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

Sonoma State University

Sonoma State University


M.A. in Counseling (Clinical Mental Health Counseling Option)

Campus-Based Program

On-Campus Location:

Sonoma State University
1801 East Cotati Ave
Rohnert Park, CA 94928

(707) 664-2544

Sonoma State University M.A. in Counseling, CMHC Option Program Page

Program details below are quoted from program websites, supplied here for informational purposes only, and subject to change at any time. Refer to the program website for current information, deadlines, complete admission requirements, etc. It is the responsibility of the prospective student to verify with program administrators program details and that the program still meets BBS requirements for licensure in the state of California.

Program Snapshot



Concentrations/Specializations Offered


Length of Program

The Master's program may be completed within two academic years; however, some students with job and/or family responsibilities may wish to move more slowly. Resources permitting, efforts will be made to accommodate individual patterns. For most students, 8 units per semester will be considered a minimal number. It should be stressed that individual patterns should be planned very carefully, since many courses will not be offered every semester.


Daytime format, some classes offered in evening.

Program Start 


Estimated Total Program Tuition

2-year plan: $14,352
3-year plan: $21,528

Religious orientation


Entering Class Size

Around 20 students

Fieldwork Hours Accrued during program

Six hundred clock hours of supervised field experience are required for the CMHC option.

Personal Psychotherapy Requirement During Program

Not required but highly encouraged if students have not sought therapy prior to entering the program.

Comprehensive Exam/Culminating Project/Thesis/Etc:

All Master's candidates are required to complete a project representing a comprehensive and integrative understanding of the field of Counseling. Projects include a case analysis and a standardized exit exam.

Application Process

Application Deadline

January 31

Undergraduate GPA Requirement

Have a B.A. degree, preferably in psychology or other related behavioral sciences. A 3.00 (B) grade point average. Applicants with an under- graduate GPA below 3.0 should include an explanation of any extenuating circumstances. 

GRE Requirement


Prerequisite Courses

A course in personality theory and an undergraduate or graduate level statistics course that includes analysis of variance is required (as of Fall 2016 application statistics will no longer be required as a prerequisite); in addition, a course in abnormal psychology is required for CMHC option.

Applicants are encouraged to have acquired an undergrad- uate-level of understanding of human development, family/ educational systems, cognitive-behavioral applications, and client-centered therapy. This introductory knowledge base may be acquired by enrolling in relevant coursework or by undertaking thoughtful reading on these topics. 

 Applicants must have counseling-related experience.

Application highlights

  •  Information Sheet
  • Autobiography
  • Letters of Recommendation

(see program website for complete application requirements)

Interview Requirement

A personal interview and group interview is required for ap- plicants considered for final review. In these interviews, ques- tions may involve personal disclosure deemed relevant by the faculty for determining the applicant’s readiness for beginning training for a career in counseling. All disclosures are held in strict confidence, within the department. 

In sum, the training emphasis in the program is to integrate theory, practical experience, and personal learning rather than exposing students to a piecemeal professional preparation.
— Sonoma State University

Program Summary

(Reprinted from program website.)

The 60-unit graduate program in counseling offers two professional training options: Option I prepares students for Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) and eventual licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) and/or as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC); Option II prepares students for the School Counseling and the Pupil Personnel Services Credential (SC/PPSC). The program relies heavily on interpersonal skill training and field experience, beginning during the first semester and culminating with an intensive supervised traineeship /field experience in some aspect of counseling, permitting the integration of theory, research, and practical application. The Department is prepared to assist CMHC students in obtaining field placements relevant to their projected professional goals. These placements include, but are not limited to: marriage and family counseling agencies, mental health clinics, counseling centers, public schools, college-level counseling services, and the on-campus Practicum and Internship Facility. For the school counseling program, field placements are at a minimum of two of the three K-12 levels: elementary school, middle school, and high school.

Special characteristics of the program include the following:

  1. Early observation of and involvement in actual counseling settings.
  2. Development of a core of knowledge and experience in both individual and group counseling theory and practice. 
  3. Encouragement in the development and maintenance of individual counseling styles.
  4. Commitment to self-exploration and personal growth through participation in peer counseling, individual counseling, and group experiences. This aspect of the program is seen as crucial to the development of adequate counseling skills and is given special consideration by the faculty as part of its evaluation of student readiness to undertake internship responsibilities.
  5. Strong emphasis on acknowledging and appreciating diversity.

Mission Statement:

School Counselors and Community Mental Health Counselors (CMHCs) have a powerful influence on the lives of the clients with whom they work.  In recognition of that influence, the faculty affirm the value of early involvement in counseling settings as central to the educational process.  In addition, we emphasize the acquisition of a core of knowledge and experience in both individual and group counseling theory and practice.

We encourage the maintenance and development of individual counseling styles relevant to both CMHC and School Counseling.  Lastly, central to our mission is the Department of Counseling’s commitment to train culturally sensitive and competent counselors to serve both schools and the community.

We also emphasize the three basic pillars of theory, practical experience, and personal development, rather than just one facet of professional preparation. To varying degrees, students will find that in many of their core courses that the faculty expect students to be able to articulate their unique and personal histories, including their relationships with family, peers, and significant others, for it is our belief that self-understanding and personal sensitivity to ethnic-cultural experience is crucial in effective counseling.  When considering our evaluations of student readiness to undertake traineeship and field experience responsibilities, we pay particular attention to these issues.

As a faculty we are committed to the idea that counselors of the future should take an active role in helping to shape the social/environmental milieu in which they will work. While we recognize how difficult this task may be in specific instances, we see counselors as those who actively participate in the life of an organization or of a community -- not as submissive keepers of the status quo or as unseeing iconoclasts -- but as sensitive and perceptive voices representing individual freedom and human values. Leadership skills as well as those skills necessary to facilitate change are stressed in this program. We are also dedicated to recruiting a diverse student body, consisting of individuals who are sensitive to the needs of the larger community.