Family & Child Studies
120 Wirtz Hall, DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: (815) 753-1543
Fax: (815) 753-1321
The Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy is the only program accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) in a state-supported university in Illinois. Northern Illinois University offers an uncommon opportunity to earn a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in marriage and family therapy. The goal of the School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences' (FCNS) program is to prepare skilled and dedicated marriage and family therapists.
The two year, 54 semester hour program features:
A major strength of the Specialization is the quantity and quality of clinical experience and close faculty supervision that students receive while in the program. To ensure that each student receives the kind of supervision necessary to cultivate finely tuned clinical skills, enrollment in the program is kept small.
The faculty of the NIU Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy seek mature individuals who wish to pursue careers specifically as marriage and family therapists. Above this essential commitment, the faculty considers self-awareness, self-confidence, curiosity, intelligence, warmth, humor, independent thinking, and creativity to be highly desirable. A variety of ages, undergraduate majors, work backgrounds, races and nationalities are sought in the quest to maintain a rich environment for learning.
9 semester hours of undergraduate courses in family and child studies or the equivalent including a course in family relations and one in child development. This requirement is assessed by the School of FCNS faculty at the time of admission; admission may be granted with the provision that prerequisites be made up by the end of the first semester of studies.
Students admitted to the Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy (SMFT) Program have to complete a criminal background check (CBC) as a prerequisite for being in the program. The criminal background check needs to be done in the state of Illinois before the student can begin any practicum or internship course in the SMFT program. In-state students can complete the CBC in the summer prior to the fall semester. For out of state students, it is suggested that when they arrive in DeKalb in August, they do the background check at that time prior to the start of fall semester. The process of completing a CBC is monitored by staff in the College of Health and Human Services. The CBC is done by a company outside of the University, and the student is responsible to pay the fee for this. The fee is $75.00. Students will receive information and instructions about completing the CBC in June.
Credit from accredited universities may be acceptable according to the NIU Graduate School policy on transfer and student-at-large credit hours (see graduate catalog). Decisions about transfer hours are made based on the course description, syllabi, and bibliographies provided by the applicant.
Aid is offered in the form of graduate assistantships, fellowships and loans. Assistantships waive tuition and pay approximately $306 per month for 10 hours of work per week. NIU participates in a student loan program of the federal government and Illinois Guaranteed Student Loan Program. This information is available from the Student Financial Aid Office at NIU (815-753-1395). Prospective students may explore scholarships made available by the Graduate School (815-753-0395) and by various professional and service organizations. Please refer also to the separate, enclosed sheet on financial assistance in this packet.
The Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy is a 54 semester hour program leading to a Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Applied Family and Child Studies with a Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy. The program begins every autumn; most students maintain part-time jobs or 10 hour per week assistantships and graduate in under two years. The curriculum for the Specialization allows students some flexibility to pursue their particular interests. See the graduate catalog for required courses.
For a detailed listing of these courses, please refer to the Program Description, page 2.