MFT Program Details

Learn about our diverse student body, innovative curriculum, quality clinical training, commitment to community, high rate of employment in the field, program and student learning outcomes, faculty outcomes, and more.

For detailed information on the MFT program and its expectations, please refer to the Essential Guide provided to MFT students (PDF). 

Our Student Body

A program is as much shaped by its student body as by its faculty and formal structures. Our students bring a rich array of life experiences and knowledge to the program. In keeping with our commitment to insure our students' readiness to work with the culturally diverse populations of our region and work from a socially responsible vantage point, we enroll a student body that reflects the local community. Currently about 78% of our students identify as students of color, including U.S.-born, Immigrants, and International status students. Our students are highly motivated and energetic. While faculty take responsibility for the basic content and structures of learning, reciprocal learning between faculty and students as well as student to student is considered vital to everyone's development.

Innovative Curriculum

The program's commitment to social change and diversity has produced a dynamic and multiculturally infused curriculum. In addition to specialized courses with multicultural content in MFT, faculty works to incorporate cultural considerations into all coursework. Specialty areas within the curriculum include family counseling in the schools and attention to relationships between families and other larger systems.

Quality Clinical Training

The program provides a rich and varied clinical training experience with excellent supervision. Students first gain clinical experience within the department's clinical training facility under live supervision. All supervisors are either AAMFT Approved Supervisor designates or equivalent. Students participate in a second clinical experience in a program-approved community mental health agency or school. All sites must provide opportunities to work with a culturally diverse population of families, couples, and individuals, provide supervision by AAMFT Approved Supervisors or equivalents, and be able to provide supervision via audiotape, videotape, or live supervision. Students must complete 500 direct client contact hours, 250 of which are with families and couples. Students must additionally have a minimum of 100 hours of supervision, 50 hours of which must be via access to the live data of therapy (i.e., live, videotape, or audiotape supervision).

Commitment to Community

The program has a long tradition of serving the community through its Traineeship placements and offering workshops and trainings. The Center for Community Counseling, the clinical training facility for the department, is located in the City Heights community of San Diego. This location provides targeted client populations with access to our services, outreach opportunities, and bridges to the schools in the community.

High Employment Rate

Graduates of the MFT program at SDSU have been highly successful in securing employment in community agencies, private practices, hospitals, and school-affiliated programs. Graduates are regarded very highly by local employers and are recognized for the strength of their clinical training and cultural competency.


Program outcomes

What are the program outcomes?

  • 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

Student learning outcomes

What are the student learning outcomes?

  • Knowledge of theories, models, and methods within systemic and social constructionist paradigms
  • Application of MFT theories, models, and methods to produce effective clinical practice with diverse populations
  • Understanding of recovery-oriented care
  • Effective practice in public mental health settings
  • Use of research to inform clinical practice
  • Conceptualization and practice in the therapist role from a position of social responsibility and/ or social change
  • Use of self-of-therapist and personal growth to become effective therapist

Faculty outcomes

What are the faculty outcomes?

Faculty outcomes are designed to support the program and student learning outcomes.

  • Demonstrate excellence as a teacher-scholar
  • Effective pedagogy, including attention to diversity and use of technology, to meet program and student learning outcomes
  • Effective supervision of students’ clinical practices
  • Engagement in scholarly activities, such as publications and presentations, to advance the field of MFT
  • Engagement in service and leadership to advance the MFT profession and university culture

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