M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization in Southern California

Program Description

The Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) specialization within the clinical psychology master’s program is designed to develop practitioners who are passionate about helping others lead more harmonious lives. 

Students in the MFT program at our L.A. and Orange County campuses benefit from a solid foundation in the principles of clinical psychology—in addition to gaining the essential therapeutic, diagnostic, and consultative skills they need to excel in their field. The program prepares graduates for positions working with couples and families and a variety of emotional, behavioral, and psychological issues. 

Students at the L.A. and Orange County campuses may apply to fulfill their practicum, traineeship, and internship hours at The Chicago School's Counseling Centers—two of Southern California's largest and most well-respected community counseling centers—where they are exposed to a wide variety of therapeutic approaches and clinical interventions, and work side by side with senior MFT clinicians.

Graduates from our M.A. in Clinical Psychology, MFT specialization program are qualified to sit for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) MFT licensure exam. Students are prepared to continue their education in a doctoral program for Marriage and Family Therapy, while earning their licensure as an MFT, or they may choose to enter a doctoral program in psychology that leads to licensure by the California Board of Psychology (BOP).


Marital and Family Therapy



Curriculum qualifies graduates to sit for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) MFT licensure exam, and prepares them to enter a doctoral program that leads to licensure by the California Board of Psychology (BOP)

Total Credits

48 credit hours: students entering the program by Spring 2012
60 credit hours: students entering the program in Fall 2012 or later

Fieldwork Requirements

250 face-to-face hours of supervised clinical experience in a mental health environment

Program Time to Completion

3 years full time
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • A course in Psychology, with a grade earned of C or better
  • N/A
Admission Requirements

GRE Requirements

Sample Courses

Life Span Development and Long-Term Care

Examines the developmental stages from birth to death focusing on the development of perceptual and cognitive processes, psychosocial crisis, and familial interpersonal relationships. Various theoretical viewpoints are considered along with current research findings. Students are exposed to cultural and individual differences and develop as a diverse and ethical professional capable of meeting the needs of clients in all phases of life.

Couple's Counseling and Domestic Violence

Provides an overview of current trends in couple's therapeutic treatment. The concepts of divorce, remarrying, blended families, domestic partnerships, domestic violence, and non-traditional families are explored with researched based treatment interventions presented.

The Theory and Practice of Marital/Family Therapy

Focuses on various therapeutic modalities in the practice of marriage and family therapy. Additionally, students discuss indirect methods for initiating and sustaining change in family systems. Students also examine research related to theory and practice.

View full course catalog »