10 Most Affordable PhD in Family Counseling Online Programs in 2021

Today’s online Ph.D in Family Counseling is a fantastic way to earn a valuable degree and open doors to many great career choices, all from the comfort of one’s own home. Unfortunately, however, not all online family counseling Ph.D are created equal. The purpose of this rundown is to provide anyone interested in this field of study with a condensed list of family counseling online Ph.D that are not only quality, but that are also on the more affordable end of school tuition rates.

Accredited Online College Programs

Most Affordable Online Family Counseling PhD Programs in 2021

  • Amridge University

    Montgomery, AL



    With a motto of "Where traditional and online education merge," it's obvious at the outset that Amridge University values the distance learning format as much as traditional, brick-and-mortar approaches. Amridge operates as a non-profit, private Christian university. Although relatively small, Amridge University truly does provide a world-class education.

    Classes specific to the school's online Ph.D in Marriage and Family Therapy focus on counseling practice and efficacy along with legal and ethical concerns for the industry and the individual operating within it. They also place great emphasis on the intermixing of traditional and non-traditional models of learning and professional practice. Full and part-time options are available in this high-quality hybrid curriculum.

  • Antioch University-New England

    Keene, NH



    Antioch University New England was first established in 1964 and is a private institution sprawled across an urban campus. Sister campuses include Seattle, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Yellow Springs. The university's main areas of study are those of management, environmental studies, and several disciplines in psychology.

    This school's Ph.D in Marriage and Family Therapy is a great mix of quality and affordability in the world of Ph.D family counseling online degree programs. While focusing on the general aligns of marriage and family therapy, this program also takes a bit of a social justice approach as well. Research training is also an important and quite valuable focus of this program.

  • Liberty University

    Lynchburg, VA



    Liberty University is widely considered to be the most conservative Christian school in the entire nation. Founded in 1971 by renowned reverend Jerry Falwell, it is now presided over by his son, Jerry Falwell Jr. 17 schools of study, 110,000 online students, 15,000 on-campus students, and a Division 1 NCAA sports ranking highlight some of the school's statistics.

    The Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling – Marriage and Family Counseling offered by Liberty is specifically designed for the future counseling professional. This program runs a 57-credit hour schedule with 15 transfer credit hours allowed. It is also 100 percent online.

  • Northcentral University

    San Diego, CA



    Northcentral University is yet another relatively new school, but is nonetheless noted for its efficacy in psychology programming. Founded in 1996, Northcentral is a for-profit university consisting of three main schools of discipline. Students are welcomed by blue and gold theme colors in addition to a spirited roadrunner mascot.

    This school's Family Counseling Ph.D online is packed with modern material and relevance. The Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy at Northcentral University is very counseling-centered but with plenty of focus in all other applicable areas. When completed, the student will have effectively demonstrated mastery over 12 individual educational outcome goals.

  • Palo Alto University

    Palo Alto, CA



    Palo Alto University was originally established in 1975 with a so-far unchanged focus to the study of psychology. It is a relatively small school but a well-respected source of psychology accolades nonetheless. Blue and gold are the school's colors with an accompanying motto of "Engaging minds, improving lives."

    This school provides very well-designed curriculum in its various psychology programs, particularly the Ph.D of Clinical Psychology. This is a hybrid program with some physical on-campus time required. The concentrations available within this program are also quite diverse with seven unique offerings to choose from.

  • Texas Woman's University

    Denton, TX



    The Texas Woman's University is a public coeducational university founded in 1901. Male students are accepted here although female patronage is the schools primary line of historic focus and accolade. In addition to its online offerings, the school hosts three campus centers from the state of Texas.

    The Ph.D in Family Therapy offered by the university is a high-quality hybrid program. The face-to-face portion of studies here is found exclusively at the Denton campus location. Graduates are thoroughly prepared for any number of careers in psychotherapy through this particular Ph.D Attend the school from which came two of the nation's only 21 students to receive prestigious federal research fellowships with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

  • Trevecca Nazarene University

    Nashville, TN



    Trevecca Nazarene University is a celebrated private, liberal arts Christian University. This school was founded in 1901 and is represented by its widely recognized Trojan mascot. Its motto, translated to English from Latin is "To be, rather than to seem." This university's program, Ph.D Clinical Counseling: Teaching and Supervision is competitive and modern. The program was originally put in place in 2007 and has since given rise to a distinguished reputation. Note: this is listed as a traditional, face-to-face teaching experience.

