family with theraphist

Marriage & Family Therapy

M.S. in Counseling

Undergraduate Program Graduate Program Concentration Focus Online Hybrid

The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program is a full-time, 2.5 year program that prepares students to practice as highly competent entry-level MFT's.

GRE Requirement Suspended for Spring and Fall 2021

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, SDSU has suspended the requirement that applicants for graduate study submit GRE scores for the Spring and Fall 2021 admissions cycle. The MFT faculty will not be reviewing any GRE scores so as to not disadvantage those who faced barriers to taking the GREs because of COVID-19.

The MFT Program is a cohort model program with new enrollments once a year. It is an intensive program offering extensive clinical experience and rigorous academic studies to prepare students to practice as highly competent entry-level MFT's. In order to complete all requirements of the program students must complete 2 1/2 years of study including 3 summers starting in early June of the first year and finishing at in the end of August in the second year.

Graduates of our program are able to provide therapeutic services and facilitate related change processes with a focus on social justice in variety of settings. As students, they participate in learning and practicing systemic and social constructionist ideas through the culturally-infused curriculum, and intensive strength-based, community-focused clinical training. Our affordable program is accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

Emphasis on Teaching

The MFT program and the university place teaching as the first priority. Faculty members are selected for their excellence in teaching and commitment to strong faculty-student relationships. Classes usually have 30 students or fewer in them. Learning processes are highly interactive, including emphases on both personal growth and professional knowledge and skills.

Multicultural Development

Developing culturally responsive therapists with a diverse, compassionate and intelligent student body.

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Experienced Faculty

Faculty of the MFT program are actively involved in class with students, clinical trainings, and often are practicing in the profession with diverse foci and specialties.

COAMFTE Accredited

The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at San Diego State University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

Clinical Experience

Gain extensive clinical experience through community engagement, practicums, and traineeship placements. Conduct therapy at the Center for Community Counseling and Engagement (CCCE) early in training

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2 ½-Year Intensive Program

Cohort 60 unit program model with 2 full years of face-to-face that begins in the summer of first year

  • Knowledge of MFT theories
  • Effective clinical work with diverse cultural groups
  • Engage in a larger cultural systems perspective and social justice lens
  • Enhance self-of-therapist and personal growth
  • Develop community leadership skills by engaging in social responsibility/ being social change agent
  • Fulfillment of Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE) standards requiring
  • Fulfillment of all educational requirements for MFT California state licensure by the Board of Behavioral Sciences 

Note: For more information about our program, academic requirements, and more, see MFT-FAQs.


Year 1: Summer

  • CSP 600 (2): Cross-Cultural Counseling Communication Skills
  • CSP 600L (1): Cross-Cultural Counseling Prepracticum
  • CSP 606 (3): Professional Issues in Mental Health Practice
  • CSP 609 (3): Family Life Cycle Development
  • CSP 625 (3): Marriage and Family Therapy Theories and Best Practices I
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Year 1: Fall

  • CSP 615 (3): Seminar in Multicultural Dimensions in Counseling
  • CSP 626 (3):  Marriage and Family Therapy Theories and Best Practices II 
  • CSP 687 (3): Family and Systemic Treatment of Substance Abuse
  • CSP 692 (3): Seminar: Couples Therapy and Evidence-Based Relational Practices
  • CSP 755 (3): Practicum I: Marriage and Family Therapy

Year 1: Spring

  • CSP 618 (3): Mental Health Recovery and the DSM: A Social Justice Perspective
  • CSP 650 (3): Trauma and Crisis Counseling in Multicultural Community Context
  • CSP 670/670L (3): Theory and Process of Group Counseling & Lab
  • CSP 688 (1): Family Systems Assessment of Child Abuse
  • CSP 765 (3): Practicum II: Marriage and Family Therapy

Year 2: Summer

  • ED 690 (3): Methods of Inquiry
  • CSP 785 (2): Marriage and Family Therapy Traineeship 

