MFT Program Details

Learn about our diverse student body, innovative curriculum, quality clinical training, commitment to community, high rate of employment in the field, program and student learning outcomes, faculty outcomes, and more.

For detailed information on the MFT program and its expectations, please refer to the Essential Guide provided to MFT students

Our Mission

The mission of the program is to prepare students to practice as competent entry level MFT professionals, capable of ethically applying relational/ systemic and social constructionist ideas and practices to meet the needs of today’s intercultural society.

Our Philosophy

The program training is guided by a philosophy that incorporates the following values and commitments:

  • A social constructionist and systemic paradigm that regards all descriptions of human interactions as subjective, contextual, and emerging from social interaction and meaning-making.
  • Multicultural/intercultural development that invites an examination of understandings of difference, language, history, and power and their effects in people’s lives and their relationships. It also invites critical examination of the paradigms of family therapy within their geo-cultural contexts so as to introduce alternative proposals to add to the current eurocentric ones. The program advances the ability to address these factors in therapy and other relationships.
  • A community focus to prepare for serving underserved and poorly served populations.
  • Social responsibility to consider the therapist’s role in relation to social contribution, impact, and leadership for change in mental health systems.
  • Personal growth to support the exploration of one’s own storied life, consider the effects of experiences in social relationships, therapeutic relationships, and open oneself to new personal and social interactions, physiology, emotional experiences, and perspectives.
  • Promotion of linguistic rights of Spanish-English therapists so they receive training in both languages and advance their knowledges and skills bilingually (through class instruction, supervision and practice).

Our Student Body

A program is as much shaped by its student body as by its faculty and formal structures. Our students bring a rich array of life experiences and knowledge to the program. In keeping with our commitment to insure our students' readiness to work with the culturally diverse populations of our region and work from a socially responsible vantage point, we enroll a student body that reflects the local community. Currently, about 75% of our students identify as students of color, including U.S.-born, Immigrants, and International status students. Currently, 82% of our students identify as female, 15% as male, and 3% as gender-nonconforming. Our students are highly motivated and energetic. While faculty take responsibility for the basic content and structures of learning, reciprocal learning between faculty and students as well as student-to-student is considered vital to everyone's development.

Innovative Curriculum

The program's commitment to social change and diversity has produced a dynamic and multiculturally infused curriculum. In addition to specialized courses with multicultural content in MFT, faculty works to incorporate cultural considerations into all coursework. Specialty areas within the curriculum include family counseling in the schools and attention to relationships between families and other larger systems.

Quality Clinical Training

The program provides a rich and varied clinical training experience with excellent supervision. Students first gain clinical experience within the department's clinical training facility under live supervision. All supervisors are either AAMFT Approved Supervisor designates or equivalent. Students participate in a second clinical experience in a program-approved community, mental health agency, or school. All sites must provide opportunities to work with a culturally diverse population of families, couples, and individuals, provide supervision by AAMFT Approved Supervisors or equivalents, and be able to provide supervision via audiotape, videotape, or live supervision. Students must acquire a minimum of 300 direct clinical contact hours (in-person or through telehealth with individuals, couples, families or other systems) to graduate. A minimum of 100 of the 300 hours must be relational hours. The majority of your hours will be completed at your traineeship site. In addition to client hours, students will need to complete 50 live supervision hours. A supervisor will need to accompany students during session or through a two-way mirror. Live supervision can also be in the form of audio or video.

The practice component requirements in the MFT program include at least 18 months of clinical practice in total."The core clinical experience component of the program requires completion of a minimum of thirteen (13) academic units that are divided into two separate components: six (6) units of Practicum (CSP 755 and 765) (two semesters) and a minimum of three Traineeship CSP 785 classes made up of a total of eight (8) units. 

Commitment to Community

The program has a long tradition of serving the community through its Traineeship placements and offering workshops and trainings. The Center for Community Counseling, the clinical training facility for the department, is located in the City Heights community of San Diego. This location provides targeted client populations with access to our services, outreach opportunities, and bridges to the schools in the community.

High Employment Rate

Graduates of the MFT program at SDSU have been highly successful in securing employment in community agencies, private practices, hospitals, and school-affiliated programs. Graduates are regarded very highly by local employers and are recognized for the strength of their clinical training and cultural competency.

Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes:

Program Goal 1.  Students demonstrate knowledge and competency in legal and ethical standards related to the MFT profession

Student Learning Outcome 1.   Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of legal and ethical guidelines in the MFT profession 

Student Learning Outcome 2.   Students will demonstrate competence in the application of legal and ethical guidelines in the MFT profession

Program Goal 2.  Students demonstrate knowledge and competency in delivering MFT services to diverse and underserved communities

Student Learning Outcome 3.  Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding in intercultural dimensions of counseling with diverse and underserved communities

Student Learning Outcome 4.   Students will demonstrate cultural competence when delivering MFT services to diverse and underserved communities

Program Goal 3.   Students demonstrate knowledge and competency in MFT research and scholarship

Student Learning Outcome  5.   Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research and scholarship related to the MFT practice

Student Learning Outcome 6.    Students will demonstrate competence in the application of research and scholarship related to the MFT practice 

Program Goal 4.   Students demonstrate knowledge and competency in MFT theories and practices

Student Learning Outcome  7.   Students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of MFT theories and practices 

Student Learning Outcome 8.    Students will demonstrate competence in the application of MFT theories and practices

Note: For more information about our program, academic requirements, and more, see MFT-FAQs.