The Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology, with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy degree is a program designed for those interested in pursuing a career as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and/or as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). If you’re drawn to helping people with emotional, behavioral, mental health, or relationship concerns, perhaps this degree is right for you.

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) has approved CalSouthern’s MA degree program for meeting the educational requirements for both Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) licensure per California Business and Professions Code (BPC) Sections 4980.36, 4980.37, 4980.39, 4980.41 (as required by BPC Section 4980.38); and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) per California Business and Professions Code (BPC) Sections 4999.32 and 4999.33 (as required by BPC Section 4999.40(a)) in the State of California. For licensure requirements in other states and jurisdictions, please contact the applicable authority or state board.

Quick Facts:

  • Credits required: 60
  • Cost per credit: $545
  • Program length: 4 years (full-time status)
  • Max transfer credits: 12 credits

Time to degree completion can be shortened by accelerating completion of courses and through credits accepted in transfer.

What you’ll learn

Communicate an understanding of individual, couple, family and group counseling theories.

Utilize evidence-based assessment and testing methods in therapy including diagnosis with established classification systems.

Cultivate interpersonal skills to work effectively with diverse individuals, couples, and families, as well as develop a personal and professional understanding of diverse cultures, marginalized communities, and special populations.

Analyze ethical behavior as it relates to professional standards in therapy.

Contrast normal versus abnormal patterns of development across the lifespan and identify the protective and risk factors that influence developmental outcomes for individuals, couples, and families.

Exercise critical thinking in applying evidence-based research to the counseling profession.

Engage in strategies for personal and professional self-evaluation, self-care, and implications for professional practice.

Integrate theories and techniques associated with career development interrelated with work, family, and other life roles.

Career Outcomes

Register as an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT) and/or Associate Professional Clinical Counselor (APCC) to work with clients in the following settings:

County Agencies

Private Practices

Schools & Universities

Community Mental Health Clinics


Master of Arts in Psychology Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements Credits
Required Core Courses 60

Courses + Credits

The following master’s level courses comprise CalSouthern’s Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology, with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy degree program. In order to fulfill the educational requirements for licensure at the master’s level in California — MFT and/or LPCC — all required courses must be completed. Elective options are not available for this program. For licensure requirements in other states, please contact your respective state board.

Master of Arts in Psychology Course Requirements

  • PSY 6502 Counseling Theories and Strategies – 3 credits
  • MFT 6504 Ethical and Legal Issues in Therapy – 3 credits
  • PSY 6508 Culture and Diversity in Counseling – 3 credits
  • PSY 6505 Lifespan Development – 3 credits
  • PSY 6506 Psychopathology – 3 credits
  • PSY 6509 Systems of Family Therapy – 3 credits
  • PSY 6511 Substance Use and Related Disorders – 3 credits
  • PSY 6510 Child and Adolescent Therapy – 3 credits
  • PSY 6514 Couples and Sex Therapy – 3 credits
  • PSY 6512 Group Counseling – 3 credits
  • PSY 6747 Career Counseling – 3 credits
  • MFT 6513 Assessment Techniques in Therapy – 3 credits
  • PSY 6519 Crisis and Trauma Counseling – 3 credits
  • PSY 6520 Advanced Counseling Techniques – 3 credits
  • MFT 6700 Psychopharmacology – 3 credits
  • PSY 6743 Systems of Care in Community Mental Health – 3 credits
  • MFT 6900 Research Methods and Statistics – 3 credits
  • MFT 6704 Practicum I – 3 credits
  • MFT 6705 Practicum II – 3 credits
  • MFT 6706 Practicum III – 3 credits
  • MFT 8000 Internship (optional) — 6 credits

Additional Courses

Other additional courses may be available upon request to meet individual jurisdictional requirements for licensure. If additional courses are needed, please bring this information to the attention of the MA Program Coordinator.

Download the University Catalog for full course descriptions, prerequisite information, and program details.

I have recommended CalSouthern to many people I know that were searching for the best educational online experience. CalSouthern provides the opportunity for an advanced degree that one can obtain while simultaneously working a full-time job. It was a godsend for me, and I’m proud to be an alum.

– Cynthia Degryse, MA in Psychology

Ready to get back to your dreams? We can help!

Contact us to learn more about our online MA in Psychology degree program.

Call us at: 1.800.477.2254 | Email:

Accreditation & Approvals

California Board of Psychology Logo
Board of Behavioral Sciences Logo

California Southern University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), which is one of six institutional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Institutional accreditation is the most highly respected and recognized form of accreditation in the United States, and it provides students with a number of important benefits and opportunities.

Please visit the Accreditation & Licensure page to learn more.

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