Back to University Catalog 2004-2005

Marital and Family Therapy
College of Health and Human Services

Master of Science



Art Bohart (Psychology), Program Coordinator

Fumiko Hosokawa  (Sociology), Sydell Weiner (Theatre Arts)

Program Office:  WH A-310

Student Services Center - Advising

WH A-300 (310) 243-2120 or (800) 344-5484


Program Description

The Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy Program is focused on providing an eclectic approach to marriage, family, and child counseling within which students may specialize according to their interests and abilities.  It also will prepare students to take the examination for the Marital and Family Therapy (M.F.T.) license offered by the Board of Behavioral Sciences of the State of California.

This two-year degree program will complement extensive academic classroom experiences in the study of theories and techniques of marriage, family, and child counseling with practical, supervised traineeship aimed at satisfying 500 or more of the 3,000 hours required prior to eligibility for the licensing examination.



The Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy at CSU Dominguez Hills is one of only a few publicly supported programs in Southern California offering a complete evening course of study to accommodate those who work during the day.


Academic Advisement

The College of Health and Human Services Student Services Center provides advising at WH A-300 (310) 243-2120 or (800) 344-5484 for students currently enrolled as well as for those inquiring about the program.  All faculty members, however, are also available.  The coordinator maintains up-to-date information on licensure requirements established by the Board of Behavioral Sciences of the State
of California.



To qualify for admission to the Marital and Family Therapy Program certain prerequisite courses are required.  They include: (1) Statistics; (2) Research Methods; (3) Abnormal Psychology; (4) Developmental Psychology; and (5) Sociology of the Family.


Career Possibilities

This program's main function is to prepare students to become licensed Marital & Family Therapists.  Marital & Family Therapists can work in private practice getting clients through referrals, direct advertising, and through contract work with Employee Assistant Programs and health insurance companies.  Marital & Family Therapists have been hired by hospitals with a mental health division like Kaiser Permanente and they can work at counseling centers like the South Bay Center for Counseling.  Counseling centers at schools are also looking for Marital & Family Therapists as well as drug and alcohol treatment centers, shelters for domestic violence, youth centers, and religiously based counseling centers.

Admissions Requirements

1.   Completion of the Graduate Record Examination General Aptitude Test and the Advanced Subject Test in psychology;

2.  Completion of a B.A. degree from an accredited college or university;

3.  A grade point average of 3.0 (B) or better in the most recent 60 semester units of upper division course work undertaken as a student.

Those meeting the minimum requirements will be asked to submit written statements about themselves, their backgrounds, interests, and experiences.  These statements will be reviewed by
an admissions committee, which will then interview qualified candidates.

In addition to the above, if students are admitted into the M.F.T. Program, they will be required to take the Graduation Writing Examination (GWE) and score at least eight, or take one of the undergraduate certifying courses at CSU Dominguez Hills and make at least a grade of “B.”  Normally, M.F.T. students will take the exam prior to the end of their first semester (fall semester) in the program.  In any case, students must either pass the exam or
the course by the end of their first year in the program or be subject to disqualification.


Classified Standing and      
Conditionally Classified Status

Only students who have met all requirements as noted under “Preparation” for the M.S. in Marital and Family Therapy Program will be considered for admission with Classified Standing.

Students who lack any or all of the admission requirements may be considered for admission into the program with Conditionally Classified Standing.  This would allow them to enroll in the University to correct their deficiencies, and also permit them to take up to nine semester units of graduate course work which could apply toward their degree if and when Classified Standing has been established.  Please note that admission to Conditionally Classified Standing does not assure that a student will achieve Classified Standing in the program.


Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy

Candidacy status denotes successful completion of a significant portion of a student’s graduate program (36 semester units) and allows the student to take the written qualifying examination. It includes a positive review of all graduate work by the coordinator.  See the "Graduate Degrees and Postbaccalaureate Studies" section
for complete requirements for Advancement to Candidacy.


Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy (54 units)

The Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy requires completion of 54 units of course work with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. A model unit-load sequence looks like this:

                               Fall                     Spring
                          Semester            Semester

1st year                  12                           15           =              27 units

2nd year                15                           12           =              27 units

Total                                                                                       54 units


A.  Required Courses (36 units)

MFT 570.     Theories of Marital and Family Therapy (3)

MFT 572.     Techniques of Marital and Family Therapy: Adults and Children (3)

MFT 576.     Studies in Human Communication (3)

PSY 563.       Seminar in Psychopathology (3)

PSY 550.       Seminar in Developmental Psychology (3)

MFT 574.     Human Sexual Behavior (3)

MFT 584.     Legal and Ethical Aspects of Counseling (3)

MFT 580.     Cross Cultural Family Values & Behavior (3)

MFT 578.     Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy:  Research, Diagnosis and Treatment (3)

PSY 567.       Individual Assessment (3)

SOC 518.      Seminar in Marriage and the Family (3) or

NCR 531.    Seminar:  Divorce and Family Mediation (3)

SOC 563.      Seminar in the Sociology
of Drug and Alcohol Use (3)


B.  Electives (6 units) :  Any of the alternative choices listed above within a category may be used to satisfy total units required. Other choices may be made with prior approval of the program coordinator.


