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Department of Counseling, Foundations, and Leadership

Department of Counseling, Foundations, and Leadership

Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)


This certification is currently NOT offered. Contact Dr. Michael Baltimore for further information. 

In response to requests to provide additional competencies in the area of marriage and family counseling and in accordance with guidelines set forth by the Composite Licensing Board of the State of Georgia for Licensure in Marriage and Family Therapy, a graduate certificate program in marriage and family therapy/counseling is offered by Columbus State University.

The graduate certificate in marriage and family therapy will provide students documentation of having completed a program of instruction in marriage and family therapy at the graduate level. Completion of the certificate program will enable graduates to integrate academic knowledge of marriage and family therapy into their own disciplinary field and/or work situation. The certificate program will be multidisciplinary and will allow graduates to accumulate specific academic knowledge that can be applied to a wide- ranging client base throughout helping professions. The nature of the certificate is a response to the need for specialized counseling approaches within the helping field leading to state licensure. Students having previously graduated from a graduate-level institution, completed a degree in a counseling or counseling-related field, may benefit from a marriage and family therapy certificate and gain an 'edge' in the very competitive labor market.


The Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors have recommended coursework in MFT theory and MFT "studies" that is consistent with the state licensing requirements. The current state licensing requirements (including a MFT-related Masters degree) are four courses, a fifth course in MFT ethics (beginning July, 2000) and a internship in MFT.

A supervised internship consists of the established practicum/ internship requirements for counseling students (6 semester hours that includes 600 hours of professional service) now established in the degree program in counseling. In addition, the site supervisor in this case should meet the requirements for an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists Approved Supervisor or substantial equivalent.

Curriculum Recommendations for the Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy at Columbus State University. Based on the current course offerings, the following curriculum is proposed for the Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy at Columbus State University:

Required Courses

Students will be expected to successfully complete eighteen semester hours in order to be awarded the Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from Columbus State University; twelve of those semester hours will be in required course work. Students should choose two MFT application courses and two MFT studies. Additional coursework is recommended, but not required. The list of MFT courses are as follows:

Required Courses (12 hours):

MFT Application Courses

COUN 7185. Family Psychopathology (3-0-3) Prerequisite: COUN 6115 or equivalent course work. Normal family processes and the development of dysfunction and psychopathology in marriage and the family.

COUN 7215. Family Therapy Process and Practice (2-2-3) Prerequisite: Consent of department chair. Theories of family dynamics and methods of family psychotherapy. Emphasis on the systems approach.

COUN 7275. Advanced Techniques in Marriage and Family Therapy (2-2-3) Prerequisite: COUN 7215. Emphasizes application of approaches and techniques learned in Family Therapy Process and Practice.

COUN 7285. Marriage and Family Assessment (2-2-3) Prerequisite: COUN 7215. Prepares students in marriage and family interviewing genograms, projective techniques for families, other assessment techniques, and evaluation procedures.

COUN 7286. Marriage Systems Theory and Therapy (2-2-3) Prerequisites: COUN 7215 and COUN 7275. Acquaints the student with theories specific to the marital relationship and executive subsystem of families, historic perspective, lifestyles, and lifespan issues.

MFT Studies Courses

COUN 6175. Cultural Perspectives in Counseling (3-0-3) Provides an overview of counseling approaches and research on culturally diverse populations such as Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans, African-Americans. Addresses factors such as behaviors and emotions. Sensitizes the counselor to understand differing world views.

COUN 6185. Gender Issues in Counseling (3-0-3) Emphasizes sex role socialization and male/female roles as they pertain to counseling issues and practices. Exposes students to non-sexist counseling and new models of mental health which transcend sex-biases.

COUN 6105. Psychological Aspects of Substance Abuse (3-0-3) Explains dynamics of substance abuse of alcohol, other drugs, and food. Emphasizes psychological factors, family dynamics, treatment methods, and implications for school, communities, and businesses.

COUN 6555. Selected Topics in Counseling (3-0-3) Research and discussion in special topics. Analysis of issues facing the counseling practitioner in contemporary society. May be taken twice for credit.

Other Counseling Courses once Approved.


All students enrolled in the graduate certificate program will be required to successfully complete an internship with the following exception: Any CSU counseling graduate having completed an approved MFT internship during the course of their degree can be excluded from this requirement. Students will be expected to work at their internship site, under supervision, for 20 hours per week for two full academic terms (600 hours) excluding the summer term. Internships are generally not paid and will be arranged by the practicum coordinator. Attendance and performance will be closely monitored by faculty members in cooperation with site supervisors and evaluated periodically throughout each academic term, including midterm and final evaluations.

COUN 6698 Internship 3 hours per term (6 total)

Marriage and Family Therapy Program of Study

Students must complete COUN 7215. Family Therapy Process and Practice as the first course in the sequence. One other MFT course can be taken concurrently with COUN 7215.

Development of Courses to be Offered for the Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy at Columbus State University.

All courses are currently offered in the Department of Counseling, Foundations & Leadership.

For more information and an application, please contact Dr. Michael L. Baltimore.