Central Connecticut State University

Department of Counseling & Family Therapy
Last Updated

The Master's Program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Central Connecticut State University, conveniently located off major highways in the center of the state, offers both part- and full-time study opportunities for persons interested in pursuing a career in marriage and family therapy. The program is nationally accredited by AAMFTs Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). The MFT programs intensive 51 credit hour specialization is designed to provide students with a solid theoretical background as a foundation for intensive clinical training in systemic approaches to human problems. The curriculum is designed to meet the academic requirements for Connecticut Licensure for Marital and Family Therapists and AAMFT Clinical Membership. Unique features of the program include training in "Action Methods" with Dr. Daniel Wiener and optional training in Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy with Dr. Ralph Cohen, developed by Dr. Richard C. Schwartz. Clinical placements and intensive faculty supervision emphasize the development of effective therapeutic skills to meet the challenges of the new climate in health care service delivery. Emphasis is also placed on the development of the "person of the therapist." A key theme of the program is respect for diversity of people and lifestyles in families. The Graduate faculty consists of AAMFT Approved Supervisors and Licensed MFTs who are highly experienced both as teachers and as clinicians in the MFT field. All courses are taught by faculty members who are dedicated to the training of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Dr. Ralph S. Cohen
Department Emphasis
  • 25% Practicum & Internship
  • 20% General Counseling
  • 20% Family Therapy
  • 15% Family Studies
  • 10% Human Development
  • 5% Research Methods
  • 5% Ethics & Professional Studies
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Master’s
Areas of Study
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050-4010
United States

Phone Number
Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Ralph Cohen
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Dynamics of Group Behavior
  • Theories and Techniques in Counseling
  • Introduction to Theories of Family Systems
  • Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Marriage & Family Therapy
  • The Family Life Cycle
  • Families in Context: Gender & Cultural Dimensions
  • Structural/Strategic/Behavioral Family Therapies
  • Experiential, Intergenerational & Psychodynamic Family Therapies
  • Couples Therapy
  • Dysfunctional Family Processes
  • Systemic Perspectives on Mental Disorders
  • Action Methods in Marital and Family Therapy
  • Internal Family Systems Therapy
  • Marriage & Family Therapy Practicum I, II
  • Marriage & Family Therapy Internship
  • Research Methods in MFT
Graduate Accreditations/Approval
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Marriage & Family Therapy
Masters Comments

The Marriage and Family Therapy program leads to a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.S.M.F.T). The program provides students with a solid theoretical background as a foundation for intensive clinical training in systemic approaches to human problems. The curriculum meets the academic requirements for Connecticut MFT Licensure and AAMFT Clinical Membership. Clinical placements and intensive faculty supervision emphasize the development of effective therapeutic skills and the development of the "person of the therapist." A key theme is respect for diversity. The program is accredited by AAMFT's Commission on Accreditation for MFT Education.

Track Options

The program offers two track options to meet the needs of diverse student populations:

Evening Track – The Evening Track has served students in the MFT program since 1990 and offers a more "traditional" graduate experience. Courses meet once per week in the evenings during each academic semester, and students have the flexibility of enrolling fulltime or part-time. Some courses are available for summer registration. Admission is limited to approximately 20 students each Fall and Spring semester. Students enter the program for a "pre-candidacy" period during which they must complete each of CNSL 500, CNSL 501, MFT 505 (or PSY 512 for students pursuing the School-based MFT sequence), and MFT 541 with a minimum grade of "B" to meet eligibility requirements for Degree Candidacy. During the second and third years, students participate in field placement experiences (i.e., a 12-hour-per-week practicum in the 2nd year and a 20-25 hour-per-week internship in the 3rd year). The Evening Track is designed to be completed in three years for full-time students and in four years for part-time students. Students may take up to six years to complete the program, or a maximum of nine years with permission from the adviser and Dean, School of Graduate Studies.

Full- or Part-time: Once admitted into pre-candidacy in the Evening Track, students may enroll as full-time or part-time students. Full-time students take a minimum of 9 credits during fall and spring semesters, follow a prescribed program schedule, may attend during the summer, and complete the program in 3 years. Part-time students may enroll in up to 6 credits per session in the summer (first and second five-week sessions) and must complete the program within a 6-year period (nine years is possible with permission from the adviser and Graduate Dean). Programs of study are arranged with the advisor. Students may shift between full-time and part-time status as individually determined between the student and his or her advisor. Typically, students are enrolled part-time during their internship (3rd year), and are eligible for consideration for part-time equivalency if they are only taking a practicum or internship field placement course.


Weekend Cohort Track – The Weekend Cohort Track has the same admission, curriculum, and other requirements as the Evening program, but is structured to meet the needs of students who are constrained by distance or other circumstances that prevent them from attending the program during the week. Like the Evening Track, the Weekend Cohort Track is designed to be completed in three years.

Students are admitted on a one-time-per-year basis as a cohort group, only for the summer. Students are expected and must be committed to move through the program as a cohort group, enrolling in the prescribed courses in the cohort from beginning to end.

Instructional Classes typically meet on Friday evenings, full days on Saturdays and half-days on Sundays with some weekends off during and between courses during the first and second years. Courses are taught in 5-week blocks; three 3-credit courses per semester during Fall and Spring semesters with additional courses taught in the summer. Several classes will be taught as "hybrid" courses, combining online participation with in-class instruction on the CCSU campus. In the second and third years, students are required to participate in practicum and internship experiences on a weekly basis.