  • University of Akron

    Akron, OH



    University of Akron is a public research university founded originally in 1870. It is also a STEM educational provider – a school dedicated to the main studies of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Three campuses as well as the online distance learning platform serve as the school's principal educational outlets.

    For those looking specifically for a family counseling doctorate online that is quality, hybrid, and affordable, the university's Doctorate of Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy is a top choice. Abilities in advanced practice headline the goals for this particular program of study. Students of this program will gain some of the deepest insights into counseling practice while also learning the complete aligns of ethical and legal operations therein. Admission to this program requires a 3.25 GPA in addition to the typical requirements of other competitive programs.

  • University of Louisiana at Monroe

    Monroe, LA



    Founded in 1931, the University of Louisiana Monroe was once known as Ouachita Parish Junior College. After about three years of operation, its name changed to its current one and has stayed that way ever since. This is a coeducational public university occupying a 238-acre urban campus center and educating approximately 9,000 students at any given time.

    The Doctor of Philosophy offered here is of top-rate quality at a relatively affordable price per credit hour. It is a concentrated program of systemic studies. This means that students will learn all about the family therapy field with a special focus on how entire systems of practice, administration, therapy, and so on function together. Some theory and alternative method is also introduced for extra food for thought as well.

  • Our Methodology, Explained

    Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.

    Metric Data Used Percentage
    Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30%
    Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10%
    Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30%
    Program Offerings Number of program options 20%
    Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%

    A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.

With a motto of “Where traditional and online education merge,” it’s obvious at the outset that Amridge University values the distance learning format as much as traditional, brick-and-mortar approaches. Amridge operates as a non-profit, private Christian university. Although relatively small, Amridge University truly does provide a world-class education.

Classes specific to the school’s online Ph.D in Marriage and Family Therapy focus on counseling practice and efficacy along with legal and ethical concerns for the industry and the individual operating within it. They also place great emphasis on the intermixing of traditional and non-traditional models of learning and professional practice. Full and part-time options are available in this high-quality hybrid curriculum.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Various Disciplines of Family Counseling?

The professional field of family counseling belongs to the greater, all-encompassing field of psychology. As such, its relation in the network of affiliated and related subjects, disciplines, and sub-specializations within psychology is one of extensive attachments. In addition to its many affiliations within the greater world of psychology, family counseling and therapeutic services is related to a number of non-psychology industries as well.

Within the vast field of psychology, the links are many. Childhood psychology, behavioral therapy, and personality psychology are just a few of those other specializations which are closely related. For those interested in the research arm of the science, research psychology, analysis, and even legal psychology can also cross many paths with this field of specialized practice.

External to the field of psychology, family counseling and therapy services relate to public health, healthcare administration, family sciences, cultural sciences, and many more disciplines. A family counseling service, for example, might form a part of a much larger healthcare organization. This creates a junction of healthcare administration and family counseling services among others. Similarly, the planning of ongoing public health initiatives by government agencies might very well bring together a number of disciplines to include public health, family sciences, and family therapy services.

What are the Career Options for an Online Doctorate in Family Counseling Degree?

The career options open to those presenting with this particular degree are many. This is true with regard to jobs directly working within the field of study as well as for those not. Per the vast variations of disciplines and their junctures, as discussed above, the job field here is plentiful and diverse. The following are just a small number of careers typically made eligible to the recipient of an online Ph.D in Family Services and Therapy.

  • Family Therapist
  • Child Therapist
  • Tragedy and Sudden Loss Therapist
  • Family Planning Specialist
  • Interventionist
  • Teacher, Professor
  • Non-Profit Leader
  • Researcher
  • Writer
  • Analyst
  • Consultant
  • Tester

What is the Salary Expectation in the Field of Family Counseling?

