7 Best MFT Programs In California (FAQs) | 2023

MFT Programs In California: Marriage and family therapy is one of the most fulfilling fields in the world.

This field of study offers one the opportunity to create positive impacts in the lives of people by listening to them talk about their problems and offering solutions.

It comes with a diverse set of quality career opportunities and allows for diversity in practice. Marriage and family therapists are some of the highest-paid therapists.

Thus, if you desire to pursue a career in psychotherapy, marriage and family therapy is a good speciality to pick.

This article will provide information on the best MFT programs offered by universities in the state of California, the requirements needed for admission into these institutions, and the length of time it takes to complete these programs.

What is MFT?

A Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) is a mental health professional who works with individuals, couples, families, and groups to help them make changes.

An MFT degree may give you the knowledge and abilities you need to advance in your current field or make a career switch and stand out to potential employers.

Earning a degree will also equip you with knowledge of the most cutting-edge strategies employed by marriage and family therapists today.

What are MFT programs?

MFT programs are educational courses that train people to become marriage and family therapists.

These therapists help couples, families, and individuals manage emotional and relationship problems. The programs teach students the skills and knowledge needed for this profession.

Is an MFT Degree Worth It?

Therapists specializing in marriage and families treat a wide variety of mental and emotional illnesses, with a particular focus on how those diseases manifest in interpersonal interactions.

Most MFTs, as opposed to normal psychotherapists, are interested in working on specific issues for shorter periods of time.

Therapists trained in marriage and family therapy (MFTs) use a wide range of psychotherapeutic approaches to aid clients in overcoming such challenges.

Their responsibility is to help everyone concerned find a way out of the situation and learn useful skills to improve their lives and relationships.

The answer to whether earning an MFT degree is worthwhile will depend on a variety of personal and professional factors.

The answer may depend on factors such as your interests, your motivation, and the expense of the degree in relation to the salary you anticipate once you’ve completed it.

Requirements for getting into MFT programs in California

To be offered admission into MFT programs in California, here are the requirements:

MFT Programs In California

How long does it take to complete MFT schools in California?

To earn a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy (MFT), you should plan on spending at least two years in school.

In California, prospective therapists need only complete coursework in either marriage and family therapy or another mental health-related field.

Best MFT programs in California 

California offers some of the best MFT programs in the country. However, here are a few of the best MFT programs offered by universities in California:

1. Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy, Rossier School of Education at University of Southern California

Students of the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program are prepared to help couples, families, children, and adults face issues.

These issues could be emotional, relationships, mental illness, behavioural, substance abuse and alcohol.

Students of the program are taught in small classes with rigorous curriculums that will help them gain the knowledge needed in all aspects of the field, from trauma to addiction.

Students also have to partake in fieldwork under supervision to gain practical knowledge in a real-life setting.

Upon completion of the program and achieving all the state requirements, students are permitted to attain the California state Marriage and Family Therapy license.

Thus, MSc in MFT at University of Southern California is one of the best MFT programs in California.

2. Master in Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of San Francisco 

The curriculum of the Master of Family Therapy program integrates theoretical and practical study through a wide range of community mental health field placements that emphasize teamwork and critical thinking.

There is a 3-year (8-semester) MFT program as well as a 2-year (7-semester) accelerated MFT program.

The goal of the Master of Family Therapy program is to train students to be effective therapists in a variety of settings, who can critically evaluate their actions and those of their clients.

Students will discover how their worldview, values, habits, experiences, and upbringing impact their approach to mental health counseling with clients from varied cultural backgrounds.

As a result of this unit, students will learn how social, political, and cultural issues affect the mental health of people and groups from different backgrounds.

3. Master in Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University 

The Master in Art in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program has an impressive roster of accomplished lecturers who have helped educate the field’s future leaders.

This program has spent the last half-century training future leaders in the area of marital and family therapy.

After completing the program, you will be well-prepared to enter the workforce as a mental health counsellor or marriage and family therapist.

Parent-child therapy, group therapy, trauma and crisis intervention, and other related topics are all covered in depth in the master’s degree program in marriage and family therapy.

