Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT)
Provide hope. Offer support. Be a servant leader.
The mission of Pfeiffer’s master of arts in marriage and family therapy program is to provide effective clinical and academic training to students who affirm the dignity and integrity of all individuals through the competent practice of therapy. You will meet the academic and experiential requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist in the state of North Carolina, preparing you for the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB) national examination in marital and family therapy. This exam is accepted by most U.S. states and some territories; additional information about licensure portability can be found at www.amftrb.org under the Resources tab.
The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).
For more information, read the MMFT program one sheet.
The MMFT program, in the division of applied sciences, is available at the Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham campuses.
This program requires 66 semester hours (SH) of class, plus clinical training hours. Rigorous clinical training is required through the completion of a supervised internship that requires a total of 500 minimum clinical face-to-face hours (including 250 relational and 250 individual) and 100 hours of supervision (50 hours must be live observation) during a minimum of three consecutive semesters. Since MMFT students must be continuously enrolled every semester, students are required to enroll in a minimum of two courses during each fall and spring semester, and a minimum of one course during each summer semester.
MMFT Program of Study
Assessment and Diagnosis (6 SH)
- MMFT 604 Diagnosis of Mental and Emotional Disorders
- MMFT 630 Assessment and Treatment Planning in Family Therapy
Human Development and Family Relations (9 SH)
- MMFT 640 Family Therapy: Children and Adolescents
- PSYC 600 Advanced Human Growth and Development
- PSYC 615 Advanced Psychopathology in the Family Context
Practice of MFT (12 SH)
- MMFT 600 Emerging Cross-Cultural Issues in Families and Communities
- MMFT 606 Practicum - Therapeutic Alliance
- MMFT 620 Couples Therapy, Theory, and Techniques
- MMFT 670 Human Sexuality and Contextual Sex Therapy
Professional Identity and Ethics (6 SH)
- MMFT 610 Professional Identity and Issues in Marriage & Family Therapy
- MMFT 680 Legal & Ethical Issues in Marriage & Family Therapy
Research (3 SH)
PSYC 625 Research Methods & Program Evaluation
Theoretical Foundation of MFT (9 SH)
- MMFT 601 Introduction to Family Systems
- MMFT 602 Family Therapy Theories
- MMFT 621 Advanced Clinical Procedures & Special Populations
Clinical Practice (9-15 SH)
MMFT 690 Internship in Marriage & Family Therapy
(Three to five consecutive semesters as needed to complete a minimum of 500 clinical hours – 250 individual & 250 relational. Note: Beginning January 1, 2016 a minimum of 40% or 200 clinical hours must be relational.)
Additional Core Coursework (12 SH)
- MMFT 603 Theory and Practice of Group Therapy
- MMFT 605 Addiction in Family Systems
- MMFT 608 Crisis Intervention
- MMFT 685 Advanced Trauma Focused Assessment & Intervention
For course descriptions, visit the academic catalog.
MMFT Students and Personnel
The MMFT program is diverse in many aspects, including race/ethnicity, age, educational background and previous occupation. Demographic information about students in the program can be found below:
At Pfeiffer University, the MMFT faculty is primarily core faculty with doctoral degrees in a mental health related field (e.g., Marriage and Family Therapy, Counselor Education), state licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and an American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Approved Supervisor designation. Faculty role expectations require colleagues to (1) Teach, (2) Mentor, and (3) Contribute to Professional Engagement & Practice. Find more information about the roles and contact information for MMFT faculty members in the directory.
Students at Pfeiffer have the opportunity to work with supervisors from a range of community settings – hospitals, residential treatment facilities, private practice, homeless and domestic violence shelters, intensive in-home agencies, and many more. Supervisors at field placements come from many different mental health fields (e.g., social work, psychiatric nursing, counseling), but all faculty and adjunct supervisors at the Pfeiffer Institutes are LMFT and AAMFT Approved Supervisors or Candidates.
MMFT Program Schedule
Full-time and part-time students should expect to complete the program in three or four years, respectively. This schedule assumes the completion of a minimum of 66 graduate semester hours and a passing grade on the MMFT comprehensive exam.
Note: Students have a maximum of five years from the date of enrollment to the program completion date.
The required number of clinical hours is consistent with COAMFTE standards and the North Carolina MMFT licensure requirements. The successful completion of the pre-internship and internship requirements is considered the most critical experience in the MMFT Program.
