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Top Schools for Marriage and Family Counseling

Marriage and family counselors need to have master's degrees in order to apply for required state licensing. Other requirements can vary by state but may include two years of post-master's supervised experience and a licensing exam. Maintaining or renewing a license may require completion of continuing education courses. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy offers voluntary accreditation to schools offering marriage and family therapy (MFT) programs.

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1. University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA

The University of Southern California (USC) was ranked 23rd on U.S. News and World Report's list of top national universities in 2012. An urban school based in Los Angeles, it offers a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy degree through its School of Education. The 2-year program prepares students for public, community, school, or private practice clinical work as well as for state licensing. The program features a balance of research and clinical courses. Students can also prepare for specialty practice in fields like substance abuse or domestic violence. The curriculum includes classroom practice that's videotaped for critique and one year of external clinical field practice.

2. Northwestern University in Evanston, IL

Ranked 12th on U.S. News and World Report's list of national university rankings for 2012, this private suburban school offers a terminal Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT) degree. The 2-year program includes a supervised clinical internship at the Family Institute's Bette D. Harris Child and Family Clinic. Students are able to use the interview facilities - including 2-way mirrors and videography - of Northwestern's Family Institute, a teaching and research center dedicated to marriage and family therapy research and services, both on-site and through outreach services.

3. University of Rochester in Rochester, NY

This private school, founded in 1850 and ranked 35th on U.S. News and World Report's 2012 list of national universities, offers an AAMFT-accredited Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy degree program. The program is offered through the University of Rochester Medical Center's Department of Psychiatry, and it offers students supervised clinical practice in individual, family, and marriage therapy techniques for inpatient and outpatient care.

Ten Good Schools Offering Marriage and Family Therapy Programs

Northwestern University Students can participate in research projects through the Family Institute Evanston, IL
Ohio State University Emphasis of Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy program is scholarship and research, preparing students for academic and research-oriented careers Columbus, OH
Syracuse University Part-time Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program can be completed in three years Syracuse, NY
The University of Minnesota Doctoral students can apply for supervision training program and supervise master's degree students St. Paul, MN
University of Connecticut School-sponsored Humphrey Clinic offers clinical training and research for graduate MFT students Storrs, CT
University of Georgia MFT program follows scientist-practitioner and biopsychosocial models Athens, GA
University of Southern California Confers Pupil Personnel Services: School Counseling credential (P.P.S.) with additional two semesters of study Los Angeles, CA
University of Rochester Accepts students for part-time study Rochester, NY
University of Maryland - College Park Home to the Center for Healthy Families where clinical education and research is conducted College Park, MD
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Commonly known as Virginia Tech, this school is home to the oldest continually-accredited MFT Ph.D. program in the country Blacksburg, VA
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