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Young married couple receiving counseling.

Marriage and Family Therapy Overview

Marriage and Family Therapy students gain expertise in family systems theory and practice, clinical assessment and the prevention and treatment of relational problems.

Students meet licensure requirements through Mercy College’s affiliated agencies, mental health facilities, hospitals and private practice settings, and benefit from supervision by highly experienced mental health care professionals.

This program qualifies graduates to sit for the National Marriage and Family Therapy licensing exam, and they are able to move toward completing the 1,500 clinical hours in a professional full-time position required for licensure, 300 of which are completed during the program.

Counselor helps a mother & daughter work out their differences.

Career Opportunities

 Marriage and family therapists work in settings including: 

  • Agencies 
  • Private practice
  • Hospitals 
  • Court systems


22% Growth

Job Growth 
is more than four times
faster than the national average
for all professionals 

$70 K Salary in NYS

The Median Annual Pay
for marriage and family therapists
is $51,000*

51 Credits 

to Earn Your Degree 
The program takes about two
and a half years through
attendance of evening classes

What We Offer
The Mercy Advantage

  • Internationally renowned faculty
  • Flexibility with full- or part-time enrollment
  • Mercy graduates have post-graduate opportunities for scholarships available from the Ackerman and Family Institute of Westchester

IHELP at Mercy College

Mercy College is here to help our students and communities succeed. The new Interdisciplinary Health Education Learning Program (IHELP) fellowship aims to expand internship opportunities that provide services for children, adolescents, and transitional-aged youth who are at risk for behavioral health disorders in high need and high demand areas for graduate Fellows in Mercy's School Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy, or Occupational Therapy programs.


Dr. Bava
Saliha Bava Associate Professor, Marriage and Family Therapy
Dr. Evan Imber-Black
Evan Imber-Black Professor

Program Director, Marriage and Family Therapy

Admissions Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher.  Applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 may be considered for provisional acceptance.  Students must have taken at least one course in Statistics at the undergraduate or graduate level, and received a B or above
  • Two (2) detailed written signed letters of recommendation from instructors in the major area of study or professional contacts. One letter must be from a professor
  • An up-to-date Résumé
  • A 5 page essay on the applicant’s reasons for pursuing the Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Shorter essays will not be accepted.
    • The essay should detail:
      • Why the applicant wants to be in the MFT program
      • What personal and professional attributes the applicant brings to this endeavor
      • The applicant’s career goals
    • This essay should reflect the applicant’s knowledge of what the field of MFT involves, include specific ideas and demonstrate the good writing skills required in graduate school.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I be able to conduct psychotherapy with individuals, couples, children, work or school-related personnel as well as families?

The state law broadly defines family as individuals, couples, children or other groups who are affected within the context of the family.

Can I continue my education and achieve a PsyD or PhD?

This is a 51-credit program. We work with each student who desires to go on to a doctoral program. Each program has its own rules on how many transfer credits they will accept. There are doctoral programs in Couple and Family Therapy.

Do I need to be from a psychology program?


Will I be licensed in New York State as a Marriage and Family Therapist and be able to practice as a psychotherapist?

Upon successfully completing the MS in Marriage and Family Therapy curriculum, satisfying the 1500 hours of supervised experience( 300 of these must be satisfied during the program) and passing the New York State National examination you will be able to provide services which fall under the category of Family and Couple Therapy.

Program Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to: 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of contemporary models in Family Therapy

  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of contemporary models of Couple Therapy

  • Demonstrate the ability to complete 3 generation genograms and family timelines

  • Write clear papers demonstrating knowledge of models of Couple and Family Therapy

  • Demonstrate competency in professional therapy by completing three semesters of internship, doing supervised therapy with individuals, couples and families complete 300 face-to-face clinical hours

  • Demonstrate in depth knowledge of one model of Family Therapy, and applying this to a case from their internship 

Program Details & Curriculum

Curriculum Overview

The 51-credit Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Degree is organized as follows:

Human Development: 3 Credits
Clinical Knowledge: 18 Credits
Theoretical Knowledge: 9 Credits
Family Law: 3 Credits
Research: 3 Credits
Professional Ethics: 3 Credits
Internship: 9 Credits
Capstone Experience: 3 Credits

Total: 51 Credits

For a full curriculum listing visit our catalog. 

Completion of at least 21 credits, including: PSYN 605: Couples Therapy: Theory and Practice; PSYN 644 - Group Experience (cc); PSYN 654 - Psychopathology; PSYN 657: Contemporary Family Therapy; PSYN 653 - Family Systems Assessment.

The Practicum course must be applied for the semester prior to course registration. A 3.0 GPA and minimum of 21 credits is required to register in PSYN 640 and PSYN 641.

Academic Program Sequence Map