Counseling (MS) with Marital and Family Therapy (MS) with School Counseling (Certificate) | School of Behavioral Health | Loma Linda University
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Applications are now open for Fall 2020. Apply by July 31, 2020. (Application fees waived for Fall 2020.) 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. Submit your application here.

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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
  • School Counseling certificate leads to Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) in California
  • 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

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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 certificateOnly one application fee is required.

Program Requirements

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:

Program Curriculum

Curriculum Guide

Courses applicable to both degrees:

Course CodeCourse TitleUnits
COUN/MFAM 501Research Tools and Methodology: Quantitative3
COUN/MFAM 502Research Tools and Methodology: Qualitative3
COUN/MFAM 515Crisis Intervention and Client Advocacy3
COUN/MFAM 524Psychopharmacology and Medical Issues3
COUN/MFAM 528Culture, Socioeconomic Status in Therapy3
COUN 540 or MFAM 535Foundations of Counseling and Psychotherapy Case Presentation and Professional Studies3
COUN/MFAM 547Social Ecology of Individual and Family Development3
COUN/MFAM 556Psychopathology and Diagnostic Procedures3
COUN/MFAM 568Groups: Process and Practice3
COUN/MFAM 584Advanced Child and Adolescent Development3
COUN/MFAM 604Social Context in Clinical Practice: Gender, Class, and Race3
COUN/MFAM 614Law and Ethics3
COUN/MFAM 624Individual and Systems Assessment3
COUN/MFAM 638Family Therapy and Chemical Abuse3
COUN/MFAM 644Child Abuse and Family Violence3
COUN/MFAM 674Human Sexual Behavior3
COUN 675Dynamics of Aging1
MFAM 553Family Systems Theory3
RELR 540Wholeness and Health*3

Discipline-specific courses:

Marital and Family Therapy
Course CodeCourse TitleUnits
MFAM 536Case Presentation and Documentation3
MFAM 537Case Presentation3
MFAM 551Family Therapy: Foundational Theories and Practice3
MFAM 552Couples Therapy: Theory and Practice3
MFAM 564Family Therapy: Advanced Foundational Theories and Practice3
MFAM 567                        Treating the Severely and Persistently Mentally Ill and the Recovery Process                        3
MFAM 635Case Presentation and Legal Issues3
MFAM 636Case Presentation ad Client-Centered Advocacy3
MFAM 637Case Presentation and Global Practices3
 Choose one theory course from the following:2
MFTH 539Health and Illness in Families 
MFTH 555Organizational Development and Change 
MFTH 605Advanced Quantitative Methods 
MFTH 606Issues in MFT Research 
Course CodeCourse TitleUnits
COUN 576                       Exceptional and Medically Challenged Children* 3
COUN 577Assessment in Counseling*3
COUN 579Career Theories and Applications*4
COUN 678Consultation and Program Evaluation*3
COUN 682Clinical Counseling Practicum and Seminar†5
COUN 691Process Approaches to Counseling and Psychotherapy2
COUN 692Cognitive Approaches to Counseling and Psychotherapy                                                         2
School Counseling Certificate
Course CodeCourse TitleUnits
COUN 574                       Educational Psychology3
COUN 575Counseling Theory and Applications3
COUN 679Professional School Counseling3
COUN 681School Counseling Practicum and Seminar‡                                                                        2

Total Units: 119

*Course applies to School Counseling Certificate (13 units)
†Course taken 5 times for a total of 5 units
‡Course taken twice for a total of 2 units

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