Thomas Jefferson University
Jefferson College of Health Professions
Department of Counseling & