Academic Requirements: Licensed Marital and Family Therapist
All degrees and coursework needed to meet the academic requirements must be from a college or university accredited by one of the following six regional accrediting associations recognized by the United States Department of Education:
- The New England Association of Schools and Colleges
- The Middle States Association of Schools and Colleges
- The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- The Northwestern Association of Schools and Colleges
- The Western Association of School and Colleges
- The Southern Association of Schools and Colleges
In order to qualify for LMFT licensure you must have at least a master’s degree in marital and family therapy or in a mental health, behavioral science, or counseling related field which is content-equivalent to a graduate degree in marital and family therapy.
In order to qualify as a “content equivalent” degree, a graduate transcript must document the minimum number of graduate hours and knowledge’s areas listed below.
You must be able to document one (1) or more courses of at least three (3) semester credit hours or four (4) quarter credit hours per course in each of the following knowledge areas. Academic courses must include a minimum of 45 class hours for each course.
- Theoretical Foundations of Marital and Family Systems – At least three (3) courses of three (3) semester hours in any course which deals primarily in areas such as family life cycle; theories of family development; marriage and/or the family; sociology of the family; families under stress; the contemporary family; family in a social context; the cross-cultural family; youth/adult/aging and the family; family subsystems; individual, interpersonal relationships (marital, parental, sibling).
- Assessment and Treatment in Marital and Family Therapy – At least three (3) courses of three (3) semester hours any course which deals in areas such as family therapy methodology; family assessment; treatment and intervention methods; overview of major clinical theories of marital and family therapy such as: communications, contextual, experiential, object relations, strategic, structural, systemic, transgenerational.
- Human Development – At least three (3) courses of three (3) semester hours in any course which deals primarily in areas such as human development; personality theory; human sexuality; psychopathology; at least one of which in psychopathology or abnormal human behavior.
- Ethics and Professional Studies – At least one (1) course of three (3) semester hours in any course which deals primarily in areas such as professional socialization and the role of the professional organization; legal responsibilities and liabilities; independent practice and inter-professional cooperation; ethics and family law. 1-3 semester hour course
- Research – At least one (1) course of three (3) semester hours in any course, which deals primarily in areas such as research design, methods, statistics, research in marital and family therapy.
- Practicum/internship – Must have at least 300 clock hours.
For your convenience this office has created an academic worksheet to help you determine if your degree is content equivalent to a degree in marital and family therapy. To obtain this form please click the link below.
For applicants with international degrees, the Department shall review the applications of applicants for licensure under Subchapter 7. of the License Marital and Family Rules who have received a post-secondary degree from an educational institution outside the United States.
The Department shall determine whether the applicant's experience, command of the English language, and completed academic program meet the standards of an academic program of an accredited educational institution.