MFT California
Compare masters programs that meet the MFT licensure requirements in California.

Advisory Message

Advisory Message


MFT California provides profiles for master's degree programs that meet the MFT licensing requirements in California. Each profile offers a snapshot of important characteristics to help acquaint you with the program as well as admission information to help you determine which programs are a good fit for your academic history.

Program details are quoted from program websites or supplied by program representatives, are printed here for informational purposes only, and are subject to change at any time. Refer to individual program websites for the most current/accurate information, deadlines, complete admission requirements, etc. By visiting this site, you confirm it is the responsibility of the prospective student to verify information with program administrators and that the program still meets BBS requirements for licensure in the state of California. See our Terms of Service for full details.

While program profiles are periodically updated on MFT California to reflect changes, it is the responsibility of the prospective student to verify the accuracy of all information provided here. MFT California is not affiliated with the BBS in any way.

Key Points to Consider When Reviewing MFT California Program Profiles


Accreditation is an indication that a program meets certain standards put forth by an accrediting organization. Specific accreditation is important because some states and some employers require MFTs to have graduated from specifically accredited schools; for example, while California does not require that MFTs graduate from a COAMFTE-accredited program, there are many states that do have this requirement. So if a graduate is considering moving to another state in the future after graduation, portability of the graduate's degree is important to consider.

There is a distinction between "accreditation" and "approval." Some programs have been "approved" by the BPPE to offer a degree program that fulfills the BBS requirements in the state of California for licensure as an MFT. In California, this designation is sufficient to permit a graduate to sit for licensing exams. For this reason, BPPE-approved programs are designated as such under the "Accreditation" category. However, a graduate from a BPPE-approved program that is NOT accredited may have difficulty getting licensed in other states or countries, and some argue that a program's accreditation may influence some employers when evaluating potential hires. For these reasons, it is important to consider a program's accreditation status when making your enrollment decision.


Estimates are for the total program, not annually, and are based on full-time enrollment with no specialization/concentration for California residents. In some instances, programs offer program tuition estimates on their websites that do include some fees; these have not been modified, but most estimates were calculated by multiplying the number of units required to graduate by the per-unit cost of tuition, unless a program representative offered a more accurate estimate. Some schools charge less per unit during summer session--in these cases, tuition would be less than the estimate given here. Estimates should not be assumed to definitively rank programs according to cost but to provide a ballpark estimate from which a prospective student can do more research. Bear in mind that scholarships, grants, and work-study programs can all significantly lower tuition costs.

An important consideration to consider when comparing the cost of attending different programs is whether or not students can get financial aid to attend. Some programs have no financial aid program at all. 


Program start dates and all deadline dates may vary from year to year. Refer to the official program websites for reliable date information.


"Online only" programs are generally designed so coursework can be done online; fieldwork requirements, however, generally must be completed on-site.  


In most instances, programs require a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited university, transcripts from all colleges attended, and an online application. The Application Highlights section of each program profile lists variables like letters of recommendation, personal statement specifics (if available), etc. to make application comparisons between programs easier.


Though a student may accumulate up to 1200 hours towards licensure during a graduate program, fieldwork hours required for graduation in a given program may not, depending on the circumstances, count towards licensure. It is up to the student to ensure requirements are met that would allow fieldwork hours to count towards licensure. Fieldwork hour figures posted on MFT California represent hours either required or logged on average, not  necessarily the number of hours that can count towards licensure.

An important consideration to take into account when selecting a program is the amount of support a program provides in order to fulfill the fieldwork hour requirement. Some programs offer much support to find a fieldwork placement; others (especially online-only programs) are more hands-off and put more responsibility to secure an approved fieldwork site on the student.


Many programs allow students to combine the MFT with another closely-related degree. Often this is done to qualify a student to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC); school counseling degrees/credentials are also often combined with the MFT. As these are additional degrees and not concentrations/specializations within the MFT degree, they have not been listed on MFT California. You should, however, consider whether getting a dual degree is important to you.