California MFT Programs

With the highest population of any state in the country, there is a constant need for marriage and family therapist availability in the state of California.

To become a registered practitioner in this industry, obtaining a Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy is required in the licensure process along with thousands of hours of clinical experience.

There are numerous LMFT opportunities in California, be it in a religious setting, educational facility, or setting out to create a private practice, and this educational process will prepare those looking to fix behavioral issues among loved ones.

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California LMFT Degrees (Marriage and Family Therapy Programs)

In total, there are nine different universities in California that offer graduate LMFT programs and are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

In order to become a licensed marriage and family therapist in the state of California, applicants must become an associate and perform over 3,000 hours of supervised work.

There are many institutions that provide higher education for LMFT in the sunshine state. Alliant International University has four different locations within California offering Master's degrees, including Irvine, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and San Diego, as well as an online opportunity for further flexibility when pursuing the program.

Consider a Featured Online MFT Program

What COAMFTE-Accredited MFT Degree is the Most Popular?

Alliant International University's MA in Martial and Family Therapy Degree

Based in Irvine, this institution has an online Master of Arts in Martial and Family Therapy. The entire 60-credit hour curriculum is available in a virtual format, one of only a handful of COAMFTE-accredited programs to offer this. Example courses include Diversity and the Family, Introduction to Psychopathology, and Trauma and Crisis Intervention.

There is a special concentration in Chemical Dependency for students that want to work with patients that are struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. Students will have 500 hours of hands-on training, working directly with the client and being fully prepared to enter the workforce after graduation. This program will take around six months, or two years, to complete, and students can choose between the semester format and the eight-week term format.

Other COAMFTE-Accredited Degrees in California

Northcentral University’s MA in Marriage and Family Therapy

This online institutions offers the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, which will prepare students for helping family members as licensed therapists and will ensure that their practice follows ethical standards and is culturally sensitive for all patients to feel comfortable in their sessions.

There are many specializations to customize the degree, including LGBTQ Couple and Family Therapy, Systemic Treatment of Addictions, Child and Adolescent Family Therapy, and Systemic Sex Therapy. At least 45 credit hours are needed to complete the program, which can be accomplished in approximately 33 months. New classes begin every Monday to provide easy flexibility for students to begin the program.

San Diego State University’s MFT Program

The Department of Counseling and School Psychology offers an MFT program specifically for full-time students. Admission takes place in June of the first school year and graduation at the end of August, making it three total terms in the summer.

Students will gain clinical experience through practicum sessions and therapy training, being able to work with diverse cultural groups, and exploring theories within marriage and family therapy. Graduates have commonly worked at nonprofit organizations, health care organizations, and private practices after completing this program. Example courses include Professional Issues in Mental Health Practice, Violence in Couples’ Relationships, and Systemic Treatment of Substance Abuse.

LMFT Licensure in California

In order to obtain a license for marriage and family therapy, applicants must be holding a Master’s degree in MFT and become an Associate MFT. This requires the completion of an application with fee, fingerprints, recent photograph, and provide verification of the education received.

Applicants must pass a criminal background check and pass the California Law and Ethics Exam. This must be taken to renew the AMFT registration on an annual basis. After applicants complete 3,000 total supervised hours in a postgraduate setting, they can attempt the clinical exam to obtain the LMFT license. There are a slightly different set of guidelines for those looking to become certified out-of-state, such as different fingerprinting procedures and verification forms.

California Board of Behavioral Sciences

1625 North Market Blvd, Suite S-200
Sacramento, CA 95834

  • Marriage and Family Therapist and Marriage
  • Family Therapist Intern

LMFT Careers and Salaries in California

California has hundreds of marriage and family therapist positions in the state. There should be no surprise that the state also has the highest employment level of MFTs in the country with over 21,900 positions, but that number is more than five times the amount of the next highest-employed state, New Jersey - according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The median wage is at $51,950 annually statewide, which is slightly above the average across the United States. Some of the more notable companies offering MFT positions include Kaiser Permanente that is based in Oakland and operates in eight different states, Pathways of California, and Volunteers of America in Los Angeles.

Popular Online MFT Programs

Northcentral University 🗹 Online Courses Start Weekly

University of West Alabama 🗹 Online 🗗 Masters

Campus-Based COAMFTE Accredited California MFT Degrees

The COAMFTE (Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education) is the top accrediting board for MFT programs. Below is a list of COAMFTE accredited MFT programs in California. You can view online COAMFTE accredited MFT counseling programs or all California counseling degrees.

Alliant International University - Irvine
  • MA in Marital and Family Therapy
  • PsyD in MFT
Alliant International University - Los Angeles
  • MA in Marital and Family Therapy
  • PsyD in MFT
Alliant International University - Sacramento
  • MA in Marital and Family Therapy
  • PsyD in MFT
Alliant International University - San Diego
  • MA in Marital and Family Therapy
  • PsyD in MFT
Alliant International University
  • Online MA in Marital and Family Therapy
Bethel Seminary
  • MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
California State University - Northridge
  • MS in Marriage and Family Therapy
Chapman University
  • MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
Hope International University
  • MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
Loma Linda University
  • MS - MFT Program
  • Online DMFT
  • Online DMFT
  • PhD in MFT
Northcentral University
  • Online MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Online PhD in MFT
San Diego State University
  • M.S. in Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy
University of San Diego
  • MA in Marital and Family Therapy
+ Go to the list of all California counseling programs.
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