5 Best Online Ph.D. Marriage and Family Counseling Programs 2022

marriage and family counseling

The field of marriage and family therapy is expected to grow by 16% through 2030, a rate that is much faster than most other industries. For professionals with a master’s or current licensure in MFT, earning an online PhD in marriage and family therapy can open doors to roles in research and lead to leadership opportunities. An online doctoral program in online marriage and family therapy can give you the advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities you need to advance your career.

We researched institutions offering online doctoral degrees in Marriage and Family Counseling to create our ranking of the top online programs in the United States. We looked for accredited schools offering online doctorate programs in the field of marriage and family counseling or therapy. We ranked the programs using a point system for student/faculty ratio and average graduate tuition rates. We awarded additional points to schools with COAMFTE accreditation. While we acknowledge that ratios and tuition rates may be different for Ph.D. programs, we felt this was effective ranking criteria since the information was available on all the schools we considered.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Student/Faculty ratio:

  • 13:1 or less- 3 points
  • 14:1 to 20:1- 2 points
  • 21:1 and above- 1 point

Average Graduate Tuition Rate:

  • Less than $10,000- 5 points
  • $10,000 to $20,000- 3 points
  • Greater than $20,000- 1 point

COAMFTE Accreditation:

  • Yes- 5 points

#5. Amridge University – Montgomery, Alabama

Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy

School Profile

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,700/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 6
What’s Unique

The top online PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Amridge University is offered through the School of Human Services. This rigorous program uses traditional and non-traditional extended learning delivery systems. It gives students the opportunity for therapeutic experience and scholarship. Students complete 48 semester hours of coursework covering areas like:

  • Medical Family Therapy
  • Supervisor Training
  • Applied Adult Development

Both full and part-time program options are available. Full-time students can complete their degree in four years. All students must pass a qualifying examination and complete a dissertation.

#4. Liberty University – Lynchburg, Virginia

EdD in Community Care and Counseling: Marriage and Family

School Profile

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,935/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Points: 7
What’s Unique

Liberty University offers an affordable online EdD in Community Care and Counseling focused on Marriage and Family. This 57-credit hour program takes two-and-a-half-years to complete. Courses are delivered in eight-week sessions that accommodate working professionals. This practice-focused degree emphasizes solving real-world problems with current research. Course content can be applied to marriage and family counseling certifications like Prepare and Enrich and Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts. Students will learn specialized assessment tools and methods that can help their clients build better relationships and stronger families. Liberty provides quality education at an affordable rate. They have not raised tuition for the past six years!

#3. The University of Louisiana – Monroe, Louisiana

Doctor of Philosophy degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with a concentration in Systemic Studies

School Profile

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,490/year in-state and $18,590/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Points: 7
What’s Unique

The online PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Louisiana Monroe is a theory oriented program focused on system studies. The program is a great choice for professionals who want to study and contribute to the ways that creativity influences the change process. Students will study the ideas and practices that underlie systemic family therapy. They will focus on diverse contexts of change and stability. Course offerings include:

  • The Art of Creative Transformation
  • Qualitative and Ethnographic Research
  • Couple and Marital Therapy

This 60-credit hour program includes coursework and a dissertation. Students can complete their degree in three years.

#2. Antioch University – Keene, New Hampshire

PhD in Couple and Family Therapy

School Profile

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $24,384/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 8
What’s Unique

The PhD in Couple and Family Therapy Online at Antioch University is a COAMFTE accredited program that takes three years to complete. This low-residency MFT PhD program includes both research and clinical training. Students participate in three, five-day residencies each year. They work on class materials and advanced practical experiences between these sessions. The program follows a cohort format allowing students to move through the program together. All students complete a dissertation. Applicants should have a clinical master’s degree in mental health.

#1. Northcentral University – San Diego, California

Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy

School Profile

Average Graduate Student Tuition: $16,983/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 3:1
Points: 11
What’s Unique

Our top choice for an online PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy is offered by Northcentral University. This COAMFTE and IACSTE-accredited program is online and prepares students with the knowledge and skills needed to be a successful marriage and family therapist. Students can complete their doctoral practicum/internship in their local area. Eight different specializations are available including:

  • Child and Adolescent Therapy, PhD-MFT
  • Couple Therapy, PhD-MFT
  • General Family Therapy, PhD-MFT
  • Medical Family Therapy, PhD-MFT
  • Therapy with Military Families, PhD-MFT
  • Education and Supervision, PhD-MFT
  • Culture, Diversity and Social Justice in a Global Context, PhD-MFT
  • Systemic Leadership, PhD-MFT

Students can complete their doctorate degree in 52 months.

Related Resources: