Prepare to Become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) Online

The online Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology empowers you to provide families and couples with the impartial guidance they need to build happier and healthier relationships.

Through interactive online course work led by distinguished Pepperdine faculty and clinical training in or near your own community, you will be prepared to pursue work as an LMFT in as few as 27 months.

What Does a Marriage and Family Therapist Do?

Marriage counselors help families and couples deal with issues and conflicts that are affecting their relationships, mental health, and well-being. While no two clients will have the same needs, there are some common issues you can expect to help solve as a family therapist.

As a marriage counselor or family therapist, you may see clients who are:

  • Suffering through depression.
  • Affected by substance abuse of a partner or family member.
  • Affected by the psychological disorders of a partner or family member.
  • Going through marital stress or family conflict caused by grief, emotional pain, fear, anger, guilt, or separating lifestyles.

You will help your clients by:

  • Being an impartial listener.
  • Observing how family members and couples interact with one another.
  • Highlighting problematic relational and behavioral patterns.
  • Evaluating and finding effective and pragmatic resolutions to problems.
  • Helping replace dysfunctional behaviors with healthier alternatives.

LMFT Licensure Requirements

To pursue a career as an LMFT, first you will need to have earned a bachelor’s degree. Students of all educational backgrounds are able to apply. You will then need to:

Licensing requirements vary by state. You can learn more about LMFT requirements by state by visiting your state’s licensing board.

Did You Know?

Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology has been preparing students for lives of purpose, service, and leadership since 1971. Our online master’s in clinical psychology program is an extension of that mission—as such, our curriculum features the latest in multicultural counseling, trauma in diverse populations, substance abuse counseling, and more.

Earn Your Master’s. Help People Thrive.

Learn more about Pepperdine’s online Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program today.

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Now is the time. Advance your career with Pepperdine. Take the next step today.

Careers in Marriage and Family Therapy

LMFT career options are many. Marriage counselors can work in hospitals, schools, or social service agencies, or even start their own practice. Many counselors also choose to work with a specific population, such as children or the elderly.

As you earn your master’s and complete your fieldwork hours, you’ll have time to explore your areas of interest within the field.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for marriage and family therapists is projected to grow 22 percent from 2019 to 2029.1

Start Your LMFT Path at Pepperdine

You want to help families build stronger relationships, and Pepperdine has empowered students to do just that since 1971. Join us—we’re just getting started.

Access Your Application

Now is the time. Advance your career with Pepperdine. Take the next step today.

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook (visited May 12, 2021). arrow_upwardReturn to footnote reference