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Marriage and Family Therapy

Degree Type: MS

The Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT) is a COAMFTE accredited terminal degree program. With this degree, following a period of post-graduate supervised practice, graduates can become licensed as marriage and family therapists. The program is designed for students drawn to the field of mental health who have a passion for understanding and treating relationships.

The program is offered through on-campus and online branches with differing intake terms:

The on-campus branch, is offered as a full-time program and is completed in two years, including the summer quarter following the first year. 

The online branch is offered in both full-time and part-time modes, with enrollment available every quarter, and can be completed in as little as 21 months for full-time students and 36 months for part-time students. An exception to this are full-time students residing in the state of California, whose programs will be a minimum of 24 months long to account for state regulations on pre-internship curricula.

The program prepares students by using a 21st century approach to therapy developed over 25 years at The Family Institute. Known as Integrative Systemic Therapy, this approach produces therapists who skillfully deliver family, couple, and individual therapy. The curriculum and clinical training are informed by multi-cultural and social justice perspectives.

The program also emphasizes research. Courses are research informed and students learn to utilize an standardized instrument to measure progress with their own cases. For students interested in pursuing a doctorate following graduation, research opportunities exist as does a thesis option.

The program includes a comprehensive curriculum of 20 academic courses and 6 quarters of an intensive clinical internship. During the internship on-ground students conduct therapy with clients in the clinic of The Family Institute at Northwestern University. Online students conduct therapy in clinical settings in their home state.

Students conduct 500 hours of therapy, including at least 400 face-to-face hours with clients, of which, at least 200 are conducted with couples and families. Students accrue up to 100 team hours planning and guiding team cases in the context of their supervision group. Students will also receive more than 250 hours of group and individual supervision.

For students in the online branch of the program, participation in one on-campus immersion event during their program is required for graduation.

For the on-campus branch, this full-time program is completed in two years, including the summer following the first year.

The program is a partnership between The Graduate School and The Family Institute at Northwestern University, a world-renowned center with 50 years of experience conducting, teaching, and researching marriage and family therapy.

Additional resources:

Program Statistics

Visit Master's Program Statistics for statistics such as program admissions, enrollment, student demographics and more.

Program Contact

Contact Yadira Wardlow
Coordinator of Education Programs
847-733-4300

Degree Requirements

The following requirements are in addition to, or further elaborate upon, those requirements outlined in The Graduate School Policy Guide.

Total Units Required: 24

Course Title
MS_FT 400-0Professional Identity Seminar
MS_FT 400-6Professional Identity Seminar
MS_FT 401-0Basic Concepts of Systems Therapy
MS_FT 401-6Basic Concepts of Systems Therapy
MS_FT 402-0Methods of System Therapy
MS_FT 402-6Methods of Systems Therapy
MS_FT 403-0Self and Other Systems: Theory and Interventions
MS_FT 403-6Self and Other Systems: Theory and Interventions
MS_FT 410-0Human Development and the Life Cycle
MS_FT 410-6Human Development and the Life Cycle
MS_FT 411-0Intimate Relations I
MS_FT 411-6Intimate Relations I
MS_FT 412-0Special Problems and Populations
MS_FT 412-6Special Problems & Populations
MS_FT 413-0Intimate Relations II
MS_FT 413-6Intimate Relations II
MS_FT 421-0Systemic Assessment
MS_FT 421-6Systemic Assessment
MS_FT 422-0Family Research
MS_FT 422-6Family Research
MS_FT 424-0Group Therapy
MS_FT 424-6Group Therapy
MS_FT 427-0Family of Origin: Systemic Perspectives on Risk and Resilience
MS_FT 427-6Family of Origin: Systemic Perspectives on Risk and Resilience
MS_FT 428-0Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in Marriage and Family Therapy
MS_FT 428-6Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in Marriage and Family Therapy
MS_FT 429-0Sex Therapy
MS_FT 429-6Sex Therapy
MS_FT 430-0Power, Privilege and Difference: Practicing Cultural Curiosity and Humility in a Multicultural World
MS_FT 430-6Power, Privilege and Difference: Practicing Cultural Curiosity and Humility in a Multicultural World
MS_FT 436-0Family Therapy Treatment Models
MS_FT 436-6Family Therapy Treatment Models
MS_FT 437-0Family Therapy with Children and Adolescents
MS_FT 437-6Family Therapy with Children and Adolescents
MS_FT 440-0Systemic Perspectives in the Treatment of Substance Use/Misuse and Addiction
MS_FT 440-6Systemic Perspective in the Treatment of Substance Use/Misuse and Addiction
MS_FT 480-0Pre-Practicum in Marriage & Family Therapy
MS_FT 480-6Pre-Practicum in Marriage & Family Therapy
MS_FT 481-0Internship in Marriage and Family Therapy
MS_FT 481-6Internship in Marriage & Family Therapy
MS_FT 482-0Advanced Internship in Marriage & Family Therapy
MS_FT 482-6Advanced Internship in Marriage & Family Therapy
MS_FT 495-0Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Capstone Project
MS_FT 495-6Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Capstone Project

Other MSMFT Degree Requirements

Clinical practicum involving over 500 hours of face-to-face contact with clients and more than 250 hours of group and individual supervision.

For Online branch students: Participation in one on-campus immersion event during their time in the program .

Last Updated: September 16, 2022