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Practicum for M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy

Embark on your Master's in Couple and Family Therapy journey, where theory meets real-world practice. Dive into the dynamic realm of therapy, refining your skills under experienced mentors' guidance.

Requirements for M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy

  • 500 client contact hours, with 250 dedicated to relational hours with couples and families
  • At least 100 supervision hours, including 50 with direct observation and videotape
  • Detailed documentation using forms provided by the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Medicine

View all Forms

Internal Practicums

Students will begin with two Internal Practicums at the Brief Therapy Institute, Family Therapy Clinic. Completion of these is necessary before advancing to External Practicums. Extra Internal Practicums can be chosen to boost clinical skills before moving forward. 

Preparation for External Practicum

External Practicums involve diverse community-based internships in schools, hospitals, agencies, and private practices. Before starting the External Practicum, students must meet with the Department of Family Therapy Internship Coordinator to select a site and finalize contracts. Required documentation includes a signed contract by the student, site supervisor, faculty supervisor, and Program Director. Proof of professional liability insurance may be necessary. Site supervisors must meet Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE) standards.

External Practicum Requirements

  • Enroll in at least two terms of External Practicum (additional terms may be needed to meet hour requirements)
  • Weekly face-to-face supervision with Department of Family Therapy faculty, led by AAMFT-approved supervisors
  • Mandatory regular supervision with on-site supervisor(s)

Pre-Internship Documents

Before starting their internship, students must submit:

  1. The signed internship contract.
  2. The on-site supervisor's resume demonstrating their qualifications and, if applicable, an AAMFT Supervisor Certificate copy.
  3. Information about the internship site.
  4. A detailed description of internship duties and responsibilities from the on-site supervisor.

Internship Hours

  • Students should aim for 15-20 client contact hours per week to meet the required 500 hours within two terms of External Practicum.
  • Additional practicums may be taken to fulfill the hour requirements.
  • Adherence to site contract requirements is mandatory.
  • Besides client hours, time for paperwork and site engagement is necessary, with 20 hours per week allocated to the internship being realistic.

Site Development and Approval

  • If seeking more diverse experiences or struggling to accumulate hours at one site, students can propose additional sites.
  • Approval from faculty supervisors, the internship coordinator, and the program director is necessary.
  • At most two internship sites are recommended.

Practicum Evaluation Process

Practicum evaluations (internal and external) are conducted each term by both site and faculty supervisors. Students are also encouraged to assess their performance. Supervisors and students are able to evaluate their progress in therapeutic skills by reviewing the following:

  • Attention to Professional, Ethical and Legal Issues
  • Systemic Case Conceptualization:
  • Clinical Session Management:
  • Attention to Client/Therapist Position
  • Effective Use of Supervision

Evaluation forms can be found on the College of Osteopathic Medicine website and are designed to assess clinical skills closely.  

Access Forms 

Comprehensive Exam

In addition to successfully completing all coursework and obtaining the required minimum 500 client contact hours and 100 supervision hours, students must pass a comprehensive examination as required for the M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy degree. This clinically-focused examination tests the student's ability to apply what has been learned. Exams are given at the end of each term. Students are eligible to take the Comprehensive Exam when they have:

  • Completed their required clinical and supervision hours, and
  • Completed their coursework by or before the end of the term during which the examination is taken

Contact Us

For general information and questions about the programs, email

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