Have questions? Explore our frequently asked questions and our checklist for rating Couple and Family Therapy programs.

A Checklist for Rating Couple and Family Therapy Master’s Programs

This checklist will help you compare PNW’s program with other marriage and family therapy master’s programs.

YES! Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) is important—it ensures the quality of the program, and is helpful in that the curriculum meets educational requirements for licensure in many states.

YES! Purdue University Northwest graduates have maintained a 100% employment rate within the field after graduation.

YES! Because Purdue University Northwest is considered part of Chicagoland, which is an urban area, students are provided with the opportunity to work with diverse clientele with a wide array of presenting problems during their internship and externship experiences.

YES! Diversity is infused in all of our courses as well as in the practicum experience. You will be challenged to examine yourself in terms of your multiple, intersecting identities (including but not limited to gender, age, race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, ability status, religious/spiritual beliefs) and how your identities impact your work with clients. We make explicit connections between family systems and larger societal systems that impact therapists and clients.

YES! We recognize that racism, along with all the -isms, impacts clients’ lives in significant ways. and we believe it is critical to actively engage in anti-racism efforts. The program currently has an Anti-Racism in Action (ARIA) committee that brings faculty and students from the CFT and other programs together to take steps to dismantle racism in our spheres of influence.

YES! All faculty are committed to training therapists to be competent in working with the LGBTQ community. In fact, we expect all students to be able to work with this population; this is a strongly-held value of our program.

YES! The core faculty have published several books used by training programs in the MFT field as well as multiple journal articles and book chapters, and are active in publishing—often with students—in leading MFT journals. Core faculty maintain part-time private practices.

YES! Purdue University Northwest only offers face-to-face coursework. The number of students in each course are small and rely heavily on student participation via discussion.

YES! The Couple and Family Therapy Center (CFTC) recently moved to a new space on Indianapolis Boulevard in Hammond, which contains seven therapy rooms, two observation rooms with one-way mirrors, and a large remote observation room for group supervision. We have new high-tech pan/tilt/zoom cameras in all therapy rooms, with the ability to record sessions and store them on a local, secure server. Students can splice together clips of sessions to show in supervision. The CFTC uses an electronic health records system, so students are trained on the latest software systems for recording client information.

YES! We realize the importance of training students for both in-person and telehealth approaches to providing therapy. Graduates of our program will be prepared to offer therapy via a range of interfaces.

YES! Students start their practicum experience in our on-site Couple and Family Therapy Center (CFTC). After spending 3 semesters at the CFTC, students are placed at an externship site in the community, where they accrue the remainder of their required client contact hours.

YES! Purdue University Northwest covers a wide range of classic and contemporary theories and approaches to work with clients. We help students develop their own preferred theoretical approach. Students are required to write about their Theory of Therapy as part of their practicum experience.

YES! Many students at Purdue University Northwest have published articles, received state and national research awards, presented at various conferences, and conducted workshops in the surrounding communities. The faculty are very supportive and encourage students to seek out these opportunities.

YES! Purdue University Northwest students are viewed as highly competitive for top PhD Programs in Couple and Family Therapy. Our graduates have gone on to receive their PhDs from CFT Programs including Virginia Tech, Florida State, Texas Tech, Kansas State, East Carolina University, Michigan State and the University of Georgia, among others.

YES! The Purdue University Northwest program is very highly regarded by professionals across the country as well as being known internationally. Many of our alumni have gone on to be directors of CFT programs, own their own agencies, or bring systemic ideas to their home countries around the world.

YES! We accept a small cohort of 8 students per year. We find that this helps students develop close and supportive relationships with their colleagues; many of these relationships last well beyond students’ time in the program.

YES! We are located 25 miles from downtown Chicago, with access to both urban and rural areas. We experience all four seasons. Furthermore, there are many cultural enclaves within a 50-mile radius representing ethnic groups from all over the globe.

Frequently Asked Questions

We prefer undergraduate majors from psychology, sociology, social work and human development and family studies; however we have taken outstanding applicants from other majors.

We strongly suggest you take a statistics course prior to starting our program. If you have a major that is different from those stated in the previous question, then we strongly recommend you take coursework in human development and/or family studies.

We look for letter writers who can speak to your skills and abilities that are applicable to graduate school in general and specific to being a (future) therapist; therefore, we prefer letter writers to know who you are in an academic or work capacity. We suggest that you work closely with one or two faculty members on a project or task for a semester or two, so that you can learn more about research and academia. Similarly, we like to see applicants who have experience volunteering in the field, so a letter writer who has overseen your volunteer work tends to be a good reference for you as well.