Students complete their clinical hours requirements at one of two Pfeiffer-sponsored state-of-the-art therapy centers. Both centers are equipped with technology that allows student interns to be observed by licensed MMFT counselors (via closed-circuit capabilities) as they work with individuals, couples and families. In line with Pfeiffer University’s commitment to servant leadership, these clinics offer therapy services and workshops to the general public at discounted prices. Learn more about the Pfeiffer Institute of Marriage and Family Counseling (Charlotte) and Pfeiffer Institute Reach (Raleigh-Durham) here.
MMFT Program Expectations
Students pursuing a master's in marriage and family therapy are expected to actively identify with the MFT profession as a student member. Participate in local, state and national conferences such as AAMFT and NCAMFT. Additionally, students are required to furnish professional (student) liability insurance during the internship experience. To ensure that every student continues to live up to his or her potential as an evolving therapist, all MMFT students complete 10 hours of confidential personal growth counseling for each academic year in which they are enrolled in the program.
The following are the three key milestones during the program:
- Internship candidacy after 21 semester hours of designated coursework
- A minimum of three consecutive semesters of a supervised internship experience
- A comprehensive exit exam prior to graduation
Program of Study
MMFT Program Details
Pfeiffer University adheres to program design, assessment and improvement best practices. Learn about program educational outcomes, assessments, surveys and student achievement data below.
Charlotte Student Achievement Data
Click here for detailed information.
Raleigh Student Achievement Data
Click here for detailed information.
Mission Statement & Values
Pfeiffer University Mission Statement
“Pfeiffer University is a globally engaged, regional university distinctive for its transformational undergraduate experiences and its leadership in professional and graduate programs that fill demonstrated needs. Vested in its history as a United Methodist-related university and propelled forward by an innovative faculty and staff, Pfeiffer prepares its students for a lifetime of achievement, scholarship, spirituality and service. “
Since the university was established in 1885, the institution has emphasized preparing students to become “transformative servant leaders.”
Pfeiffer University Educational Goals – Graduate School
“The graduate programs are designed to offer the depth of education and specialized skills necessary for graduates to practice and contribute to their professions. Graduates will be expected to have demonstrated abilities in analyzing, planning, and performing in relation to specific problems and issues. These skills are evaluated through the use of designated capstone courses and internship within each graduate program.”
Pfeiffer University Core Values
1) Liberal Learning and Professional Competence
2) Free Inquiry and Intellectual Integrity
3) Service and Leadership
4) Unity in Diversity
5) Faith and Reason
6) Personal Piety and Social Action
COAMFTE Mission Statement
“The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education’s (COAMFTE) mission is to promote best practices for Marriage and Family Therapy educational programs through the establishment, review and revision of accreditation standards and policies, and the accreditation of graduate and post-graduate educational programs.”
Marriage and Family Therapy Mission Statement
The mission of the Master of Arts degree (MA) in the Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT) Program at Pfeiffer University “is designed to prepare servant leaders as marriage and family therapists and agents of positive change to work specifically with individuals, couples, and families in a wide variety of work settings.” The mission also engenders “effective clinical and academic training to students who affirm the dignity and integrity of all individuals and who demonstrate respect for diversity through life-long learning and competent practice of marriage and family therapy.”
The overall goal is to graduate competent, professional, and ethical Marriage and Family Therapists, hence the “specialized skills necessary for graduates to practice and contribute to their professions.”
Our mission, goals, objectives, and expected educational outcomes also reflect the influence of the Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Principles (PMFTPs): 1) Professional Marriage and Family Therapy Standards and Educational Guidelines; 2) MFT Core Competencies, 2004; 3) AAMFT Code of Ethics, 2012; 4) AMFTRB Guidelines; and 5) the North Carolina Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Act – NC Statutes, and North Carolina Administrative Code.
Pfeiffer University -- Diversity Defined
Diversity refers to the recognition and appreciation of differences and similarity across a variety of overlapping domains, including race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, religion, spirituality, worldview, geography, age, family status, and life experience. “A genuine community is achieved when persons of various backgrounds, interests, talents, cultures, faiths, and world views assemble around their shared humanity and personhood as children of God. Pfeiffer University encourages and celebrates the diversity of its educational community, realized by access to higher education for varied populations of students. Across all educational experiences, the University nurtures the dignity of each individual, her or his intrinsic self-worth and merit to the community, self- and mutual understanding, and civil discourse and collaboration” (Statement of Enterprise Strategy, p. 11).
