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10 Best MFT Programs in California in 2023

best mft programs in California

Best MFT programs in California – Research has shown that about 50% of all marriages in the United States will end in separation or divorce and that 40% of every first marriage end in divorce; this may prompt any peacemaker to study MFT-related programs.

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With this and the assumption for those residing somewhere in California or who would prefer to take the course in CA, we have arranged the top best MFT programs in California, as put together from various valid information sources. Sit back and take time to read through attentively.

What is MFT?

Marriage and Family Therapy may be referred to as an aspect of psychology, teaching family members (one or more people) how to improve their communication levels and avoid or resolve interpersonal issues.

When taken as a degree program at the University, MFT license a person to be able to handle mental and emotional disorders within a couple and family system context.

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We all already know therapy to be a treatment or cure. Marriage and family therapy could also be said to be the study of the various sources of problems in marriages or families and how to handle them.

best mft programs in California

It does not restrict marriage therapists from handling interpersonal issues between couples alone. Since they are psychologically trained, they could as well handle some other aspects of psychology, taking them to society at large.

A marriage and family therapist is, therefore, a person educated in marriage and family therapy. This person’s profession is to help handle interpersonal issues that may arise between couples, families, groups, or individuals.

Why Should You Be a Marriage and Family Therapist

There are a thousand and one reasons why MFT is essential, some of which we shall consider now.

  • It helps to make one’s feel fulfilled; regardless of whether you are the helping type or not, you will feel fulfilled once you realize you are the reason a family is still standing peacefully.
  • The fat pay is another thing you may want to consider, and as of the most recent report in 2022, $67,718 is the average salary for a marriage therapist in California.
  • Apart from the salary, you would occasionally be compensated by families that survived because of your intervention.
  • Earning a good name is also a benefit of MFT, as you would not want to be remembered for negative impacts.
  • Expanding one’s circle by becoming a friend of many since they see you as a solution to their problems.
  • MFT is a quick path to becoming a psychologist. Psychology is a broad field, but venturing into MFT as a branch could get you there on time.

Requirements for MFT Programs in California

It is not a day’s journey, so prepare your mind to meet some requirements if you must become a marriage therapist. The following tips for what to have in place to become a marriage therapist will help you if duly followed.

  • Your communication skills must be practical to choose the right words at the right time for the right person. It is essential because you must also instil this knowledge in others
  • Completing several work hours in the field is also often a requirement
  • Telling how long or for how many hours this task can last is not in our hands, as the state you want to work in is to determine that
  • Operating as an MFT in some places requires having at least a master’s degree in MFT. It is not always the case, and you can rest assured that it varies depending on any given state
  • If you desire to become a marriage therapist, you must start your journey by holding a bachelor’s degree in various areas like social work, counselling, or psychology. During this time, you should have learned a lot that prepares you for family and marriage therapy as a profession. It will go a long way to help you succeed as you take marriage therapy as a program at any university.
  • Problem-solving ability. Regardless of your degree, you will go nowhere in your profession if you lack this skill.

For these reasons, let us see some of the best MFT programs in California.

Best MFT Programs in California

The United States of America is one of the best places to take an MFT program in the world, but some institutions in the country are doing better than others in this case.

With this, we have put together ten of the best MFT programs in California for you in this piece.

mft programs

By the end of this article, you should have understood what going to each school means and why attending any one of them is crucial.

1. The University of San Francisco, MA in MFT

The University of San Francisco is an institution that will help one’s realize a longtime dream of becoming a therapist here. Students are not only going there because the University of San Francisco is a highly reputable institution in the United States but because it has the MFT program registered by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Furthermore, do not bother about culminating projects or a thesis because with a minimum of 2.75 GPA, and endeavour to meet the requirement to secure admission to study MFT at USF.

Marriage and Family Therapy offered at the USF is a three years program that costs around $69,000.

Yeah, the USF is on the list of the top universities in California, even when we talk in general terms.

Not only will the 1855-established University of San Francisco offer one of the best education you can get in MFT programs, but the school also does not require so much from candidates to enrol in its program.

2. USC Rossier School of Education

USC Rossier School of Education is a private University founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1909. With about 93 academic staff, this is one of California’s best places to take MFT programs.

