The Master of Science in Family Therapy (MSFT) degree provides academic and clinical training for persons seeking competence in the professional discipline of Marriage and Family Therapy. This degree meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in most states including Kansas and Missouri.
The MSFT program is dedicated to the core educational outcome of providing a professional foundation for practice as a licensed Marriage and Family Therapy mental health provider. This outcome is pursued through a program philosophy that values an adult learning environment which is profession-focused, systemically informed, culturally sensitive, and supportive of a transformative developmental trajectory inclusive of four integrative domains of MFT professional competency. Those domains include interpersonal, theoretical, clinical, and multicultural competency.
Students complete 60 credit hours that include a set sequence of required academic courses integrated within a continuous 16-month supervised clinical internship. The full program schedule is designed to be completed within a minimum of 24 months.
By program completion, students demonstrate learning through a capstone project including a comprehensive exam, working model of therapy presentation and a display of clinical skills.
In addition to the requirements stated under the Graduate Admissions Policy, the requirements for admission to MSFT are as follows:
- Baccalaureate or graduate degree from an accredited university with a 3.0 GPA minimum.
- Minimum prerequisite coursework as follows:
- one course in research methods, research design or statistics; and
- two upper division courses in any of the following areas: family studies, human development, psychology or sociology.
- Completion of a personality inventory as selected by program director.*
- Successful completion of a background check through a vendor approved by the University.*
- Brief autobiography and statement of goals.
- Two academic and two professional references on forms provided by the Admissions Office.
- Admissions interview upon review of completed application, approval of prerequisite courses by MSFT faculty and MSFT faculty invitation.
* There is a fee associated with this item.
The complete MSFT program curriculum is delivered separately at the Wichita campus and the Kansas City location. The normal schedule for program instruction occurs on weekday afternoon and evenings in each site with some variation dependent on the amount of required learning activity completed through the University’s electronic course management system and the schedule set by the MSFT program faculty. There are several courses that are taught outside of the normal weekday evening schedule. Twice a year, in the fall and early spring, required courses are taught in a concentrated schedule that may include consecutive full-day instruction across one or more weekdays and/or a weekend. There are also site-specific professional foundation courses taught on a week day or evening format. Faculty at each MSFT delivery location will determine and publish complete course schedules.
In addition to academic coursework, clinical training adds significant time requirements. For example, Fall 1 through the mid-point of Spring 1 includes foundational skills courses with significant practice assignments beyond the classroom. These activities are delivered through weekly 2-hour sessions supporting readiness to enter clinical training. By the middle of Spring 1, students begin weekly clinical supervision and direct client contact, requiring 7 to 10 hours weekly. By Fall 2, and throughout the second year, the full training schedule is required, consisting of 15 to 20 hours weekly for delivery of therapy services, documentation, dyadic and group supervision, and case management tasks. If clinical training requirements are not met by the conclusion of the program, the student must continue the clinical internship until completed by enrollment in consecutive eight-week courses of clinical supervision (see Course Listings for FMTH 691 Clinical Internship/Extended).
The clinical internship begins during the Spring 1 and continues concurrently with the on-going academic coursework. Students are responsible to complete 1,000 hours of supervised professional experience inclusive of 1) 500 direct client contact hours with individuals, couples and families, and 2) 100 hours of clinical supervision. Weekly clinical supervision includes individual or dyadic and group supervision. All clinical supervision requires enrollment in the Clinical Internship series. Supervision is provided by the program’s clinical faculty and by qualified individuals in the placement site. Video recorded segments of the student’s clinical sessions assist the supervision process. “Live” supervision through one-way mirror, camera or in-room observation is also expected. A defined conceptual framework of clinical skill development guides internship learning and evaluation.
Permission to enroll in the clinical internship series follows an intentional review of readiness for each MSFT student occurring midway through Spring 1. All students who enter the internship series must receive the endorsement and approval of the MSFT faculty. This review includes a careful evaluation of the student’s readiness to deliver psychotherapy services under supervision and demonstration of their ability to “merit the public trust”. Enrollment provides professional liability coverage for clinical training activities at all sites. Entry into training requires student membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Recording equipment is provided at Friends University’s Center on Family Living facilities. Students will need to provide audio or video recorders for use in community placement settings. Basic computer skills are necessary for clinical documentation and academic coursework.
Students are responsible to accomplish the required internship hours. MSFT students on the Wichita campus are expected to see two to six cases weekly at the University’s Center on Family Living. All other clinical placements are developed and approved by program personnel according to the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) accreditation guidelines. Students may request a specific placement option matching their area of training interest dependent upon site availability.
Non-Degree Seeking Students
Interested persons not wishing to complete the entire program may request to take up to four academic courses (not to exceed 9 credit hours) through application as a “special student” and approval of the program director.
The Master of Science in Family Therapy at Friends University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), 112 S. Alfred St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Friends University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association, telephone 1-312-263- 0456, www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org. The Master of Science in Family Therapy program admits academically qualified students without regard to sex, age, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, handicap, Vietnam Era Veteran status, Special Disabled Veteran status, or disability, to all the rights, privileges, programs and opportunities generally available to students.
Master of Science