Master of Arts
MA in Couple & Family Therapy
Foster strong interpersonal bonds.
Couple and family therapists (CFTs) are mental health professionals trained in psychotherapy and family systems. They work with individuals, children, couples and expanded relationships, and families of all constellations to help with mental and emotional disorders, health and behavioral problems, and relationship issues. Through a systemic lens, CFTs approach treatment holistically by focusing on the mind, body, social contexts, and relational systems—partners, coworkers, friends, and family members—of their clients.
Graduates can expect to have exceptional job opportunities, with the demand for qualified, licensed couple and family therapists expected to increase by 15% by 2032 according to the United States Department of Labor.
This degree is offered by AU New England.
At AUNE, our CFT programs prepare students to become socially just couple and family therapists by integrating the principles of social justice and diversity throughout all courses and clinical work. The MA in CFT program is designed to prepare you to begin a career in couple and family therapy by providing conceptual and clinical skills, as well as professional development and socialization.
Antioch University New England’s MA and PhD in Couple and Family Therapy programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). This specialized professional accreditation ensures that the program meets national standards, not just state or regional standards for couple and family therapy education. The MA program has been accredited since 1993 and the PhD program since 2010.
Upon completion of post-graduate clinical requirements, graduates of the Couple and Family Therapy Program are eligible for American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) clinical membership and licensure or certification.
AUNE’s MA in Couple and Family Therapy (CFT) program utilizes a low-residency format, designed to be completed in three years (36 months) or less of full-time enrollment. Students have one full year of coursework before completing their practical experience (internship) in years two and three. Short in-person, face-to-face learning experiences, i.e., residencies, are what distinguish a low-residency format from a traditional online program.
- Low-residency program: hybrid model with online classes and in-person residencies
- Earn your degree in less than 36 months or as little as eight semesters
- Complete a five-semester clinical training experience (internship) near your home or at the Antioch University Couple and Family Therapy Institute in Keene, NH
- 500 clinical hours of practical experience plus 100 hours of AAMFT-approved supervision experience
- The COAMFTE-accredited program ensures preparation for the national MFT exam and facilitates license attainment
- Students who graduate from our master’s program receive a 20% tuition discount for the first two years of their doctorate
Residencies are 3- to 5-day learning opportunities combining seminars, workshops, guest lectures, advising sessions, peer discussions, and student presentations, designed to build lifelong learning communities and professional relationships. They take place a total of four times throughout the three-year program (two during the first year and two in the second year). Residencies take place on Antioch Campuses located on the East Coast, West Coast, and Midwest.
Between Residencies, you will work on course material online – via live seminar-style classes – and assignments that are completed on your own (readings, forum postings, papers, etc.). During the clinical training experience (internship), students attend weekly supervision meetings (typically through video conferencing), in addition to attending on-site supervision at their internship site.
Students get the best of both worlds: connection to professors and classmates through online learning, and in-person training during the residencies.
Program Length — 61 credits
The CFT-MA full-time program is designed to be completed in three years or less, usually in eight-semesters(fall-spring-summer-fall-spring-summer-fall-spring)
Year One: students take the majority of the core CFT classes to build a foundation for their clinical work.
Year Two: students continue their traditional coursework, while also engaging in clinical work through the first phase of their internship experience. Students may choose to begin their internship near their place of residence or at the Antioch University Couple and Family Therapy Institute in Keene, NH where they can receive live and video supervision from an AAMFT Approved Supervisor or Supervisor Candidate.
Year Three: students will continue their internship at a placement located close to their homes. Because students complete the majority of the coursework during the first two years of the program, they have more room to focus on their internship during this third year.
During the internship, students will accrue direct client contact hours, including relational client contact hours (involving couples or families), in order to meet both COAMFTE clinical training requirements and the graduate program clinical requirements for their state.
Sample Course Sequence
Fall I (residency in early Fall):
- CFT Identity, Law, and Ethics
- Foundational Theories of CFT
- Culture, Diversity, and Power in Couple and Family Therapy
Spring I (residency in early Spring):
- Systemic Assessment and Treatment
- Human Development: Lifespan and Systems Perspectives
- Clinical Skills in CFT
- Postmodern Approaches to Family Therapy
- Elective Course I
- Elective Course II
Fall II (residency in early Fall):
- Intro to Couples Therapy
- Human Sexuality and Sex Therapy
- CFT Internship I
Spring II (residency in early Spring):
- Families and Addictions
- CFT Seminar: Special Topics
- CFT Internship II
- Elective Course III
- CFT Internship III
Fall III (no residency):
- Research & Evaluation in CFT
- CFT Internship IV
Spring III (no residency):
- CFT Seminar: Family Studies
- CFT Internship V
Social Justice Focus
Social justice informs our thinking about training in the Master’s program. We see social justice in Couple and Family Therapy education as involving the following key concepts:
- Social justice implies an explicit action orientation.
