Marriage and Family Therapy Students and Faculty

» Master of Arts in Marriage & Family Therapy

The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program is specifically structured to prepare students for licensure in California as Marriage and Family Therapists.

Of the 92 state accredited or approved MFT programs, Chapman's is one of only eight programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE).

+ - Upcoming Events

Wednesday, June 7:  Information Session Webinar – 12pm - Register

+ - Our Mission

Our mission is to provide students with the academic and professional training to become competent, ethical, culturally sensitive, and systems-oriented marriage and family therapists who can effectively assess, diagnose, and treat a diverse population of individuals, couples and families.

+ - Onsite Clinical Practicum

For one year, all MFT students conduct individual, couple, and family therapy under direct supervision of licensed mental health professionals at Chapman’s MFT Training Clinic, the Frances Smith Center for Individual & Family Therapy, which opened a new state-of-the-art clinic in January 2011. With eight large observation rooms, each equipped with digital cameras used to record sessions for instructional purposes, the clinic not only provides students with valuable real-world training, but it also strives to improve the quality of life in the greater community.

Very few MFT programs possess an onsite clinic, which enables students to work toward the 3,000 hours they must complete prior to taking the MFT licensing exams in California. Several of our graduates have cited this part of the program as one of the best aspects of their education, as it is very difficult to get this kind of hands-on experience elsewhere.

+ - Admission Guidelines

There is a priority review deadline for those applicants who submit their application along with all required supplemental materials by October 1 for Spring admission and February 1 for Fall admission.


You must possess a bachelor's degree in psychology (or equivalent discipline) from an accredited college or university, or you must provide evidence of a satisfactory academic background in all of the following:

1.  Introduction to psychology
2. Abnormal psychology
3. Developmental psychology or human development
4. Research methods

*You must be enrolled in or have completed 3 of the 4 required prerequisite classes by the admission deadline.  All prerequisites must be met by the time you have completed your first semester. You will need to submit proof of completion of or enrollment in the required prerequisite courses when you apply by submitting official transcripts from the institution(s) where you completed or are currently taking the required courses.  In addition, you will need to have earned a grade of C+ or higher in each course.

Admission Requirements:

  • Online application for admission (which includes $60 non-refundable application fee)
  • Official transcript from degree granting institution and institution(s) where prerequisite courses were completed (if applicable).
  • Graduate Admission Test Scores – If your bachelor degree cumulative GPA is below a 3.3, you may be considered for admission by submitting a satisfactory Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score which are listed as previous version test scores and new version comparative test scores, respectively:

                             Verbal:  500/153
                             Quantitative:  550/146
                             Analytical Writing: 4.5

  • Letters of recommendation – two letters of recommendation are required from persons actively engaged in teaching and/or the practice of counseling who are familiar with your academic and personal qualifications.
  • Personal Statement – no more than three double spaced typed pages in length. Address how each of the following have contributed to your career objectives and prepared you to begin graduate studies in marriage and family therapy:

                a) Educational background
                b) Professional work experience (clinical internships or volunteer work) in
                    mental health, human services or related fields
                c) Personal or family background and experiences

  • Resume – a resume or curriculum vitae is required
  • Non-Discrimination Policy and Licensure Notification Form – complete, sign and submit with application.
  • TOEFL (International Students Only) – applicants who have completed their undergraduate degree outside of the United States are required to achieve an acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), minimum 550 (paper-based), or 80 (internet-based).
  • Financial Certification Form (International Students Only)

+ - Our Faculty

Our faculty are licensed professionals specializing in a broad range of approaches, including family systems, cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, and post-modern.  As students will be tested on several different theories as they attain licensure, the availability of multiple areas of faculty expertise has proven invaluable for alumni.

Naveen Jonathan Ph.D., LMFT, Program Director, Assistant Professor

Brennan Peterson Ph.D., LMFT, Associate Professor

Arpita Lal Ph.D., Assistant Professor

+ - COAMFTE Accreditation Benefits

With attending a COAMFTE accredited University, students can be sure that they are receiving the highest quality education to prepare them for a career in marriage and family therapy as this accreditation compels programs to raise standards and improve program efficiency.

