The MA in Counseling Psychology prepares a student for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), and the curriculum is designed to meet the California Business and Professional Code Section 4980.37 for academic training of MFT graduate students.

MFT is a recognized and regulated mental health service profession in California. The requirements of the California MFT license include completion of a specified program of coursework and training that leads to a master’s degree, 3,000 hours of supervised counseling (of which at least half must be completed after receipt of the master’s degree), and passage of the state of California’s written examination.


Licensure for the MFT in California requires the student to successfully complete the following:

  • Aging and Long-Term Care (10 hours)
  • Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting (7 hours)
  • Human Sexuality (10 hours)
  • Spousal Abuse Assessment and Reporting (15 hours—within degree program)

Students may meet these requirements through either: (1) a classroom course; (2) an online course; or (3) a workshop. The training must meet the specific requirements outlined in the BBS’ Licensing Laws and Regulations, and the participant must receive a transcript credit or a certificate of completion.

With the exception of Human Sexuality, which is a required course in the Community Mental Health, Drama Therapy, and Expressive Arts Therapy concentrations, these requirements are not included in the MA in Counseling Psychology degree program, and CIIS does not offer them as courses.

CIIS Public Programs & Performances, however, does offer all of them as workshops that meet the standards set forth by the BBS. Students are not required to take these workshops through Public Programs to earn the MA in Counseling Psychology from CIIS or to earn the MFT license. Students may find other venues, which must be approved by the BBS.

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