFTE-approved doctoral program requires 63 credit hours of study, which includes credit hours dedicated to a dissertation project. Courses in the doctoral program cover topics like addiction treatment, post-traumatic stress disorder and diversity in marriage and family therapy. Students can expect to complete a practicum and internship as well.
Texas Woman's University
Located in Denton, Texas Woman's University features two graduate programs in family therapy. Although both programs are not accredited by COAMFTE, the programs are designed to meet the marriage and family therapy licensing requirements in Texas. The Master of Science in Family Therapy consists of 57 semester hours of study. Students in this program complete coursework in lifespan human development, the principles of marital therapy and family systems. Students have the option to write a thesis or complete additional coursework to finish the program.
The university also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Family Therapy. This program, which requires 90 semester hours of study, includes coursework, an internship and a dissertation project. Coursework in the program covers topics like family financial counseling, family of origin and strategies for intervention in family therapy.
University of Houston - Clear Lake
The Clear Lake campus is located in Houston and offers a master's program in family therapy. This program is accredited by COAMFTE and can prepare students for the Licensed Professional Counselor exam as well as the licensing exam in Texas. Students must complete 60 semester hours to earn the degree, which can usually be done in two or three years. Coursework covers substance abuse, couple therapy, life planning and group psychology. The program also includes two semesters of practicum experience and three semesters of internship work.
Texas requires marriage and family therapists to be licensed. The Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists is responsible for licensing these therapists in the state.
To become licensed as an associate marriage and family therapist, an individual must possess a graduate degree in the field from an institution accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and pass an exam. Some programs that aren't COAMFTE-approved can still meet the education requirements, provided that the practicum experience is nine credits or 12 months long. After receiving associate licensure, an individual must complete at least two years of supervised therapy work experience to become a fully licensed marriage and family therapist.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Marriage and Family Therapy Programs Offered||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Abilene Christian University||4-year; private, not-for-profit; midsize city||Master of Marriage and Family Therapy||$19,116*|
|St. Mary's University||4-year; private, not-for-profit; large city|| Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy,
Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy
|Texas Tech University||4-year; public; midsize city|| Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy,
Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy
|$7,390 in-state; $14,410 out-of state*|
|Texas Woman's University||4-year, public; midsize city|| Master of Science in Family Therapy,
Doctor of Philosophy in Family Therapy
|$6,667 for in-state and $13,687 for out-of-state students*|
|University of Houston - Clear Lake||4-year; public; fringe rural||Master of Arts in Family Therapy||$7,488 in-state; $14,904 out-of-state*|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.