San Diego State University

Department of Counseling & School Psychology
Last Updated

The purpose of the marriage and family therapy (MFT) program is to prepare students to practice as highly competent entry-level MFTs, capable of applying systemic-social constructionist ideas and practices in therapy and related change processes, such as between families and larger systems, in a multicultural society. The MFT program is founded on the beliefs that: a) individuals, couples, and families function within a variety of intersecting social contexts, and b) they struggle with increasingly complex developmental issues, unanticipated stressful events, and sociocultural, economic, and political factors that constrain achievement of successful social participation. Community providers need specialized training and multi-systemic therapeutic approaches to expand their resources for addressing relational problems that emerge from these factors.

Program Overview
Program Administrator
Nola Butler Byrd (chair)
Campus Enrollment
Program Options
  • Master’s
Areas of Study
  • Therapy (Couples, Marriage, or Family) - Master's
Department Address

5500 Campanile Drive–MC 1179
San Diego, CA 92182-1179
United States

Phone Number
Graduate Program
Graduate Director
Dr. Gerald Monk
Graduate Courses Offered
  • Cross-Cultural Counseling Communication Skills
  • Cross-Cultural Counseling Pre-Practicum
  • Foundations of Counseling and Marriage & Family Therapy
  • Contexts of Psychopathology
  • Family Life Cycle
  • Determinants for Human Behavior: Child & Adolescent Development
  • Sexuality and Intimacy in Couples and Families
  • Theories of Marriage and Family Therapy I & II
  • Theories of Marriage and Family Therapy in Practice I & II
  • Testing and Assessment for MFTs
  • Interventions with Children and Adolescents: MFT
  • Family Intervention with Substance Abuse
  • Systemic Assessment of Child Abuse
  • Family Counseling in the Schools
  • Violence in Couples' Relationships
  • Couples in Therapy
  • Seminar in Multicultural Dimensions in Counseling
  • Advanced Studies in Family Therapy: Gender and Ethnicity
  • Special Topics in Families and Larger Systems
  • Beginning Practicum: MFT
  • Advanced Practicum: MFT
  • Marriage and Family Therapy Traineeship
  • Mental Health Law: MFT
  • Ethical and Professional Issues in Mental Health Practice: MFT
  • Methods of Inquiry: MFT
  • Professional Seminar: MFT Master's Project
  • Professional seminar: MFT Theory and Personal Integration Paper
  • Group Process & Group Psychotherapy
  • Psychopharmacology for MFTs
  • Prevention and Intervention Services
  • Family Counseling in the Schools
  • Independent Study
Master's Level
Masters Program Options
  • Marriage & Family Therapy
Masters Comments

Some MFT graduates anticipate working as independent practitioners after achieving MFT licensure. In private practice, fees for client services are paid directly to the practitioner rather than to an employer. Some practitioners develop expertise in a particular clinical area, such as domestic violence, eating disorders, or substance abuse, to contribute to a needed niche in the community. Private practice entails responsible, competent, and ethical management of both clinical issues and business tasks.

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.