Variation presents itself again in the answer to this frequently asked question. With such variation in this field and its affiliated fields, there is no way to generalize a rate of pay for the graduate of this particular Ph.D. The many factors in variational play here include those of the particular job, role and responsibility, location, experience, complexities in compensation packages, market supply and demand, and more. As these factors begin to form an extensive list, one can being to see the great role of variation at play.

In an effort to give a more straightforward answer to this common query, however, we have compiled some fairly general yet accurate numbers from which to base some sort of elementary, initial perspective. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average income for today’s marriage or family therapist is approximately $49,170 per year, or $23.64 per hour. Similarly, today’s practicing psychologist is listed by the BLS as making an average of around $75,230 per year, or $36.17 per hour. Another earnings example comes to us by way of the school counselor, making an average of $54,560 per year, or $26.23 per hour. Just in these three samples alone, we see considerable variation, although we also have some more solid numbers with which to begin to deliberate.

What Additional Strategies for Success are Used in Completing This Degree Program?

Those interested in asking this particular question are already poised for future success. Concern for success via good strategy is a great kick-start at any point in the process. This being said, there are a great number of strategies in this arena with a great deal of individual goals and focuses to match any student’s needs, according to the US News and World Report. In addition, any student at a typical college or university should be able to find their school’s resources and staff assigned to this exact area of concern.

Additional tips to keep in mind include:

  • Take control. This is your future, your endeavor, and your debt. Own it and take control over it all.
  • Research your professors. All professors are not created equal, and it can be very helpful to research an upcoming professor via the web and other students before committing to that class.
  • Establish a work space. Most college work occurs outside of the classroom. Find a comfortable and non-distracting place in which to regularly do your work and study.
  • Connect with staff. If you start to have problems or concerns, don’t stay quiet. Be vocal. Reach out to your professor, your school counselors, and coaches and open whatever dialogue is necessary to figure out the problem as well as a path to fixing it.
  • Do what you love. Finally, remember to do what you love. By picking a career and coursework that draws you in rather than pushes you away, you’ve already taken a huge step toward guaranteed success.

How Does School Accreditation Work?

School accreditation is a status which implies to the entire professional world the fact that a particular school is up to speed on teaching the appropriate things and at appropriate quality levels. Anyone can claim to run a college and teach some form of classes there. Without accreditation, though, this “education” would mean nothing in the eyes of employers, associates, and colleagues. Accreditation is thus a sort of stamp of approval and officialism, recognized by the entire professional world.

Who determines if a school is then accredited? This job falls to the nationally recognized accrediting bodies and a professional peer review process applied to the school in question. To date, the following officially recognized organizations make this ultimate determination.

  • Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
  • Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation
  • Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools, Accreditation Commission
  • Council on Occupational Education (COE)
  • Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
  • Association of Institutions of Jewish Studies
  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission
  • New York State Board of Regents, and the Commissioner of Education


There is certainly plenty to consider when making that final choice in schools to attend. We hope this breakdown saves you plenty of time and effort in what can otherwise be an exhausting search when looking for the perfect Doctorate in Family Counseling.

Other Counseling Degrees

Best Online Ph.D. in Counseling Programs 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Educational Counseling Online 5 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Web Design

Degrees In Similar Fields

Most Affordable Online Doctorate in Social Work Programs How is a DSW Different from a PhD in Psychology?

This concludes our ranking of the 10 Most Affordable Online PhD in Family Counseling degree programs.

Additional Resources

See All Posts
How Can you Specialize a Ph.D. in Family Counseling?

How Can you Specialize a Ph.D. in Family Counseling?

August 4, 2020   |   Staff

Individuals who pursue careers in family counseling generally have a desire to help others and have a career that's rewarding, challenging and offers good career opportunities. Many aspiring therapists and...

What Types of Jobs are Available with a Ph.D. in Family Counseling?

What Types of Jobs are Available with a Ph.D. in Family Counseling?

August 4, 2020   |   Staff

Working towards a Ph.D. in Family Counseling is a big accomplishment. This isn't something you achieve overnight but when you do finally get your degree, there are a number of...

Discover a program that is right for you.

Explore different options for you based on your degree interests.