University of South Carolina

Departmemt of Educational Studies/marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling
Last Updated

The mission of the Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling program (MCFC) is to prepare professional counselors to address a variety of issues in the context of relationships and families. The mission of the Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling specialty (MCFC) is to prepare professional counselors to address a variety of issues presented in relationships and families. Our goal is to graduate students who are self-reflective scholar-practitioners who can conduct and utilize research on effective practice through their involvement in the solution of real-world problems in relational contexts. We are committed to preparing our students in accordance with CACREP standards ( and South Carolina licensure requirements ( Further, we believe these counseling professionals provide leadership that will promote awareness, knowledge, and skills in interacting with economically, socially, and culturally diverse members of communities. The MCFC specialty is committed to recruiting and admitting students who reflect the diverse nature of our society. In addition, preference will be given to applicants who have had one or more years of direct, supervised, full-time work experience in an educational, mental health or human services setting. The ideal candidate demonstrates openness to those opportunities designed to foster personal and professional development through a supporting and challenging learning environment. Students progress through a carefully designed sequence of coursework and clinical experiences in a cohort model. Program faculty intentionally designs didactic and experiential coursework that fosters professional knowledge, skills, and self-awareness; all integral to professional practice of marriage, couples, and family counseling. The program participates in a collaborative partnership with professional counselors and human service agencies to monitor, evaluate and improve the program's efforts to achieve its mission. Successful completion of program requirements will earn the student the Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) in Counselor Education with a specialization in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Donna Gibson
Department Emphasis
  • 40% Family Therapy
  • 40% School Counseling
  • 20% Counselor Education
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Master’s
Areas of Study
  • Counseling (Child, Couples, or Family) - Master's
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

253 Wardlaw College
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

Phone Number
Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Donna Gibson
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Introduction to Counseling
  • Communication Skills
  • Group Counseling
  • Cross-Cultural Counseling
  • Counselor as Consultant
  • Assessment in Counseling
  • Career Development
  • Professional, Legal & Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • Theories of Counseling
  • Family Guidance
  • Advanced Family Guidance
  • Leaders in Counseling Education (Minuchin & Haley, Bowen, Whitaker, Satir)
  • Practicum in MCFC
  • Internship in MCFC
Graduate Accreditations/Approval
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Marriage & Family Counseling/Therapy
CFLE Information

NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that follows the Standards and Criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the Abbreviated Application process. The CFLE Checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist in order to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation through the Abbreviated Application process.