Academic Catalog

Marriage and Family Therapy, Advanced Certificate

Program Description

The Advanced Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) is a year program. It is designed to prepare students who already have a clinical graduate degree to work with couples and families in a variety of settings, by providing both theoretical and practical skills in this highly specialized field. The emphasis is to train competent clinicians who conceptualize individual and family issues from a systemic perspective. The program is a 27-credit course of study that meets New York State educational requirements for licensure as an MFT. Along with course work, students complete a 500-hour Marriage and Family Practicum.

Program Objectives

Students who complete the Advanced Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy will:

  • have a solid research-based clinical knowledge in the areas of family, group, couples, and individual therapy techniques
  • have a thorough understanding of the professional, legal and ethical issues related to the field of marriage and family therapy
  • develop therapeutic skills to work with diverse populations in a wide range of clinical settings
  • have the educational requirements needed to obtain NYS licensure as a MFT
  • have completed 500 client contact hours;
  • graduate from a program of study that includes the breadth and depth of knowledge needed for preparation for the National MFT Exam

Degree earned: ADV CERT
Total number of credits: 27
Delivery format: On-ground (day and evening), Hybrid (online and on-ground)
Locations: Buffalo

Licensure-Qualifying Curriculum Content Areas

Required Content Areas Course & Semester Hours

  • Study of human development, including individual, child and family, at least 3 semester hours:
    • Met through prerequisites/admissions criteria
  • Marriage and family clinical knowledge, including but not limited to psychopathology, at least 12 semester hour:
    • MFT 761 Trauma And The Family
    • MFT 762 Child & Adolescent Therapy
    • MFT 730 Sex Therapy 
    • (3 additional hours to be met through prerequisites/admissions criteria)
  • Marriage and family theoretical knowledge, at least 6 semester hours:
    • MFT 620 Structural, Strategic & Systemic Family Therapies
    • MFT 661 Transgenerational Theories 
  • Family law:
    • MFT 670 Family Law & Ethical Issues In Family Therapy
  • Research, at least 3 semester hours:
    • Met through prerequisites/admissions criteria
  • Professional ethics, at least 3 semester hours:
  • Recognition and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment; and:
    • MFT 671 Child Abuse Prevention Workshop
  • Supervised practicum in marriage and family therapy of at least 500 client contact hours:
    • MFT 702 Marriage And Family Therapy Practicum II 
    • MFT 703 Marriage And Family Therapy Practicum III 
    • MFT 704 Marriage And Family Therapy Practicum IV 

Note: Students pursuing the Advanced Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy will not meet some of the content area requirements through the completion of the certificate. However, because these students are required to hold a master's level degree in a related field (Mental Health Counseling, for example), they will have already satisfied the content requirements (through prerequisites). Admissions requirements for the Advanced Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy ensure that students will already have completed the required content areas for

  • three hours of study of human development, including individual, child and family;
  • six hours of marriage and family clinical knowledge, including but not limited to psychopathology; and
  • three hours of research.

Sample Course Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterHours
MFT 620 Structural, Strategic & Systemic Family Therapies 3
MFT 730 Sex Therapy 3
MFT 702 Marriage And Family Therapy Practicum II 3
 Hours9
Second Semester
MFT 761 Trauma And The Family 3
MFT 670 Family Law & Ethical Issues In Family Therapy 3
MFT 703 Marriage And Family Therapy Practicum III 3
 Hours9
Third Semester
MFT 704 Marriage And Family Therapy Practicum IV 3
MFT 661 Transgenerational Theories 3
MFT 762 Child & Adolescent Therapy 3
 Hours9
 Total Hours27