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.
It is recommended that applicants research accreditation with a mind to future goals before committing to a program.
From the COAMFTE website:
Earning a degree from a COAMFTE accredited program will:
Ensure you will receive, a quality education in marriage and family therapy that has been evaluated and has met accepted standards established by the profession.
Ensure that your program faculty will be active participants in contributing to the body of knowledge for the field of marriage and family therapy.
Ensure that your program does what it promises on its website and promotional materials.
Prepare you for licensure as a marriage and family therapist.
Allow for ease of transferability of coursework, clinical hours, and credits completed among COAMFTE-accredited programs.
Ensure you will be prepared for the national and/or state examination in marriage and family therapy.
Facilitate your attainment of a state license as a marriage and family therapist by providing a recognized qualifying degree.
Facilitate obtaining a MFT license when you move from one state to another by providing a recognized qualifying degree.
Give you an advantage in obtaining employment as a marriage and family therapist.
COAMFTE-Accredited MFT Programs in California:
Alliant International University
California State University, Northridge
Hope International University
Loma Linda University
San Diego State University
University of San Diego
From the CACREP website:
CACREP-Accredited Programs provide the following to students:
recognition that the program has been evaluated and meets or exceeds national standards
knowledge that the graduate has met prerequisites for credentialing and is ready for entry into professional practice
understanding that the focus of the program will be on professional counseling, not psychology, education or other helping professions
CACREP-Accredited MFT Programs in California:
California State University, Fullerton
California State University, Northridge
California State University, Sacramento
Fresno State University
Palo Alto University
San Francisco State University
Sonoma State University
HLC (Higher Learning Commission)
From the HLC website:
The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is an independent corporation that was founded in 1895 as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States. HLC accredits degree-granting post-secondary educational institutions in the North Central region, which includes 19 states.
From the WASC/WSCUC website:
The WASC accreditation process aids institutions in developing and sustaining effective educational programs and assures the educational community, the general public, and other organizations that an accredited institution has met high standards of quality and effectiveness. The Commission accredits institutions, not individual programs. Therefore, in addition to assessing the academic quality and educational effectiveness of institutions, the Commission emphasizes institutional structures, processes, and resources.
WASC/WSCUC-Accredited MFT Programs in California:
Azusa Pacific University
California Baptist University
California Institute of Integral Studies
California Lutheran University
California Southern University
California Polytechnic University - San Luis Obispo
California Polytechnic University - Pomona
California State University, Bakersfield
California State University, Chico
California State University, Dominguez Hills
California State University, East Bay
California State University, Long Beach
California State University, Los Angeles
California State University, San Bernardino
California State University, Stanislaus
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Dominican University of California
Fresno Pacific University - Biblical Seminary
Fuller Theological Seminary
Golden Gate University
Holy Names University
Humboldt State University
John F. Kennedy University
Mount St. Mary's University
Notre Dame de Namur University
Pacifica Graduate Institute
Pacific Oaks College
Phillips Graduate University
Point Loma Nazarene University
San Jose State University
Santa Clara University
St. Mary's College of California
Touro University Worldwide
University of San Francisco
University of Southern California
University of the West
The Wright Institute
From the NADTA website:
A Registered Drama Therapist (RDT) is a Master’s level credential requiring coursework in psychology and drama therapy, experience in theater and supervised internship and work experience. RDTs are board certified in the practice of drama therapy and follow the NADTA Code of Ethics. The RDT is granted by the North American Drama Therapy Association and indicates that one has met the educational requirements and achieved competency in the practice of drama therapy.
Attending a NADTA-accredited program meets the education requirements to become an RDT.
NADTA-Accredited MFT Programs in California:
California Institute of Integral Studies
From the AATA website:
The current educational standards for AATA approved art therapy master’s programs, were established in 2007 and are overseen by the Educational Programs Approval Board (EPAB). These educational requirements for EPAB approved programs remain in place and current or prospective students can review them here. A five-year period of transition is currently under way in which the approval process will transition to an accreditation process under the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). The new 2017 educational standards for accredited art therapy programs can be reviewed here. It is important to know that graduation from either a program approved by AATA or a program accredited by CAAHEP will prepare you for a future as a board-certified art therapist. Either an approved master’s program or an accredited master’s program will fully prepare you to meet the education requirements necessary to go on to seek board certification. The transition from approval of art therapy programs to accreditation of art therapy programs has no impact on the ability of program graduates to be eligible to become board-certified art therapists. During this period of transition, approved programs will continue to undergo rigorous annual review to ensure they are meeting all aspects of the required educational standards. Programs that become accredited will also undergo a rigorous process of annual review under the updated education standards. Finally, it is important to know there are two different kinds of accreditation – institutional and program. Approved and accredited programs have institutional accreditation while an art therapy program itself can also have either approval or accreditation at the art therapy program level. Institutional accreditation, which includes all programs listed on our website, fully meets requirements for board certification of graduates even as the art therapy program itself is also either approved or accredited.
From the ATS website:
Accreditation is a primary means of quality assurance in North American higher education and a significant resource for quality improvement. Accreditation has always been associated with peer judgments about quality and has been the work of nongovernmental accrediting agencies. The member schools of The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and the Commission on Accrediting of ATS are graduate schools of theology that educate persons for the practice of ministry, for a range of church-related professions, and for teaching and research in the theological disciplines. They include Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox graduate schools of theology and reflect a broad spectrum of doctrinal, ecclesiastical, and theological perspectives.
From the TRACS website:
Institutional accrediting agencies review the entire institution, acknowledging that each of an institution’s parts contributes to the achievement of the institution’s objectives including such areas as governance, finances, administration, curriculum, faculty qualifications, support services, facilities, institutional effectiveness, planning, learning resources, policies, and publications. As such, TRACS requires that member institutions meet national norms in the areas of curriculum; programs; faculty credentials; and measured student learning outcomes at the course, program and institutional levels. Today, TRACS provides academic accreditation to many of America's finest Christian institutions of higher learning. Whether you are a prospective student, looking for quality Christian education, or an institution of academia seeking the affiliation and accreditation of a respected organization, TRACS offers the resources to meet your needs.
(not an accrediting organization or an accreditation status)
BPPE-Approved MFT Programs in California:
California Institute for Human Science
Eisner Institute for Professional Studies
The Professional School of Psychology
San Diego University for Integrative Studies
Western Institute for Social Research