This is an unofficial description for this program. For official information check the Academic Catalog.
Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy
Note: We are no longer accepting applications for the summer term weekend program. Students interested in the MFT program are encouraged to apply for the Fall only term with a February 1st deadline.
The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program leads to a Master's of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT). The program is designed to prepare students for professional careers as marriage and family therapists in a wide variety of settings and roles. First, students are taught theories and techniques of practice in individual and group counseling modalities, as well as developmental theory. The foundation of the specialized training in marriage and family therapy is systems theory, serving as the linchpin for the study of clinical theories and practices that are taught in preparation for clinical training.
The philosophy of the program is that a student must integrate theories and techniques as tools for enhancing one's effectiveness as an agent of intervention and change. The program does so by interweaving theory and practice throughout the duration of the training process via graduated practical experiences while studying theory. Thus, through the process of study and practice, the student has an opportunity to incorporate a wide array of learning gradually and comprehensively. The end product of such training is a therapist who is well-grounded in theory and who has had nurturing through an on-going training and supervisory process to use him/herself effectively, professionally, and ethically as an agent of change at a variety of levels. A unique feature of the program is that we utilize a “common factors” approach based on a theoretical model called “Metaframeworks”, which provides a template for looking through different systemic “lenses” to make decisions regarding how to intervene to remove constraints preventing a person, couple, family or organization from making necessary changes for their well-being.
The curriculum is designed to meet academic and clinical requirements for Connecticut licensure for marital and family therapists (LMFT) and AAMFT Clinical Membership.
Clinical placements and intensive faculty supervision emphasize the development of effective therapeutic skills to meet the challenges of the new climate in health care service delivery. Emphasis is also placed on the development of the "person of the therapist." A key theme of the program is respect for diversity of people and lifestyles in families. The program has been awarded accreditation by AAMFT's Commission on Accreditation for MFT Education (COAMFTE).
The mission of the CCSU MFT Program is to provide quality training in MFT education that will ensure the development of competence of individuals entering the profession. To accomplish this end, the program is committed to advancing and disseminating the Metaframeworks paradigm as a valued systemic basis for teaching and practicing marriage and family therapy, promoting culturally-informed and respectful systemic mental health practice, and promoting leadership in the MFT field among our students, faculty, and graduates.
Our mission can be re-stated in terms of program goals (PG) that guide our curriculum, structures, and assessment of our success in accomplishing our mission:
MFT Program Goals (PG):
1. Knowledge and Research: Students will develop competence in the delivery of MFT services, including proficiency in: (1) applying systems thinking in case formulation, (2) utilizing systemic models and interventions, (3) utilizing findings of MFT research to inform clinical practice and (4) Self-reflection and self-improvement as therapists.
2. Systemic/Integrative Practice: Students will develop competency in utilizing the integrative Metaframeworks paradigm in assessment, treatment planning and application of systemic models of marital and family therapy.
3. Ethics: Students will develop an understanding of and identify ethical issues that arise in academic and clinical practice based on the AAMFT Code of Ethics and state and federal laws applicable to the practice of marital and family therapy.
4. Diversity: Students will develop cultural competence in Marital and Family Therapy practice.
To successfully accomplish these Program Goals, the program places the following expectations on our students and faculty:
Student Learning Outcomes (SLO):
As a result of successful completion of the MFT program, students will:
1. Become knowledgeable in the major schools of marriage and family therapy;
2. Develop proficiency in practice of systemically oriented therapy approaches to be applied in their clinical work with individuals, families and communities;
3. Become knowledgeable consumers of research and evidence-based clinical practice;
4. Demonstrate self-awareness of their own social location (i.e., internal and relational) and identify biases that inform their clinical practice. Based on this self-awareness, students will demonstrate the ability to self-correct or be open to supervisory and peer feedback;
5. Demonstrate the ability to assess a client system’s resources and constraints through the “lenses” of the 6 core Metaframeworks domains (i.e., Organization, Sequences, Development, Multicultural, Gender and Internal Family System), select intervention strategies from systemic family therapy models that are appropriate and aligned with the removal of identified constraints, and implement interventions from such models based on their unique Metaframeworks assessment.
6. Demonstrate the ability to recognize ethical dilemmas in professional practice, apply relevant AAMFT Code of Ethics and models of ethical decision making when ethical issues emerge;
7. Demonstrate an awareness of and respect for cultural differences among clients and their contexts as defined in the program’s Metaframeworks Multicultural domain.
