MFT Licensure Walk Through - While You Are In School...

While You Are In School...

The Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) licensure process begins the moment you start taking classes in your accredited or approved MFT degree program. While in school, the notion of licensure may seem years away, but for any person interested in becoming a MFT, thinking about the path to licensure early is important.

Additional Coursework

In addition to holding a qualifying degree, the Board of Behavioral Sciences requires all applicants to prove completion of certain additional coursework prior to sitting for the MFT examination.

You can start fulfilling these courses while you are still in your graduate program.

These courses include:

  • Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting (7 hours)
  • Human Sexuality (10 hours)
  • Alcoholism and Chemical Substance Abuse Dependency (15 hours/1 semester unit; must be taken in qualifying degree program)
  • Spousal/Partner Abuse Detection and Intervention (15 hours unless before 1/1/04; must be taken in qualifying degree program)
  • Psychological Testing (2 semester or 3 quarter units)
  • Psychopharmacology (2 semester or 3 quarter units)
  • California Law and Professional Ethics (2 semester or 3 quarter units)
  • Aging and Long Term Care (10 hours unless before 1/1/04)

If you began your MFT qualifying degree program before 1/1/04, your course requirements for Spousal/Partner Abuse Detection and Intervention will be slightly different. You will still need to complete a course; however, the course can be any length, meaning it can be less than 15 hours if you choose.

The Board does not require Aging and Long Term Care as a pre-licensure requirement if you entered your degree program prior to 1/1/04. The Board requires those who do not complete this course as a pre-licensure requirement to complete it as a post-licensure continuing education requirement due with their first license renewal.

Keep track of any courses you believe fulfilled these requirements. Hold on to your course descriptions and/or course syllabi. The Board may request such materials from you to verify course content.

If you don't fulfill all of these courses with your MFT degree program, don't worry. With the exception of the Alcoholism and Chemical Substance Abuse Dependency and Spousal/Partner Abuse requirements, you can fulfill pre-licensure additional coursework requirements after you graduate.

  • Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting, Human Sexuality, and Aging and Long Term Care may be taken through a Board approved continuing education provider, a county, state, or governmental entity, or an accredited or approved college or university.
  • Psychological Testing, Psychopharmacology, and California Law and Professional Ethics must be taken at an accredited or approved college or university.

Note: For information regarding the status of approved MFT schools, please visit the News Flash! section of our website.

Pre-Degree Hours of Experience

Please refer to the MFT Breakdown of Required Supervised Experience for a comprehensive breakdown of pre-degree and post-degree hours of experience.

The Board recommends that you keep all the paperwork for hours gained pre-degree separate from those gained post-degree. Doing so results in quicker application processing times and saves you from having to send in your Weekly Summary of Hours of Experience forms.

Utilize the Board's Verifications feature to check that your supervisor has a current license. If your supervisor does not renew his or her license, the hours you earned while your supervisor's license is delinquent will not qualify.

Supervision Forms

The Board has three (3) basic forms you will need to become familiar with in regards to supervision and accumulating your hours. All of these forms are available in the Forms and Publications section of this website.

  • Responsibility Statement Forms for Supervisors of a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee or Intern – Your supervisor should sign this form at the commencement of supervision.
  • Weekly Summary of Hours of Experience – Your supervisor will sign off on this form on a weekly basis.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist Experience Verification – This form will be used to verify all the hours gained in a particular setting or under a particular supervisor.

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