Graduate Program Counseling: Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling

married couple working with a Portland State University counseling student

Counseling: Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling Master's Degree Overview

Relationship counseling isn’t just for married couples. It is not offered solely to people from certain racial, social, and economic demographics. To be an excellent relationship and family counselor, you must have a research and practical background with a diversity of marriage, partnership, relationship, and family compositions.

In the Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling (MCFC) program, focus on equity and relational diversity as you learn the skills needed for effective systemic assessment and intervention in the counseling process. MCFC answers the simple questions “How do I become a family counselor?” and “How do I become a marriage counselor?” with an inclusive, thoughtful response that has a real impact on the community.

Program completion can lead to state licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Degree Details

Counseling: Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling Master's Degree: Why PSU?

The Counseling Department at Portland State is interconnected with the Portland community. Community members receive counseling services at our clinic and our graduate students serve serving community clients at internship sites. Our department also provides clinical supervision to post-masters counseling interns, as well as leadership/consultation for the Oregon licensure board and professional organizations such as the Oregon Counseling Association.

What can I do with a master's degree in Counseling: Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling?

Graduates are employed as counselors at various community mental health agencies and in private practice. Graduates can:

  • Work as counselors in private practice or community agencies
  • Become clinical supervisors


The program of study leading to an M.A./M.S. in Counselor Education with a Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization must include the following 90 credits, in addition to the core CACREP curriculum. Students should work with their advisors in the process of understanding the licensure requirements of both of these credentialing groups.


  • COUN 552 Theories and Interventions II
  • COUN 572 Systemic Perspectives on Human Sexuality
  • COUN 573 Contemporary Couples, Marriage, and Family Systems
  • COUN 574 Family Life Cycle and Transitions
  • COUN 575 Foundations of Couples, Marriage, and Family Counseling
  • COUN 577 Family Therapy
  • COUN 578 Couples Therapy
  • COUN 579 Advanced Systemic Interventions: Couples and Families
  • COUN 555 Counseling Children and Youth
  • COUN 588 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning II
  • COUN 544 Consultation: Theory and Practice
  • COUN 546 Grief and Loss


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Portland State University's Counseling programs are accredited by CACREP, the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practice Commission (TSPC), and the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).