Applicants to the MS in Marital and Family Therapy must meet the admission requirements outlined in the University Catalog and give evidence of academic ability, professional comportment and mature judgment.
Entrance quarters: Students will be admitted in autumn and winter quarters. With special permission, a student may be permitted to enter spring or summer quarter.
Students wishing to apply master's degree level coursework completed at a regionally accredited school prior to application must provide applicable transcripts and/or syllabi. In addition to completing the required application forms, students should provide character and academic references and take the Critical Essay Examination.
General admission information
Grade point average: Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution in any field. Candidates must have a minimum of 3.00 GPA in the last 45 quarter credits (30 semester units) of coursework completed before applying for admission, or in all undergraduate work whichever is higher.
Letters of recommendation: Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation: (a) at least two from persons professionally qualified to recommend for a field of this nature and (b) at least one from a person qualified to evaluate according to ability. Letters from friends or relatives will not be accepted.
Interview: Students will be invited for a group or individual interview. Under special circumstances a phone interview will suffice.
Personal statement: Applicants will submit a typed personal statement. The personal statement should address: (a) career objectives, (b) personal interest in marriage and family therapy, (c) rationale for choosing to attend LLU, (d) how life experiences have influenced applicant's choice of career, and (e) any additional thoughts the applicant deems important to add.
All students are admitted on a provisional status until completion of 18-quarter units. Upon completion of 18-quarter units, all teaching faculty responsible for determining readiness for the clinical phase of the program will evaluate each student. The clinical phase requires a student be admitted to a six-quarter practicum sequence while being supervised as a trainee in a clinical site.
The marital and family therapy program leads to the master of science degree and is designed to give students a broad academic background as well as professional practice for working with individuals, couples, and families in a variety of settings. These include, but not exclusively, medical, legal, educational, mental health, managed care/HMO, private practice, and church settings. The program offers various certificates of study in addition to the main MS curriculum. The certificates have been designed to enhance the student's scope of practice. A certificate can add units and clinical hours to the existing 90-unit MS degree. These certificates include, but are not limited to:
An individual with the MS and track emphases can work as an administrator, educator (at a community or four-year college), psychotherapist, consultant, medical family therapist, and alcohol and drug specialist. They can also work in case management, family court, group homes, private practice, public mental health agencies and professional organizations.
Marriage and family therapy license
Marriage and family therapy is established in California by law as a profession requiring state licensure. Persons who desire to enter the profession must have the proper academic and clinical preparation and must pass the written and oral licensing examinations. There are 50 states that provide a licensure or certificate for marriage and family therapists. Requirements for each state can vary, but California standards have been considered among the most rigorous. Please refer to each state's licensing board for the variation in requirements. In some states a marriage and family therapist qualifies for a psychology or counselor license. The master's degree program at Loma Linda University provides the academic requirements to meet the California licensing standards according to Business and Professions Code 4980.36 and 3980.37 (www.bbs.ca.gov). Refer to the website tab "California Board of Behavioral Sciences" for information on the Codes.
The Western Association regionally accredits the program for Schools and Colleges (WASC), and the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) nationally accredits the program. The Commission on Accreditation is the standard-setting organization for family therapy designated by the department of education.
Full-time and part-time sequences
The program offers options for full-time (2 years) and part-time (3 years) sequences, but in exceptional circumstances students have up to five years to complete the degree. Courses are held during afternoon or evening hours. Typically first-year courses are held on Tuesday and Thursday, and second-year courses on Monday and Wednesday.
Requirements for the master of science degree include the following:
The Behavioral Health Institute is a combined clinic of marriage and family therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, counselors, child life specialists, family life educators and other health professionals. This clinic provides counseling services to individuals, couples, and families and provides the opportunity for clinical practice for MFAM student trainees and interns. The student's field experience and traineeship may be taken at other clinics in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange County areas. Paid traineeships are available. The Stipends Award is given to masters in science students in the marriage and family therapy program. Students who receive this award are granted a sum of $18,500 or less (stipend award).