Licensure and Accreditation

Students wishing to use their graduate training to acquire clinical licensure are advised to enter the Marriage and Family Therapy Program.  Northcentral University does not approve or endorse students attempting to become clinically licensed without successfully completing a formal clinical degree program.  With the exception of the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program, Northcentral University does not offer such a program.  Therefore, Northcentral University cannot support students who independently attempt to use their degree in general psychology to obtain licensure as a clinical or counseling psychologist.

Any student who intends to seek licensure or certification must take full responsibility for ensuring that their degree program at Northcentral meets whatever requirements are stipulated by licensing or certification bodies within their locality and their field of endeavor.  Northcentral University cannot provide assistance to students regarding the interpretation or understanding of a state's licensure requirements, or the requirements of any other such entity.

Students who complete courses with practical application are responsible for keeping all clinical demographic data and supervision records for presentation to any licensing or certification agency.  Northcentral is not responsible for maintaining these records and is not able to provide this information if a student applies for licensure or certification.

If you wish to pursue licensure, it is important to know that some states require that students have a degree from a program that carries a particular accreditation, such as the American Psychological Association (APA), the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), or the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Northcentral University does not currently offer programs that carry these accreditations. Students seeking to become clinicians are advised to enter the Marriage and Family Therapy program, or to enroll at another institution.  All MFT students and applicants are encouraged to review their own local licensure or certification requirements.  A directory of MFT licensure boards within the United States and Canada can be found at: http://www.aamft.org/resources/Online_Directories/boardcontacts.asp

Liability Insurance

Students in internship or practicum courses must purchase liability insurance prior to starting work with clients. Many practicum/internship sites require students to show evidence of liability coverage prior to beginning a practicum/internship. Northcentral requires students participating in practicum/internship to purchase student professional liability insurance, typically available for a low fee. Students are required to provide proof of this insurance.

Practicum Information

Marriage and Family Therapy practicum courses require pre-practicum approval from the MFT Clinical Coordinator prior to enrollment. Students wishing to enroll in a practicum course should begin the approval process with their Academic Advisor at least two months prior to their anticipated practicum enrollment date. Additional details regarding practicum options within each degree program can be found below.

MA in Psychology - Students in the MA General Psychology program may elect to complete one practicum course as part of their degree program and earn 3 credit hours toward completion of their degree requirements. Students in other specializations may take practicum courses as electives in addition to their program requirements.

The practicum courses for MA Psychology students are PSY6901 and PSY6902. Additional details can be found in the course descriptions.

MA in Marriage and Family Therapy - Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s students must complete at least two 3 credit practicum courses. Prior to enrolling in the first practicum course, students must complete the pre-practicum process and receive approval. In order to finish the practicum requirements and continue on to the internship, students must complete at least 250 hours of direct client contact, including no less than 125 hours of relational client contact defined as conjoint therapy with two or more persons in a committed relationship (e.g. couple or family). Students must also receive satisfactory evaluations from their local and Northcentral supervisors in order to complete the practicum sequence. Students who do not complete the required number of hours or do not receive satisfactory supervisor evaluations will be required to enroll in additional practicum courses until these requirements are met.

The practicum courses for master’s level degree seeking Marriage and Family Therapy students are MFT6951 and MFT6952. Additional details can be found in the course descriptions.

Non-degree students who need an MFT Practicum course can enroll in MFT6901, MFT6902, and MFT6903 as needed. Additional details can be found in the course descriptions.

PhD in Psychology - Doctoral students in the General Psychology program may elect to complete up to two 3 credit hour practicum courses as part of their specialization coursework. Students in other specializations may take practicum courses as electives in addition to their program requirements.

The practicum courses for doctoral Psychology students are PSY8900 and PSY8901. Additional details can be found in the course descriptions.

PhD. in Marriage and Family Therapy - Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral students must complete at least one 3 credit practicum course. Prior to enrolling in the required practicum course, students must complete the pre-practicum process and receive approval. In order to finish the practicum requirements and continue on to the doctoral internship, students must complete at least 125 hours of direct client contact, including no less than 62.5 hours of relational client contact defined as conjoint therapy with two or more persons in a committed relationship (e.g. couple or family) with each other. Students must also receive satisfactory evaluations from both their local and the Northcentral supervisor in order to complete the practicum sequence. Students that do not complete the required number of hours or do not receive satisfactory supervisor evaluations will be required to enroll in additional practicum courses until these requirements are met.

The practicum course for doctoral level degree seeking Marriage and Family Therapy students is MFT8951. Additional details can be found in the course description.

Internship Information

Students wishing to enroll in an internship course should apply through their Academic Advisor at least two months prior to the anticipated enrollment date. The Marriage and Family Therapy internship courses require pre-internship approval from the MFT Clinical Coordinator prior to enrollment. Please contact your Academic Advisor in order to begin this process. Additional details regarding internship options within each degree program can be found below.

MA in Psychology - There is not an internship option for master's level psychology students.

