Master of Arts in Counseling, Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: MA

Classroom Type: Online and on campus classes

Prepares students for careers as couple and family therapists. Faculty teach students to prize human diversity and offer a continuum of mental health services across a variety of settings for the benefit of the community and society. Graduates treat relationship and emotional challenges, while promoting optimum relational health, through a systemic, holistic approach.

Application​ deadlines

Fall: February 1; Spring: September 1

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling Health & Wellness Social & Behavioral Sciences

Campus: CU Denver

Accreditation: CACREP, COAMFTE

What you'll learn

Do you wish to join the fast-growing couple and family specialty in the counseling/therapy profession? University of Colorado Denver’s MA in Counseling with a concentration in couple and family counseling/therapy (CFTC) prepares students for careers as couple and family therapists who treat mental and emotional challenges, while promoting optimum relational health through a systemic, holistic approach.

Launch your counseling career with real-world experience unmatched by any other mental health graduate program in Colorado. Our students receive mentored counseling/therapy experience in our campus Student and Community Counseling Center with live supervision and continual feedback from licensed clinicians. Our graduates are recognized for being strongly prepared and committed to providing culturally informed, equity focused services.

Our faculty members are committed to fostering social, relational and cross-cultural learning contexts that will prepare you to prize human diversity and to offer a continuum of mental health services across a variety of settings for the benefit of the community and society.

Mission Statement

The Master's specialization in Couple & Family Counseling/Therapy at the University of Colorado Denver prepares students for careers as ethical couple and family therapists who treat mental and emotional disorders, while promoting optimum relational health through a systemic, holistic approach. The focus of the CFT specialization is systemic and relational, with a commitment to fostering an open culture of social, relational and cross–cultural contexts of learning that are essential for effective therapist training. Educating students with a critical eye on research, the CFT specialization prepares relational therapists who value inclusion and prize diversity such that they are prepared to offer a continuum of mental health services across a variety of settings for the benefit of the community and society.

Overall Program Goals

The Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy faculty are committed to the following program goals:

  • Program will exhibit commitment to diversity and cultural responsiveness.
  • Program educates students in a systemic paradigm and emphasizes the use of a systemic framework in their clinical practice.
  • Program is committed to educating students on research.
  • Program is committed to developing ethical practitioners.
  • Program demonstrates commitment to graduate success.

Student Learning Outcomes

The following are the corresponding student learning outcomes for the Couple and Family Counseling/Therapy program:

  • Students will demonstrate clinical competency in working in diverse settings and with diverse client populations.
  • Students will successfully pass the multicultural curriculum
  • Students will demonstrate their knowledge of a systemic framework in a case application paper
  • Students will apply a systemic framework in their clinical practice
  • Students will develop a research proposal
  • Students will learn to critically analyze common assessments in the field
  • Students will show a commitment to professional ethical behavior in their clinical practice
  • Students will complete program in a timely manner
  • Graduates will be gainfully employed in the field
  • Graduates will pass the National Marital and Family Therapy Exam

Diversity Composition Information: Fall 2020

Students Faculty** Supervisors



















Black / African American




Hispanic / Latinx





Less than 5*



Two or More

Less than 5*



Not Reported

Less than 5*



White / Non-Hispanic




* Categories with less than five students are suppressed for privacy purposes.
** Faculty includes any instructor of a Couple and Family Therapy track required course fall 2018 to fall 2020.

Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development

You can trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare you for excellence in your career as a counselor. The university and school are recognized for preparing leaders of distinction who value educational excellence and social justice. Additionally, CU Denver’s School of Education and Human Development is counted among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top schools in the country.

License Portability


Most of the courses for this 63-credit program take place Monday - Thursday in three-hour blocks beginning at either 3:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. However, core and prerequisite classes are offered starting at 3:30 p.m. on a consistent basis. Some classes meet on weekends (Friday evening or Saturday during the day) or in a hybrid format. Very few classes will be available fully online.

Course syllabi are available for review by prospective students on request. Email with the course number and prefix.

Sample Courses

  • COUN 6000 - Intro to Sex Counseling/Therapy3 credits
  • COUN 6140 - Counseling/Therapy with Children, Adolescents and Their Parents3 credits
  • COUN 6170 - Issues in Family Studies3 credits
  • COUN 6250 - Mental Health Diagnosis3 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:3 to 4 years

Required Credits for Completion:63

Admission Requirements

Diversity Statement

We encourage applications from persons from a variety of sociopolitical contexts, such as racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, veterans, sexual and gender minorities, and individuals from a variety of religious and spiritual backgrounds. The couple/family faculty provides open and supportive learning environments where students are invited to engage in personal and reflective processes about their own and others’ experiences, beliefs and values. We seek to train counselors/therapists who can approach clients with integrity, respect and sensitivity for differences in beliefs, values, and lifestyles.

Application Deadlines

Due to the competitive nature of this program, faculty are only able to review complete applications; this includes letters of recommendation, transcripts and all other required elements of the application. In order to secure your application as “complete” in sufficient time for faculty review and consideration we highly recommend submitting your application at least one to two months prior to the deadline to ensure we have ample time to work with you on your application should items be missing. To avoid your application remaining incomplete at the time of the posted deadline please be sure to complete the steps below as early as possible.

Fall Semester: February 1

Spring Semester: September 1

Application Requirements

  • 3 recommendation letters
  • Official Transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Resume/CV
  • Written Statement
  • $50.00 application fee
  • Admissions Interview: Upon successful completion and review of your file, qualified applicants are invited to attend a REQUIRED half-day interview on the Denver campus (or virtually in response to the COVID-19 pandemic) approximately one month after the deadline date. During this interview applicants will be oriented to the program, participate in small group interviews and large group. Participation in the interview is mandatory and you will not be accepted into the program without attending. We do not conduct individual interviews for admission to our program. Final selection of the applicants will be based on their performance in the interview.
  • International Applicants only: Proof of English Language Proficiency (International applicants should review the following information regarding English language proficiency)

For more information, email or call 303.315.6300.