California Licensure

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

For many working Californians, the traditional graduate school model and on-campus classroom schedules prevents highly-qualified individuals from pursuing a Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy in California. Northcentral University’s California Licensure Track option is pre-approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences in California (CA). and meets all the educational requirements set by the state to earn a qualifying degree towards licensure. Since NCU is a regionally accredited university, this degree meets the licensing requirements in many other states. All courses are taught by professors who possess significant experience in the field of MFT, and many are also currently practicing clinicians.

For more information regarding our Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, click on the links below.

General Degree Requirements

The MA in Marriage and Family Therapy degree requires a minimum of 45 credit hours at the graduate level beyond the bachelor’s degree. While not required for graduation, students who need to complete a 48- or 60-credit program or need specific additional courses for their state licensure requirements will be allowed to complete optional elective courses to meet these requirements.

Northcentral University may accept a maximum of 15 semester credit hours in transfer toward the master’s degree for graduate coursework completed toward a non-conferred graduate degree at an accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better. Transfer credit is only awarded for course work that is evaluated to be substantially equivalent in content to the required course work in the MFT program.

The MA degree program in Marriage and Family Therapy has the following graduation requirements:

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate instruction must be completed through Northcentral.
  • Successful completion of all required degree program courses with a Grade Point Average of 3.0 (letter grade of “B”) or higher.
  • Official documents on file for basis of admission: a conferred bachelor’s degree from an accredited academic institution.
  • Official transcripts on file for all transfer credit hours accepted by the University.
  • All financial obligations to the University paid in full.

Beyond these standard graduation requirements, the Marriage and Family Therapy master’s program has the following degree requirements:

  1. Online Video Conferencing – In order to complete some of the course requirements and to participate in the online supervision process that is used during the practicum and internship courses, students are required to participate in several online video conferencing meetings throughout their time in the program. In order to participate in these video conference sessions, students are required to own or otherwise have access to a computer, a web cam, a headset, a video recording device, and a high speed internet connection.
  2. Client Contact – Master’s students will be required to complete 500 hours of direct client contact, which includes conducting face-to-face therapy with individuals, couples, families, and groups. At least 250 hours of client contact must be relational (e.g., couple or family). For more information, please read through the practicum and internship course descriptions.
  3. Supervision – In conjunction with client contact, master’s students must receive a total of 100 hours of supervision. Supervision of students will occur at the rate of one (1) hour of supervision per every five (5) hours of client contact and will be face-to-face or live supervision conducted by AAMFT Approved Supervisors, Supervisors-in-Training, or equivalent state approved supervisors. In some cases, students may be required to pay for local supervision. This will depend on the clinical placement location, local clinical placement, and/or local supervisor they contract with to complete their practicum and internship requirements. The decision to pay for local supervision is entirely up to the student and not a requirement of Northcentral University.
  4. Liability Insurance – Prior to beginning any clinical experience, students are required to submit proof of professional liability insurance.

Completion Period for Master's Degrees

Northcentral University allows 6 years to complete Master's programs requiring more than 36 credit hours.

Students who are unable to complete a degree program within the stated time limits (6 years) are dismissed. If a student believes they have extenuating circumstances they may document the circumstances and send a request for consideration to their respective School Dean or designee. Exceptions to the policy are determined on a case-by-case basis and are granted only once.

Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy Degree Plan
California Licensure Track

For students residing in or planning to move to and pursue licensure in California, we offer a California Licensure Track option within the MA MFT program.  This option has been pre-approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS; the MFT licensing board) in California.  This degree plans requires 60 credit hours.  Students must complete the standard 45 credit hour degree plan with one modification (students must take the California version of our ethics course (MFT6201 California Law and Professional Ethics) rather than the standard ethics course (MFT5102 Legal, Ethical, and Professional Development in MFT), Then, in addition to the standard 45 credits, students must complete an additional five course (15 credits) that have been pre-determined to meet the CA licensing requirements. 

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


Research Methods and Evidence-Based Practice

This course investigates existing research and research methods used in marriage and family therapy as well as research ethics training, evaluation of existing research, understanding common research designs, and exploring potential research options of interest to the students. Course content also focuses on the importance of a scientist-practitioner approach to clinical work and the validation and use of evidence based practices in family therapy.


Human Development and Family Dynamics Across the Lifespan

This course will include content on individual and family development across the lifespan. Specific emphasis will be given to developmentally appropriate and atypical transitions related to common concerns in marriage and family therapy.


Cultural Diversity, Gender, and Family Development

This course addresses issues related to diversity and power and privilege as they relate to culture, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, and spirituality. Each of these characteristics is examined with respect to the relevance they have to the profession and practice of family therapy. This course is designed to address the program's fourth Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) which states, "Students will advance their understanding of systemic dynamics within diverse client populations (SLO-4)."


Family Therapy with Children

This course is designed to provide clinically relevant background information, human development, theory, and therapeutic models and interventions for a wide variety of presenting clinical problems relevant to children. Course material will address family therapy practice and be related conceptually to theory. Specific methods of therapy with children and facilitating parental and family involvement will be discussed. Facilitating child involvement in the therapeutic process for families will be addressed as well. This course is designed to address the program's second Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) which states, "Students will apply family systems oriented clinical skills across a variety of contexts (SLO-2)."


Couples and Sex Therapy

This course will address several models of couples and sex therapy. Within each model there will be a focus on assessment of couples dynamics, goal setting, and potential interventions. Specific attention will be given to the development of a personal theory of working with couples based on a foundation of existing models. This course is designed to address the program's second Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) which states, "Students will apply family systems oriented clinical skills across a variety of contexts (SLO-2)."


Families in Crisis

This course will address contemporary crisis-related issues in marriage and family therapy to include gender, violence, addictions, and abuse. It will also address the treatment of individuals, couples, and families from a relational/systemic perspective with respect to these issues. The focus will be on the effects of trauma and stress on family life and relationships as well as recovery from a variety of related presenting issues.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s MAMFT costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $848
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $2,544
  • Program cost: $38,510-$51,230
  • Average Book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.

Northcentral University’s Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Northcentral University 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 on COAMFTE accreditation, visit their website.