Apr 23, 2024  
Mercy College 2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
Mercy College 2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Marriage and Family Therapy, M.S.

Evan Imber-Black, Ph.D., Program Director


The purpose of the 51-credit Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Program is to provide a comprehensive education in Marriage and Family Therapy through a course of studies designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist in New York State. Graduates of the Marriage and Family Therapy program are eligible to seek initial employment towards meeting the 1,500- hour externship required for licensure. According to the laws regulating Marriage and Family Therapy licensure, graduates will have two years to meet the 1,500-hour experience requirement, with an additional two years if needed and applied for with the Office of the Professions, and pass a licensure qualifying examination to complete licensure requirements.

Expectations of the Graduates

Graduates of the program are expected to:

  1. Identify problematic relationships of individuals, couples, parents, and children, extended family members, and between families and larger systems and communities.
  2. Provide family systems oriented psychotherapies to help individuals, couples and families facing couple, parent/ child and extended family emotional and interactional difficulties, mental and physical illnesses, substance abuse, and family violence, and to assist in problem interactions with educational, foster care, adoption or legal agencies. Work effectively with both traditional and non-traditional couples and families across the life span
  3. Meet the qualifications for employment in a variety of professional settings including but not limited to, private practice and agency settings.
  4. Prevent or help manage problems that may stem from social or health care issues including living with life shortening or chronic illness.
  5. Demonstrate the skills and competencies required for New York State licensure and complete the licensure examination and required clinical hours successfully.

Admission Requirements

Please refer to the general requirements for admission and matriculation in the Admissions  section.

Program Requirements

  1. Submit baccalaureate transcript with a major in psychology, sociology, behavioral science health care, or education. Students are required to have completed an upper level undergraduate statistics course with a grade of B or higher. In special cases other majors will be considered.
  2. Two written recommendations. At least one recommendation shouldn’t be from a professor.
  3. Interview with the program director.
  4. A current résumé.
  5. Submission of a four to five page essay, detailing why applicant wants to study M.F.T.; personal and professional attributes for this field and career goals.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of the M.F.T. field; familiarity with the M.F.T. Program Handbook.


Students in the Marriage and Family Therapy program must meet with the program director, or other full time faculty to plan their courses and to review the plan of study prior to course registration each semester.

Course Load

In the first semester, full-time students may take nine credits. In subsequent semesters and with permission of the program director, student may take up to 12 credits. Part time students must take 6 credits a semester.

In Class and Online courses

M.F.T. students must take the clinical courses, including PSYN 605 , PSYN 614 , PSYN 639 , PSYN 640 , PSYN 641 , PSYN 642 , PSYN 644 , PSYN 653 , and PSYN 657  in the classroom at either the Dobbs ferry or Bronx campus. Other required courses may be taken online when so offered.

Transfer Credits

Graduate courses taken at other institutions prior to admission at Mercy College may, if pertinent to the plan of study, be credited to the graduate degree. Permission to transfer credits must be requested in writing at the time of admission and official transcripts and course descriptions must be submitted to the Program Director for evaluation. Transfer credit will be granted only for courses taken in the five-year period prior to acceptance in the Mercy College program and for courses in which the student earned a grade of B or above. Students may request transfer credit for up to six credits. Course with a grade of B- are not acceptable for transfer.

Maintenance of Matriculation

It is expected that students will fulfill the requirements for their graduate degree by registering over successive sessions. For cohort programs, registration is required during summer session(s). For non-cohort programs, summer registration is not required. Registration is accomplished by either enrolling in classes or maintaining matriculation. The Maintenance of Matriculation fee is $100 per session and is processed as a registration.

Students who have not maintained matriculation and wish to return to their program within one year after their last course registration will be charged the Maintenance of Matriculation fee of $100 for each missed session. Maintenance of matriculation without attending classes is limited to one year. Activated U.S. Military Reservists are not required to pay the Maintenance of Matriculation fee.

