University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
Join us Online!

Contact Us via e-MailContact us

Find Us on Facebook Facebook

Follow UKHES on Twitter

School of Human
Environmental Sciences

102 Erikson Hall,
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY
tel: (859) 257-3887

•  Alumni
•  Apply
•  Courses
•  Course Rotation
•  Current Students
•  Emphasis Areas
•  Forms
•  Funding
•  Handbook
•  Student Pubs
•  Useful Links
• Master's
    ◊  Overview
    ◊  CFT Emphasis
    ◊  Curriculum
    ◊  Theses
• Doctoral
    ◊  Overview
    ◊  Curriculum
    ◊  Dissertations
    ◊  Flow Chart
    ◊  Portfolio

HomeFamily SciencesGraduateMaster'sOverview › Couple & Family Therapy Program


Masterís in Family Science - Couple & Family Therapy Emphasis Area

The couple and family therapy (CFT) emphasis area within our master’s program has some unique requirements due to the clinical nature of this emphasis area and COAMFTE accreditation requirements. In addition to coursework, CFT students engage in client-contact hours, community outreach, research opportunities, and graduate assistantships. Upon graduating from our master’s program with an emphasis in couple and family therapy, students are prepared to work with families, couple, and individuals, or pursue doctoral studies in family science, therapy, or related social science disciplines.

CFT Curriculum Map

CFT Faculty
Although CFT students take academic coursework from numerous non-CFT faculty members within the Department of Family Sciences, the CFT faculty are all AAMFT Approved Supervisors (or, Approved Supervisors in Training) and consists of
Dr. Ron Werner-Wilson (CFT Academic Program Director), Dr. Nathan Wood, and Dr. Trent Parker, as well as Tracey Werner-Wilson (Clinic Director).

CFT Coursework
Due to COAMFT accreditation requirements, there is little flexibility in the coursework required for CFT students. All CFT students are required to complete 500 client contact hours (which is primarily accomplished during the 10 credit hours of practicum) and take the following courses, in the sequence shown:



Credit Hours

1st Fall

FAM 601: Family Processes
FAM 686: Theory & Methods in CFT
FAM 687: Treatment Modalities
FAM 775: Professional Development Seminar


1st Spring

Even Years: FAM 640: Using the DSM in CFT Assessment
                  FAM 759: Special Topics - Play Therapy
Odd Years: FAM 685: Professional Issues in CFT
                 FAM 740: Couple and Sex Therapy
FAM 690: Research Methods in Family Science
FAM 787: Practicum




Summer or 2nd Fall

Take a statistics, qualitative methodology, or program evaluation course, as appropriate for master's thesis preparation.



FAM 787: Practicum


2nd Fall

FAM 652: Readings in Family Theory & Research
FAM 654: The Lifecourse Perspective on Families
FAM 768: Master's Thesis Residence Credit
FAM 787: Practicum


2nd Spring

Even Years: FAM 640: Using the DSM in CFT Assessment
                  FAM 759: Special Topics - Play Therapy
Odd Years: FAM 685: Professional Issues in CFT
                 FAM 740: Couple and Sex Therapy
FAM 668: Allocation of Family Resources
FAM 768: Master's Thesis Residence Credit
FAM 787: Practicum




2nd Summer

If not graduated, finish master's thesis and/or clinical hours

Total:  53

CFT Clinical Facilities
The Family Center serves as our clinical facility, where therapy, training, and supervision takes place.

Cost and Financial Support
Although funding cannot be guaranteed in advance, we make an effort to provide funding (usually through a graduate assistantship) for all students in our graduate program. See our
funding page for more information about the cost of the program and financial support available.

Frequently Asked Questions
What is the admissions committee looking for?
A tremendous amount of time and energy is invested into each student and into developing each class as a group. Diversity of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, age, and gender are ideal in a CFT program, but not always possible. Students with limitations in one area are sometimes admitted because they have strengths that can benefit the program. The best measure of what interests the committee is a profile of students we have admitted in the past:

  • all were strong undergraduate students with better than a 3.0 GPA
  • many had GRE scores exceeding the 50th percentile, although we have no cut-off score
  • all were social science majors (we prefer family science majors)
  • all have served as counselors or helpers either employed or as volunteers
  • all were strongly drawn to couple and family therapy for personal, philosophical, and professional reasons
  • all are able to attend the program full-time

How many apply and how many are chosen?
The number of applicants to our program changes from year to year, but we typically have 50 or so complete applications to review. From that group, 20-25 will be invited to visit the program for an interview. An interview is required for admission. If a candidate resides outside the continental US, a telephone interview may be possible, but we prefer to actually see the person with whom we will work so intensely. We admit 8-10 students each year.

How long does it take to complete the program?
Because we are a COAMFTE-accredited program, the course structure is fairly lock step. Getting out of phase can force up to a year delay. We want students to stay with their class and to complete the program on schedule in 2 years.

When do you make final admission decisions?
Applications are due January 15. We strive to have interviews completed by mid-March and to complete admissions by mid to late April.

What sort of supervision do students have?
You will begin working in the UK Family Center the first semester of the program. By the second semester you will be deep into clinical work, first as a co-therapist and then on your own. Whenever you are working directly with clients you will receive support and supervision--lots of it--from faculty and from other students. Throughout the clinical phase of the program, when you are seeing clients you will receive weekly individual and group supervision. In some of your sessions with clients you will be observed directly while you conduct therapy. Some supervision will consist of reviewing videotapes or audio tapes you make of your sessions. You will be assigned an individual supervisor who will closely monitor your work and case files.

What is the graduation rate and percentage of students from the program that pass the national licensing exam?
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy posts the graduation rate and pass rate for the national licensing exam for all accredited programs at their web site.  Please click to review this student achievement criteria.

Admission Policies and Procedures
Application materials are due no later than January 15th to begin fall semester of the same calendar year. Applicants for the CFT emphasis area must be admitted to both the UK Graduate School and to the Department of Family Sciences master’s program. Then, after carefully reviewing each applicant, the CFT faculty invites approximately 20-25 CFT emphasis area applicants for interviews that take place in late-February or March. Interview invitees are selected based on undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, quality of the purpose statement and reference letters, and prior volunteer and professional experience. See our
graduate program application page for more details.

Contact Us
Current CFT students are happy talk with prospective applicants and to share their perspectives and experiences in the program. To contact current students, call 859-257-7755. If you have questions about our master's program or the application process, please contact our Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Jason Hans, at or 859-257-7761.

University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, An Equal Opportunity University
Copyright © 2011, Questions/Comments - Last Updated: March 13 2013 14:51:04