LMFT Out of State Applicant Information
The Board of Behavioral Sciences does not have reciprocity with any other state licensing board. Any person from another state seeking a license in California will need to demonstrate compliance with all California licensing requirements, apply for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) licensure, and pass a Standard Written Examination and a Written Clinical Vignette Examination.
Depending on an out-of-state applicant's experience and education, the process of completing or providing proof of completion of the California licensing requirements will differ.
Any out-of-state LMFT applicant must prove completion of all California education requirements, including:
- A Qualifying Degree – The Board will review a degree earned out-of-state to verify it was earned in a single integrated program primarily designed to train LMFTs. The Board can, at its discretion, accept out-of-state degrees that do not meet the exact title and unit requirements of California LMFT degree programs. If you have an out-of-country degree, you must have your education evaluated to determine equivalency to a qualifying master's or doctor's degree in California. The evaluation service must be a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services.
- Additional Coursework Required for Licensure (not for MFT Intern registration):
- Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting (7 hours; must be taken in California)
- Human Sexuality (10 hours)
- Chemical Substance Abuse Dependency (15 hours)
- Spousal / Partner Abuse Assessment, Detection and Intervention (15 hours)
- Psychological Testing (2 semester units or 3 quarter units)
- Psychopharmacology (2 semester units or 3 quarter units)
- Law and Ethics (2 semester or 3 quarter units; or 18 hours see explanation below)
Out-of-state applicants who have held a valid license by an equivalent licensing authority of any state for at least two years AND completed a two semester or three quarter unit course in law and professional ethics for LMFTs that included areas of study specified in Business and Professions Code Section (BPC) 4980.41 as part of his or her qualifying degree must take an 18-hour course in California law and professional ethics in order to fulfill the law and ethics additional coursework requirement.
Out-of-state applicants who have not held a license issued by an equivalent state authority for two years OR have not completed a two semester or three quarter unit course in law and professional ethics for LMFTs that included areas of study specified in BPC Section 4980.41 must take a two semester or three quarter unit California law and professional ethics course.
ATTENTION: New education requirements for out-of-state students go into effect January 1, 2014. Please refer to Information and Resources Related to Changes to MFT Educational Requirements for more information.
Any out-of-state applicant must prove completion of California's requirements for supervised work experience, these requirements include:
- 3,000 hours of supervised work experience
- 104 weeks of supervision
Out-of-state applicants who have not held their equivalent license for at least two years must complete an additional 250 hours of supervised direct counseling experience in California while registered as a MFT Intern in California. Please refer to LMFT License Requirements for more information on the supervised work experience.
Depending on the applicant's out-of-state license and past professional experience, documentation of the above-mentioned experience requirements might differ.
Please refer to the LMFT examination eligibility application for more information on out-of-state experience documentation.