Program Details

Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy Certificate

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Further Your Education in Counseling with a Post-Master of Science Marriage and Family Therapy Certificate

Marriage and family therapy can be a personally fulfilling specialization for working professionals in the counseling and behavioral health fields. You can enhance your professional skillsets and focus your career on this specialization by earning your marriage and family therapy certificate. Grand Canyon University’s Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy Certificate program is designed to further the professional growth of individuals who hold a master’s degree or doctorate in a related field.

The marriage counseling certificate is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. It provides an intensive survey of marriage and family-related issues, including premarital counseling, domestic violence, divorce, family reunification and the integration of returning veterans. Students will think critically about the evolving perspectives of family over time, and about the biopsychosocial perspectives of family and family systems.

Engage in Couple Relationships and Family Systems Theory

Emerge from this Post-Master of Science in counseling: marriage and family certificate program with a deep understanding of family systems, family roles and the many issues that can affect couples and families. As a modern university, GCU is pleased to make higher education accessible to working professionals. You can earn your marriage and family therapy certificate via our online platform, which fully supports a collaborative and interactive learning environment. Benefit from lively discussions with peers who present a diverse range of perspectives, and connect with fully qualified instructors who are experts in their fields. A total of 15 credits are required for completion. Online courses are eight weeks in length.

Students will complete the following courses:

  • Specialization in Professional Counseling
  • Advanced Family Systems Theory
  • Couples and Family Dynamics: Systematic Perspectives
  • Diversity in Family Systems
  • Family Systems and Addictive Disorders

Students begin their studies with an immersive look at the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). They explore childhood development, study how counseling theories are applied to families and explore the psychological effects of trauma.

Students then explore the dynamic processes of traditional and nontraditional families. Specific treatment methodologies are examined, including cognitive behavioral and solutions-focused therapies. Other core topic areas include the following:

  • The development of problems within the family of origin, including the dynamics of the parent/child relationship
  • The evolution of the nontraditional family, including blended, single-parent, same-sex, adoptive and foster families
  • The impact of substance use and addictive disorders on family systems, including the treatment roles and responsibilities of addicted individuals and their families

Enhance Your Career in Marriage and Family Therapy with a Post-MS Certificate in Counseling

Family is everything, yet many families have dysfunctions or are affected by individuals with mental or behavioral health issues. As a working professional who has a background in counseling or behavioral health, you could sharpen your focus with this Post-Master of Science in counseling: marriage and family therapy certificate. Marriage and family therapy professionals are typically compassionate and empathetic individuals who are skilled at nurturing the lines of communication among family members, enabling problems to be explored in a judgment-free environment.

Marriage and family therapy specialists may work in a variety of settings. These may include private offices, community-based organizations, social service agencies and Christian organizations.

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Total Program Credits: 15
Online: 8 weeks
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)

Online: $530 per credit [More Info]

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
15 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
15 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This survey course provides an introduction to the graduate certificate programs in childhood and adolescence disorders, marriage and family therapy, substance use disorders and addiction, and trauma. Students are introduced to the University policies and procedures, the learning management system, the library, and proper APA formatting for academic writing. In addition, students are introduced to the current DSM and how the information relates to the field of counseling. Students also learn about researching and utilizing community resources, and becoming certified in specializations.

Course Description

This course examines the dynamic processes of traditional and nontraditional family and couple relationships and the role, value, and benefits of family systems therapy. The biopsychosocial perspectives of family and family systems are evaluated along with the foundational development of marriage and family therapy. Assessment and treatment of couples and families are also addressed.

Course Description

This course examines the development of problems within the family of origin, and the historical and theoretical perspectives of couples and family system dynamics. It addresses the dynamics of the parent/child relationship, family of origin influences, partner selection, and premarital therapy. Family roles and interactional patterns are examined, as are parenting and changes in the parental relationships across the lifespan, resilience, and divorce. Skills and techniques relevant to couples, premarital counseling, family therapy, parenting, and lifestyle transitions are explored.

Course Description

This course examines the dynamic processes of diverse family systems, including multicultural families, blended families, same-sex parents, grandparents as primary caregivers, single-parent families, adoptive, foster, transitional families, and separated families.

Course Description

This course examines the impact of substance use and addictive disorders on family systems. Various treatment interventions are discussed. The treatment roles and responsibilities of addicted individuals and their families are also examined.

Program Locations


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.


Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

Program Domains

* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program's published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution's catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who started the program in the same year and then graduated within the published program length .

Online and Evening program disclosures (0.917 years)

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.