Graduates from COAMFTE accredited programs can more easily transfer their graduate coursework when applying for licensure in other states.

Your degree increases potential job opportunities as some employers only hire MFTs with degrees from COAMFTE accredited programs.

+ - Educational Outcomes

Program Objectives

  1. To prepare students for the profession of marriage and family therapy
  2. To admit and graduate a diverse student body prepared for the practice of marriage and family therapy
  3. To prepare students for the practice of marriage and family therapy by providing a supervised one-year practicum training experience 

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate a knowledge of family systems theories and be able to successfully apply systems theories in clinical practice
  2. Students will demonstrate an awareness of and respect for diversity issues, as well as demonstrate competence in working with diverse clinical populations 
  3. Students will be knowledgeable of and successfully apply appropriate legal and ethical guidelines necessary for the competent practice of marriage and family therapy 
  4. Students will be able to conceptualize cases, articulate systemically-oriented treatment plans, and demonstrate overall competence in clinical practice
  5. Students will qualify for state MFT internship status necessary for continued progression towards MFT licensure

Faculty Outcomes

  1. The faculty will demonstrate excellence in teaching and supervision to advance students in the profession of marriage and family therapy
  2. The faculty will demonstrate excellence in scholarly and professional activities that contribute to student learning
  3. The faculty will demonstrate excellence in service through engagement in the Chapman University academic community
  4. The faculty will mentor students in the practice of marriage and family therapy including issues that demonstrate an understanding and respect for cultural diversity

+ - Your Career

Alumni have gone on to:

  • Work in public/non-profit agencies
  • Work in governmental or private agencies
  • Work in private practice settings
  • Work in in-patient facilities
  • Teach college courses

This MFT program may also serve as the foundation for further graduate study in psychology or one of the related disciplines, particularly if students also opt to complete an empirical masters thesis as part of their degree.

For detailed salary information for MFTs in California and throughout the United States, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

+ - Student Testimonials

Giovanna Camponovo - "Besides being very competitive, the program has a good emphasis on cultural diversity, and I don’t mean just the community.  The program itself includes ‘cultural heritage’ as an ingrained component. I’m able to look into my own and other cultures, which is especially important for an MFT in California.”

Christy Zail - “It is rare for a graduate school to have a site on campus where students can complete practicum, and it is one of the great benefits that sets Chapman apart from other institutions.”

Tal Feingold - “The amount of personal attention I’ve received has been impressive.  There’s never been a point where I didn’t have someone to consult.” 

Angela Liang - “Chapman has created a great network within the community to provide students and interns with jobs post-graduation via its alumni who work in various agencies.  The MFT field is important because it offers support, assistance and guidance in areas that are often forgotten yet very important for people to function successfully.  The camaraderie that I have developed with my classmates, as well as the faculty and staff, has been a blessing, adding to both my academic and professional experiences.”

Lea Mendoza – “My training at the clinic was valuable for three reasons.  First, it’s rare to find an MFT training clinic within a master’s program because this is normally found at the doctoral level.  Second, the diversity and depth of experience and knowledge of the clinic’s supervisors enriched my learning experience tremendously.  And third, the clinic’s faculty and staff made themselves available to us to ensure our educational and personal growth and success.”

Kathleen Mates-Youngman - “It’s so important to work in a clinical setting with high-quality supervision during your internship.  And the fact that you can do your hours and get this valuable training right there on campus, under the supervision of your own professors, makes the experience and the education even more valuable.”

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Student Achievement Criteria

You can find COMAFTE Student Achievement Criteria (SAC) for Chapman University’s Marriage and Family Therapy program including graduation rates, job placement rates and licensure exam pass rates here.

Our class schedules accommodate working professionals

We are on a traditional 16-week semester system, with weekly evening classes held in the fall, spring and summer.  Students may attend courses on a full-time basis or work with our program manager to develop a plan of study that works best for them.

Best Job in America

According to US News and World Report, a marriage and family therapist ranks at #51 of the 100 best careers in America and #2 in social service jobs.