Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

Skip to Main Content
    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Sep 25, 2023
2011-2012 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Addendum 
Catalog Navigation
2011-2012 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Addendum [Archived Catalog]

M.A. Clinical Psychology, Marital and Family Therapy Specialization

Return to Programs of Study Return to: Programs of Study


Master of Arts, Clinical Psychology - MFT Specialization

Program Overview

The M.A. in Clinical Psychology program Specialization Martial and Family Therapy (MFT) provides strong preparation in the development of essential diagnostic, therapeutic and consultative skills in order to work with a variety of clinical populations- ranging from children to the elderly- and with a variety of emotional, intellectual, and psychological conditions and problems. Graduates will have the training to work in a variety of clinical settings, and with required licensure, independent practice. The program has adopted the practitioner-scholar model which is predicated on the belief that a competent mental health practitioner must have both a broad knowledge of the scientific and theoretical principles in the clinical practice of Marital and Family Therapy and the ability to apply that knowledge to specific clinical situations. The program also incorporates the content areas outlined by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences to prepare those students seeking professional counselor licensure and desiring to begin professional practice at the master’s level.

Acknowledged for its commitment to diversity, The Chicago School recognizes that service to a diverse community plays a vital role in all levels of mental health care. The MFT Specialization embraces this commitment through the integration of multicultural education and diversity throughout its curriculum; successful students demonstrate an appreciation for and competency in this area. Likewise, the faculty reflects experience in graduate level teaching and clinical practice with diverse clinical populations.

Admission Requirements

Application to The Chicago School’s Master’s in Clinical Psychology, MFT Specialization Program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work. Factors that are considered in admission are: GPA from undergraduate and any graduate schools, successful work history after completion of the baccalaureate degree, the required admission essay, and letters of recommendation from academic professors or professional or volunteer experience supervisors. Generally, an undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for admission. Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts are submitted from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications.

The MFT Specialization has one specific required undergraduate course that must be completed prior to enrollment with a grade earned of “C” or better (one course in psychology). The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required, however students who have taken the exam may submit their scores to enhance their application. Scores should be sent directly to the school (GRE School Code: 1119) for consideration. Please see the application for detailed instructions and information regarding application requirements, application deadlines, and letters of recommendation. Applications must be submitted with a $50.00 (USD) application fee in order to be evaluated.

TOEFL or IELTS, International Credentials, and International Students

TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your primary language, you must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores with your application (TOEFL School Code: 7161). International students who received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited United States institution are exempt from this requirement. The minimum scores are: TOEFL - 550 paper based, 79 internet based; IELTS - 6.5.

ELS Educational Services, Inc.: The Chicago School is a cooperative member of ELS Educational Services, Inc. which provides intensive English language programs. Students who have successfully completed ELS course 112 may be considered for admission in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS.

International credentials: Applicants with international credentials must obtain and submit an official “course-by-course” evaluation through an evaluation agency such as World Education Services ( or Educational Credential Evaluators Inc( In addition to the agency evaluation, all official graduate and undergraduate transcripts must be submitted.

International students: International students must submit a completed application by the general consideration deadline. In addition, once accepted, international students must submit the International Student Information form, a copy of their passport, and financial documentation showing sufficient funding for at least one year of study and all living expenses. This documentation must be submitted at least two months prior to the start of the semester in order to allow sufficient time for the school to issue an I-20 for the student to obtain an F-1 visa, if needed. An I-20 visa will not be issued without this documentation.

Applicant Notification

The Chicago School reviews applications on a rolling basis. Once review begins, complete applications will be considered by the Admission Committee and applicants will be notified regarding the admission decision. The Chicago School does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.

If a student is offered admission, in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $500 will be required by the deposit deadline indicated in the offer of admission. The non-refundable deposit will be applied in full toward the student’s tuition upon enrollment.


The following policies are located underAcademic Policies and Procedures  : Transfer of Credit, Waiver of Courses, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Grading Scale, Grade Change Requests, Degree Completion, Degree Conferral, Minimum and Maximum Timeframe requirements, and Credit Hours per semester for Financial Aid.

Academic Development Plans

An Academic Development Plan (ADP) is initiated and created by the Department in which the student is enrolled when a student demonstrates deficiencies in competencies that interfere with academic performance, training competence, and/or professional behavior.  Academic Development Plans (ADPs) do not constitute disciplinary action, but failure to complete the plan may lead to disciplinary action.

