2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 16, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Marriage and Family Therapy

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Program Director: C. Awosan; Professor Emeritus: R. Burns; Assistant Professor: Y. He; Clinical Director and Field Placement Coordinator: M. Fernandez  

The Department of Marriage and Family Therapy offers unique and comprehensive MS degree in marriage and family therapy. All courses in the department are oriented toward studying human behavior from an intrapsychic, interpersonal, intergenerational, spiritual and multicultural perspectives. Graduates of the program are also afforded a firm grounding in family systems theories and techniques as well as strong cultural and ethical foundations.

The department looks to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), and the New York State License Laws and Regulations for Marriage and Family Therapy in planning its curriculum.

The program in Marriage and Family Therapy has been registered and approved by the New York State Department of Higher Education and has been given the designation “Licensure Qualifying” by New York State for licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist.  

The Marriage and Family Therapy Program has been awarded initial accreditation status by Commission on the Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. The program has completed a voluntary peer review process including a self-study and an on-site verification by the Commission in order to receive accreditation. Iona’s accreditation currently runs through 2022.

The department contributes its services to the surrounding communities. The Iona Family Therapy Center (IFTC), conducted by the department, offers individual, couple and family therapy. The department offers seminars for various professional and community groups.

The MS in Marriage and Family Therapy is geared towards those individuals who desire to work from a systemic/relational perspective. Students are required to become student members of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Completion of the MS in Marriage and Family Therapy leads to eligibility for associate membership in AAMFT. By completing additional appropriate clinical experience and supervision after graduation, holders of the MS in Marriage and Family Therapy may qualify for clinical membership in AAMFT.


Students enrolled in the programs are required to participate in their own growth experience as well as critical awareness of self in relations to others. This recommendation is based on the departmental philosophy that recognizes the value of such an experience to the continuous development of self-awareness as well as understanding of one’s social locations and identities in relations to others. It is also based on the belief that firsthand experience as a client bridges the often-existing gap between the intellectual and the emotional understanding of the client experience. Additionally, it is the department’s hope that attention to Self-of-the-Therapist work allows students to be more culturally aware, sensitive, responsive in their clinical development and ethical interactions with clients as well as colleagues.

Clinical Experience and Supervision

Students enrolled in the Marriage and Family Therapy program are being trained as clinical mental health practitioners who will apply family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of professional services to individuals, couples, and families in a variety of settings.

Students enrolled in the program will engage in two years of clinical practicum during the second and third years of training. During this clinical experience it is virtually impossible to work full time while managing the expectations of an external field placements and working with clients at the IFTC. Students are strongly urged to seek two field placement sites to accumulate the hours required for graduation in a timely manner.

Students are expected to complete a minimum of 500 supervised, direct client contact hours with individuals, couples, and families. Up to 400 of these hours must be face-to-face contact with individuals, couples, and families. Additionally, at least 250 of these required client contact hours must be with couples or families. One hundred of the required 500 hours can be designated alternate/equivalent hours with permission of the department.

Students must be supervised while they are doing their clinical work. Students are required to receive at least 100 hours of face-to-face supervision with an AAMFT approved supervisor. At least 50 of the supervision hours will be based on direct observation, videotape, or audiotape.  Furthermore, at least 25 of those 50 hours will be based on direct observation or videotape of each student’s clinical work with clients.

Upon completion of the requirements for graduation in the MFT program, students are eligible to apply for the Limited Permit in Marriage and Family Therapy. Upon completion of the required supervised clinical experience and passing the American Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Board examination in Marriage and Family Therapy graduates are granted a license as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in New York.  Similar licensing is available in other states.  However, graduates who desire to be licensed in another state/jurisdiction are advised to check with local licensing boards for the requisite state requirements.

Capstone Project and Substitute

A Capstone Project is required of all students for graduation.  This project involves a written Case Study that documents the graduate’s ability to integrate theoretical knowledge with clinical skills and apply it to a real clinical situation, as well as video documentation as support for the students’ growing clinical skill.

Matriculated Status

See “Academic Information - Matriculated” in this catalog for requirements to be met, in addition to the following:

  • Students must meet the professional and clinical criteria established by the department.

Conducting Private Practice While Enrolled in the Program

While enrolled in the program, students may not independently offer mental health diagnosis, counseling, therapy, individual or organizational assessment, consultation services or other professional services for which they are being trained, either gratis or for remuneration.

Professional Conduct

Students in the department are being trained in the most sensitive areas of human interaction. Those who gain from their Iona training and who in turn become capable of helping their clients are those whose emotional health, ethical standards and behaviors signal their ability to develop and maintain the highest of professional attitudes and personal growth.

In view of this fact, Iona reserves the right to place on probation, suspend or dismiss from the program any student who falls short of the required clinical or professional standards of competence and integrity established by the program and department.

The decision of the department chair or his/her delegate regarding a student’s status in the program shall be supported by written faculty assessments and recommendations. These shall be guided by the precepts of the latest edition of the Ethical Principles of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and New York State Law.

Department procedures afford the student the opportunity to address concerns raised by the faculty and to take advantage of the appeals process.

Grievance procedures can be found in the Student Handbook.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of 54 credits including the appropriate distribution of credits.
  2. A minimum 3.0 GPA.
  3. Acceptance of the written and presented master’s project.
  4. All professional and clinical criteria established by the department.
  5. The department’s expectation is that all requirements will be completed within three years from the date of admission. The maximum time allowed for completion is five years.


    Master of Science

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