Admission Requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapy Program
Admission to the MFT program is made on a competitive basis one time per year. All applications for must be completed with all the required materials and received by February 1 for fall only admission. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
Candidates for initial admission will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:
1) Grade point average: Minimum 2.70 grade point average (GPA) for all undergraduate courses and a 3.00 for all graduate courses, based on a 4.00 point scale where A is 4.00
2) Two recommendations from individuals who know your academic competence, character, or professional work. Note: personal references from family members, friends, neighbors, or personal therapist will not be accepted.
3) Personal essay regarding your motivation and readiness to pursue a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Please include the following (three to five pages maximum, double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font):
a) Personal and professional experiences and reasons that influenced you to pursue the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.
b) Personal characteristics you believe will contribute to your educational success in the CCSU Marriage and Family Therapy program as well as your success as Marriage and Family Therapist after graduation.
c) Comment on your definition of family.
d) Comment on any personal and/or professional experiences you have had with people from diverse cultural backgrounds
4) Resume: Submit a current resume
5) Interview: After reviewing application materials, qualified applicants will be invited to interview with the Marriage and Family Therapy Faculty.
The online graduate application, application fee, and official transcripts from each institution attended except Central Connecticut State University are to be submitted directly to Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office.
Instructions for uploading the personal essay and resume and for submitting the the recommendation letters will be found within the online application.
If accepted, the advisor will orient the student regarding prerequisites, course scheduling, potential course transfers and substitutions, and the planned program of study.
Evening Track- Courses meet once per week in the evenings during each academic semester. Some courses are available for summer registration. Admission is limited to approximately 20 students each Fall semester. Once accepted to the program, students may enroll as full-time or part-time students. Students have the flexibility of enrolling either as full-time or part-time students at any point in the program. Full-time students take a minimum of 9 credits during fall and spring semesters, follow a prescribed program schedule, may attend during the summer, and complete the program in 3 years. Part-time students may take 3 or 6 credits per semester (including summers) and must complete the program within a 6-year period. Students may take up to six years to complete the program, or a maximum of nine years with permission from the advisor and Dean, School of Graduate Studies. Programs of study are arranged with advisors. Students may shift between full-time and part-time status as individually determined between the student and his or her advisor. Typically, students are enrolled part-time during their internship (3rd year), and are eligible for consideration for part-time equivalency if they are only taking a practicum or internship field placement course.
For additional information, please see the MFT program website:
CURRICULUM - Course and Capstone Project Requirements
Capstone Project Requirements : During the internship year, students will complete a capstone project that consists of two parts: 1) A Comprehensive Practice Exam that is a four-hour timed exam consisting of 180 multiple-choice questions. Students will be required to pass the exam while enrolled in MFT 585 (Internship). This is in preparation for taking the national licensing exam provided by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB), and 2) A comprehensive written examination of a clinical case seen by the student. During the third semester of MFT 585 (Internship), on completion of a minimum of 300 of the 400 clinical hours required for graduation, all students must complete the comprehensive written examination, as well as an oral presentation of the case to MFT faculty and peers. This project is designed to help the student integrate his/her learning experiences in the program. In addition, students also may elect to complete Plan A (Thesis), which adds an additional three (3) credits in the program. Students who pursue the thesis option are also required to complete the clinical capstone during the spring semester of MFT 585.
Clinical Training in the MFT Program
During the second year of the MFT program, students complete a practicum experience for two semesters, in which they are placed in approved clinical sites in the community for 12 hours per week and receive an hour of supervision per week by an agency supervisor. This experience provides students with basic skills and techniques in interviewing, clinical assessment, and case management. Students attend a weekly course seminar for one hour per week with a faculty instructor. There are over 30 approved training sites across the state, including mental health centers, youth service bureaus, family service agencies, hospitals, and schools.
Following the practicum, each student undertakes a 12-month, intensive (20-25 hours per week) internship in an approved clinical facility, where the intern may hone his/her skills as an "apprentice" clinician under the mentorship of an on-site supervisor and oversight of a faculty supervisor. The internship is designed to be a much more extensive experience than the practicum experience, with the intern assuming primary responsibility for 12-15 clinical cases per week. The student can expect much guidance during the internship experience, with over three hours per week spent in supervision to discuss clinical assessment, case dynamics, skill development, and use of self in the role of "therapist." By the end of the program, students must complete 400 clinical contact hours with a minimum of 100 hours of supervision of those clinical contact hours under an AAMFT Approved Supervisor.
