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Program Information

The Couples and Family program is designed to establish a professional role for the family therapist as an effective clinician with expertise in systemic family therapy.

Master's of Science Degree (M.S.)

The Couples and Family Therapy master's offers a two-year program designed to train students to become professional family therapists in preparation for state licensure as a LMFT. This program offers intensive, specialized training that combines a strong theoretical base in systemic therapy with applied clinical experience. The program uses a cohort model, meaning students generally start together and graduate with each other. Clinical supervision courses are small (6 students and 1 faculty member). Therefore, the quality of the relationship between students is instrumental.  Consequently, the program emphasizes a non-competitive environment and places high value on acceptance, cooperation, and respect for diversity.

Application, Deadlines, and Admission

There are not any prerequisites for the program. Students come from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. Applicants are expected to have a minimum 3.0 GPA and GRE score of 44% or MAT score of 59%. If you have a lot of experience and a strong application, you are encouraged to apply even if you don't have the expected minimum grades or GPA.

The online application must be completed and letters of recommendation, transcripts, and test scores must be RECEIVED by January 8. Details are available on the CFT website's admissions page. Admission decisions are based on a completed application and the quality of an applicant's academic record, letters of recommendation, relevant work experience, GRE or MAT scores, essay response, and a statement of goals and purpose for advanced study. The January admissions deadline is for entry the following fall term.

Applications are accepted October 15 - January 7.

Program Description

The CFT program requires 90 credits for graduation, including:

  • Theoretical knowledge
  • Individual development and family relations
  • Research competencies
  • Professional identiy and ethics
  • Clinical knowledge

Key Program Components

• Theoretical foundations in family dynamics, family development, ecological considerations that influence individual and family function, systemic assessment and treatment, research methods and professional ethics.
• Clinical practicum and internship provides students with the opportunity to develop their clinical skills under the observation of supervisors approved by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
• Contextual sensitivity to the many factors that influence individual and family functioning. Professional training enables students to address the societal, cultural, and political forces that impact client welfare; develop prevention strategies to help strengthen families in our community; and design effective family-based interventions to promote individual and family well-being.

Field Experience

Students complete their clinical practice requirements at both the on-site Center for Family Therapy and an off-site externship. The clinical practicum and internship components include 500 client contact hours (200 with couples and families) and 100 hours of individual and group supervision in American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy-approved clinical supervision. Supervision involves live observation, participation in reflecting teams, video/audio-taped sessions, and case review. Below is a list of several externship sites:

  • Looking Glass Counseling Program                       
  • Options Counseling
  • Ophelia's Place                                                       
  • OSLC Community Programs
  • Springfield School District                                     
  • Eugene Therapy
  • The Child Center                                                    
  • Volunteers in Medicine
  • SAFE Center                                                            
  • Eating Disorder Center of Eugene (EDCE)

Notes on Licensure and Certification

Graduates of the program are eligible to apply for state licensure. The CFT program at the University of Oregon has been nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) since 2003, and approved by the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists (OBLPCT).

Program Goals & Educational Outcomes

The overall goal of our program is to produce systemically-minded, competent family therapists in accordance with the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists (OBLPCT) Standards for Approved Educational Programs, and the accreditation standards of the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). In order to achieve this broad goal, the CFT program offers a format that includes: (a) the acquisition of knowledge by formal classroom learning, and (b) the application of that knowledge in clinical settings under the supervision of qualified clinical supervisors. More specifically, our overall goal is related to the following five sub-categories and associated goals and outcomes: (1) Professionalism and Ethical Conduct; (2) Scientific Inquiry and Critical Evaluation; (3) Theoretical Foundations; (4) Social Context and Diversity; and (5) Clinical Application.

Our Four Program Anchors

The program anchors are part of CFT's culture and values. These anchors inform the training environment that the Couples and Family Therapy program strives to create for all students.

  1. We all have multiple intersecting identities (that engender both experiences of oppression and privilege) and are embedded in diverse contexts that we affect and are affected by us.
  2. We are all responsible for learning about privilege and oppression and to be open to the discomfort that this learning can bring.
  3. We have the responsibility to learn how we react when we are uncomfortable (e.g. shut down, jump to conclusions, attack, turn away), and to endeavor/make efforts to engage/re-engage.
  4. We all have a shared responsibility in contributing to an open, collaborative learning community.

About our Faculty

The CFT program includes three core faculty members, adjunct faculty, a visiting instructor/clinical supervisor, and more than 20 off-site supervisors.