Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy


The master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy prepares students for a career in marriage and family therapy. Based on a systems approach to interactions between individuals, families, and larger systems, students are empowered to conduct effective family therapy with diverse populations and are introduced to the role, process, and implications of research.

The program provides the academic and internship requirements to sit for the AMFTRB national exam and be eligible for licensure as a marriage and family therapist associate in Texas.

The M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

Marketable Skills

Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."

  1. Ability to critically consume research literature​.
  2. Teamwork and collaboration skills.
  3. Ethical and social responsibility.
  4. Ability to apply family therapy and family systems knowledge to professional practice​.
  5. Clinical skills using a systemic lens​.


All students must meet the University requirements as outlined in the Admission to the TWU Graduate School section of the catalog.

The academic program may have additional admission criteria that must also be completed as outlined on the program's website.

Degree Requirements

Total Semester Credit Hours Required

Thesis or Non-thesis Option: 60 semester credit hours (SCH)

Clinical coursework includes at least 3 semesters of Internship in Marriage & Family Therapy with a minimum of 300 direct client contact hours with individuals, couples, families, or other systems (at least 100 of which must be relational hours that occur over a minimum of 12 months of clinical practice), plus 100 hours of MFT relational/systemic supervision from a program supervisor (including a minimum of 50 hours utilizing observable data).

Passing a criminal background check may be required by TWU or certain facilities associated with the required clinical work or for certification/licensing. If students are unable to be cleared on any of these requirements, they may not be able to continue in the program or become certified/licensed.

Special Requirements

No grade below B is accepted towards any graduate degree in the Department of Human Development, Family Studies, and Counseling (HDFSC). If more than one grade below B is earned while enrolled in any HDFSC graduate program, the student will be dismissed from the program and will be ineligible to re-enroll in any program within the department for a period of six years.

Final Examination

Students complete a written capstone project and participate in an oral defense of the completed product. The capstone project is outlined in the Marriage and Family Therapy Student Handbook. 

General Requirements

Family Therapy Core
HDFS 5003Lifespan Human Development3
HDFS 5023Family Sexuality3
COUN 5353Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment Planning for Counselors3
MFT 5553Systemic Couple and Sex Therapy3
MFT 5563Foundations of Family Therapy Theory3
MFT 5813Women and Minority Issues in Sex and Family Therapy3
MFT 5853Family Systems (must be taken with MFT 5543)3
MFT 5863Issues and Ethics in Professional Development (must be taken with MFT 5513)3
MFT 5873Collaborative Healthcare in Marriage and Family Therapy3
MFT 5883Family of Origin3
Professional Competencies
MFT 5513Practicum in Family Therapy3
MFT 5543Prepracticum in Family Therapy3
MFT 5544Internship in Marriage & Family Therapy (3 consecutive semesters minimum. Students must complete applications and be approved during the semester preceding enrollment for each semester of Internship.)12
HDFS 5193Statistics for Family Sciences3
HDFS 5693Research Methods in Family Sciences3
Total SCHs54

Thesis Option

HDFS 5983Thesis3
HDFS 5993Thesis3
Total SCHs6

Non-Thesis Option

Select a Specialization6
Trauma and Addiction
Systemic Treatment of Addiction in Couples and Families
Systemic Treatment of Trauma in Couples and Families
Grief and Bereavement
Counseling an Aging Population
Grief and Bereavement
Play Therapy
Play Therapy
Play, Development, and the Young Learner
Pre-Doctoral (select 2 of the following in consultation with academic advisor)
Advanced Statistics for Family Sciences
Effective College Teaching Methods
Advanced Applications of Family Therapy to Contemporary Challenges
Advanced Family Therapy Theory
Special Topics
Total SCHs6