* depending on the student's rate of clinical experience hours collection, additional summer enrollments may be needed to meet the graduation requirements

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Year 2: Fall

  • CSP 640 (2): Testing and Assessment for Marriage and Family Therapists
  • CSP 691 (1):  Violence in Couples’ Relationships
  • CSP 710A (3): Professional Seminar
  • CSP 785 (3): Marriage and Family Therapy Traineeship

Year 2: Spring

  • CSP 635 (2): Sexuality and Intimacy in Couple and Family Therapy and Counseling
  • CSP 662A (3): Counseling Interventions with Children and Adolescents
  • CSP 694 (2): Psychopharmacology for Marriage and Family Therapists and Counseling
  • CSP 710B (3): Professional Seminar - Capstone Project
  • CSP 785 (1): Marriage and Family Therapy Traineeship

Final Summer

  • CSP 785 (2): Marriage and Family Therapy Traineeship

* depending on the student's rate of clinical experience hours collection, additional summer enrollments may be needed to meet the graduation requirements

See Our Faculty page for information about and contact information for our faculty and lecturers.

MFTs are focused on the interpersonal and relational aspects of human behavior, as well as the social contexts in which problems occur. They can work in a variety of settings such as:

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Educational organizations
  • Health care organizations
  • Private Practice
  • Read more about the MFT

Ask Us a Question

Learn How to Apply

Download our Guide

The MFT Essential Guide is given to all our students to provide program details and expectations.


Info Sessions

Information sessions will be held twice in Fall 2020 to provide prospective students more information about the admissions process, the program, and its faculty. Some faculty and current students from each cohort will be in attendance.

Prospective students are encouraged to read through the MFT program website prior to attending an information session.

Information session # 1: October 21st, 1-3pm
Information session # 2:  November 6th, 1-3pm

To receive a Zoom link for the sessions please RSVP by going to:
A Zoom link will be sent out the day before each information session. For tech support please go Zoom's Help Center (

Fall 2021 Admissions

Cal State Apply Applications are due December 15, 2020.
Program application & letters of recommendation are due Jan 12, 2021.

Important Resources

  • Tuition cost
    Visit the Office of Admissions Estimated Cost of Attendance page for the latest information about the cost of university tuition. 
  • Financial aid
    All courses are eligible for Financial Aid. Contact the SDSU Financial Aid Office and speak to a financial aid officer familiar with loans for special programs.


COAMFTE Student Achievement Criteria Data for SDSU MFT Program

Advertised Program Length*: FT:  2.5 years

Accredited: 2006

All data are for full-time students.

Cohort Year Students Entered Program* # of Students in Program  Graduation Rate (%)* Job Placement Rate (%)** National Exam Pass Rate (%)***
2010-2011 24 79.16 90 100
2011–2012 24 87.5 85.71 100
2012–2013 30 93.3 100 100
2013–2014 29 96.55 100 100
2014–2015 30 96.66 80 100
2015–2016 28 92.85 100 100
2016–2017 29 96.55 75 100
2017–2018 28 46.42 84.61 100
2018-2019 30 73.3 in progress in progress
2019-2020 31 in progress in progress in progress

Programs are only required to provide data on the past 10 years/cohort or since the program was initial accredited, whichever is shorter.
* Programs should report graduation rates for program’s Advertised Length of Completion. The Advertised Length of Completion is how long the program is designed to complete as written.
The advertised length of the program was extended to two and a half years beginning 2019-2021.
**This is defined as the percentage of graduates from the cohort year listed that are employed within 3 years of their graduation utilizing skills learned in the COAMFTE accredited program. Masters and Doctoral programs are required to provide this information. Post-Degree programs are encouraged to share this with the public.

*** Master programs are required to provide this information. Doctoral and Post-Degree programs are encouraged to share this with the public. For Master’s programs only, COAMFTE has established a benchmark of 70% pass rate for each cohort. Programs in California can use the California Law and Ethics exam for MFTs to meet this requirement.