May 21, 2024  
2023/2024 University Catalog 
2023/2024 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy Concentration, M.S.

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(Major Code: 08261) (SIMS Code: 331006)

Submit the following in the supplementary program application:

  1. Three letters of recommendation;
  2. Personal statement;
  3. Curriculum vitae or resume.

For more information contact:
Department of Counseling and School Psychology
Marriage and Family Therapy Program

The Master of Science in counseling with a concentration in marriage and family therapy is designed to prepare students for practice in the field of marriage and family therapy. The student must complete, in consultation with an adviser, an official program of study that includes a minimum of 60 units of 600- and 700-numbered required and elective courses. To fulfill the educational requirements to qualify for California state licensure in marriage and family therapy, as published by the Board of Behavioral Sciences Laws and Regulations relating to the practice of Marriage and Family Therapy, Licensed Social Work, and Licensed Educational Psychologists, article 4980.40, students must complete an additional two to ten units, depending on the students’ designed official program of study. The program is grounded in family systems theories and practice and has been awarded candidacy status accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

Included within the course requirements are the clinical experiences of Practicum and Traineeship. Through the practicum and traineeship courses, students must complete a minimum of 300 direct clinical hours of experience with individuals, couples, and families. One hundred hours of experience must be relational hours with couples and families.  Students must have a minimum of 100 hours of supervision, consisting of both individual and group supervision. Fifty of the supervision hours must be live, videotaped, or audio taped supervision methods. All students must purchase professional liability insurance to participate in the clinical experience component of the program.

Admission to the program is competitive and includes both a written application and group interview. Applicants are evaluated for academic, interpersonal, multicultural, and professional readiness.

Each of the Following Three Courses Must Be Completed (9 Units)

All students must complete CSP 755 , CSP 765 , and three units of CSP 785 . Students’ pacing of their clinical experience will vary; therefore, students will register for additional units of CSP 785  as needed to ensure oversight and supervision of all clinical hours of experience.

Research (6 Units)

CSP 710A  and CSP 710B  form the capstone experience of the program. Students are required to complete a master’s project as part of the requirements of CSP 710A . In CSP 710B , students complete a theory integration paper and a comprehensive examination during their final semester of the program.

Adherence to the Laws and Regulations

Adherence to the Laws and Regulations Relating to the Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy issued by the Board of Behavioral Sciences, the Code of Ethics of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and the Code of Ethics of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists is mandatory. Students who knowingly or unknowingly violate any part of the laws or ethical code may be dismissed from the program without further qualification regardless of coursework completed or other academic achievement.

In addition to the requirement of maintaining a 3.0 GPA, students are reviewed for readiness to begin the clinical training sequence of the program. Students are evaluated regularly for skill development and adherence to legal and ethical standards.

Upon graduation, students apply with the Board of Behavioral Sciences, the California licensing board, for Intern Registration to continue eligibility for licensure. To qualify for marriage and family therapy licensure, students complete a qualifying graduate program, a total of 3,000 hours of clinical experience, and successfully complete two Board of Behavioral Sciences administered written examinations.

For additional written materials and information related to marriage and family therapy educational requirements leading to California Marriage and Family Therapy licensure, membership in marriage and family therapy professional organizations, and objectives related to pursuit of COAMFTE program accreditation, contact the Department of Counseling and School Psychology (

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