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

Western Institute for Social Research

Western Institute for Social Research

 

M.S. in Psychology, MFT

Online & Campus-Based Programs

On-Campus Location:

Western Institute for Social Research
2930 Shattuck Ave., Suite 300
Berkeley, CA 94705

(510) 655-2830 

WISR M.S. in Psychology MFT 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

Accreditation

BPPE*

*This institution is approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education to offer degree programs; the BPPE is not an accrediting body and BPPE-approval does not constitute accreditation.

Concentrations/Specializations Offered

None

Length of Program

The MFT program is now, at a minimum two years and a half years, but realistically, most students will take at least three years, even if they work very hard at it.  This will be especially the case, in light of the State’s new 60 semester unit requirement. Of course, many students choose to move at a slower pace and take longer.  Students are expected to complete this program within seven, or at most, eight, years.

Most students will progress at a rate approximately equivalent to half-time enrollment. WISR’s tuition is very affordable, even in comparison to other private institution’s rates for half-time enrollment. All WISR students pay the same tuition, and those students who are able to pursue their studies with an intensity and at a pace comparable to students who are seriously engaged full-time students will very likely be able to graduate in 40 to 50 percent of the estimated time for studies in WISR degree programs.

Schedule/Format

Distance Learning Program:
MFT students must participate in a total of 48 seminar sessions during their studies at WISR, including during at least one per month while they are doing their practicum.  

Along with the student’s individual work with faculty in studying the required readings and assignments in each of the State-defined content topics, and along with the more personalized further research, study and paper-writing in each area, students are also required to participate in two Saturday class sessions each month for a minimum of 24 months. During that time students participated in seminars that explore the various core areas, and which also meet the State’s minimum classroom hour requirements in such areas as: child abuse assessment and reporting, alcoholism and chemical dependency/substance abuse, human sexuality, aging and long-term care, and spousal and partner abuse (domestic violence), as well as for students also pursuing the LPCC license, crisis and trauma counseling. In addition, students must participate in monthly seminars while gaining their practicum hours (by State requirement), even if they have completed the 24 months of seminars required by WISR.

Quite importantly the required seminars are available by telephone conference call or by the internet as a video and audio real-time meeting with students and faculty on site at WISR, sometimes supplemented by web-based online sharing of documents and notes in real-time. This is valuable for those students who live too far from our Berkeley site to travel here twice per month.  Students and faculty on site at WISR and those students on their phone line, off site, will be able to interact and discuss issues, ideas and questions with one another.  Students living outside the area are expected to attend a seminars on site at least once each year, and more frequent visits to WISR are strongly encouraged to help these students to further develop their collegial relationships with faculty and fellow students.

Program Start 

Structure of the program allows students to start at any time.

Estimated Total Program Tuition

$22,500

Religious orientation

None

Entering Class Size

6-8 enrolled at a time

Fieldwork Hours Accrued during program

MFT students must have at least 306 hours of supervised experience in a practicum that meets State requirements.

Personal Psychotherapy Requirement During Program

Recommended but not required.

Comprehensive Exam/Culminating Project/Thesis/Etc:

Students conduct a Master’s thesis on a topic of strong personal interest, and are guided in designing a thesis that will build bridges for the student into the areas of professional practice that they anticipate in their post-Master’s internship and beyond to their years as a licensed MFT. 

Application Process

Application Deadline

Rolling admissions

Undergraduate GPA Requirement

None

GRE Requirement

None

Prerequisite Courses

None

Application highlights

Letters of Recommendation
Two letters of recommendation from others who can attest to the student’s readiness for further academic study.

Personal Statement
The application for admission must include a written statement describing the scope and significance of the applicant’s study and future objectives, assessing how well these fit with study at WISR, and discussing the applicant’s commitments to professional and community work.

(see program website for complete application requirements)

Interview Requirement

All admissions to study at WISR are made on the basis of intensive conversations with applicants about their goals, interests, and backgrounds, and applicants are told about the kinds of learning and action that are involved in studying with us.  Initial discussions may be informal.  Thereafter, each serious applicant is asked to file a formal application for admission

 
Our students don’t simply use their WISR degrees to find a job or a volunteer position, they successfully use their learning in combination with their degrees—to realize outstanding accomplishments, not only for t
— Western Institute for Social Research

Program Summary

(Reprinted from program website.)

