Educational Psychology & Counseling

Master of Science in Marriage & Family Therapy

Application window for Fall 2025 is October 1, 2024 to December 15, 2024

For questions related to our application process and prerequisite courses, please contact Esther Choi, the Department’s Graduate Advisor or visit the Prospective Student webpage.

Both applicants and Current Students can visit the program's student handbook website for further information. Program Coordinator (COAMFTE Program Coordinator): Diane R. Gehart, Ph.D. Program Admissions Coordinator: Mark Stevens, Ph.D. Fieldwork Coordinator: Dana Stone, Ph.D.

About the MFT Program

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) prepares students for licensure as both a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in California and in most other states. The program is accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE; see program website for the status of accreditation) and the International Accreditation Commission for Systemic Therapy Education (IACSTE; see program website for status of accreditation), ensuring recognition in all other states as well as most countries internationally. The state-of-the-art curriculum prepares students to work in public mental health, community agencies, rehabilitation centers, schools, private agencies and private practice, and/or to pursue doctoral study in family therapy and related fields. The curriculum emphasizes strengths-based approaches, social justice, evidence-based practices, community mental health, and development of the person-of-the-therapist, while providing foundational training in several areas of specialization, including children, adolescents, couples, groups, trauma, substance abuse, and severe mental illness. Well prepared with extensive practicum experiences in the first year, students begin intensive training in the field during the second year at community mental health agencies, public mental health, school-based and other mental health-related placements. Finally, the program’s culminating experience enables students to further develop their areas of interest.

Students must successfully complete all prerequisite courses before formal admittance to a master’s degree program. Only students admitted to a Master of Science in MFT may take classes in that program unless explicit permission has been given in writing by the Program Coordinator.

Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU, and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., Social Security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees or any associated costs to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements is available from the department.

Upon completion of coursework and being awarded the degree, students are eligible to apply to the State Board for internship registration when endorsed by an officer of the University. Following completion of 3,000 hours of supervised field experience and successful passage of a written and oral examination administered by the State Board, candidates are awarded the Marriage and Family Therapy license by the State.

Please visit our MFT program webpage, which provides extensive information, guidance, and forms for applicants, students, and graduates:

Prerequisites for the M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy Program (6 units) 

  • Prerequisite Coursework
    • EPC 451 Fundamentals of Counseling and Guidance (3)
    • PSY 310 Abnormal Psychology (3)

Admissions Requirements for the M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy Program

  • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test is required for ALL applicants (updated for Fall 2025). Please plan ahead as it can take several weeks to schedule the exam and receive official scores. GRE scores are due by the application deadline. For more information about the GRE, please visit the ETS website:
  • Applicants must have an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher to be eligible for consideration. 
  • All applicants must apply to the University AND to the Department. Please visit the Prospective Student webpage for more information about the admissions process.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy

1. Marriage and Family Therapy Foundations (18 units)

EPC 643MF Diversity in Family Therapy (3)

EPC 670MFA Systemic Family Therapy Theories (3)
EPC 670MFB Postmodern and Cognitive-Behavioral Family Theories (3)
EPC 670MFC Psychoeducational and Process Groups in Family Therapy (3)

EPC 671MF Law, Ethics, and Professional Issues in Family Therapy (3)
EPC 674MF Family Development Across the Lifespan (3)

2. Advanced Intervention with Specific Populations (16 units)

EPC 656MF Therapy with Children, Adolescents, and Their Families (3)
EPC 657MF Career Interventions in Mental Health Contexts (3)
EPC 673MF Trauma-Informed Community Mental Health (3)
EPC 675MF Substance Abuse and Addictions Treatment in Family Therapy (3)
EPC 677MFA Couples and Sex Therapy (3)

EPC 677MFB Gender and Human Sexuality in Couple and Family Therapy (1) 

3. Clinical Assessment and Research Courses (15 units)

EPC 603MFA Clinical Research and Program Evaluation (3)

EPC 603MFB: Introduction to Professional Writing (2)*
EPC 672MFA Mental Health Assessment and Diagnosis in Family Therapy (3)

EPC 672MFB Neurobiology and Treatment of Trauma (1)
EPC 678MF Psychopharmacology & Neurobiological Foundations in Family Therapy (3)
EPC 679MF Clinical and Outcome-Based Assessment (3)


*Note: See Program Graduate Writing Requirement below.

4. Practicum and Fieldwork Courses** (17 units)

EPC 659MFA Introduction to Counseling Theory and Practice (3)
EPC 659MFB Practicum in Family Therapy (3)
EPC 659MFC Fieldwork in Marriage and Family Therapy (3)

EPC 659MFD Fieldwork in Marriage and Family Therapy (3)
EPC 690MF Advanced Fieldwork & Professional Development in Family Therapy (5)***

**Note: See the Fieldwork Enrollment Policy below

***Note: The total of 5 units is accrued by taking a minimum of two semesters of 690MF in the 1-, 2-, or 3-unit versions of the class, 690MFA, 690MFB, and 690MFC respectfully.

5. Culminating Experience (6 units)

In order to complete their culminating experience, students will choose, in consultation with their, culminating experience chair:

  1. Comprehensive Exam:

                      i.        Either EPC695MF Seminar in Professional Writing (3) or EPC696MF Directed Research in Family Therapy (3) AND

                    ii.        EPC 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)

  1. Master’s Thesis or Project: EPC 698C Thesis/Graduate Project (6)

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 72

Course Sequencing and Cohorts

All students move through the program with their assigned cohort following the same sequence of courses. The program makes every attempt to ensure students are placed in their preferred cohort; however, the program cannot guarantee that preferred days and times of course offerings will always be available.

The program is offered only in a full-time format. Students who experience unexpected extraordinary circumstances may be approved to take courses out of sequence. However, in most cases, general requests for part-time enrollment cannot be accommodated. Students must seek approval in writing from the Program Coordinator to take classes apart from their assigned cohort.

Earning Hours Towards Licensure

In the fieldwork courses, students can earn hours towards licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Students may see clients in a range of community settings, including community counseling services, county agencies, hospitals, and schools. The Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling runs two agencies where some students  selected to complete these requirements, one on campus and one in neighborhood locales.

The Mitchell Family Counseling Clinic is located on campus and invites outside clients in for low-fee, sliding scale counseling and therapy. The clinic uses primarily our own fieldwork students, supervised by licensed therapists. The Clinic also places student/trainees in schools in the nearby area to work with their student bodies. The phone contact for the MFCC is (818) 677 2568.

Strength United is an agency in the community, funded by The Department of Criminal Justice, to serve rape and domestic violence victims. There are three locations, Northridge, Van Nuys, and Canyon Country. Strength United uses student counselor/trainees under the supervision of licensed therapists. Part of the agency includes Family Preservation services, where student/trainees serve families, often in their homes. The phone contact information for SU is (818) 756-5330. 


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Educational Psychology & Counseling
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