Counseling (MS) with Marital and Family Therapy (MS) with School Counseling (Certificate) | School of Behavioral Health | Loma Linda University
Dismiss Alert


Fall Quarter Updates and Student Guidelines COVID-19 Donations

Please note: Beginning Fall 2021, this dual degree program will include the Drug & Alcohol Counseling certificate rather than the School Counseling certificate.

Apply now!

Now accepting applications. Gain maximum portability upon graduation with a master's degree in Counseling, a master's degree in Marital and Family Therapy, and a School Counseling Certificate (PPS). Only 29 units more than one master's degree. Applications are reviewed as they are received until all spaces are filled. All application fees currently waived. Apply here.

woman using laptop

Weekly Online Info Sessions

Questions about our programs? Join the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences for weekly online info sessions on Wednesdays from 6-7 PM (Pacific).


At a Glance

  • Earn two master's degrees plus a School Counseling certificate in 3 years (full-time)
  • 119 quarter unit academic program--29 units more than one master's degree alone
  • Maximum flexibility for Counseling and MFT licensure across the United States
  • Start dates in September, January, March, and June
  • 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 and compassionate whole person care
  • Embedded professional self-care

Program Directors


Graduates of this dual degree with certificate program receive a master's degree in Counseling, a master's degree in Marital and Family Therapy (COAMFTE) and a School Counseling certificate that allows them to apply for the Pupil Personnel Services credential within the State of California. Completion of the program requires a minimum of three years of full-time attendance. The 119-unit curriculum provides a mix of academic, experiential, and research activities essential for practice as a Clinical Counselor, Marriage and Family Therapist, and School Counselor. Students with the dual degree have licensure options providing maximum flexibility in pursuing employment in California and other states across the nation.

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 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. 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 MS MFT degree from LLU may complete the Doctor of Marital and Family Therapy (DMFT) degree in 2 years following graduation with their master’s degree.

Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling (PPS/SC)

Professional School Counselors are administering programs in schools that are designed with a three-fold purpose: 1) assisting with personal and social development of K-12 students, 2) helping to facilitate academic success, and 3) providing guidance related to career interests. Loma Linda University’s PPS School Counseling program is accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), the agency responsible for regulating educational programs and post-graduation credentialing.

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. Students attend a university-sponsored placement faire in the fall of their first year. After listening to representatives from various agencies describe their programs, candidates apply to places of interest. Options include, but are not limited to, the university’s Behavioral Health Institute (BHI) and Behavioral Medicine Center (BMC), community agencies, American Indian reservations, employee and student assistance programs (EAP/SAP), and county behavioral health internships. Candidates working toward the Pupil Personnel Services Credential in School Counseling (PPS) will be placed by the university in local K-12 public schools for their field experience.

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


Clinical hours overlap and can count for both degrees up to 500 hours.

Students who choose specialization in PPS are required to meet the minimum clinical hour requirement for this certificate.

  • 200 hours with any population - all hours overlap with MFT and LPCC hours
  • 200 hours each in two separate school grade levels - all hours overlap with LPCC hours, some will overlap with MFT hours

At graduation, total student hours will range from 650-700, 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 School 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 School Counseling certificate. Only one application fee is required.

Admissions FAQ

Program Requirements and Curriculum

Students must meet all requirements for the MS Counseling degree, MS MFT degree and the School Counseling certificate program in order to graduate from the dual-degree with certificate program. If the requirements for one degree are completed prior to the other degree, the first degree will be awarded during the actual term of completion. Please visit the below pages to view the requirements for each program:

Curriculum Guide Course Descriptions

Play Therapy or Drug & Alcohol Counseling Certificate

Students entering an MS degree program within the Department of Counseling and Family Sciences in academic year 2021-2022 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.

Apply Here Questions? Message us!

Request Information