Jul 20, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Human Development and Family Science, MS (53-897) Marriage and Family Therapy Option (0021) (54 hours)

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by College/School

Human Development and Family Science Program Mission - The mission of the Human Development and Family Science program is to provide the academic, clinical and professional training necessary for graduates to become lifelong learners, dedicated to service, with the knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed and lead in the region, state, nation and world in the field of health and human services, including but not limited to marriage and family therapy, community-based agencies, child and youth programs, and family life education.

Student Learning Outcomes - Students will graduate with a Master of Science in Human Development and Family Science.

All Human Development and Family Science graduates will demonstrate competence in the following National Council on Family Relations’ competencies:

  • Families and individuals in societal contexts: an understanding of families and their relationship to other institutions, such as educational, governmental, religious, and occupational institutions in society.
  • Internal Dynamics of Families: an understanding of family strengths and weaknesses and how family members relate to each other.
  • Human Growth and Development across the Lifespan: an understanding of the developmental changes of individuals in families throughout the lifespan.
  • Human Sexuality: an understanding of the physiological, psychological, & social aspects of sexual development throughout the lifespan, to achieve healthy sexual adjustment.
  • Interpersonal Relationships: An understanding of the development and maintenance of interpersonal relationships.
  • Family Resource Management: An understanding of the decisions individuals and families make about developing and allocating resources including time, money, material assets, energy, friends, neighbors, and space, to meet their goals.
  • Parent Education and Guidance: An understanding of how parents teach, guide and influence children and adolescents as well as the changing nature, dynamics and needs of the parent/child relationship across the lifespan.
  • Family Law and Public Policy: An understanding of the legal issues, policies, and law influencing the well-being of families.
  • Professional Ethics and Practice: An understanding of the character and quality of human social conduct, and the ability to critically examine ethical questions and issues as they relate to professional practice
  • Family Life Education Methodology: An understanding of the general philosophy and broad principles of family life education in conjunction with the ability to plan, implement, and evaluate such educational programs.

MFT Specialization Mission

The Marriage and Family Therapy specialization aims to train clinically competent Marriage and Family Therapists through quality academic instruction and supervised clinical practice. Our goal is train therapists that are clinically effective, guided by an awareness of systemic processes, devoted to multicultural competence, and to ethical and evidence-based practice.

MFT Specialization Goals

Pursuant to our mission, the Marriage and Family Therapy specialization has established four overarching goals. Each of these goals informs Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) by which we measure success.

Clinical Effectiveness

  • Students will demonstrate fundamental skills of therapy and family systems theories with individuals, couples and families.
  • Students will demonstrate ability to effectively apply therapy models and interventions to individuals, couples, and families.


  • Students will demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to their and the clients’ cultural and other contextual factors, particularly as related to privilege and marginalized and underserved communities.

Ethics and Professional Development

  • Students will demonstrate competence in managing legal and ethical issues related to the practice of marriage and family therapy.
  • Students will demonstrate career readiness in their interactions with peers, faculty, supervisors and clients.

Theory, Research and Practice

  • Students will demonstrate understanding of human development and family science theories.
  • Students will demonstrate competence in evaluating and integrating research on best practices to inform their practice.

The degree in Human Development and Family Science with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy consists of 54 credit hours and takes two academic years to complete. The Human Development and Family Science with emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy satisfies the educational and clinical requirements the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and enables students to pursue Licensure in Marital and Family Therapy (LMFT) in the state of Missouri. The program offers assistance to students who plan to be licensed in other states in order to meet licensure requirements for the state of their choice. The program operates based on the Core Competencies and Code of Ethics of American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Admission requirements and process: Applicants must possess an overall undergraduate grade point average of at least 2.50, or a 3.0 in their major. The undergraduate degree needs to be in Human Development and Family Science or a related field. Applicants must submit a statement of purpose, a resume, and three recommendation forms  (link provides detailed information) through their Student Portal. Admission is only available for fall semester. Priority consideration for fall semester admission will be given to completed applications submitted by February 1. Admission interviews will be scheduled after February 15.

Minimum Graduate Hour Total: 54 Semester Hours

Minimum Graduate Hour Total: 54 Semester Hours

***A prerequisite for PSY 5410  - Adult Psychopathology (3) is Abnormal Psychopathology.
****MFT students will take all common core courses and the additional specialization courses in MFT. Students who plan to get licensed in states that need 60 credit hours for license can meet this criteria with CFD electives or 6 thesis hours if they choose to propose and complete a thesis.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by College/School