Master in Marriage and Family Therapy


2 locations available

Program Description

This Master of Science Degree is registered by the New York State Education Department, Office of Professional Affairs, to offer the master's degree for licensure-eligibility in Marriage and Family Therapy.

This 48-credit program includes coursework in:

  • Family systems theory and practice
  • Contemporary Models of Couple and Family Therapy
  • Clinical assessment and psychotherapy of troubled families
  • Assessment and intervention with the larger systems with which families interact
  • Prevention of emotional problems arising from domestic violence, illness, unemployment, and the court system

Requirements are met through Mercy College's affiliated agencies, mental health facilities, hospitals and private practice settings, which provide supervision by licensed, highly experienced health care professionals.

The program takes about two and a half years through part-time attendance of evening classes. During the internship year, students must be available two full days a week during the day.

Courses may be taken as non-matriculation status in order to complete licensure requirements.

Marriage and Family Therapy Fast Facts

  • The first step to licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Experience includes an on-campus Practicum seminar
  • Strong affiliations with area mental health facilities and hospitals

Wokandapix / Pixabay


The purpose of the 48-credit Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Program is to provide a comprehensive education in marriage and family therapy through a course of studies designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist in New York State. Graduates of the marriage and family therapy program are eligible to seek initial employment towards meeting the 1,500- hour externship required for licensure. According to the new laws regulating marriage and family therapy licensure, graduates will have up to two years to meet the 1,500- hour experience requirement and pass a licensure qualifying examination to complete licensure requirements. Students receive Marriage & Family Therapy licensure exam preparation.

Degree Requirements

  1. Submit baccalaureate transcript with a major in psychology, sociology, behavioral science health care or education. Students are required to have completed an upper-level undergraduate statistics course with a grade of B or higher. In special cases, other majors will be considered.
  2. Two written recommendations. At least one recommendation must be from a professor.
  3. Interview with the program director.
  4. A current resume.
  5. Submission of a four to five-page essay, detailing why the applicant wants to study M.F.T.; personal and professional attributes for this field and career goals.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of the M.F.T. field; familiarity with the M.F.T. Program Handbook.

Students must complete three semesters of practicum, which include 200 hours a the practicum site each semester. Of this total of 600 hours, 300 must be client contact hours. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 80 client contact hours in Practicum I; 120 client contact hours in Practicum II; and 100 client contact hours in Practicum III. In addition, a 3.0 cumulative GPA is required and successful completion of 48 credits including PSYN 710, Clinical Research Project.

Marriage and Family Therapy Objectives

Graduates of the program are expected to:

  1. Identify problematic relationships of individuals, couples, parents, and children, extended family members, and between families and larger systems and communities.
  2. Provide family systems-oriented psychotherapies to help individuals, couples and families facing couple, parent/child and extended family emotional and interactional difficulties, mental and physical illnesses, substance abuse, and family violence, and to assist in problem interactions with educational, foster care, adoption or legal agencies. Work effectively with both traditional and non-traditional couples and families across the lifespan.
  3. Meet the qualifications for employment in a variety of professional settings including but not limited to, private practice and agency settings.
  4. Prevent or help manage problems that may stem from social or health care issues including living with life-shortening or chronic illness.
  5. Demonstrate the skills and competencies required for New York State licensure and complete the licensure examination and required clinical hours successfully

Program Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of contemporary models in Family Therapy
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of contemporary models of Couple Therapy
  • Demonstrate the ability to complete 3 generation genograms and family timelines
  • Write clear papers demonstrating knowledge of models of Couple and Family Therapy
  • Demonstrate competency in professional therapy by completing three semesters of internship, doing supervised therapy with individuals, couples, and families complete 300 face-to-face clinical hours
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of one model of Family Therapy, and applying this to a case from internship

Career Opportunities

You can find employment as a licensed marriage and family therapist in an agency, hospital, or court system. Other possible career opportunities include working in a private practice setting as a psychotherapist for families dealing with mental illness, substance abuse, medical diagnostic procedures, and chronic illness, family violence, child abuse, and foster care systems, couples therapy, and child family therapists.

Last updated Feb 2020

Keystone Scholarship

Discover the options our scholarship can give you

About the School

Mercy offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Scien ... Read More

Mercy offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs within five schools: Business, Education, Health and Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Mercy College challenges its faculty and staff to make higher education work for anyone hungry enough to earn a better place in life. With campuses in Dobbs Ferry, Bronx, Manhattan and Yorktown Heights, the vibrancy of the College culture is sustained by a diverse student body from around the region. Read less
Dobbs Ferry , New York , New York , Yorktown Heights , USA Online + 4 More Less