Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

The education and clinical training you need to prepare to obtain licensure as a marriage and family therapist.

Marriage and family therapy (MFT) is a distinct mental health discipline with a unique body of knowledge, research, clinical approaches and licensure laws. Northcentral University’s School of Marriage and Family Sciences offers marriage and family therapy degree programs that focus solely on treating individuals, couples, families and groups that struggle with mental and emotional disorders, as well as a wide range of behavioral and relationship problems.

Our COAMFTE-accredited Master’s program meets educational standards while also meeting your needs.

When you decide to earn your Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) degree online at Northcentral University, you are giving yourself the opportunity to complete a rigorous graduate degree without disrupting your personal or professional life. Our MAMFT programs is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), and is focused on helping you develop the skills and personal and professional growth needed for effective practice in the field of marriage and family therapy. 

Upon completion of the program, you will be prepared to pursue therapeutic and educational work in a variety of settings, including mental health centers, public service agencies, correctional institutions, industry, medical settings, and private practice. You will also be well prepared to begin the process of seeking licensure in your home state or area.  

Discover the benefits of an accredited, distance-based Marriage and Family Therapy Master's degree from Northcentral University:

  • Rigorous Coursework and Training: Our courses are designed to follow the educational guidelines set by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).  NCU’s MAMFT program is the first online MFT program to receive accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).
  • 100% Doctoral Faculty: All faculty teaching in the MAMFT program hold doctoral degrees in MFT or related fields.  In addition faculty members are actively practicing Marriage and Family Therapists and/or MFT supervisors, which makes them highly qualified to provide you with valuable feedback and support.
  • Competitive Tuition: Visit our Tuition page for current, inclusive program rates.
  • No Physical Residency :  With no physical residency requirements and online programs, you are never required to travel to a campus for your courses. Rather, you are able to complete the required courses in a distance-based format and with face-to-face clinical experience supported by a qualified, program-approved supervisor in your local area.
  • Personalized Degree Plans:  Unlike most online programs that will require students to take 60+ credit hours.  NCU’s MAMFT program only requires 45 credit hours.  For students that live in states that require more than 45 credit hours, students are able to add additional courses to their degree plan to meet their state’s licensing requirements. This personalization of degree plans ensures students receive the education they need and reduced cost by not making student take more credits than are required by their state, in most cases.

Complete your Practicum/Internship in your Local Area

At Northcentral University, the Director of Clinical Field Placements and other faculty and staff will work with you to arrange a local clinical site at which you will complete your required face-to-face clinical training. Administrative Faculty and staff will provide suggestions and assistance in finding a local placement site and qualified supervisor in your area. It is ultimately your responsibility to secure an acceptable placement. Once you are approved to begin your clinical work, in addition to your local supervisor, you will work with a Northcentral faculty member who is an AAMFT-approved supervisor or Supervisor-in-Training using our distance-based synchronous practicum/internship process. You will meet regularly with your faculty member along with two to five other MFT students. You will do clinically relevant assignments,  view recorded sessions with clients and discuss clinical skills and knowledge.   Security features are utilized to maintain confidentiality and security of client records and to meet HIPAA regulations.

PURPOSE: Provide rigorous training and coursework to help you develop into a competent, ethical, culturally sensitive and licensable marriage and family therapist who will make a difference in the communities where you live and work.

NCU’s MFT master’s degree program will help you develop the skills and facilitate personal and professional growth that is needed for effective practice in the field of marriage and family therapy. Coursework and training are designed to follow the guidelines of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), which are the same guidelines used by most states to establish required courses to satisfy licensure requirements.

COAMFTE AccretitationThe Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) degree program has received five year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Northcentral University’s MAMFT is the first program with distance education to receive COAMFTE’s coveted programmatic accreditation, ensuring that the University’s program aligns with national accreditation standards.

To review the Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s Program Student Achievement Criteria (SAC) data please click on the following link: COAMFTE Student Achievement Criteria Page

Current and Future Californians:
If you reside in or are planning to move to and pursue licensure in California, you can choose the California Licensure Track option within the MAMFT degree program. This option has been pre-approved by the Board of Behavioral Sciences in California and requires two modifications to the standard MAMFT degree plan. 