The Practicum and Internship segments require weekly meetings for the Practicum Seminar and Internship Supervision. Since many agencies operate during normal business hours, students should expect that they will need to participate in their field placements during the week (students may obtain placements in their vicinity). Students are enrolled for 3 credits during their internship (3rd year), and are eligible for consideration for part-time equivalency to meet financial aid requirements.

Weekend core curriculum courses are limited only to students enrolled in the Weekend Cohort Track. Students enrolled in either track may electives together.

School-based Practicum Track – In July 2007, a law was passed in Connecticut to provide school certification for Licensed MFTs. Connecticut is the first state in the nation to certify MFTs to be hired directly to work in the public schools. Regulations by the Connecticut Department of Higher Education (DHE) specify requirements for this certification. The regulations require at minimum that MFTs be licensed by the Department of Public Health, pass the PRAXIS I exam, fulfill course requirements specific to the certification of MFTs in the schools, and complete a 300-hour practicum in a public school under the joint supervision of the school's Special Services and the MFT program. The CCSU MFT program has developed a specialty track for those students who wish to seek certification for employment as a School MFT, which includes a specialized practicum that covers the required course content specified in the Department of Higher Education regulations.



The following Sequence has been pre-approved at CCSU by the State Department of Education Certification Bureau for the Educator Certificate for Marriage and Family Therapists as meeting requirements specified in the regulations:

CCSU Approved Offerings for MFTs in the Schools Certification Sequence

1) MFT 592 – School-Based Family Counseling - School-Based Family Counseling. MFT practice and intervention in public schools, school-based systems theory, learning theory, state and federal education laws pertaining to the health and education of children, and statutory requirements for mandated reporting, suspensions/ expulsions, and school/district accountability; strategies for communicating and collaborating with families about students' progress; school-based ethics, and policies and procedures governing special and general ed. services for collaboration, referral and placement.


2) MFT 593 - School-Based Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum and Seminar I. Supervision of Marriage and Family practice in public schools with direct client contact. Covers school-based learning and systems theories, Federal and state education laws (e.g., IDEA and ADA); professional ethics and code of professional responsibility for educators; FERPA; statutory requirements for mandated reporting, suspensions and expulsions; and school and district accountability. Fulfills 1/2 of the required 300 hours of practicum for state certification.


3) MFT 594 – School-Based Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum and Seminar II. School-Based Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum and Seminar II Spring. Continuation of the two-semester School-Based Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum and Seminar. Further development of content areas covered in MFT 593. Fulfills the second 1/2 of the required 300 hours of practicum for state certification.

4) Practicum Placements – Students must be placed in a public school for a minimum of 300 clock hours (easily obtained through the MFT program's requirement of 12 hours per week). Your MFT 593 and MFT 594 seminar meets the state's requirement for "joint supervision" between the school and the MFT program.

5) ED 515 - School Law - School Law Teachers study legal bases of chosen profession and develop more adequate understanding of federal, state, and local laws applicable to teachers and pupils of public school. Primary emphasis is placed on Connecticut statutes and judicial interpretations.

6) SPED 501Education of the Special Learner – Education of the Exceptional Learner Examines growth and development of students with disabilities, including those identified as gifted and talented, and methods for assessing, planning for and working effectively with these students. Meets State of Connecticut requirement for teacher certification (10 hours of off-campus field experience required). CT law requires fingerprinting and a criminal background check for the field experiences in this class. Fingerprinting must be completed prior to the beginning of class.

7) PSY 512 - Seminar in Developmental Psychology - Study of human development from conception through old age, including analysis of theory and research findings. This course is already a requirement of the MFT program's regular curriculum.

These courses are all required to fulfill the certification requirements. In addition to meeting these course and practicum requirements, persons interested in the MFT School Certification must also obtain their professional practice license (LMFT) through the Department of Public Health after graduation. The Praxis I teacher's exam or the equivalent is also required for the certificate. This may be taken either during a student's graduate studies or post-graduation.

For Students enrolled in the MFT program, one course would count toward your required elective; there are two extra courses required beyond the regular MFT curriculum (6 credit hours).

Note: Students enrolled in the Weekend Cohort Track may also participate in the School-based Certification track; however, they must be aware that they would need to substitute MFT 593 and MFT 594 for the two practicum seminar courses that run during the regular week.


Post-Grads – The School-Based MFT Official Certificate Program (OCP) is a post-master's program in which persons interested in pursuing the School MFT Certification through the State Department of Education (SDE) may matriculate into an academic program to fulfill the requirements of SDE certification. The OCP provides access to the SDE pre-approved courses required for certification; an individualized Planned Program of Study is developed with an academic advisor to determine what courses the individual would need to take to fulfill the requirements. OCP program students would follow the curriculum as described above, including a 2-semester school-based practicum as prescribed by the SDE and the CCSU OCP.

CFLE Information

NCFR recognizes schools offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs with course work that follows the Standards and Criteria required for approval as a Provisional Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). NCFR approval allows the school to offer their graduates the opportunity to apply for Provisional Certification using the Abbreviated Application process. The CFLE Checklist represents the courses that meet the CFLE criteria at that school. Students must complete all the courses on a checklist in order to qualify to apply for the CFLE designation through the Abbreviated Application process.