Pathway to Certification as a School Marriage and Family Therapist : This sequence also includes a pathway to an Educator Certificate for School Marriage and Family Therapists, granted by the State Department of Education. This pathway requires a specialized practicum during the 2nd year that is geared toward meeting State of Connecticut regulations for the certificate (MFT 593 and MFT 594 is substituted for MFT 583 and MFT 584) and additional coursework (SPED 501 and MFT 592). The requirements for the certification exceed the number of credits for the MFT Masters degree; the extra courses may be taken either during the Master’s program as extra courses or may be taken post-graduation through the Official Certificate Program in School-based MFT.
Prerequisites (12 credits):
PSY 512: Students interested in the School MFT Certification Sequence can take PSY 512 (MFT 505 is an acceptable substitute).
Marriage and Family Therapy Core Curriculum - thesis optional:
MFT 541: This course is taken along with the three prerequisite courses.
MFT 583 and MFT 584: Students in the MFT School Certification sequence substitute MFT 593 and MFT 594 for these courses
MFT 585: See Capstone Project requirement (below).
Elective: May be any graduate course that fits coherently with the student's academic goals, on approval from his or her advisor. The Thesis course (CNSL 599) is not considered an elective (Plan A) and is an additional three (3) credits.
Marriage and Family Therapy Evening Track Plan of Study by Semester
Prerequisites: May be taken during Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters as offered prior to start of specialization program.
CNSL 500 and CNSL 501: Weekly throughout semester 20-25 hours/week placement; 2.5 hours/week supervision
MFT 541 and MFT 542: to be taken in the sequence, as shown. Other courses may be taken as available and in any order, providing that course prerequisites are met.
MFT 541 and MFT 542: Weekly throughout semester 20-25 hours/week placement; 2.5 hours/week supervision
Prerequisite courses may be taken during this semester. Join AAMFT (www.aamft.org)
Last Friday in January MFT Placement Fair for Practicum and Internship, held at CCSU
MFT 551 and MFT 556: to be taken in the sequence, as shown. Other courses may be taken as available and in any order, providing that course prerequisites are met.
MFT 556: Weekly throughout semester - 12-hour placement, 1.5 hour seminar per week.
MFT 557: Weekly throughout semester 20-25 hours/week placement; 2.5 hours/week supervision
NOTE: Some MFT courses that are scheduled for the Fall and Spring semesters (except sequenced courses in BOLD) are taught during Summer and Intersession semesters on a rotational basis for students' convenience. Students may take courses in the summer, as offered (denoted by an asterisk [*]. Courses taught every Summer are designated with [**]).
Phase 3: Practicum Year
MFT 543 and MFT 544: Weekly throughout semester - 12-hour placement, 1.5 hour seminar per week.
MFT 552 and MFT 583: to be taken in the sequence, as shown. Other courses may be taken as available and in any order, providing that course prerequisites are met.
Note: In order to take MFT 583, students need to complete MFT 551, MFT 542, and MFT 556 (pre-requisites).
MFT 555: Weekly throughout semester - 12-hour placement, 1.5 hour seminar per week.
MFT 598: Weekly throughout semester 20-25 hours/week placement; 2.5 hours/week supervision
MFT 584: to be taken in the sequence, as shown. Other courses may be taken as available and in any order, providing that course prerequisites are met.
(Note: Practicum includes 12 hours on-site at agency per week plus weekly 2-hour seminar with MFT faculty - MFT 583 and MFT 584. Agency provides supervision minimum one hour/week)
Phase 4: Internship
3 semesters (12 months) requiring 400 clinical contact hours (200 must be “relational”) with minimum 100 hours of supervision by an AAMFT Approved Supervisor (offered via faculty supervision at CCSU) 50 hours of supervision must use “raw” clinical data (audio/video/live supervision formats)
MFT 585: to be taken in the sequence, as shown. Other courses may be taken as available and in any order, providing that course prerequisites are met.
MFT 585: to be taken in the sequence, as shown. Other courses may be taken as available and in any order, providing that course prerequisites are met.
MFT 554 and Electives: Weekly throughout semester - 12-hour placement, 1.5 hour seminar per week.
Capstone Project: Case Presentation
Student applies for graduation by 3/1
MFT 585 and Capstone: to be taken in the sequence, as shown. Other courses may be taken as available and in any order, providing that course prerequisites are met. In addition, students will take a Comprehensive Practice Exam during the Internship year.
Plan E: Capstone Project Non-Thesis (Typical)
Plan A: Capstone PLUS Thesis (Optional and extra 3 credits)
Total Credit Hours: 51