Student Learning Assessment

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TSCPP) is committed to offering the highest quality graduate and undergraduate completion programs in applied professional disciplines. In order to meet the TCSPP standard for academic quality, all programs will develop overall program competencies, learning objectives, assessment instruments, course descriptions, and course learning objectives. Each of these curriculum components must align in order for students to understand how their program will prepare them for the profession and how they will learn what TCSPP intends. 

All academic programs at TCSPP are required to develop, conduct, and report annual assessments of student learning and program effectiveness in compliance with the processes and procedures established by TCSPP.  These assessments provide reliable and valid information to monitor, maintain, and advance the quality of academic programs. 

1.  Course outcome assessments. At the end of each course, instructors complete a course outcomes assessment that evaluates each student in light of program outcomes. Instructors assign a numerical value ranging from 1-4 for each outcome for each student in the course. This helps to insure alignment of each course with programmatic and institutional outcomes.

2.  Practicum Readiness Assessment. Toward the end of their third semester, students will take a Practicum Readiness Assessment to assess their basic knowledge of 4 key areas of clinical practice: law and ethics, diagnosis, theory and application and treatment planning. This examination must be passed with a minimum score of 7 out of a possible 12, and a minimum score of 1 on the Law and Ethics question. 

3.  Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE). At the end of their second practicum course, students will have completed a Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE) comprised of a Clinical Case Report, tape and 10-minute transcript, and a formal oral presentation of that case to the seminar students and instructor. Students must pass the CCE in order to pass practicum. The CCE assesses a student’s competency in all areas of clinical treatment and application.

4.    Written Comprehensive Examination. Once students toward the end of their final semester, students will take a written comprehensive examination which is designed to assess competency in all programmatic outcomes. Students must pass the comprehensive examination in order to graduate.

Foundations for Scholarship and Practice

To ensure academic preparedness, a key to success in graduate school, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology requires new students to complete the program Foundations for Scholarship and Practice (Foundations). This program reinforces the skills new students need to achieve their academic goals. Foundations is an integral part of the first term’s curriculum (first and second terms’ curriculum for the Online-Blended Programs) and all students are required to complete the program successfully and in a timely manner.  Failure to complete any element of the program can lead to academic consequences, including dismissal.

 Foundations for Scholarship and Practice consists of three elements: 

1. Academic Focus Program – Academic Focus is an online, self-paced orientation to graduate academics. Completion of these tutorials is required by Friday of the fourth week of the first term. A final  grade of “pass” is considered successful completion of this element of Foundations.

2. Writing Assessment Process – In this component of Foundations, each student writes an essay in response to an assigned question and submits it for evaluation. Basedupon the results of this assessment, , the school may waive the Academic Writing Course requirement (#3, below). Essays are due by Friday of the third week of the first term and essay submission by the given date is considered successful completion of this element of Foundations.

3. Academic Writing Course (AWC) – This online course is taken before or during the first or second term at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. A final grade of “pass” is considered successful completion of this element. Failure to earn a final grade of “pass” may result in an Academic Development Plan or referral to the Student Affairs Committee. All students are required to take the course, unless they place out through the Writing Assessment Process. Students who place out of the Academic Writing Course may elect to take the course. Based on academic performance concerns, instructors may require AWC completion by a student by creating an Academic Development Plan.

Failure to complete any element of Foundations by the required due date may result in Academic Development Plan or referral to the Student Affairs Committee. 

Preparing for the Academic Writing Course

It is solely the responsibility of the student to make the necessary adjustments to his/her school, work and personal schedules as required for full participation in this course. The Chicago School is not responsible for ensuring that these adjustments are made. Students failing AWC must retake the course in the subsequent semester. The successful completion of AWC is a graduation requirement.

Fees associated with Foundations for Scholarship and Practice

All students incur a one-time fee for their participation in Foundations for Scholarship and Practice. See Tuition & Fees schedule for a full list of applicable course fees.

