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A clinical psychology professor leads a lecture Marriage and Family Therapy

M.A. Clinical Psychology

Marital and Family Therapy Specialization, Applied Behavior Analysis Track

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Full-Time, Part-Time
  • 3 Years Full-Time, 4 Years Part-Time

Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) is expected to grow much faster than average over the next ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marriage and family therapists who are also Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA®) will be able to set themselves apart in this growing field. The Chicago School has developed the M.A. […]

Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) is expected to grow much faster than average over the next ten years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Marriage and family therapists who are also Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA®) will be able to set themselves apart in this growing field. The Chicago School has developed the M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) track program to provide students the opportunity to develop this unique skillset.

Students who complete this L.A. Master’s program will satisfy the MFT Master’s degree coursework requirements to sit for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California. In addition, the Master’s degree and coursework requirement for the BCBA® examination will also be satisfied. *

After completion of this Master’s degree program and obtaining licensure, graduates of this program will be able to bring about socially significant change in behavior through data-based decisions and program development in an MFT setting.

*Please note that students will still need to complete the 1500 hours of supervised field experience outside of this program to be eligible for certification as a BCBA®.

M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy: L.A. Student Experience

Immersed in the heart of one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., students attending the Los Angeles Campus will benefit from significant networking opportunities as they experience real-world training in the city’s rapidly evolving downtown business district. As they earn their marriage and family degree, together they learn from and work side-by-side with experienced, qualified, and passionate faculty practitioners. Graduates of our MFT, ABA program can be confident they can apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in real-world situations.

Read more about our Los Angeles Campus.

Student Admissions, Outcomes, and Other Data

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Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

This course provides an overview of theory and techniques in child and adolescent counseling psychotherapy. While the overall orientation views child and adolescent problems within a context of the family system, the course focuses on a range of interventions and approaches, including play therapy, problem-focused cognitive and behavioral techniques, and the interface of group work, individual treatment, and family therapy. Attention is given to the relationship of developmental tasks and treatment strategies as well as the cultural frameworks that impact interventions. Child abuse reporting is also covered in this course, including the theoretical, legal and ethical considerations of this topic.

Science & Human Behavior

This course addresses critical areas of the experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) literature and focuses on thematic research in several sample areas of EAB, including but not limited to schedule-controlled behavior, acquisition of behavior, stimulus control, escape/avoidance, and behavioral pharmacology. Students read classic research articles in the field of EAB, as well as textbook chapters describing EAB procedures and conceptual issues. By the end of the course students will know how to read and understand basic research articles (e.g., in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and other journals in experimental psychology) and will understand the implications of such research for the theoretical basis of the field and its application to human behavior.

Verbal Behavior

In this graduate seminar, students will read and discuss Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior from theoretical and experimental perspectives. This seminar is appropriate for anyone with a basic understanding of radical behaviorism and reinforcement theory and who also wish to explore the behavior analysis of language. Please note that this seminar will not heavily emphasize the use of a verbal behavior analysis in applied settings

The M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy Specialization, Applied Behavior Analysis track program aligns with degree, coursework, and supervised experience requirements to be eligible for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in California. Candidates for licensure must pass the LMFT Clinical Examination (LMCE) and the LMFT Law and Ethics Examination (LMLE). Additional post-master’s supervised experience is required in order to qualify for licensure in California. All candidates are also required to complete the application process, which may include fees and/or a background check. For further information about licensure in California, please visit the Board of Behavioral Sciences.

BCBA® Certification & Licensure

The MA Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy Specialization, Applied Behavior Analysis track program is aligned with degree and coursework requirements for eligibility to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®). Applicants for BCBA® certification must meet additional requirements established by BACB® including supervised experience, application, examination, and background check.

BCBA Examination Pass Rates


*Pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.

There may be state professional licensure requirements to practice applied behavior analysis.  A state’s licensure board determines the specific requirements for candidates seeking professional licensure and those requirements are subject to change.  The following is professional licensure information as of the date of publication:

  • Graduation from the MA Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy Specialization, Applied Behavior Analysis track in conjunction with BCBA® certification aligns with certification requirements for professional licensure in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  • Graduates who have obtained BCBA® certification may be eligible for licensure in Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, and North Dakota if their master’s degree program aligns with state degree requirements.  Note that candidates for professional licensure may be required to meet additional state requirements such as application, examination, and background check.
  • A professional license is not required to practice behavior analysis in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. State laws on professional licensure are subject to change by their legislatures.

It is the student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements for any state not listed above. The M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis may meet some or all of the requirements of states not listed, but additional state-specific approvals or coursework and/or practicum hours may be required beyond the program’s graduation requirements.  Some state licensing requirements include the following: completion of a master’s degree, post-graduate field work, certification as a board certified behavior analyst, examination, and application for license.

Due to recent and ongoing changes in state professional licensure of applied behavior analysis practitioners, students should contact the state board directly to verify information regarding professional licensure.  To assist with this research, the Association of Professional Behavior Analysists (APBA) publishes information regarding state licensure.

Licensure and Certification FAQ

The practicum experience is designed to meet both the BBS requirements as well as to enhance the learning experience of the student through practical application of didactic classroom instruction. The practicum requires a total of six credit hours over three semesters during which time the student participates in a clinical training field placement where the student accumulates a minimum of 250 hours of face to face supervised clinical experience in a mental health setting. In addition, the student is required to attend a regularly scheduled practicum seminar during which students will participate in clinical case consultation, case presentations and complete a clinical case report. At the end of the second practicum seminar, students will complete a Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE) which consists of a full clinical case report, tape and transcripts as well as a presentation of this case to the class and instructor. The CCE provides an important assessment of a student’s competency in meeting key programmatic outcomes.

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.

Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s M.A. Clinical Psychology, MFT Specialization, ABA Track is open to any person who has earned a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work.

Admissions Operations
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
203 N LaSalle St, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60601

Students applying to the M.A. in Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy specialization program must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Essay – Please answer the following question within three double spaced typed pages (approximately 500-750 words). Essay must specifically address the program/specialization for which you are applying.
    • Psychology is a vast discipline with many career options. In an essay format, please describe:
      • Why you chose this particular program/specialization making sure to cite specific experiences and examples.
      • Why it is important to you to study this discipline at a school that emphasizes cultural awareness, competence, and understanding of diversity (see our Commitment to Diversity statement).
      • Your professional career goals as they relate to this specialization.
      • Why you believe this program will assist you in reaching these goals.
  • Official College/University Transcripts
    • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. The Chicago School requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Appropriate recommendations are from professors and/or supervisors from significant work or volunteer experiences, who can appraise your academic or professional performance. If you are mailing in your letters, they should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal. You can also submit the letters online via the applicant portal.
  • Previous Coursework
    • A course in Psychology, with a grade earned of C or better

The Chicago School is dedicated to keeping our professional degree programs accessible to anyone regardless of financial status. In addition to the scholarships that may be available, our Financial Aid department will help provide you with information to determine what financial arrangements are right for you.

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