Marriage and Family Therapy

Douglas C. Breunlin
Program Director
618 Library Place
Evanston, IL 60201
Phone: (847) 733-4300

The Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT) is a terminal degree designed to lead to state licensure as a marriage and family therapist. Designed for students drawn to the field of mental health with a passion for relationships, the program emphasizes couple and family therapy while also providing training in individual therapy. This full-time program is completed in 2 years, including the summer following the first year. Study includes a comprehensive 22-course curriculum and an intensive clinical internship, in which students log 500 hours of face-to-face contact with clients and receive more than 250 hours of group and individual supervision.

Marriage and family therapy is a growing and respected profession in the mental health field wherein human problems are nested within a complex system that encompasses individual, relational, family and societal dynamics. The problem-solving philosophy of the program draws upon the rich clinical traditions of the field, but packages them in an integrative perspective honed by decades of work by senior faculty. Our program embraces the scientist-practitioner model of training, which means that we train students to become practitioners who can apply empirically based knowledge and techniques to solve problems of clients. In addition, our program serves as a launching pad for students interested in pursuing doctoral studies in the fields of MFT or Psychology. Towards that end, interested students have ample opportunity to get involved in research.

The Program is a unique partnership between the Graduate School of Northwestern University and The Family Institute at Northwestern University. The latter is a world-renowned center with 40 years of experience conducting, teaching and researching marriage and family therapy. Students receive a prestigious Northwestern degree while studying with highly experienced faculty and supervisors who themselves are active clinicians. Students conduct therapy within the Institute’s own clinic that has state-of-the art interviewing suites. This large and respected clinic provides students a diverse clinical experience. In addition, students can also participate in the Institute’s community programs designed to reach disadvantages clients.

The MSMFT Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. For more information about the MFT profession visit The program is also evaluated and approved by the state of Illinois Division of Professional Regulation, Marriage and Family Therapy Licensing and Disciplinary Board. For more information about licensing see website:

The program endorses and abides by ethical standards of service delivery and research established by the AAMFT and Northwestern University, and rules of ethical conduct and practice prescribed by the State of Illinois. Our program welcomes and actively seeks applications from underrepresented minority groups.

For more information about the MSMFT Program, including faculty bios, publications and current research, detailed descriptions of courses and supervision, the application process and financial aid, visit The Family Institute at Northwestern University website at