MA in Marriage and Family Therapy - Marriage and Family Therapy master's students must complete a three credit internship course. The internship site and supervisor must be approved by the MFT Clinical Coordinator prior to enrolling in the internship course. The primary requirement of this master's level internship is to complete at least 500 hours of direct client contact, 250 of which must be relational. In conjunction with client contact, master's students must complete 100 hours of supervision. Supervision will occur at the rate of 1 hour of supervision per every 5 hours of client contact and will be face-to-face or live supervision. This total requirement of client contact and supervision hours includes the hours previously completed during the practicum process.

In addition to these client contact hours, students must take the AMFTRB practice exam online and submit the results to the course site. This is a practice exam for the national licensing exam. Information about preparing for and taking this practice exam can be found at: http://www.amftrb.org/exampoint.cfm. Information about the content/domains of the exam can be found at: http://www.amftrb.org/exam.cfm.

As a final requirement of this internship, the student must prepare and give a presentation detailing their personal theory of therapy. This presentation will be given in an online video conference and must include video clips from actual therapy sessions in which the student demonstrates how they use the presented theory of therapy with her/his clients.

The internship process for master's level degree seeking Marriage and Family Therapy students is offered as a series of three 1-credit courses including MFT6991, MFT6992, and MFT6995. Additional details can be found in the course description.

PhD in Psychology - In order to sit for a state licensing exam, psychologists typically must complete a pre-doctoral internship. Internships are structured clinical training experiences in which students provide a range of clinical services, receive intensive individual and group supervision, and attend training seminars designed to build skills and knowledge necessary for the independent practice of psychology. In the United States, a pre-doctoral internship is required for licensure in all 50 states. The exact requirements vary from state to state, but typically there is a requirement for 2,000 supervised pre-doctoral hours. The internship usually occurs at a training facility, although other clinical or teaching sites may be used if the Northcentral Psychology Training Director approves them and your state board accepts them.

Prior to the start of each internship, the Training Director and the student prepare a summary of training needs, including information from practicum supervisors and the student, which will then be sent to the internship training site. Prospective interns must have completed both of the Psychology practicum courses (or their equivalent) prior to applying for internship. Some states require specific numbers of practicum hours prior to internship. Students are responsible for ensuring that their practicum and internship sites meet their state’s guidelines.

Students that elect to complete an internship must register for PSY8406, which is a 16-week course. The course carries 0 credit hours. The course is billed at the current tuition rate for 1 credit of doctoral-level work. Students may enroll in this course as many times as needed to meet their state's requirements.

Internship sites provide the Training Director with feedback on interns' progress. Interns and internship program faculty members should contact their Academic Advisor who can provide them with the Psychology Training Director’s contact information.

PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy - Upon completion of the required practicum course (s) and pre-internship approval from the MFT Clinical Coordinator, MFT doctoral students must complete a 9-month internship under the direction of an AAMFT Approved Supervisor, Supervisor-in-Training, or the equivalent state-approved supervisor. The primary requirement of this internship is to complete at least 1,000 hours of direct client contact, 500 of which must be relational. In conjunction with client contact, doctoral students must complete 200 hours of supervision. Supervision will occur at the rate of 1 hour of supervision per every 5 hours of client contact and will be face-to-face or live supervision. The hours of client contact and supervision can include hours that were previously completed during practicum and/or documented hours completed prior to enrolling in the internship that are reviewed and approved by the MFT Clinical Coordinator.

In addition to these client contact hours, students must take the AMFTRB practice exam online and submit the results to the course site. This is a practice exam for the national licensing exam. Information about preparing for and taking this practice exam can be found at: http://www.amftrb.org/exampoint.cfm. Information about the content/domains of the exam can be found at: http://www.amftrb.org/exam.cfm.

Doctoral students who have completed the required 1000 hours of client contact and 200 hours of supervision prior to enrolling in the doctoral internship can elect to complete an internship with a focus on clinical research or clinical teaching.

The internship process for doctoral MFT students is offered as a series of three 1-credit courses including MFT8961, MFT8962, and MFT8965. Additional details can be found in the course description.

MFT Supervision Training

In addition to the doctoral level practicum and internship courses, MFT doctoral students must complete a didactic course focused on the processes of MFT supervision. Following completion of this course, these students are required to complete a nine month practicum course in which they will engage in direct supervision of the clinical work of another therapist. The supervision course and practicum will be conducted in connection with the requirements established by the AAMFT for students to become Approved Supervisors. Not all requirements will be completed for the students to achieve the designation while in the program at Northcentral. Students will have to complete additional requirements outside of the program in order to complete the requirements for the designation.

Doctoral MFT students must enroll in MFT8970 and a series of three 1-credit supervision practicum courses including MFT8971, MFT8972, and MFT8975 respectively in order to complete these supervision training requirements.

As an alternative to completing the supervision course and practicum at Northcentral, students may elect to complete the training directly through AAMFT. Upon completion of the training and required hours of supervision provided and supervision of supervision received, students may submit documentation through their Academic Advisor for approval and the course requirements for MFT8970, MFT8971, MFT8972 and MFT8975 will be waived.