Marriage and Family Therapy (M.S.)

Mission and Goals

The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Master of Science degree is a training program that prepares individuals for a career in mental health delivery service to individuals, couples, and families grounded in Systems and Developmental theories. 


The Marriage and Family Therapy program’s mission is to prepare future marriage and family therapists to serve individuals, couples, and families. Through innovation, faculty provide focused, systems-oriented curriculum to prepare graduates to work with clients in a variety of diverse and intersectional contexts. (influenced by It’s Time)

Diversity & Inclusion Policy

Influenced by St. Cloud State University’s “It’s Time” framework for the creation of a regional, comprehensive university, the Marriage and Family Therapy program prioritizes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) throughout the curriculum. This means that a recognition of historical and systemic oppression within higher education, the healthcare system, and psychotherapy must take place. To address these inequities, the marriage and family therapy program seeks to train students in multicultural counseling to create a program environment that supports all of its members.

The MFT program believes that diversity is defined as differences between groups of people relative to systemic contexts, such as power and privilege. Demographic characteristics such as sex assigned at birth, gender identity, race, age, socioeconomic status , ethnicity, class, disability, and religion/spirituality naturally create these group distinctions. We believe that everyone has their own, subjective beliefs that inform a person’s reality and our curriculum aims to help students understand these diverse influences on one’s personal identity. The goal is to grow intercultural competency by advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion by addressing systemic inequities within subsystems students engage with.

Racial Identity Statistics

Racial Identity






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Gender Identity Statistics

Gender Identity


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Program faculty maintain the philosophy that marriage and family therapy is relationally oriented. We define systemically oriented as focusing on intra and interpersonal relationships, adhering to relationship dynamics and patterns that are influenced by biopsychosical and cultural influences. Experiences in this program emphasize family therapy as integrated with practice and research in family and human development.

The curriculum of the program focuses on family systemic theories and interventions, developing clinical skills for working with individuals, couples, and families, learning to work with diverse and underserved populations, learning the skills necessary to be an informed consumer of marriage and family research, being able to practice professionally and ethically, and demonstrating the ability to assess and treat major mental health issues. Additionally, the MFT curriculum will expose students to emerging issues in marriage and family therapy, telehealth practices, and ways to collaborate within other contexts of patient care. We believe that substantive content/theory courses and clinical practicum must be completed simultaneously. Students must be provided with experiences that enhance their training and practice with a variety of therapy models, family types, presenting problems, therapy settings, and supervisory modes. It is the aim of the program for students to be challenged and encouraged to integrate their learning throughout their time in the program.

Goals and Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

The primary goal of the Marriage and Family Therapy program is to train competent therapists to provide therapy with a wide range of mental health issues. The following are how we aim to demonstrate we have met our goals:

Goal 1: The SCSU MFT program prepares graduates to become licensed in the State of Minnesota.

    • SLO 1.1: Graduates will have met all degree requirements for coursework and field experiences.
    • SLO 1.2: Graduates will possess the requisite skills and knowledge necessary for completing post-graduate licensure requirements in the state of Minnesota.

Marriage and Family Therapy License Eligibility

Goal 2: Students will demonstrate competency in the overall delivery of clinical skills and ethical practice.

    • SLO 2.1: Students will demonstrate an integrated use of their self-as-therapist in providing therapy and conceptualizing cases.
    • SLO 2.2: Students will demonstrate the ability to assess, diagnose, and treatment plan throughout the life cycle of therapy.
    • SLO 2.3: Students will understand how clinical and evaluative research findings inform marriage and family therapy practice.
    • SLO 2.4: Students will be ethical in their clinical practice by seeking appropriate supervision when making ethical decisions pertaining to clinical practice.

Goal 3: Students comprehend and articulate ways in which the foundational theories of family systems and development inform the practice of marriage and family therapy.

    • SLO 3.1: Students are able to actualize a systemic approach to individual, couple, and family therapy congruent to the foundational theories and use of MFT-specific models.
    • SLO 3.2: Students are able to articulate case conceptualizations using family therapy and developmental theories during clinical supervision.

Goal 4: Students will be prepared to work systemically with individuals, couples, and families from diverse, intersecting cultural backgrounds.

    • SLO 4.1: Students will develop the ability to recognize their power and privilege when interacting with clients who are culturally different from themselves.
    • SLO 4.2: Students will demonstrate sensitivity to diversity, equity, and inclusion through their clinical skills and consumption of research literature in marriage and family therapy.

Goal 5: To educate and train ethical couple and family therapists

    • SLO 5.1: Students will be knowledgeable of state laws, professional code of ethics and frameworks for engaging in ethical decision making in the practice of couple and family therapy and teletherapy.
    • SLO 5.2: Students will seek appropriate supervision when making ethical decisions pertaining to clinical practice and document and discuss clinical work through professional and effective communication in oral and written clinical paperwork.

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

This program is committed to diversity and inclusion throughout the student experience. This program defines diversity as the vast range of varied human experience and its dynamic influence over the creation of subjective beliefs that inform our very notions of reality. As diversity is often observed/interpreted objectively through age, gender, race, ethnicity, sex, ability, religion/spirituality, political leanings, geographic influences, socioeconomic status, and other demographic identifiers (i.e., diversity between), our program emphasizes the relative uniqueness of each individual (i.e., diversity within) in ways that transcend the objective classification of human experience that too often obscures the actualization of subjective identity and expression.

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