Couple in Therapy SessionThe couple and family therapy (CFT) emphasis area within our master’s program is designed to provide training to educate and train knowledgeable, competent, and ethical practitioners who are capable of treating a broad spectrum of individuals and families; whose clinical skills are based in family systems theory; and whose primary professional identification is with the discipline of marriage and family therapy. With this mission in mind, there are 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

Mission, Program Goals, and Student Learning Outcomes

Student Achievement 2009-2019

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. Nathan Wood (CFT Academic Program Director), and Dr. Ron Werner-Wilson, and Tracey Werner-Wilson (Clinic Director).

CFT Coursework

Due to COAMFTE accreditation requirements, there is little flexibility in the coursework required for CFT students. All CFT students are required to complete 300-500* client contact hours (which is primarily accomplished during the 10 credit hours of practicum) and take the following courses shown below (53 credit hours total).  The sequence of coursework will depend on the year you enter into the program.  For example, students that start in Fall 2017 will follow the sequence in blue whereas students that start in Fall 2018 will follow the grey sequence.

CFT Coursework  - Click for PDF version

Click here to see how each of the courses fit with our learning outcomes.

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 in the faculty, staff, and students is important to us and the University of Kentucky, we do not discriminate students or applicants on the basis of race, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, relationship status, gender identity, socioeconomic status, disability, health status, religion and spiritual beliefs and/or affiliation, and/or national origin.  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. Our current demographic composition can be found here. 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
  • most were social science majors (we prefer family science majors)
  • most 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 review 20 to 40 applications each year. From that group, 16-20 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/video conference interview may be possible, but we prefer to actually see the person with whom we will work so intensely. We admit 6-8 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?
Our students who go onto take the national licensing exam have done very well!  In fact, recent alumni surveys have shown that all of the students since 2005 who have taken the exam have passed the exam.  You can see more of our alumni achievement data here

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 16-20 CFT emphasis area applicants for interviews that take place in February or March. Interview invitees are selected based on undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, quality of the purpose statement and reference letters, and prior volunteer, research, 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. Hyungsoo Kim, at hkim3@uky.edu or 859-257-7742.

*- While the state of Kentucky allows 300 hours of client contact for licensure, students need to be aware that many states require 500 clinical hours in order to be eligible for licensure.