2021-2022 Catalog 
    May 16, 2022  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy

School: California School of Professional Psychology

Modality(ies): On-ground, online

Calendar(s): Semester, 8-week term

CIP Code: 51.1505

Program Description/Overview

This program prepares students for careers as professional marriage and family therapists. Couple and family therapy students receive intensive theoretical and practical skill-based training, focusing on relationships and interaction patterns. Students are trained to integrate treatment models in an international, multicultural environment. Graduates go on to work with individuals and families in hospitals, clinics, social service agencies, churches, educational institutions and private practice.

Students are responsible for completing each program requirement on time, and keeping up to date with exact event dates, procedures, and any rule or deadline changes made by Alliant and/or the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).

All requirements for this program are also part of the PsyD in MFT program. Students who complete the MA program, apply in a timely manner, and are accepted into the doctoral program may apply all master’s requirements toward the completion of the MFT doctoral program.

The online MA in Marital and Family Therapy program on the 8-week calendar is not accepting new students. However, for current MA MFT students who are in their second year of the semester program, inter-program transfers will be permitted during Spring 2022.


Chemical Dependency

The Chemical Dependency Concentration will prepare students to work with individuals, couples, and families who have experienced addiction.

Program Learning Outcomes/Goals

Program Goals (PGs)

  1. PG 1 Practice: The program graduates students who are able to deliver MFT professional services competently
  2. PG 2 Diversity: The program graduates diverse students prepared to meet the needs of diverse communities.
  3. PG 3 Community: The program engages various communities through the application of the knowledge and skills of couple and family therapy.
  4. PG 4 Scholarship: The program contributes to both the understanding and creation of couple and family therapy scholarship

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

  1. SLO 1 Practice Foundational Knowledge and Skills: Master’s and doctoral students comprehend and demonstrate MFT conceptual, perceptual, executive, evaluative, professional, and theoretical skills.
  2. SLO 2 Diversity Knowledge and Skills: Master’s and doctoral students comprehend and demonstrate knowledge of human diversity with a multicultural and international emphasis.
  3. SLO 3 Community Knowledge and Skills: Master’s and doctoral students comprehend and demonstrate knowledge of how to engage community behavioral health care resources.
  4. SLO 4 Scholarship Foundation Knowledge and Skills: Master’s and doctoral students demonstrate a basic knowledge of MFT research methodologies and scholarship.

Training Model

The program provides training for a career as a professional marriage and family therapist. Students are trained to treat relational mental health issues with individuals, couples, and families from a systemic perspective. Skills are developed in the mental health assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals and relationship systems. The program provides an integrative approach to the major systemic theories and interventions. It fulfills all academic requirements for application to the State of California’s examination for a marriage and family therapist license (Section 4980.40 and 4980.41 of Business and Professions Code). Licensed marriage and family therapists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, social service agencies, churches, the military, educational institutions, and private practice.

Professional Behavior Expectations/Ethical Guidelines

AAMFT Code of Ethics


Graduates of this program are eligible for licensure as Marital and Family Therapists (MFT) in the state of California upon completion of post-degree intern hours and passing of the licensure exam. Candidates for licensure as an MFT in California are required to complete a total of 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience, at least 1,700 of which must be completed after the completion of the master’s degree. Candidates must then pass written examinations for licensure. Continuing education is required to maintain the license. Because each state has its own requirements for licensure as an MFT, it is imperative that students planning to pursue licensure in a state other than California contact the licensing board in the applicable state for information on that state’s requirements. For further information on licensure in California or other states contact:

California Board of Behavioral Sciences
1625 North Market Blvd., Suite S-200
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 574-7830


American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
112 South Alfred Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-3061
(703) 838-9808

Programmatic Accreditation

Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)

Internship, Practicum, and/or Dissertation Information

Practicum: the practicum experience is the student’s beginning work as a MFT clinician, working with client couples, families, and individuals in a community-based clinic. The practicum is a minimum one-year commitment in which students accrue at least 500 client contact hours, at least 200 of which must be with couples and families; MFT students receive at least 100 hours of individual and group supervision, at least 50 hours of which are based on direct observation or audio/videotape. During the practicum year, students can accrue more than 1,000 of the 3,000 hours of experience (including direct client contact, supervision, and professional development) required for MFT licensure in the state of California.

Three consecutive semesters of practicum are required for a minimum total of nine (9) units. If all clinical requirements are completed in three semesters, the fourth semester of practicum is not needed. In that instance, students are able to take an elective class. Some students may need to take four (4) practicum classes to complete their 500 required hours.

PSY73690 - Practicum Extension (0 units) : if students do not complete all clinical hours after three practicums, they need to stay an additional semester and take a fourth practicum. If students have less than 50 clinical hours to complete, they do not enroll in practicum but will be monitored by their local clinical training coordinator. However, if they have 50 hours or more to complete, they need to enroll in practicum extension.

Credit Units

Total Credit Units: 60

Total Core Credit Units: 57

Total Elective Credit Units: 3

Total Concentration Credit Units: N/A

Degree Requirements

Students in the program must pass a comprehensive exam as a part of their degree program. Full-time students should take the exam in June of their second year. Part-time students should take the exam in the year they are completing the program. Students who fail the exam will be offered student-specific remediation plans to ensure they have developed necessary knowledge and competencies. These remediation plans may include retaking the exam, writing papers on specific topics, retaking classes, and/or any other elements deemed necessary by faculty based on the student’s exam performance. A student who fails to successfully complete the remediation plan by the given deadline will be referred to the Student Evaluation Review Committee for further action, including possible dismissal from the program.

During the program, the student must supplement his or her academic and clinical work with 50 hours of professional development activities. These include approved workshops, colloquia, and seminars. Twenty-five of these hours may involve personal counseling or psychotherapy with a licensed mental health professional who is not core faculty at the University.

Emphasis/Concentration/Track Requirements

Chemical Dependency

The Chemical Dependency Concentration will prepare students to work with individuals, couples, and families who have experienced addiction. This concentration area includes the 39 units that the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE) requires for their accredited Chemical Dependency Certificate program. Students who select this concentration will receive this certificate upon their completion of the master’s program, which they can include on their resume or CV. Students who choose this Concentration will be prepared to work with families facing addiction, and they will understand the best care clinical practices for treating chemical dependency in the family from a systemic perspective in the current managed care market. Students in this concentration must choose a practicum site that allows them the opportunity to obtain a minimum of 250 hours working with clients who experience addiction (i.e., a residential treatment center or intensive outpatient program). These 250 hours can be included in the total 500 hours required to complete the CFT master’s degree.

Elective Requirements

One elective is required for completion of the program, and it is taken during the first or second summer semester. Students may take their elective class online. The class must be taken at the University. The course (on-ground or online) must be pre-approved by the Site Director.

Curriculum Plan

Semester Calendar

8-Week Calendar

Term 11 (4.5 units)

Term 13 (4.5 units)

Term 14 (4.5 units)