OUTCOMES: Throughout the program, you will grow personally and professionally through the development of critical thinking skills, important clinical skills, appreciation of research through the scholar-practitioner model, and a lifelong commitment to learning and service.

You should come to this rigorous program ready to be stretched, challenged and prepared to make a difference in the lives of others. You will develop knowledge of family systems-oriented models of therapy and clinical skills across a variety of contexts, while building an understanding of systemic dynamics with diverse client populations. You will also become familiar with the AAMFT Code of Ethics and how to apply them to ethically practice as an MFT.

See the NCU Course Catalog for student outcomes you will have obtained upon completion of this program. 

ACHIEVEMENTS: The MAMFT program at Northcentral University will help you train to become an effective, knowledgeable clinician who is prepared to seek licensure in the growing MFT profession.

Licensed MFTs are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy and family systems, and who diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of marriage, couples and family systems. Licensed MFTs may work in community agencies, schools, hospitals, prisons, employee assistance programs, private practices and other settings requiring mental health professionals. Research has consistently demonstrated the effectiveness of marriage and family therapy in the treatment of a wide range of mental, emotional and health issues.

Program Handbook 

The Program Handbook is designed to serve as a guide that provides you with applicable information that can help you succeed in your goal of becoming a marriage and family therapist. You will find policies and forms related to program admission, confidentiality, student progress and retention, graduation, program learning outcomes, the organizational structure of the program, specific program requirements, discussion on pursuing licensure, and other relevant program documents. It is a supplement to, but not a substitute for, the Northcentral University Catalog. Click Here to access a web-based version of the handbook. 

Program Educational Outcomes

Northcentral University’s Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) programs have specific Educational Outcomes (EO) that are designed to support the mission, philosophy, goals and objectives of the MFT program and those of Northcentral University. The MFT Educational Outcomes are designed to help you master the basic, but essential competencies that can help you make a difference in the lives of those families and individuals you serve, such as an understanding and respect for cultural diversity, systems knowledge, application of systemic theories and clinical skills, and the ethical practice of MFT. The EOs are reviewed on a regular basis and revised to reflect professional marriage and family therapy principles, educational guidelines, the needs and input from communities of interest, and the advancement of the program and the MFT profession.

The program faculty has established the following twelve (12) Educational Outcomes for the MAMFT program. These Educational Outcomes are comprised of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs), Faculty Outcomes (FOs) and Program Outcomes (POs). The EO linkage chart (Educational Outcome MAMFT Linkage Chart) provides a visual representation of how these outcomes link to and support one another, and are congruent with the missions of the program and the University.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of family systems oriented models of therapy (SLO #1).
  • Students will apply family systems oriented clinical skills across a variety of contexts (SLO #2).
  • Students will demonstrate an applied knowledge of the AAMFT Code of Ethics (SLO #3).
  • Students will advance their understanding of systemic dynamics within diverse client populations (SLO #4).

Faculty Outcomes (FO)

  • Faculty will actively pursue professional development that enhances their ability to teach in the field of marriage and family therapy (FO #1). 
  • Faculty members will demonstrate a commitment to and respect for diversity within the field of marriage and family therapy (FO #2).
  • Faculty will be active practitioners of marriage and family therapy (FO #3).
  • Faculty will "participate in activities that contribute to a better community and society" (AAMFT Code of Ethics- Principle 6.6, 2001) (FO #4).

Program Outcomes (PO)

  • The MFT program will show a clear commitment to diversity through curriculum content and student composition (PO #1).
  • Students will successfully complete the program requirements and graduate (PO #2).
  • Graduates of the program that desire a career in MFT will be successful in pursuing a career in marriage and family therapy (PO #3).
  • The MFT program administrative faculty will pursue and achieve external approvals and accreditation of the MFT programs (PO #4).

Take a Look at the Cultural Diversity of NCU MFT Students, Alumni and Faculty