- Social justice involves understanding the diversity of people and families:
- Diversity includes ability, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and country of origin, age, social class, religion, and gender (that is, systems that affect individual and family access to power and resources). Particular focus is on underserved and high-risk families.
- Diversity also includes diverse family structures, including extended kinship networks, gay and lesbian families, step-families, etc.
- Social justice has policy implications; therapists working from a social justice perspective work to effect supportive family policy that recognizes diversity and improves resiliency and have a responsibility to participate in social and political systems affecting families.
- Social justice involves recognizing that social and legal systems affect people we work with
- Social justice researchers have a responsibility to do socially informed research, which is sensitive to diversity.
- Social justice clinical practice is focused on helping diverse families and contributes to the positive development of families and their communities.
Statement on Diversity
Diversity is defined in terms of differences between groups of people with respect to structural disadvantage and systemic marginalization. These differences are related to such factors as gender, sexual identity, social class, ethnicity, race, religion, spirituality, age, health/ability, immigrant status, etc.
“To foster socially proficient couples and family therapists, we integrate all courses and clinical work with themes of social justice and diversity. One of our program’s top priorities is training diverse therapists here, who will become agents of change within their own communities.” Dr. Lucille Byno, Core Faculty, CFT Program
As a Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) accredited Master’s program, we are required to report a number of student achievement criteria on our website.
Program Goal 1 (Knowledge): Educate students on the foundational knowledge and broader content areas required for effective CFT practice.
- SLO1: Students demonstrate knowledge of CFT models and interventions.
- SLO2: Students demonstrate knowledge of broader content areas in CFT, including human development and family studies, families in larger systems, human sexuality and sex therapy, addictions, and intrafamilial violence.
Program Goal 2 (Practice): Train students to apply clinical systemic skills and models to practice as a CFT.
- SLO3: Students apply systemic/relational model interventions in clinical practice.
- SLO4: Students demonstrate competency in systemic assessment, diagnosis, and treatment planning.
- SLO5: Students demonstrate basic systemic/relational therapeutic skills in clinical practice.
Program Goal 3 (Ethics): Promote the development of ethical professionals and practices in the field of CFT.
- SLO6: Students demonstrate professionalism in CFT.
- SLO7: Students demonstrate understanding and application of ethical codes, laws, and principles in CFT practice.
Program Goal 4 (Research): Educate students on the application and critique of CFT research.
- SLO8: Students demonstrate an understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies through a critical lens.
- SLO9: Students apply research to clinical practice.
Program Goal 5 (Diversity): Advance the profession by training students to practice CFT from a socially just stance.
- SL10: Students demonstrate self-awareness of social structures, social locations, experiences, and biases that influence their practice as CFTs.
- SLO11: Students pay attention to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusivity across all domains of CFT.
Listen to faculty member Dr. Markie L.C. Twist discuss the importance of having an understanding of human sexuality and sex therapy as a therapist.
How to Apply
- Complete the online admissions application, including:
- Essay questions, admissions and program-specific
- Resume/curriculum vitae (CV)
- Non-refundable $50 application fee
- Submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities where you earned a degree or certificate.
- email transcripts to [email protected], or
- mail to:
Office of Admissions
Antioch University New England
40 Avon Street
Keene NH 04341-3516
- Two letters of recommendation are required, from people who are in a position to evaluate your professional or academic work. The person making the recommendation may not be related to you.
- There are additional requirements for International applicants and applicants without a Bachelor’s degree
- Interview with a faculty member of the department to which you seek entry if selected. This can be in person, by phone, or via Skype.
- Master’s and Certificate Programs do not require the GRE or any other standardized test for admissions. We consider all of your application materials, and evaluate your academic potential in a variety of ways.
Official transcripts should be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to:
Office of Admissions
Antioch University New England
40 Avon Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03431-3516
All application materials submitted become part of an applicant’s file and cannot be returned.
A college education is an investment in your future. Let us help you understand the costs and explore the resources available to help make your college education even more affordable. The majority of AUNE students finance their education through some form of financial aid. You may not be sure which federal, state, public and private aid packages – such as loans, scholarships, and grants – are right for you. Our staff is here to help you, so you can focus on what’s most important: beginning your academic program at AUNE.
|Tuition Cost per Credit
|Total Program Credits
|Couple and Family Therapy, MA
|Couple and Family Therapy, Post Masters’ respecialization certificate
|Couple and Family Therapy, Trans Affirmative Therapy certificate
|Couple and Family Therapy, PhD:
|Year 1: Fall or Spring
|Year 2: Summer, Fall, or Spring
|Year 3: Summer, Fall, or Spring
|Year 4: Summer, Fall, Spring
|View the Cost of Attendance Components
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