Graduate Program

Marriage & Family Therapy Program

The Colorado State University MFT training program is based on a relational/systemic philosophy that is multiculturally-informed and promotes ethical competency. It is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), is based on the Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Principles (PMFTPS) which include AAMFT Core Competencies, AAMFT Code of Ethics, and State Licensure Regulations, and is at a Carnegie One research institute.

The MFT Program at CSU is COAMFTE-accredited, and provides educational requirements that are based on licensure regulations for Marriage and Family Therapists in the state of Colorado, which are:

  • Applicants for a Marriage and Family Therapist License must have received a master’s degree in a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) from a regionally accredited educational institution. (If the applicant’s degree was not COAMFTE-approved at the time of graduation, the applicant must obtain an educational review to determine if their education is equivalent to a COAMFTE-approved program before applying.)
  • Applicants must be able to provide official transcript(s) demonstrating their master’s degree was awarded by a program approved by COAMFTE.
  • Applicants for a marriage and family therapist license must complete at least 45 semester hours of coursework including 9 semester hours of Marital and Family Studies, 9 semester hours of Marital and Family Therapy, 9 semester hours of Human Development, 3 semester hours of Professional Studies, 3 semester hours of Research and 300 hours of Supervised Practicum/Internship or a combination of the two in the principles and practices of marriage and family therapy. Specific content areas can be found here.

Upon graduation MFT students work as therapists in private practice, at mental health agencies, or in other settings; most students secure jobs by the time they graduate or shortly after. Some students enter doctoral programs including the Applied Developmental Science (ADS) doctoral program in our HDFS department.

Note: There are 3 opportunities for applicants to apply to our ADS PhD program. They can apply at the same time as they are applying for the Master’s degree program. They can apply in January of their second year in the Master's degree program. Or they can apply after they complete the MFT Master's degree.

Portability of Degree

Licensure for marriage and family therapists is regulated at a state level. A listing of state licensure requirements is available at The Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards. Applicants must review the state requirements for licensure in a state where they are interested in becoming licensed.

COAMFTE Student Achievement Data (SAC)    Student Diversity Data    Retention Policy

On Campus MFT Clinical Programs

An important and highly unique aspect of the HDFS department is our on campus MFT Clinical Programs. These programs include the Center for Family and Couple Therapy, the Campus Connections Program, the Child Trauma and Resilience Assessment Center and the many programs run by our faculty that involve intervention and prevention. All of these programs and centers serve the community in important ways while giving our graduate students opportunities to do meaningful therapy work in a variety of settings. Students in the Colorado State University Marriage and Family Therapy program will acquire their 500 client contact hours and over 200 supervision hours in practicum (HDFS 520, 521, 620, 621) and internship (HDFS 687) courses. All Centers are conveniently located on the Colorado State University Campus.

The Center for Family and Couple Therapy (CFCT) is a therapy center with one-way mirrors and video equipment for state of the art supervision and therapy training. Students take practicum courses where they serve as therapists in the CFCT under supervision that is “live” (using one way mirrors for immediate feedback and direction). As students successfully complete practicum hours in the CFCT, they enter internships also in the CFCT seeing clients without the live supervision model, using video and case note supervision and meeting weekly with a supervisor. This practicum to internship format fully prepares students for working in agencies, private practice, and other settings upon graduation. The CFCT serves a wide variety of presenting problems and diversity of clients from the community.

Campus Connections: Therapeutic Mentoring for At-RiskYouth (CC) is a program where community agencies (i.e. Youth Probation, Juvenile District Attorney’s office, Department of Human Services, School Truancy/suspended/expelled programs, Detention Centers) refer at risk youth to a 12-week on-campus structured mentoring program. MFT students work as therapists with the youth and their families in a variety of ways in a setting that mirrors a treatment center or residential youth center. This prepares our students to work with adolescents and with broader systems in the community such as schools and the court system.

Child Trauma and Resilience Assessment Center (CTRAC) is a program dedicated to providing high quality, child-centered, and comprehensive assessments to children who have experienced multiple and complex traumas. Our assessments are strength-based and collaborative in nature, and reflect the impact of trauma on a child's neurodevelopment, relationships, self-concept and day-to-day functioning. We provide creative recommendations focused on building children's self-efficacy, support system, and self-regulation. This prepares our students to be able to identify and intervene with a variety of trauma related symptoms and behaviors. It also prepares our students to be trauma informed in their therapy practice.

Program Mission

The mission of the Colorado State University Marriage and Family Therapy Master's training program is to train students in accordance with the Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Principles (PMFTPS) to provide ethical, multiculturally-informed, evidence-based, and systemically oriented therapeutic services for a diverse population of individuals, couples and families within a variety of professional settings, including community, academic, and policy-making settings.