MMFT Program Diversity Statement
The Pfeiffer University Graduate School strives to cultivate and sustain an inclusive and intellectually rigorous environment that embraces difference across domains (e.g., gender, race, age, etc.). These areas are explored within a context of cooperation, shared responsibility, and mutual respect that promotes learning, personal growth, and service through culturally competent community engagement.
The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Pfeiffer University seeks to further these objectives by:
- Integrating diversity issues across the curriculum.
- Teaching evidenced-based, culturally sensitive treatment approaches.
- Maintaining a diverse group of faculty members.
- Conducting activities (e.g., publications, presentations, clinic data, intentional groups) that contribute to the scientific literature on diversity issues.
- Recruiting and enrolling students that reflect the diversity within the community.
- Cultivating a culture of authentic growth and inquiry that expands and deepens the compassion, awareness, and worldviews of our faculty and students.
*Outcome measures of diversity training include the Annual Student Feedback:Program Survey, Professional Fitness Evaluation (PFE), Clinical Performance Evaluation (CPE), Graduation Exit Interview, Employer Feedback: Program Survey, and Stakeholder Feedback:Program Survey. Diversity enrollment and faculty hiring is verified in the Pfeiffer University Fact Book (2013-2014).
Marriage and Family Therapy Educational Outcomes
PG # 1: Program will demonstrate that it prepares graduates to work with a variety of populations, diagnoses, ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, and other diversities.
PG # 2: Program will demonstrate that graduates develop professionalism in their work and professional relationships.
PG # 3: Program will demonstrate that it graduates effective clinicians.
PG # 4: Program will demonstrate that graduates received effective academic training.
Student Learning Outcomes
SLO # 1 – Theoretical Knowledge/Academic Training
Students will demonstrate understanding of family systems and relevant theoretical and conceptual knowledge.
SLO # 2 – Diversity
Students will demonstrate an awareness of and sensitivity to diversity and other contextual factors across the lifespan, including culture, ethnicity, gender, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socio/economic status.
SLO # 3 – Clinical Effectiveness
Students will demonstrate effective clinical practice from a systems perspective.
SLO # 4 -- Individual and Relational Development
Students will demonstrate effective interpersonal behavior and relational development in their interactions and work with peers, faculty, and supervisors.
SLO # 5 -- Professional Identity & Issues
Students will demonstrate ethical and professional behavior and follow legal standards of the profession in the clinical setting and in the work place.
SLO # 6 -- Research
Students will review, analyze, and synthesize current literature and research findings.
Professional MFT Principles (PMFTPs)
- Marriage & Family Therapy Course Embedded Core Competencies
- AMFTRB Examination domains, task statements, and knowledge statements
- AAMFT Code of Ethics, Effective January, 2015
- North Carolina Marriage & Family Therapy Licensure Law
- NC MFT Administrative Code
Pfeiffer MFT Clinics
MMFT students can gain valuable experience under the supervision of licensed therapists at either of our MMFT clinics. Learn more about:
After submitting the application, you will be directed to a personal landing page where you will submit or verify the requirements below:
- Bachelor's degree with 9-12 hours of coursework in the social sciences
- Minimum undergraduate GPA in major: 3.00, overall: 2.75
- Acceptable GRE scores: official scores mailed to Pfeiffer University
- Official transcripts sent from all colleges/universities attended
- Three letters of recommendation written on official letterhead and respective recommendation form, including one from a recent employer and two from academic professionals/instructors attesting to your ability
- A writing sample describing how you anticipate that your degree and experiential training will influence your personal and professional goals
- Resume or vitae
- Personal small group interview with Admissions Committee approval
- Proof of satisfactory criminal background record check for all states of residence for the past five years
Please send transcripts and test scores to:
1515 Mockingbird Lane
Charlotte, N.C. 28209
Direct specific questions about the MMFT program to:
Susan B. Wilkie, PhD, LMFT, LPC (Charlotte Campus)
MMFT Program Director & Professor
Laura Bryan, PhD, LMFT (Raleigh/Durham Campus)
MMFT Site Director & Assistant Professor
MMFT - Admission Deadlines
February 1 for Summer Admission -- Charlotte Campus & Raleigh/Durham Campus
March 1 for Fall Admission -- Charlotte Campus & Raleigh/Durham Campus
Tuition & Fees
Want to work as a marriage and family therapist in North Carolina? A MMFT degree from Pfeiffer prepares you for a productive and satisfying career helping others.
Ready to get started? Apply now.
Graduate and Degree Completion Enrollment
Have questions? Just ask!