Couple and Family Counselling Studies (GC)

Apply now!

Length of program

Part-time: 12-months

Mode of delivery


Program consists of:





Fall term

Program description

The Graduate Certificate in Couple and Family Counselling Studies is the only program of its kind in Alberta!

  • Gain key mental health-care knowledge and skills for relationships
  • Enhance your practice or pursue further education
  • Build a foundation in the growing family and couple counselling profession
  • Suitable for a range of social- and health-services fields
  • Flexible online, part-time study

Note: This program is open to Canadian applicants only for Fall 2023

    Benefits of this graduate certificate

    • Take courses online, part-time
    • Earn a graduate-level credential without commitment to a master’s program
    • Deepen your knowledge and skills in this field
    • Explore the subject matter from a variety of disciplines

    Admission requirements

    To be considered for admission to this program, applicants must:

    1. Have a baccalaureate (undergraduate) degree from a recognized degree-granting institution with a major in a health-, counselling-, or social services-related field.

    2. Have a minimum admission GPA of 3.0 calculated on the terms containing the last 20 graded university courses (60.0 credit hours).

    Additional background (recommended):

    • Completion of a 3.0 credit hour undergraduate course in counselling/communication skills

    Find detailed admission information Request info about this program See fees & tuition Apply

    Courses (12.0 credit hours)

    Year one:

    Fall Term | Couple and Family Counselling Studies 5000: Theories and Concepts in Couple and Family Therapy (3.0 credit hours)

    Spring Term | Couple and Family Counselling Studies 5100: Practical Applications of Couple and Family Concepts with Ethical Considerations (3.0 credit hours)

    Summer Session 1 | Couple and Family Counselling Studies 5200: Working with Couples and Parents (3.0 credit hours)

    Summer Session 2 | Couple and Family Counselling Studies 5300: Systemic Stress and the Family: Adaptation and Dysfunction (3.0 credit hours)

    Program outcomes

    Upon successful completion of this program, you will:
    • Demonstrate a solid understanding of systemic theories, contemporary therapy models, and concepts of family dynamics that inform couple and family therapy practices.
    • Apply systemic couple and family concepts to enhance existing counselling skills and to expand one’s knowledge of self within a relational context.
    • Examine communication and intergenerational patterns that promote couple and parent-child relationships.
    • Assess the challenges for family functioning using a life course and ecological-systemic perspective.
    • Conduct decision-making based on relevant ethical principles and considerations when working with couples and families.
    • Conceptualize addiction and mental health using a couple and family therapy lens.

    Request info about this program See fees & tuition Apply

    Career pathways

    Most couple, marriage and family counsellors have a master's degree or higher in marriage and family therapy, social work, psychology or a related discipline

    Find career information

    See steps to accreditation in Canada

    Explore related study

    Graduate Certificate in Advanced Clinical Study of Addiction

    Graduate Diploma in Addiction and Mental Health Psychotherapy

    Master of Counselling, major: Applied Psychology

    Master of Education, major: Counselling Psychology

    Master of Nursing

    Master of Science, major: Health Sciences

    Master of Science, major: Addictions Counselling

    Master of Science, major: Health Sciences, Public Health specialization

    PhD in Population Studies and Health

    Frequently asked questions

    What is the weekly time commitment for Couple & Family Counselling Studies classes?

    Classes in Couple & Family Counselling Studies, which include lecture and group learning sessions, are three hours per week for 12 weeks. Classes are delivered online.


    Are courses only offered in the Fall and Spring terms? 

    We offer Couple & Family Counselling Studies year round, in the Fall, Spring, Summer I (May-June) and Summer II (July-Aug) terms


    Are the classes asynchronous online or synchronous online? 

    Couple & Family Counselling Studies classes are synchronous online, meaning you attend online at specific, pre-scheduled times. This is not a self-paced course.


    What is the format for program evaluation? Is it an exam for each course, or a culminating project? 

    Couple & Family Counselling Studies students are evaluated with quizzes and essays.