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Systemic Couple and Family Therapy Graduate Certificate

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate is designed for professionals seeking to increase their knowledge of couple and family therapy. Learners articulate and apply an understanding of theoretical knowledge in the field and demonstrate ethical and professional standards. This graduate certificate is not designed to meet licensure requirements.

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Five Required Courses



At least 20 quarter credits

Foundations of Couple and Family Therapy

This course provides an introduction to the profession of marriage and family therapy and its underlying systemic theoretical framework. Learners evaluate systems theories from a historical perspective and distinguish them from those of other individual-based mental health disciplines. Learners also analyze the history, philosophy, and clinical practice theories of marital and family therapy and examine the fundamental therapeutic concepts and skills needed to work with couples and families. Must be taken during the first quarter by learners who have been admitted to the MS in Marriage and Family Therapy degree program and the Systemic Couple and Family Therapy graduate certificate. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
Professional Ethics in Marriage and Family Therapy

Learners in this course examine the ethical and legal responsibilities framing marriage and family therapy and apply the criteria for state licensure. Learners also analyze the impact of a therapist’s values, culture, and ethnicity on clinical practice; identify approaches to protecting clients from one’s own potential biases; and assess the role of advocacy in marriage and family therapy.

4 quarter credits
MFT5270 *
Family Therapy Theory and Methods

This course is a comparative study of the prominent schools of thought within the field of marriage and family therapy. Learners demonstrate knowledge of the tenets, therapeutic strategies, and techniques used within the field. Learners also evaluate therapy and counseling approaches to structural, strategic, transgenerational, behavioral, communication, and analytical models in working with couples and families. Prerequisite(s): MFT5008.

4 quarter credits
MFT5271 *
Working with Families Across the Lifespan

In this course, learners build an understanding of families as systems, in particular family development, transitions, assessment, and intervention across the lifespan. Learners also integrate diversity and sociocultural factors in the application of systemic assessment and intervention strategies. Prerequisite(s): MFT5008.

4 quarter credits
MFT5273 *
Couple and Marital Therapy

In this course, learners investigate systemic couples therapy theories, methods, and practices in terms of assessment, treatment planning, and intervention. Learners analyze issues related to diversity and ethical considerations pertaining to systemic couples therapy. Learners also examine contemporary issues in couples therapy as they apply to clinical practice. Prerequisite(s): MFT5270.

4 quarter credits






At least 20 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Learners who do not complete all program requirements within quarter credit/program point minimums will be required to accrue such additional quarter credits/program points as are associated with any additional or repeat coursework necessary for successful completion of program requirements.

Please note that some courses within this program have prerequisites that are not listed as required courses, which may increase the total number of courses needed to complete this program.