Students working toward the State of California’s Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) license are assisted and required to study in the core subject-matter areas required for the license. This includes mastering content in all subject matter areas required by the State of California, including psychopathology, human development, marriage and family counseling theory and techniques, research methodology, psychotherapeutic techniques, human sexuality, cross-cultural counseling, psychological testing and therapeutic appraisal and assessment, psychopharmacology, and professional ethics. Beginning in August 2012, entering MFT students are now required to study additional areas and by virtue of new State requirements, the program will be about 33% longer and more intense. New, required areas of study will include: addictions counseling, case management, advanced studies in multicultural/cross-cultural counseling and work with special populations, additional advanced study in counseling theories and methods.

The vast majority of WISR students are mature adults with significant work and family responsibilities, time demands and commitments. Most students will progress at a rate approximately equivalent to half-time enrollment. WISR’s tuition is very affordable, even in comparison to other private institution’s rates for half-time enrollment. All WISR students pay the same tuition, and those students who are able to pursue their studies with an intensity and at a pace comparable to students who are seriously engaged full-time students will very likely be able to graduate in 40 to 50 percent of the estimated time for studies in WISR degree programs. The MS in Psychology toward the State’s MFT license (and optionally the LPCC license) is, by State law, the equivalent of two Master’s degrees (over 60 semester units). Therefore, for many students pursuing the MS in Psychology/MFT at WISR, the length of study at WISR may be expected to be about 6 years, unless they are able to study at the intensity of a seriously engaged full-time student.* In all cases, faculty will strive to support students in their efforts to complete their degree in a timely manner, while also benefiting from their studies at WISR in ways that will help them build bridges to the next important life goals.

*These program length expectations do not include any time off for leaves of absence due to matters resulting from health issues, family responsibilities or periods of financial hardship. Each leave of absence must be for a minimum of six months, during which time the student does not pay tuition, and during which time the student may not receive credit for any efforts related to their studies at WISR. The student pays a $600 re-enrollment fee when resuming their studies..

Students work individually with faculty and receive faculty guidance in doing required readings and assignments in each area that provides the student with a a strong foundation in each area of study required by the State, as well as an opportunity to focus on those topics of greatest interest to the student. The student writes a paper in each subject matter area, and faculty help students to identify and pursue paper topics address issues, methods or concepts that are of strong interest to the student, and help prepare the student in his or her areas of anticipated professional specialization.

In addition, WISR’s coursework is also designed to meet the State of California’s academic requirements to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). Students pursuing the LPCC license must also study Career Development and Group Counseling. MFT students not interested in obtaining the LPCC license do not have to pursue studies in the areas of Career Development and Group Counseling, although it is strongly recommended that they do so anyway. Also, by new State law, those students beginning studies for the LPCC license after August 1, 2012 now need to study the additional areas required for the MFT license, as well as some further advanced studies in counseling theories and methods. Overall, those seeking the LPCC license will typically need to spend an extra 3-4 months completing the required LPCC studies, beyond the work required of MFT students. WISR’s program is integrated in such a way as to encourage and enable interested students to pursue both licenses and do thorough study, and still  attain their degree in a timely fashion.

Along with the student’s individual work with faculty in studying the required readings and assignments in each of the State-defined content topics, and along with the more personalized further research, study and paper-writing in each area, students are also required to participate in two Saturday class sessions each month for a minimum of 24 months. During that time students participated in seminars that explore the various core areas, and which also meet the State’s minimum classroom hour requirements in such areas as: child abuse assessment and reporting, alcoholism and chemical dependency/substance abuse, human sexuality, aging and long-term care, and spousal and partner abuse (domestic violence), as well as for students also pursuing the LPCC license, crisis and trauma counseling. In addition, students must participate in monthly seminars while gaining their practicum hours (by State requirement), even if they have completed the 24 months of seminars required by WISR.

Quite importantly the required seminars are available by telephone conference call or by the internet as a video and audio real-time meeting with students and faculty on site at WISR, sometimes supplemented by web-based online sharing of documents and notes in real-time. This is valuable for those students who live too far from our Berkeley site to travel here twice per month.  Students and faculty on site at WISR and those students on their phone line, off site, will be able to interact and discuss issues, ideas and questions with one another.  Students living outside the area are expected to attend a seminars on site at least once each year, and more frequent visits to WISR are strongly encouraged to help these students to further develop their collegial relationships with faculty and fellow students.