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Couple and Family Therapy

Master of Science , Child Development and Family Studies

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Program Intro

The Couple and Family Therapy graduate program at PNW trains you to provide mental health services to clients by embracing a scholar/practitioner model of systemic family therapy training. Our curriculum and experiences are informed by the university’s land grant mission of learning, discovery and engagement.

The deadline to apply is the second Monday of January each year for fall admission.*

Couple and Family Program

*This program is in the process of changing its name from Marriage and Family Therapy to Couple and Family Therapy. You may see references to either name as we make this transition.

The Couple and Family Therapy program prepares you to provide ethical, research-informed and culturally competent relational mental health services to a diverse range of clients.

Curriculum Overview

Our scholar/practitioner model of systemic family therapy training provides a strong foundation for your career. Our program includes 67 credits of required courses, 500 hours of face-to-face contact with clients, 100 hours of supervision and a completed written thesis and oral defense of thesis.

Build a foundation with first-year courses.

See the Full Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • CDFS 60100 – Advanced Child Development
  • CDFS 61500 – Research Methods In Child And Family Study


Grow your skills with the second year.

See the Full Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • CDFS 66300 – Structural And Strategic Family Therapies
  • CDFS 64100 – Trauma And Recovery In Family Therapy

Program Requirements

Special admission requirements:

  • 1000-word autobiographical statement demonstrating your preparation for the program


The Couple and Family Therapy degree is an accredited path toward a career in mental health services. Our program is strongly committed to the promotion of diversity among all human beings.

A lion sculpture on PNW's campus PNW graduates at commencement


Graduates of this program are ready to help change clients’ lives for the better by providing relational mental health services.


AAMFT SAMHSA Minority Fellowship Program


Beyond the Classroom

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
  • National Council on Family Relations

Career Paths

Graduates most often:

  • Apply to doctoral programs;
  • Practice therapy in mental health agencies; and/or
  • Engage in private practice.



The Couple and Family Therapy graduate program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).


This training program meets the educational requirements for licensure for marriage and family therapy in the states of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and Texas.

See Our Statement on Licensure

The classes are challenging, and I find myself engaged in every discussion. I connect on so many levels with everyone in my cohort who are all truly amazing people. I can’t wait to watch us all grow in this program together.

Lexie Unhjem
Couple and Family Therapy student
Crosby, North Dakota

Choosing to go to PNW was a no-brainer. Everyone is so welcoming and supportive, and the small cohort size allows everyone to have a voice. Our professors are incredibly supportive and encouraging of our development every step of the way.

Crystal Niemeyer
Couple and Family Therapy student
Mokena, Illinois

Our program perfectly balances challenge with support. While we spend a lot of time on research, theory, and practice, we also spend time learning about ourselves and what we bring to the therapy room.

Gabriella Boeger
Couple and Family Therapy student
Overland Park, Kansas

Meet the Faculty

Megan Murphy

Megan J. Murphy, Ph.D., LMFT

Professor and Director, Couple and Family Therapy Program

Megan Murphy is the director of the masters program in Couple and Family Therapy. She teaches graduate-level courses on ethics, diversity and therapy models.

Christopher Belous

Christopher K. Belous, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Director of the Couple and Family Therapy Center

As an Associate Professor and Clinical Director for the Couple and Family Therapy Program, Christopher directs the Couple and Family Therapy Center, internship placement, teaches classes and conducts research.

Kevin Hynes

Kevin C. Hynes, Ph.D., LMFT

Assistant Professor of Couple and Family Therapy

Kevin C. Hynes is an assistant professor in the Couple and Family Therapy program. His program of research focuses on disparities in mental health outcomes with minority populations.

A PNW Student in the Classroom

Take the Next Step

See how a PNW degree opens doors, from corporate boardrooms to non-profit leadership.

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