Graduate Specialization in Marriage & Family Therapy - NIU - Family & Child Studies

Family & Child Studies

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Graduate Specialization in Marriage & Family Therapy

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 mission of the specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy program at Northern Illinois University is to educate and train the next generation of marriage and family therapists to work with diverse individuals, families, and communities. Students will receive quality academic and clinical training, and opportunities to work collaboratively with faculty in the areas of research, service, and scholarship.

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Program Features

The two year, 54 semester hour program features:

  • Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education, an affiliate of the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
  • Faculty who share a commitment to learning with their students in classes, during therapy, and in the hours between. Trained as marriage and family therapists or as child and family scholars, they are dedicated to maintaining a supportive context in which the development of marriage and family therapy skills is enjoyable.
  • Courses that are practical, intensive, and challenging. Focusing on the development of the thoughts and skills of the family therapist, the faculty teach the heart and soul of family therapy. Everything from family development to the latest therapy techniques is covered in a sequence of courses that promotes respectful treatment of human systems and includes courses necessary for the marriage and family therapy license in Illinois.
  • Practica that pull it all together. In a 9 month progression from team member to solo practitioner, students learn family therapy by doing it. Using live supervision and video technology in the Couple and Family Therapy Clinic at NIU, our full service therapy center, the faculty carefully guide students as they help families with a variety of troubles.

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.

Accreditation & Data

The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Northern Illinois University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, (708) 838-9808.

Student Outcome Data

Advertised Program Length: 2 years
Maximum Time to Complete Program: 6 years

Year Entered Program Graduation Rate National Exam Pass Rate Licensure Rate
2005-2006 90.91% 100.00% 50.00%
2006-2007 100.00% 100.00% 50.00%
2007-2008 72.73% 75.00% 37.50%
2008-2009 100.00% 100.00% 81.82%
2009-2010 100.00% 100.00% 58.33%
2010-2011 100.00% 100.00% 16.67%
2011-2012 83.33% 100.00% 10.00%
2012-2013 91.67% N/A* N/A*
2013-2014 75.00% N/A* N/A*
2014-2015 N/A* N/A* N/A*

*Graduates are not eligible to take national exam until they complete all required hours. In Illinois, this process takes about two years to complete.
**Students still in program