The best marriage and therapy degree programs online prepare students for a challenging and versatile career helping people. Marriage and therapy degree programs prepare students to enter the field of helping families stay together by working with them one on one or as a whole couple or family. The degrees are not limited to only counseling, as many graduates use the knowledge they obtain to work in research involving family dynamics or in designing programs that help in other social work areas. Pursuing education in marriage and family therapy online allows students the convenience of working at their own pace in the comfort of home. Online degree programs are also more affordable and carry as much clout as traditional college programs. If a student is interested in a degree in marriage/family therapy, there are some questions that will help direct them to the program that is right for their needs.
This will vary depending on the level of the degree being considered. For a Bachelor's program, proof of high school graduation or a GED may be the only requirement. For higher levels, you may need an undergraduate degree in a field like Psychology or Sociology and may need to take a GMAT test. The school may also request things like letters of recommendation, work experience in the field, or a statement of intent.
What kind of academic support is offered?
Are lectures the only contact a student has with the instructor or are there office hours or a student forum that will allow students to get help or support if necessary? Some schools offer tutors and formal study sessions while others don't provide anything like this.
Are the school and program accredited?
Schools need to be accredited overall in order for their degrees to be accepted as legitimate. For Marriage Therapy, look for accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. This is the most respected agency in this field. It is also important to note whether the school is nationally or regionally accredited in order to know where in the country it will be recognized.
What will the degree allow me to do upon graduation?
This is an extremely important question. Schools may offer degrees at the Bachelor's, Master's, or Doctorate level. There are also certificate programs. Only graduates with a Master's degree or a Doctorate can actually become licensed to provide therapy. A Bachelor's degree will allow the graduate to work in a variety of social work settings with families in general. A certificate can expand the number of areas the graduate can work in or it can enable a general psychologist to specialize in marriage and family therapy.
Will an internship be necessary?
This isn't normally a requirement in this field but some of the upper-level programs may want a candidate for graduation to spend a certain number of hours working in a therapy setting.
Will I need to have therapy?
This may seem strange but if the program is part of the Psychology department, it is possible all students will need to undergo a short therapy program, or at least undergo a psychological evaluation, to determine if they are emotionally fit for this type of work. This is done because of the personal stress that can be involved in dealing with delicate situations daily.
Will previous schooling credits transfer?
Even if the previous schooling is in a totally unrelated area, many programs will allow the credit to go toward reducing the number of electives a student needs to take. This helps reduce both the cost and time for a student.
How will the material be delivered?
You want to know if the lessons are solely lecture-based or if there will be supplemental reading required. You will also want to check into any special resources pertaining to this field that are available to students in the program. This can include research databases or the school library,