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MA, Counseling, Concentration: Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy

The MA specialization in Couple & Family Counseling/Therapy (CFT) at the University of Colorado Denver prepares students for careers as couple and family therapists who treat mental and emotional disorders, while promoting optimum relational health through a systemic, holistic approach. The focus of this specialization is systemic and relational, with a commitment to fostering an open culture of social, relational and cross–cultural contexts of learning that are essential for effective therapist training. The CFT specialization prepares relational therapists who value inclusion and prize diversity such that they are prepared to offer a continuum of mental health services across a variety of settings for the benefit of the community and society.

The Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy Program meets the COAMFTE 12.0 Accreditation Standards’ Foundational Curriculum Areas (FCAs)

Overall Program Goals

The Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy faculty are committed to the following program goals:

  1. Program will exhibit commitment to diversity and cultural responsiveness and prepare students to practice couple and family counseling/therapy in diverse settings and with diverse client populations, and through curriculum content and student composition.   
  2. Prepare students to apply culturally responsive and systemic frameworks to their understanding and practice of CFT with clients and the larger systems that impact counseling/therapy and the clients they serve.
  3. Prepare students to be skilled, knowledgeable and culturally responsive in evidence-based couple and family counseling/therapy practices that are informed by research.  
  4. Prepare students for CFT licensure in Colorado and strengthen the professional identity of culturally responsive, knowledgeable and ethical CFT/MFTs in Colorado.

Student Learning Outcomes

The following are the corresponding student learning outcomes for the Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy program:

  1. Students will demonstrate an ability to systemically assess, diagnose and collaboratively treat diverse clients with a wide variety of presenting clinical problems using a culturally responsive lens.
  2. Students will demonstrate practice skills & attitudes congruent with systemic theories in order to provide services to diverse client populations and in diverse service settings.
  3. Students will learn to be critical consumers of research, incorporate research findings into their clinical practice and utilize progress research data to make culturally responsive and informed clinical decisions.
  4. Students will demonstrate a professional couple and family counseling/therapy identity and ethical conduct according to the AAMFT Code of Ethics and will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of state licensure acts, regulations and processes.

For additional information, please contact student advisor at, 303-315-6300.


We welcome applicants from all educational backgrounds. Admitted students must demonstrate completion of a basic statistics course. A student may be granted conditional admission until this requirement is met. This prerequisite can be completed prior to starting or by the first semester of the program. Visit the Counseling program’s admissions page to review a detailed list of application requirements and apply.

To complete this program, you'll take the required courses, practicum and internships. You'll also take a comprehensive exam or write a thesis. And, you'll have the option of taking the National Counselor Exam for Licensed Professional Counselors. This program also prepares you for licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy students are required to successfully complete a Capstone Project (Formal Case Presentation) during their internship experience, as a culmination of their education and training as couple and family therapists. CFT students are expected to demonstrate in their Capstone Project, their development as a skilled and culturally responsive couple and family therapist ready to proceed to the next stage of their professional development, post-masters, towards licensure as an LMFT (Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist).

Some may ask why the University of Colorado Denver Counseling program degree requires 63 credit hours. Our goal is to help you meet all CACREP and COAMFTE standard requirements to make it easy to get licensed as an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) in Colorado and provide you with the educational experience to become an LMFT. We provide a rigorous program which will position you for success and help you meet all the requirements for licensure, now and in the future. Qualitatively, our students are recognized as being a step above the rest, and we plan to keep it that way.

Successful completion of the MA degree requires a minimum of 63 graduate semester hours. Most of our classes take place Monday - Thursday in three hour blocks beginning at either 3:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. However, core and prerequisite classes are offered starting at 3:30pm on a consistent basis. Some classes meet on weekends (Friday evening or Saturday during the day) or in a hybrid format.​ Very few classes will be available fully online.

Course List


Chi Sigma Iota chapter Beta Alpha Omega is the counseling academic professional honor society. To qualify, you must have completed two semesters or nine credit hours with a 3.5 GPA. The purpose of this group is to promote scholarship, leadership, professionalism and excellence in counseling in the field of mental health. The group provides a forum for students in the CU Denver Counseling program to network, share common concerns, and recognize outstanding academic performance. We encourage you to get involved! You can become a member by going to and clicking on membership.

Contact Information:

​​Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy students can also pursue membership in Delta Kappa Iota, the International Marriage & Family Therapy Honor Society. The CFT track/specialization is in the process of forming a local chapter of the society which will be active in Spring 2019. Further information about Delta Kappa and membership can be found at​​


Our students go on to work in a broad spectrum of settings including:
Private practice
Community agencies
University counseling programs
Mental health centers
Substance abuse treatment centers

CU Denver School of Education &
Human Development

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