The Couple and Family Therapy master’s program teaches students superior therapeutic skills, ethical integrity, intellectual curiosity and a sincere commitment to working with families from diverse populations. Recognized among the top programs of its kind, the CFT program offers real-world experience through the Center for Healthy Families, a state-of-the-art training and research facility that provide free and reduced-cost counseling to hundreds of families annually.

The CFT program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education for the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and provides the supervised clinical training required in states with Couple and Family Therapy licensure.

Find out more about the admissions process and deadlines.

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Explore Program Details

Requirements

The CFT curriculum has two components: didactic coursework and supervised clinical practice with clients. The minimum total of credits required is 48 for the non-thesis option (Advanced Clinical Study) and 51 for the thesis option. Didactic coursework is taken in conjunction with 15 credits of clinical practicum seminars and 9 credits of supervision of clinical work. In the clinical practicum, theory and empirical knowledge are applied to specific client case material, with faculty supervision providing support and oversight of assigned cases.

Clinical Experience

Supervised client contact begins in the student’s first semester. Clinical students are required to gain a minimum of 400 hours of face-to-face client contact, and 250 of these hours must be relational (with couples or families). The Center for Healthy Families, the couple and family therapy clinic operated by the Department, offers the opportunity to gain these hours. Supervision in the clinic is provided through a range of techniques including case discussion, one-way mirror observation, video review, co-therapy, and telephone consultation from supervisors during live sessions. Students may choose to do some of their clinical work in a variety of available externship sites in the local area.

Thesis/Non-Thesis Options

Couple and Family Therapy students may pursue the thesis or the non-thesis option. For the thesis option, students register for 6 semester hours of thesis research credits, as FMSC 799. The thesis must be defended in an oral examination and approved by the student’s thesis committee comprised of a chair and two other faculty members. The non-thesis option (Advanced Clinical Study) involves students registering for 3 credits of FMSC 789. This option includes completing written and oral therapy case presentations, which are evaluated by the CFT program clinical faculty members.

Competencies

  • Apply family theories and therapy models in the analysis of family health and well-being.
  • Demonstrate assessment, engagement, and treatment skills in the couple and family therapy process.
  • Analyze and apply ethical principles and established legal and ethical codes in the practice of couple and family therapy.
  • Demonstrate cultural competence in the practice of couple and family therapy.
  • Understand and utilize public and mental health research findings in the practice of couple and family therapy.

Curriculum

  Courses Credits
Semester 1
(Fall)
FMSC 600 Family Theories 3
FMSC 640 Family Therapy: Theory and Technique 3
FMSC 650 Ethical, Legal, and Professional Principles in Marriage and Family Therapy 3
FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy 1

Semester 2 (Spring)

FMSC 610 Research Methods in Family Science 3
FMSC 651 Psychopathology in the Family Context 3
FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy 2
FMSC 745 Gender and Ethnicity in Family Therapy and Service Delivery 3

Summer Session 1

FMSC 645 Sexuality: Issues in Family Therapy and Service Delivery 3
FMSC 654 Clinical Marriage and Family Therapy Practice 3
FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy 1

Summer Session 2

FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy 1

Semester 3 (Fall)

Elective 3
FMSC 641 Couples Therapy 3
FMSC 642 Normal and Abnormal Individual and Family Development 3
FMSC 652 Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental and Emotional Disorders in Family Systems 3
FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy 2

Semester 4 (Spring)

FMSC 653 Advanced Application of Marriage and Family Therapy Models and Techniques 3
FMSC 658 Supervised Clinical Practice of Marriage and Family Therapy 2
FMSC 789 Non-thesis Research (Advanced Clinical Study Option: Written and Oral Case Presentation) 3
FMSC 799 Master’s Thesis Research (Thesis Option: Thesis and Oral Examination of Thesis) 6

Internship/Capstone

Couple and Family Therapy students may pursue a thesis or non-thesis (Advanced Clinical Study) option. For thesis option students, 6 semester hours are thesis research credits taken as FMSC 799. The thesis must be defended and approved in an oral examination. Advanced Clinical Study option students take 3 credits of FMSC 789 and must complete written and oral therapy case presentations. The student’s work in either option is supervised by a faculty mentor.