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Contemporary Theory Couple Family Systems Counseling Certificates

Graduate Certificate in Counseling


Capella University's online Contemporary Theory in Couple and Family Systems Graduate Certificate updates your knowledge of family therapy and counseling

This certificate is not designed to meet licensure requirements associated with a master's degree in marriage, couple and family counseling/therapy.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 5 Core courses

Classes Start February 10th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo WINTER)

Cost & learning format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$9,740 estimated tuition*
$487 per credit, 20 total quarter credits, 0 max transfer credits

*This is only an estimate, using general program pricing, and it does not include fees (including application and resource kit fees).  Your price may be higher or lower depending on your specialization, transfer credits, and tuition discounts. If transfer credits are allowed in this offering, the prices above show what you would pay if you brought in the average number of transfer credits and the price if you brought in the maximum allowed transfer credits.  

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

10% military discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Employer & association discounts

If your employer or organization is a partner with Capella, you may be eligible for a tuition discount.

Employer reimbursements

Many employers offer tuition reimbursement to employees. Ask your manager about options.

Sample courses

Show course with description
Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors

Learners in this course examine theories of lifespan development and behavior from a counseling perspective. Learners describe effective approaches in counseling, evaluate its historical and philosophical relevance to current practice, and apply theories and practices to advocate for diverse clientele. Must be taken during the first quarter by learners who have been admitted to the MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy, MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and MS in School Counseling degree programs and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Couple and Family Systems, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, and Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services graduate certificate programs. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer

4 quarter credits
Introduction to Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling

This course provides an introduction to the profession of marriage and family therapy and counseling, and its underlying systemic theoretical framework. Learners evaluate systems theories from a historical perspective and distinguish them from those of other individual-based mental health disciplines. Learners also review the history, philosophy, and clinical practice theories of marital and family therapy and counseling and examine the fundamental therapeutic concepts and skills needed to work with couples and families.

4 quarter credits
COUN5270 *
Family Therapy Theory and Methods

This course is a comparative study of the prominent schools of thought within the field of marriage and family therapy: their tenets, therapeutic strategies, and techniques. Learners also discuss therapy and counseling approaches to structural, strategic, transgenerational, behavioral, communication, and analytical models in working with couples and families. Prerequisite(s): COUN5220.

4 quarter credits
Marriage and Family Systems

Learners in this course study families as systems from theoretical, clinical, and research perspectives. The course emphasizes family development, transitions, assessment, and intervention, including consideration for diversity and sociocultural factors. Learners also apply systems-oriented assessment models and strategies for initial interviews, hypothesis formulation, and designing a strategy for intervention.

4 quarter credits
COUN5273 *
Couple and Marital Therapy

In this course, learners investigate systems-based couples counseling/therapy theories, methods, and practices and focus on therapeutic treatment planning and intervention. Learners also examine and interpret couples counseling/therapy literature and examine ways to apply it to clinical practice. Prerequisite(s): COUN5220, COUN5270.

4 quarter credits

Faculty & support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.


Advisors know the details of your program. Got questions about courses? Instructors? Resources? Advisors have answers.


Our courses are taught by distinguished faculty members who hold top credentials and have hands-on expertise in their fields. They know what you need to know today.

Career center

For this team, it's more than resumes and interview tips. It's about thoughtful and strategic career planning—beyond graduation.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.