Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Information for Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (AMFT) and
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) Applicants

  • Master's Degree Earned Out-of-State
    • Degree Program began prior to 8/1/2012
      • 48 semester/72 quarter units (hours)
    • Degree Program began after 8/1/2012
      • Minimum 48 semester/72 quarter units (hours) to qualify
      • Must complete 60 semester/90 quarter units total prior to approval of licensing application
    • California Law and Ethics Course Requirement
      • If Completed a 2 semester or 3 quarter Unit course within OOS degree program (an 18-hour California Law & Ethics course is required prior to issuance of registration)
      • If no Law & Ethics Course is completed, then a 2 semester or 3 quarter unit California Law & Ethics course is required prior to issuance of registration)
    • Practicum Requirement
      • 6 semester/9 quarter units of practicum, within degree program
      • 225 hours of face-to-face counseling (Refer to Guide for additional information)
      • Licensed out-of-state for more than 2 years

        Unit and Hour Requirements Waived

      • Licensed out-of-state for less than 2 years

        Units waived, must remediate 225 hours of face-to-face counseling while an AMFT

      • Unlicensed

        Degree program must meet unit and hour requirement or will not qualify

    • 12 semester/18 quarter units of Marital and Family Counseling/Systems Approach
      • Must be within degree or will not qualify
  • Additional Coursework

    The following courses may be taken from a regionally accredited school, a school approved by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE), an approved continuing education (CE) provider, or a governmental entity. Coursework does not ever "expire," and may be gained at the undergraduate level.
    For specific content required of each course, see Business and Professions Code §28, 4980.78, 4980.79 and 4980.81.

    Course Content Hours
    Child Abuse Assessment and Reporting* 7 hours
    Human Sexuality 10 hours
    Spousal/Partner Abuse Assessment, Detection and Intervention 15 hours
    Aging and Elder/Dependent Adult Abuse Assessment and Reporting 10 hours
    Substance Use Disorders 15 hours
    Co-Occurring Disorders and Addiction 15 hours
    Diagnosis, Prognosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders Must include the following content:
    • Psychological testing (15 hours)
    • Psychopharmacology (15 hours)
    Diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of mental disorders, including severe mental disorders, promising practices and evidence-based practices (no specific number of units required, but content must be adequately covered in coursework)
    Mental Health Recovery Oriented Care and Methods of Service Delivery 3 semester units / 4.5 quarter units / 45 hours
    Developmental Issues from Infancy to Old Age 15 hours
    Multicultural Development and Cross-Cultural Interaction 15 hours
    California Cultures, and the Social and Psychological Implications of Socioeconomic Position 15 hours
    Miscellaneous Content Required: No specific number of hours required, but content must be adequately covered within applicant’s coursework:
    • Childbirth, child rearing, parenting and step-parenting
    • Marriage, divorce and blended families
    • Cultural factors relevant to abuse of partners and family members
    • Poverty and deprivation
    • Financial and social stress
    • Effects of Trauma
    The psychological, psychotherapeutic, community and health implications of the matters and life events that arise in marriage and family relationships within a variety of California cultures

    (*) Course must be based on California law

    Refer to Guide and AMFT Registration Application, for additional information.

  • Master's Degree Earned Out-of-Country
  • Partial Supervised Experience Gained Out-of-State
    • Refer to Guide for additional information
  • Licensed Out-of-State
    • Refer to Guide for additional information
  • 6-year Life Span
    • Registrations issued by the Board are valid for a 6-year period (five renewals)
    • Registrants who have not attained licensure with the 6-year life span, must apply for a subsequent registration number, to continue the path toward licensure
    • Many registrants apply for a second (or third, etc.) registration number to gain additional supervised work experience or for employment purposes
  • Private Practice Settings
    • Registrants cannot work in a private practice setting with a subsequent registration number.
  • Examination Requirements
    • Applicants must PASS the California Law and Ethics Exam before a subsequent registration can be issued.
  • Additional Info

The list below identifies California schools with MFT Programs which have been evaluated by the Board. These programs meet the MFT licensure requirements, pursuant to California Business and Professions Code (BPC) §4980.36, for students who began graduate studies on or after August 1, 2012.

The Board does not publish a list of schools with MFT programs, which are based outside of California, online or otherwise.