C.  Practica (12 units)

MFT 596.     Practicum for Marital and Family Therapy (3)


NOTE:  All MFT students must take MFT 596 each semester for four semesters.


D.  Written qualifying exams are taken after advancement to candidacy.


E.   A final oral exam is required after completion of written qualifying exams.


F.   Master’s  Requirement

In addition to the major requirements, students must meet all university requirements for the master’s degree.  Students should consult the section of the catalog entitled “Requirements for the Master’s Degree.”




Course Offerings

The credit value for each course in semester units is indicated for each term by a number in parentheses following the title.  Departments may indicate the term in which they expect to offer the course by
the use of:  “F” (fall), “S” (spring), “EOY” (every other year) or "Summer".

Graduate standing and consent of the graduate program coordinator is prerequisite to enrollment in graduate (500 level) courses. 

MFT 570 Theories of Marital and Family Therapy (3) F.

Theory, research, and practicum in the general areas of preparation for marriage, sex education, and the role of the child in the family.  Knowledge of the theories and skills in counseling evaluated. Three hours of seminar per week.

MFT 572 Techniques of Marital and Family Therapy: Adults and Children (3) S.

Psychotherapeutic techniques in marriage and family counseling applied to treatment of adults and children.  Practice in family therapy, crisis counseling, and the various approaches to marital conflict resolution, including premarital and divorce counseling.  Counseling skills evaluated.  Three hours of seminar per week.

MFT 574  Human Sexual Behavior (3) F.

Advanced study of the psychological, physiological, and sociological aspects of human sexual behavior, with attention to the origin and treatment of sexual dysfunction in its environmental context. Examinations and/or papers used in evaluation.

MFT 576 Studies in Human Communication (3) F and Summer.

The processes of communication as these apply to both interpersonal and intrapersonal experience.  Emphasis on the purposes of communication as well as the forms that are believed to enhance the conduct of counseling and psychotherapy.  Exams and/or papers. 

MFT 578  Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy:  Research, Diagnosis and Treatment  (3)

Focus on psychotherapeutic treatment of children and adolescents.  Instruction in use of the DSM IV for diagnosis.  Includes review of research methodology and findings in the field of child and adolescent psychotherapy.  Therapeutic skills assessed.  Three hours of seminar per week.

MFT 580 Cross-cultural Family Values and Behavior (3) S and Summer. 

Cultural factors affecting human behavior in complex societies.  Emphasis upon the cultural behavior of the major ethnic groups in the United States as it relates to family organization and critical life choices.

MFT 584 Legal and Ethical Aspects of Counseling (3) S.

Legal and ethical aspects of marriage contracts, adoption, dissolution and separation, confidentiality and privileged communication, research, professional and  client interaction, malpractice, court testimony by the professional and the release of information, and professional standards in advertising. 

MFT 586  Current Issues in Marital and Family Therapy (3)  F.

A capstone seminar reviewing recent trends in the marriage, family, and child  counseling field.  Theoretical developments, newly emerging techniques, and current academic applied knowledge and issues.  Review of requirements for MFT licensure.  Three hours of seminar per week.  Signature of graduate program coordinator required.

MFT 596  Internship/Practicum for       Marital and Family Therapy (3) FS. 

Students directed to appropriate agencies and centers to work as intern trainees within their chosen area of specialization.  Weekly meetings scheduled with a faculty internship supervisor to assess student progress.  Course must be repeated four semesters by MFT students.  CR/NC grading.

MFT 597  Directed Reading for MFT Comp Preparation

In consultation with the faculty member, completion of readings to prepare for the comprehensive exam.  The course is limited to students who have completed one year of courses.  CR/NC grading.  Course is repeatable for a total of 65 units.

MFT 600  Graduate Continuation Course (0). 

Graduate students who have completed their course work but not their thesis, project, or comprehensive examination, or who have other requirements remaining for the completion of their degree, may maintain continuous attendance by enrolling in this course.  Signature of graduate program coordinator required.