The Department of Counselor Education offers an 18-credit hour program (six courses) leading to the Certificate in Couple and Family Counseling (CFC). The CFC certificate program provides specialized training for counseling students and counseling professionals interested in learning how to apply evidence-based systemic theory, assessment and intervention to their work with individuals, couples and families. Licensed mental health professionals in Illinois may be eligible to transfer up to nine credit-hours. Students who complete the CFC program are eligible to accrue hours of supervised clinical experience and complete the National Marriage and Family Therapy Exam as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the State of Illinois. Additional information regarding licensure as an LMFT can be found at the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Applications are accepted for spring, summer and fall semesters:

Application deadline for spring

November 1

Application deadline for summer

April 1

Application deadline for fall

July 15

The courses required for the program will be offered in remote and online formats:

  • Remote Learning (RL): A remote learning course meets virtually at set days/times that students are “present” for. The ratio of meetings and independent work varies by instructor. 
  • Online (OL): An online course has no set meeting times; students work independently through the course materials on D2L or a similar platform, submitting their work to meet deadlines. There may be group work, discussions, etc., that students complete collaboratively. The instructor is available for assistance via office hours, email, etc.

Applications for the Certificate in Couple and Family Counseling program are accepted for spring, summer and fall semesters.

Application Requirements

Applicants who are not current Counselor Education students must have a degree in counseling or a closely related mental health degree from an accredited university program that meets the academic and clinical requirements for licensure as a master's level mental health professional. Applicants can apply through NEIUs online application system. The online application requires the following: 

  • Application form
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Current resume
  • Two recommenders (applicants will be prompted to enter contact information for two professional recommenders)
  • Signed Informed Consent
  • Essay: In 500-700 words, please respond to the following prompts:
    How do you see yourself aligning with NEIUs Counseling Department?
    Please talk about your personal and/or professional experiences that make you a strong candidate for this program.

An application is reviewed only if all application materials are received by Graduate Admissions by the deadline date for the semester applied for.

For applicants who are current Northeastern Illinois University students in Clinical Mental Health, Rehabilitation, or School Counseling: 

An application is reviewed only if all application materials are received by Graduate Records by the deadline date for the semester applied for.

Questions regarding the application process or nonworking links should be directed to Counselor Education at (773) 442-5550 or

Curriculum for the Certificate in Couple and Family Counseling program

Core Courses:

  • COUN 420 Introduction to Family Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 421 Advanced Marriage & Family Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 431 Couple and Family Systems Study (3 cr)
  • COUN 432 Couples Counseling & Human Sexuality (3 cr)

Elective Courses. Choose any two of the following:

  • COUN 415 Children & Youth in School & Family Systems (3 cr)
  • COUN 425 Diagnosis & Treatment of Addictive Disorders (3 cr)
  • COUN 429 Psychopharmacology (3 cr)
  • COUN 434 Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Disability (3 cr)
  • COUN 438 Trauma & Crisis Counseling (3 cr)
  • COUN 439 Case Conceptualization & Treatment Planning (3 cr)
  • PSYC 406 Aging & the Family (3 cr)
    This course has achieved Quality Matters online course certification.

CFc program planning guide

Use the CFC program planning guide to outline your proposed plan of study.