Student Professional Evaluation and Student Review Process

The course content and experiential activities offered by the M.A. Clinical Psychology program at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology are designed to afford students the opportunity to advance their intellectual and professional development and functioning. Throughout the program of study, students are given feedback concerning their personal, academic, and professional strengths, developmental needs, and performance. This feedback will come from a variety of sources including faculty, supervisors, peers, and clients. Students are expected to respond and incorporate this feedback in a mature and professional manner. Throughout their matriculation in the program students are expected to explore and recognize the effects their personal beliefs, issues, emotions, and behaviors have on others and on their ability to function as a professional counselor and practicing clinician. Additionally, all students are reviewed annually by program faculty and administration with respect to their overall program performance during the Student Review Process.

The Program


The M.A. Clinical Psychology Program with Specialization in Marital and Family Therapy is offered in all three of our California locations: downtown Los Angeles, Irvine, and Westwood. All locations offer the same program and program requirements in a cohort format.


The mission of the Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology program, MFT Specialization, is to prepare mental health professionals who serve the mental health profession through professional competence, personal integrity and academic excellence. This is realized through a curriculum that integrates the theoretical foundations of counseling and clinical psychology, essential diagnostic, clinical and consultative skills, and clinical field placement into appropriate practice in a variety of settings and with diverse populations. Recognizing that our students are intrinsically motivated to help others, we acknowledge the significance of promoting an environment that is sensitive to difference and preparing clinicians, who actively develop their multicultural competence. Thus, the program seeks to engage faculty and students in the preparation of counselors who meet the needs of diverse communities.

Program Outcomes

  1. Students will utilize the scientific method for critical evaluation of research examining the practice of clinical psychology.
  1. Students will foster the development of individuals and facilitate group interaction.
  1. Students will analyze issues of racial and cultural diversities and awareness of the richness of human differences in ideas and beliefs.
  1. Students will effectively communicate of critical information in the field of clinical psychology to a wide range of individuals and groups.
  1. Students will apply insight into personal attitudes and beliefs as they conduct clinical interviewing of clients, prepare individual treatment plans, and set appropriate psychotherapeutic goals.
  1. Students will provide effective and ethical diagnostic and assessment services to a diverse set of clients.
  1. Students will provide a wide range of effective and ethical psychotherapeutic interventions to a diverse group of clients.

Ethics and Professional Behavior

The Chicago School expects that all clinical MFT students will be knowledgeable of and adhere to the ”Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct”, as published by the American Psychological Association, as well as the ”Code of Ethics” of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. In addition, no student shall obtain part- or full-time employment that is beyond the scope of their cumulative training in the field of psychology or MFT and shall not use titles governed by licensure statutes, unless so licensed by the state. A student who fails to adhere to this policy or otherwise fails to demonstrate the appropriate ethics required for practice in the field of professional counseling is subject to discipline and possible removal.


The program incorporates eight content areas outlined by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and provides the academic requirements to prepare students seeking professional MFT licensure in CA. Students must consult the licensure requirements for states in which they plan to reside post-graduation.

MFT Practicum 

The practicum experience is designed to meet both the BBS requirements as well as to enhance the learning experience of the student through practical application of didactic classroom instruction. The practicum require three credit hours for two semesters - a total of six credit hour during which time the student participates in a clinical training field placement where the student accumulates a minimum of 250 hours of supervised clinical experience in a mental health setting. In addition, the student is required to attend a regularly scheduled practicum seminar during which students will participate in clinical case consultation, case presentations and complete a clinical case report. At the end of the second practicum seminar, students will complete a Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE) which consists of a full clinical case report, tape and transcripts as well as a presentation of this case to the class and instructor. The CCE provides an important assessment of a student’s competency in meeting key programmatic outcomes.

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.

Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE)

During the practicum seminar, students will conduct a formal case presentation and submit a 10-minute transcript and tape of an actual client session. In MM610 Practicum I a clinical case presentation outline will be completed and turned into the instructor along with the tape and transcript. For MM615 Practicum II the student will complete a Clinical Competency Evaluation (CCE) which consists of a Clinical Case Report, a tape and transcript as well as a formal oral presentation of the case to the class and instructor. The CCE results will determine if a student successfully passes practicum. If a student does not pass the first time, the student will be able to submit a second CCR, tape and transcript using a different interview. Students are advised to meet with their seminar instructor to review the first CCE and prepare to pass the CCE the next time. Failure to pass a second CCE means that the student has failed practicum and the student will need to complete practicum again.

More specific information is located in the Program  Guidebook.

Return to Programs of Study Return to: Programs of Study