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  • Gain maximum portability upon graduation with a master's degree in Counseling, a master's degree in Marital and Family Therapy, and a Drug and Alcohol Counseling certificate.
  • No international students are accepted into the dual degree program at this time.
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Online Info Sessions

Questions about our programs? Join the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences for one of our helpful online info sessions.

At a Glance

  • Earn two distinct master's degrees plus a Drug and Alcohol Counseling certificate in 3 years (full-time)
  • 121 quarter unit academic program
  • Maximum flexibility for Counseling and MFT licensure across the United States
  • September start date each year
  • No GREs required
  • Internships across the Loma Linda University Health system of care and throughout the community
  • Embedded curriculum for practice with active-duty military and veterans
  • Christian environment emphasizing integrated learning, respect for all persons, and compassionate whole person care
  • Embedded professional self-care

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Program Director

Prof. Randall Walker


Assistant Professor, Counseling and Family Sciences
Director, Counseling MS, Drug and Alcohol Counseling Certificate, and School Counseling Certificate Programs

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Graduates of this dual degree with certificate program receive a master's degree in Counseling, a master's degree in Marital and Family Therapy, and a Drug and Alcohol Counseling certificate that allows them to apply for three separate national certificates in substance abuse counseling. Completion of the program requires a minimum of three years of full-time attendance. The 121-unit curriculum provides a mix of academic, experiential, and research activities essential for practice as a Clinical Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, and Substance Abuse Counselor. Students with the dual degree have licensure options providing maximum flexibility in pursuing employment in California and other states across the nation.

Curriculum Guide

Nikky Eminzade
Nikky Eminzade
The dual MFT MS and Counseling MS program at Loma Linda University taught me important lessons in wholistic, systemic care which go beyond client care. I am so grateful for the caring staff and wonderful cohort who made my experience at LLU an unforgettable one.

Clinical Counseling (LPCC)

Professional Clinical Counseling is one of several behavioral health professions requiring state licensure for employment in mental health settings and independent practice. Across the United States the professional title varies. Irrespective of the specific license name, clinical counselors are prepared to diagnose and treat individuals, couples and groups who need help in working through personal challenges. Loma Linda University's LPCC program is approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS), the agency responsible for regulating educational programs, post-graduation internships and licensure in the profession. The educational program meets national standards and is portable to other states.

Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT)

The Loma Linda University MFT MS is one of the most well-established programs in the state of California and has the distinction of being COAMFTE-accredited. There is a strong emphasis on whole person care and interdisciplinary learning. A Christ-centered approach is utilized to promote wellness for individuals and families. The program is based on the values of compassion, integrity, excellence, freedom, and justice. There is a low faculty to student ratio, which allows for significant academic and professional mentoring. Similar to the Clinical Counseling program, there is a low faculty to student ratio, which allows for significant academic and professional mentoring. Students graduating with the MFT MS degree from LLU may complete the Doctor of Marital and Family Therapy (DMFT Online) degree in 3 years following graduation with their master's degree.

Drug and Alcohol Counseling Certificate

The Drug and Alcohol Counseling certificate program at Loma Linda University has graduated substance use/abuse treatment professionals for twenty years. The program has been continually refined to stay current with advancements in the field. Our alumni are drug and alcohol counselors working in outpatient and inpatient substance abuse treatment settings, for-profit and non-profit organizations, specialty private practices, and developers of their own substance abuse treatment programs. The program allows graduates to become certified in substance abuse treatment by select national organizations such as:

  • NAADAC: the Master Addiction Counselor (MAC)
  • CCAPP: the Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LAADC)
  • AAHCPAD: the Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS)

Supervised Clinical Experience

In addition to courses, dual-degree candidates are required to complete supervised clinical practice during their program. Placements depend upon interests and specialization(s) chosen for the program. Options include, but are not limited to, the University's Behavioral Medicine Center (BMC), community agencies, and county behavioral health internships.

Students will be required to meet BBS and COAMFTE minimum clinical hour requirement for graduation.

Degree Clinical Hours
MFT 300
LPCC 420

Clinical hours may overlap and can count for both degrees up to 420 hours. The Drug and Alcohol Counseling certificate requires 200 hours working with substance-related issues. The entire 200 hours may overlap with hours for either MS program.

At graduation, total clinical hours will range from 450-500, depending on population served while in clinical placement. Students will receive advisement related to clinical hours throughout the program.


Applicants must meet the admission requirements for each master's program as well as the Drug and Alcohol Counseling certificate program. To begin the process, applicants should submit applications for the MS in Counseling and MS in Marital and Family Therapy. Once admitted into both of those programs, applicants will be directed to submit an application to the Drug and Alcohol Counseling certificate.

Admissions FAQ

Program Requirements and Curriculum

Requirements for the Counseling MS degree, the Marital and Family Therapy MS degree, and the Drug and Alcohol Counseling certificate program are completed concurrently. Please visit the below pages to view the requirements for each program:

Please Note: The curriculum of this program includes attendance during the summer terms.

Play Therapy or Drug Alcohol Counseling Certificate

Students entering an MS degree program within the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences in academic year 2023-2024 who are interested in obtaining certification in Play Therapy or Drug & Alcohol Counseling will receive a tuition waiver for the certificate program of their choice. Students interested in this benefit are required to enroll in elective courses specified by their academic advisor. Given available spaces, students enrolling in the Systems, Families, and Couples PhD program may also take advantage of this benefit. Tuition waivers do not apply to any units used to support the student's primary degree program.

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