Thus, Master in Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at Alliant International University is one of the best MFT programs in California.

4. Master in Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, Crean Colleg of Health and Behavioral Sciences at Chapman University 

Those interested in marriage and family therapy can get a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Crean College of Health and Behavioral Sciences (MFT).

The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) has granted national accreditation to the program.

Students at Chapman University’s on-campus MFT training clinic, the Frances Smith Center for Individual and Family Therapy get extensive clinical training under the guidance of certified marriage and family therapists throughout the program.

In addition to preparing students for careers as marriage and family therapists, this MFT degree often serves as a springboard to additional graduate study in related fields.

This program requires a minimum of 60-semester credits to be completed.

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5. Master in Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at Pepperdine University

Students in California can become licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFTs) or professional clinical counsellors (LPCCs) after completing the Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology program.

This teamwork-based MA in Clinical Psychology program emphasizes the social and behavioral implications of demography and how poverty and social stress affect people, couples, and families.

Students can earn their Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) degree from Pepperdine University in as little as 27 months by enrolling in either the on-campus or online program.

Those who choose the on-campus option attend classes at the university, while those who choose the online option take interactive online courses taught by Pepperdine faculty and undertake clinical training in their communities.

6. Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at Hope International University 

The academic and clinical training provided by the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) degree at Hope International University prepares students for a successful career in the field.

Students learn how to use a family systems approach to the treatment of relational mental health disorders affecting individuals, couples, and families.

The 60-credit curriculum is built on a foundation of Christian values and seeks to integrate theory, practice, and research.

Research, theory, and practical experience in the clinical setting make up the bulk of the required coursework.

The faculty’s mentoring, continued education, and commitment to student achievement contribute to a rewarding, team-based learning environment.

In addition to classroom instruction, students participate in supervised clinical practicums, where they get experience in a real-world setting with a variety of patients.

The bar for practicum supervisors is high. The Master of Family Therapy (MFT) degree at Hope Foreign University prepares international students to work with a variety of groups.

Thus, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy at Hope International University is one of the best MFT programs in California.

7. Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of La Verne

The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program at the University of La Verne prepares graduate students to address the evolving human service requirements of families.

Students can complete the degree at their own pace because of the program’s flexible full-time and part-time alternatives.

An MFT degree from the University of La Verne requires a minimum of 61 semester hours of study.

Regular students take nine credits per semester, while those taking fewer classes are considered part-timers.

All current educational criteria for a marriage and family therapist license in California as set by the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) are fulfilled by this program, as are all requirements for counseling and teaching employment at California’s community colleges.

The MFT program’s average class size of 12–14 people fosters an atmosphere of open communication and cooperation between students and instructors.

Students can also participate in supervised fieldwork placements that provide them with real-world experience.

Many graduates of the University of La Verne’s MFT program work in community mental health and social service agencies, school-based counseling programs, residential treatment facilities, hospitals, private clinics, and community colleges.

Frequently Asked Questions on MFT Programs In California

What does MFT stand for in mental health?

Marriage and family therapists

What qualification is MFT degree?

An MFT is a degree in marriage and family counselling. People with this degree are qualified to work as therapists with individuals, couples, or families.

Is there a demand for MFT?

From 2021 to 2031, marriage and family therapist jobs are expected to grow by 14%, which is much faster than the average for all jobs.

What type of therapist makes the most money?

By far, the best paying jobs for psychology majors are as psychiatrists. PayScale says that the average salary is $217,798. A psychiatrist should be licensed as a psychologist who has been approved by a board.


The above-listed MFT programs are some of the best the state of California has to offer.

However, Loma Linda University, University of San Diego, Philips Graduate University, California Lutheran University, and Western Seminary also offer some of the best MFT programs to students in the Golden State (California).

To excel in MFT programs, students need to participate actively in classes, find a balance between school work and personal life, join study groups or find study partners, join professional organizations related to their field and have good writing and verbal skills.

Nevertheless, to be a competent marital and family therapist, you must create a comfortable environment for your patients, be calm, patient, and a good listener, and have strong communication skills. 

Awesome one; I hope this article answers your question.

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Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of www.schoolandtravel.com at present.

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