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College of Health Sciences
Marriage & Family Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Are there scholarships or other forms of financial assistance available?

Graduate assistantships are available for students in the MA and on-site, clinical Ph.D. programs.  These positions are competitive and come with a tuition waiver and monthly stipend.  Please visit the Graduate Assistantships page for more information.  The financial aid office can assist students with other forms of financial assistance.  

After the MFT Admissions Committee meets, when will I find out if I was accepted into the program?

If you are applying to the MA or clinical PhD programs, you will be required to attend an interview day in March, soon after the application deadline.  The committee will make final selections after the interview day, and you will receive a letter within two weeks notifying you of your status.  Applicants are given a deadline to respond in writing within two weeks.  There are three possible outcomes during the admissions process: admit, alternate, and deny.  Alternates are accepted under the condition that an admitted student does not accept his or her spot in the program. 

What are the steps to receiving a GA position?

First you must complete the GA application and have recommendations written for you (there is a specific ULM GA recommendation form that must be used).  Please send the application and recommendations to the MFT Admissions Committee with your application package.  Once the MFT Admissions Committee has received your complete application and recommendation forms, your application will be forwarded to the School of Health Professions for evaluation and assignment. You will receive a letter regarding any positions being offered to you.  You must accept the position in writing.  Finally, at the beginning of the semester you will be required to attend a GA Orientation meeting if you receive a GA position.

What does it mean to be a systemically-based program?

Our marriage and family therapy programs are systemically-based, meaning that we focus on understanding problems and issues in the context of relationships, particularly family relationships.

What is the difference between counseling and therapy?

Typically, therapy refers to a shorter-term process that focuses primarily on behavior, or a particular situation.  Counseling is generally a longer process that focuses on understanding chronic problems, behaviors, and situations.  Treatment tends to focus less on behavior and more on thought process. 

Master of Arts

Is the MA program accredited?

The MA program is accredited by COAMFTE. The program’s curriculum allows students to meet the academic requirements for licensure as an LMFT and as an LPC, in the state of Louisiana.

When and where do we start seeing clients?

Students in the MA program will begin seeing clients during their second semester of the program, typically the Spring of the first year.  Beginning around March, students will conduct co-therapy with an upper-class MA or PhD student.  Gradually, the MA student will begin doing therapy without a co-therapist.  Students see clients in the ULM Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic, and all therapy is conducted under the supervision of an MFT faculty member and AAMFT approved supervisor. 

How many academic hours are required for graduation?

A minimum of 60 academic hours is required to graduate from the MA program.  Students are able to take additional electives if their schedules allow for it.  The program is designed in a cohort-model, so each class of MA students will have a majority of their classes together.  Students tend to complete the 60 hours in 2 years.

How many client contact hours are required for graduation?

A minimum of 500 client contact hours is required to graduate from the MA program.  Half of the 500 hours must be therapy with either couples or families.  A minimum of 100 supervision hours is also required.  Students will gain client contact and supervision hours from seeing clients in the ULM MFT clinic and at their internship sites. 

Are graduate assistantships available, and if so, where?

GAs are available for eligible MA students.  Please refer to the question on GAs above. 

Is your program more research based or clinically based?

A master’s degree is the terminal degree for the therapy-field, so we focus on developing our students’ therapeutic and clinical skills during the MA program.  However, we also emphasize the academic and theoretical base of therapy.  We do require our students to take a research course in the program. 

How long does the program last?

Typically, the MA program lasts 2 years, including the summer between the two years.  Most students complete in this time-frame. 

Will I be licensed after graduating from your MA program?

The coursework for the MA program meets the academic requirements for licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Louisiana and many other states. We encourage applicants to look at the licensing requirements for states in which they are interested in practicing to determine if the MA coursework meets the academic requirements.  Students should also investigate how many client contact hours are required to attain licensure.  In Louisiana, and many other states, students can begin practicing after they graduate, but there is a period of approximately two years that requires supervision from a fully licensed therapist.

In Louisiana, students are eligible to become Marriage and Family Therapy Interns immediately after graduating with the academic requirements for licensure.  Please visit the Louisiana LPC board’s website for information on licensure in Louisiana.  If you are interested in becoming licensed in another state, please consult that state’s requirements for licensure. 

Are MA students required to complete a thesis?

MA students are not required to complete a thesis as a program requirement.  However, students have the option of completing a master’s thesis if they want to do so. Completing a thesis does not replace the internship portion of the program; a thesis is in addition to the typical program requirements. 

When can I start the program?

We only accept students into the MA program in the Fall semesters. The application deadline is February 1 of every year.