One of the best things on your mind should be whether or not the school fee is expensive. Roughly $119,700 will cater for the university tuition fee.

More so, unlike others on our list, this institution prepares you to be a family therapist within 2-3 years if you run a full-time program. On the other hand, part-time students may take four (4) years to complete the same program.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges also approved the MFT course at the University.

USC Rossier is also well-known in the States; almost everyone probably wished to attend the school someday. It is rated well by students who, at some point, attended the school, some of whom studied MFT.

Rossier School of Education is great and be assured that there are more chances of occupying good positions when you graduate with a degree in  MFT.

3. Western Seminary Master of Marriage and Family Therapy

Established in 1927 in Portland, California, as a religious-based private institution is, the Western Seminary a good choice for every theology or counselling-related course.

Another great institution where one can study MFT in California is the Western Seminary. Training to counsel others here will require having at least 30 hours of personal counselling before completing your course.

As a Christian, fitting into the church as a counsellor will be an excellent choice to consider, as you would be offered the course with a biblical worldview at the seminary.

The seminary trains you in this field for three (3) years. If you can afford to study for this long, you will soon be a marriage and family therapist. Western Seminary offers this course requiring a tuition fee of $41,245.

Tuition fees and time are not all you need to begin a program here. The institution requires aspirants to have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) in a bachelor’s degree offered at a regionally accredited university or College. Rest assured that to proceed to the institution as soon as you meet every requirement to take MFT there.

4. Masters in Counseling Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), California Lutheran University

California Lutheran University, also known as Cal Lu, Cal Lutheran, or simply CLU, is one of the best places where one can attend to get an MFT program degree in California, United States.

It was founded in 1959 and had been functioning for over 63 years. With 437 academic staff, 244 part-time and 193 full-time workers, the chances of being educated effectively in any course accredited at the University are high.

In addition, there are 2,888 undergraduate and 1,394 postgraduate students at the University, many of whom positively review the institution.

There are other good reasons why you want to attend the Lutheran University besides the fact that it is well facilitated to offer MFT programs, some of which include the fact that the institution, unlike others, is not expensive to school in. The tuition fee required here is about $40,000 – although things can change over time.

Full-time students orthodoxly will offer this course for a range of 2 years. Meanwhile, part-time students will take it for three (3) years. It is also accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

5. Hope International University – Marriage and Family Therapy

Established in 1928 is this prestigious private Christian University in Fullerton, CA. With the assumption that you are ready to begin your marriage therapist career, this is another beautiful choice you should consider.

Want to talk about the diversity of the institution? Well, it is the choice of over 2000 students from about 40 countries across the globe.

Not only is Marriage and family therapy an accredited course at Hope International University, but it is also one of the best MFT programs in California, United States.

MFT at the said institution is a 60-unit course introduced to students to integrate theory, practice, and research based on Christian principles.

The tuition fee for MFT at the HIU is $43,500. This can also be very effective in preparing you for the counselling ministry in churches and the community. It does not mean you cannot fit in for other areas where marriage therapists work. Remember that the institution is religiously based, so it is a plus on your side to be taught MFT and biblical counselling principles.

6. Phillips Graduate MFT/Art Therapy

This citadel of learning is located at Plummer St Chatsworth, CA, at Phillips Graduate University. It is one of the best institutions where your dream to become a family therapist can be actualized.

This institution was founded in 1971 by Clinton Phillips and David Jansen, who served as family therapists at the American Institute of Family Relations for years. The training institution was first established as the California Family Study Center. It was renamed Phillips Graduate Institute in 1992 and was eventually given Phillips Graduate University.

Over time, since its establishment, Phillips Graduate has educated over 3000 family therapists, as gathered from Wikipedia.

The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredited the institution, and the American Art Therapy Association also approved it.

As obtained from several sources, studying MFT at Phillips Graduate University will cost between $51,000 to $54,000.

With a full-time program of about 2-3 years, you will soon obtain a degree in MFT at the Phillips Graduate University. Ideally, you should graduate in two years, but if you see it fit to take up another part-time academic plan, you may extend your program to seven or six terms.

7. Loma Linda University – M.S. in Marital and Family Therapy

So great a place to be educated in! As of 2020, the LLU has an estimated endowment of $1.04 billion. Loma Linda University, founded in 1905, is a prestigious place to take your MFT program in California. The American body accredited MFT, the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education.