Program Philosophy

The CSU MFT training program is committed to training clinicians who understand diversity in clinical, research, academic, and policy-making settings and are skilled consumers and producers of research related to MFT. Graduates are trained to be ethically and culturally sensitive professionals who understand the societal dynamics of gender, race, class, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, culture, religion, etc. As clinicians, our graduates are trained to incorporate a social justice context into the therapeutic process. We are committed to training students in evidence-based practices with an understanding of the rigorous research practices required to effectively produce and consume research. At the core of the CSU MFT program philosophy is a belief that students learn best with an integration of experiential learning and academic training.

Program Goals

The CSU MFT program aims to graduate marriage and family therapists who successfully complete the clinical and academic training standards as guided by the PMFTPS which include the COAMFTE Core Competencies, the AAMFT code of ethics, and the state of Colorado MFT licensure regulationss. The following are the program goals and student learning outcomes associated with each goal:

Goal 1: To prepare effective Marriage and Family Therapists.

SLO1: Students will possess the competencies necessary to successfully and ethically conceptualize cases and facilitate admission to treatment.

SLO2: Students will possess the competencies necessary to conduct effective and ethical clinical assessments and diagnoses of clients.

SLO3: Students will possess the competencies necessary to conduct effective and ethical treatment planning and case management.

SLO4: Students will possess the competencies necessary to employ effective and ethical therapeutic interventions.

SLO5: Students will possess the competencies necessary to maintain compliance with ethical, legal, and professional standards in the practice of MFT.

SLO8: Students will receive at least 500 clinical hours during the program.

SLO9: Students will receive at least 100 hours of clinical supervision during the program.

Goal 2: To prepare Marriage and Family Therapists to responsibly serve diverse, marginalized, and underserved communities.

SLO7: Students will demonstrate cultural competence in admitting clients to treatment, clinical assessment and diagnosis, treatment planning, therapeutic interventions, legal and ethical issues, and research and theory.

SLO10: Students will provide therapeutic services in all community programs offered by the MFT Program that expressly serve diverse, marginalized, and underserved populations; specifically, the Center for Family and Couple Therapy, Campus Connections Therapeutic Mentoring Program for At-Risk Youth, and Center for Trauma and Resilience Assessments.

Goal 3: To prepare students to be critical consumers of and contributors to the MFT literature.

SLO6: Students will possess the competencies necessary to apply relevant research to their clinical practice and to evaluate their own effectiveness as therapists.

SLO11: Students will complete an original thesis research project.

Goal 4: To prepare students to be successful in accomplishing their chosen professional goals related to MFT.

SLO12: Students will demonstrate professional identity as an MFT by becoming members of the AAMFT.

SLO13: Graduates will demonstrate professional identity as an MFT by maintaining membership in AAMFT

SLO14: Graduates will pass the national or state-equivalent MFT licensure exam.

SLO15: Graduates will gain licensure in MFT.

SLO16: Graduates will secure employment, if desired, in the MFT field.

SLO17: Graduates will secure employment, if desired, in other mental health organizations or other clinically-related field.

SLO18: Students desiring a doctoral degree will secure acceptance into a PhD program.

MFT Program Diversity Statement

The MFT Program uses Colorado State University’s definition of diversity: “Colorado State University is committed to embracing diversity through the inclusion of individuals reflective of characteristics such as: age, culture, different ideas and perspectives, disability, ethnicity, first generation status, familial status, gender identity and expression, geographic background, marital status, national origin, race, religious and spiritual beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, physical appearance, medical diagnosis, documentation status, and veteran status with special attention given to populations historically underrepresented or excluded from participation in higher education. The University’s commitment to diversity is a longstanding one that reflects our role and mission as a land-grant institution.”

Students in the MFT program come from a variety of backgrounds and subscribe to a wide range of values and beliefs in their personal lives. They work as therapists in the CFCT and other settings where they see a variety of clients from diverse backgrounds who may have different values and beliefs from their therapists. MFT students are expected to show a willingness and ability to develop the skills to work with any type of client(s). While student therapists and their clients may not hold the same value systems, it is required that the clinical practice of our students is respectful of differing viewpoints and ensures best clinical practices in the field of MFT.

Our program is built on the Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Principles (PMFTPS). All of these require that therapists work with a variety of clients in a way that is non-discriminatory and multiculturally informed. This requires that student therapists differentiate their own personal values and beliefs from the therapeutic work they do with their clients. Faculty and clinical supervisors work with all student therapists to help them examine their own values and belief systems in ways that ensure they do not interfere with clients’ clinical progress.

Family to Family Fund

The Center for Family and Couple Therapy serves hundreds of families every year through individual, couple, and family therapy. Many of these families have limited resources, and we do our best to provide excellent service at the lowest possible rate. At times, families face unique circumstances and are in need of greater assistance. Generous donors have made it possible for us to offer limited scholarships to these families. To contribute to the "Family to Family" Fund please visit.