Psy.D. in Marital and Family Therapy (Post-Bachelor's) in Southern California

Program Description

Marital and Family therapists assist individuals, families, and couples with a variety of mental, behavioral, and emotional issues and help them improve interpersonal relationships. 

The Chicago School’s Psy.D. in Marital and Family Therapy, Post-Bachelor's program at our Los Angeles and Irvine campuses prepares students for leadership positions in the mental health field and is designed for pre-master's level students who want to earn a marriage and family therapy license, as well as a doctoral degree to take advantage of opportunities that a doctoral degree provides.

Coursework covers topics such as teaching in higher education, agency management, grant writing, program development and advanced clinical principles. An optional teaching apprentice program is available for qualified students that provides them the valuable opportunity to teach classes in the master's program. The dissertation process focuses on applied research and includes options such as program development or evaluation, and grant writing. 

The Psy.D. in Marital and Family Therapy post- bachelor's program allows for students with a bachelor's degree to enter and complete a five year Psy.D. program. The Chicago School has been recognized for its excellent training in culturally competent service provision and offers students a remarkable opportunity to gain unparalleled real-world experience. The Chicago School's MFT Department faculty members are actively engaged in practice and scholarship, and incorporate a wide variety of clinical examples with a diverse group of clients into classroom activities.

Graduates from the Psy.D. in Marital and Family Therapy program are equipped with expert knowledge in theory, assessment, applied research, teaching and administration, and are prepared to serve as leaders and/or senior administrators in both educational and clinical settings.


Marital and Family Therapy



Total Credits


Fieldwork Requirements

Program Time to Completion

5 years
  • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in a mental health field from a regionally accredited institution.

  • Students must have successfully completed at least one undergraduate course in psychology with a grade of "B" or higher.

Admission Requirements

GRE Requirements

Sample Courses

Family Systems and Studies

This course addresses the basic assumptions of cognitive-behavioral theory, reviews the major theorists, and introduces the student to issues of treatment planning, case conceptualization, and evaluation of treatment efficacy, therapeutic technique, and application within the family system. The course emphasizes acquisition of a range of cognitive behavioral assessment and intervention techniques and intervention skills.

Community Clinical and Agency Management

Covers a general overview of the community mental health system and clinical management associated with this area. Interagency agreements, memorandums of understanding and other collaborative experiences are discussed. Additional operational areas of agency management are addressed including general standards associated with record keeping, billing, fee scales, and reaching out to diverse and underserved populations.

Clinical Psychopharmacology

Marriage and Family Therapists are increasingly members of interdisciplinary teams, and need to understand psychopharmacology information in order to communicate with other disciplines and in the case of private practitioners, to understand the medications that their clients may be utilizing. Interventions will be discussed in relation to the role of psychotherapists within the process. General psychobiological conditions are reviewed with an emphasis on the use of medications to manage and treat psychological disorders in children and adults. Emphasis will be placed on an overview of the spectrum of anti-anxiety, antidepressants and neuroleptics used in the treatment of psychological disorders.

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