The good news about this school is its low tuition fee. Compared to what others on this list charge, Linda’s tuition fee is about $38,000. This means that even a student loan can get a person educated here. Studying at the LLU will be for two or three years, depending on whether you would like to study full-time or part-time.

LLU is a religious (specifically Christian-based) institution, another thing you may want to consider in any school before attending. With the assumption that you are a Christian or one who would like to be a family therapist learning from the Christian worldview, LLU is a good choice for you.

8. Alliant International University – Marriage and Family Therapy (MA) – San Francisco

Alliant International University is also good; you may want to consider it for your MFT program in California. The only problem with it is the cost of its tuition fee, which every aspirant of the said course may not be able to put afford. Kinky, in an article, noted that AIU charges $69,600 for the program.

If you have money or can get a student loan for three years, taking the MFT course here will not be an issue. People aspiring to take some courses like MFT, especially when they have taken other courses in the past, tend to be perturbed about finishing on time, but the fact stands that you cannot take these programs in less than two years or three years, as the case may be.

Rest assured that if you choose to go for this institution, there will be no regret for any reason.

9. University of San Diego Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy

Become a professional settling marriage issues by getting educated at the University of San Diego. The tuition fee for two years MFT program at the University of Diego is around $87,000. MFT is a valid program here as the COMAFTE has accredited it.

The prestigious citadel of knowledge was founded in 1949, over 70 years back. The University has a religious affiliation with the Roman Catholic. The University of San Diego will also educate you to become a therapist handling psychological problems and mental health issues in relationships.

10. MA in Marriage and Family Therapy – Chapman University

Give it a try, and you will always bless the day you come across this piece. Chapman University, founded on March 4, 1861, is a good choice for all MFT aspirants, and the school is a private research university located in Orange, CA, USA.

According to Kinky, the school charges the least on our list, $1,190 for tuition fees, and it is cheap so that every candidate willing to study at the University can quickly achieve their dreams. The institution’s overall appearance rate is 58%.

Your thoughts do not have to complicate each other on the accreditation of this institution; COAMFTE, the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, was the body that accredited this program in Chapman.

If you are opportune to take the MFT course here, do not hesitate to do it on time. CU ranks in the top 150 443 national universities in the US News.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is more to the best MFT programs in California, so it is ideal for you to keep reading. Following are answers to questions that are most likely on the mind of every reader of this piece.

How long does it take to get an MFT degree?

It depends on your institution and choice. However, MFT degrees do not often last longer than three (3) years.

People offering the program as part-time students can take longer than full-time students.

Can MFT work in schools?

Yes, a marriage and family therapist can work in schools.

MFT is an excellent program you should take once you are opportune and the interest to study it is in you. No family therapy will be found on the streets of California, searching desperately for jobs. Remember that service as a counsellor can be offered in different areas, like relationship counselling, divorce counselling, child counselling, and premarital counselling.

Therefore, be sure that if securing a job for yourself is why you chose MFT, there are many opportunities for you in and beyond the states. You can decide to go into any of the following areas as a marriage and family therapist:

  • Private practices
  • Substance abuse treatment centres
  • Hospitals
  • Outpatient care centres
  • Impatient facilities
  • Courts and correctional facilities
  • Schools and head start centres
  • Business and Consulting Companies
  • Health Management Organizations
  • Community mental health organization
  • Universities and research centres
  • Social services agencies

There is this other commonly asked question, where can MFTs work? However, we want to believe this has answered the question alongside.

Is MFT a psychologist?

Yes, a marriage and family therapist could also be said to be a psychologist for several reasons, one of which is evident in Wikipedia’s definition of the field.

According to the description of MFT by Wikipedia, it is a branch of psychology and clinical work.

Can MFT trainees be trained?

The programs in the initial parts of this piece are designed to train MFT aspirants, not only natives of the USA but also students from other places across the globe.

With this, all MFT trainees will undergo training in the field to become one, and we hope you have learned from the best MFT programs in California.

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About Abayomi

Abayomi is an education student and a certified content and prolific writer in Nigeria who is concerned with serving scholars across all nations with in-depth research and quality content.

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