Clinical Continuation

Students must complete three semesters of practicum, which include 200 hours at the practicum site each semester. Of this total of 600 hours, 300 must be client contact hours. Students who have registered for all three semesters of practicum but have not successfully accumulated 300 client contact hours are required to enroll in “Clinical Practicum Continuation” each term in order to see clients under supervision until the full 300 mandatory hours are met. No credit, but cost is equivalent to one credit of tuition.

Capstone Advisement

It is expected that Capstone students shall make satisfactory progress with their program’s culminating activity. After the student registers for the Capstone requirement, he or she will be given one subsequent term to complete their work.

The Maintaining Matriculation registration must be completed for this subsequent term if no other courses are taken. After this period, a Capstone Continuation fee (equal to the cost of one graduate credit) will be charged for each additional term required to complete the project. Students can only register for Capstone Continuation for two terms. A student’s degree will not be released until all Maintenance of Matriculation and Capstone Continuation registration and fees are recorded appropriately on a student’s record.

Maintenance of Good Academic Standing

The cumulative GPA for both good academic standing and degree conferral is a 3.0. A student admitted as a Special Matriculant is required to achieve a 3.0 average or better after completing a certain number of credits as stipulated by their respective program. Any course in which a student receives a B- or below must be re-taken.

Grades are subject to review by the faculty advisor and program director at the end of each term. If the academic average falls below 3.0 the student will be placed on academic probation.

Academic Probation

All students who have a cumulative GPA of below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. If a student will not be able to achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 within a reasonable time, the student will be dismissed from the program. If a student receives a grade of F or FW in any course the student may be subject to dismissal from the College. For all students on probation, future registrations must be reviewed and approved by the director of the student’s program as well as the school dean.

In all subsequent terms in which the student is on probation the student is required to achieve a term GPA of 3.0 or better. If the 3.0 or higher is not achieved the student will be dismissed. Students who receive a grade of less than B may be required to repeat the course. Students will be allowed to repeat a course only once. Plagiarism is grounds for dismissal from the program.

Degree requirements

Students must complete three semesters of practicum, which include 200 hours at the practicum site each semester. Of this total of 600 hours, 300 must be client contact hours. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 75 client contact hours in Practicum I; 125 client contact hours in Practicum II; and 100 client contact hours in Practicum III. In addition, a 3.0 cumulative GPA is required and successful completion of 51 credits including PSYN 710 - Clinical Research Project .

Comprehensive Requirement

The Marriage and Family Therapy Degree requires completion of course PSYN 710 - Clinical Research Project . Registration in this course requires program director’s approval.

Time Limit

Requirements for the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy must be completed within five years from the date of the candidate’s admission (exclusive of time spent in the Armed Forces). Exceptions will be made only if a student requests an extension of time in writing and in advance and receives the approval of the director.

Program Design

The 51-credit Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Degree is organized as follows:

Human Development 3 credits
Clinical Knowledge 18 credits
Theoretical Knowledge 9 credits
Family Law 3 credits
Research 3 credits
Professional Ethics 3 credits
Internship 9 credits
Capstone Experience 3 credits
Total 51 credits

Completion of at least 21 credits, including PSYN 644 - Group Experience ; PSYN 654 - Psychopathology ; PSYN 653 - Family Systems Assessment  and either Couples Therapy or Family Therapy. The Practicum course must be applied for the semester prior to course registration. A 3.0 GPA is required to register in PSYN 640  and PSYN 641 .


Total Credits: 51

Course Requirements for students who entered the MFT program prior to Fall 2021

Total Credits: 48

*PSYN 657- Contemporary Family Therapy is the core course for this program and must be taken at the Dobbs Ferry campus. 

Professional Licensure

If you are interested in obtaining professional licensure, please check with the appropriate licensing body in the state where you intend to practice. For additional information and detailed requirements, please refer to the specific program of interest on the “School Resources” section of the Mercy College NC-Sara webpage.