Psychology Department

Application Instructions

The MS in Marriage and Family Therapy program is now accepting applications for Fall 2024 admission!

Application deadline: January 12, 2024.

Applications received by this date will be given full consideration. Only completed applications will be considered. Communication regarding the status of your application will be sent to the e-mail address you provide when filling out your Cal State Apply application. Admission is contingent upon approval by the Psychology Department and the Graduate School.

What are the program prerequisite courses?

The following four courses must be completed before starting graduate classes in the Fall. These courses may be at any level (upper or lower division) and in any discipline, but should be equivalent to a 3-unit semester long course. Courses may be completed at any accredited college or university. Courses that were completed more than 10 years ago will not fulfill the prerequisite requirement and should be retaken.

  • Research Methods
  • Developmental Psychology, Child Psychology, or Child and Adolescent Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Abnormal Psychology

When you submit your application, only unofficial transcripts are required. However, prior to enrolling in the Fall, official transcripts reflecting passing grades in all prerequisite courses will be required. If you have not already taken each of these courses, include a plan for completing any missing courses in under the Optional Documents section.

What information must I submit to complete my application?

As part of your application, you will be asked to submit the following:

  1. Responses to Three Interview Questions. When completing the application on Cal State Apply you will be asked to answer the following three questions. Please prepare to provide an answer for each one that is between ½ and 1 page in length.
    1. The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at California State University, Chico is to train exemplary, passionate, research-informed, culturally-sensitive, client-centered, systemic therapists capable of excelling in a multitude of mental health settings through innovative and experiential learning. Provide an example of how your own experiences have contributed to your interest in becoming a marriage and family therapist.
    2. Several universities offer Master’s degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy. Describe why you specifically interested in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Chico State.
    3. The MFT program at CSU, Chico includes graduate level courses, experiential/clinical training, and encouragement toward personal growth. Describe your commitment to doing the hard work of studying, learning in applied settings, and making the changes necessary to develop your professional identity as a therapist. Provide evidence from your past experiences that demonstrate your commitment.
  2. A resume.
  3. Application for Advancement to Classified Status (PDF) (For more information about Classified Status, see the campus policies in the catalog.)
  4. Unofficial transcripts from every college/university attended since high school.
  5. Three letters of recommendation.

Is the GRE required for admission to the program?

Standardized test scores (i.e. GRE, MAT, etc.) are NOT required for admission to the MFT program.

Who should I ask to write me a letter of recommendation?

Identify three individuals who have agreed to submit a letter of recommendation on your behalf. When you submit your application you will be asked to provide the contact information of your recommenders. For the Marriage and Family Therapy program we are specifically looking for recommenders who are familiar with your academic and professional work. Your three letters should therefore consist of:

  1. At least one letter from a professor familiar with the quality of your work;
  2. If applicable, one letter from a supervisor or employer in either a clinical, research, or other work/volunteer environment;
  3. The third letter may be written by another professor, research supervisor, or by someone in the helping profession.

How do I submit my application?

The entire graduate school application must be completed and submitted online via the Cal State Apply system:

What Happens After Submitting an Application?

Applicants will be notified of admissions decisions at the e-mail address they provide in Cal State Apply. If accepted, the department may recommend that you be admitted as either a "conditionally classified" master's degree student (you have yet to complete some of the undergraduate prerequisites) or as a “classified" master's degree student (you have met all of the prerequisites).

If accepted, you are required to return the Notification of Acceptance form, sent to you with the acceptance letter from the department, indicating whether you intend to matriculate by the fall semester. Failure to do so will result in the loss of your position in the program; however, you may reapply the following year, if you choose.

This three-year program provides an integrated course of study that meets the educational requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) license as specified in California State law (SB-33; Section 4980.36). The 60-unit program is designed to train competent professional therapists to work in mental health agencies and private practice settings.

If you have any questions about your application or the application process, please contact the Marriage & Family Therapy program coordinator, Dr. Kyle Horst.

The information above is for people applying to the Master's program in Marriage and Family Therapy. If you are interested in applying to one of our other two programs, please go to: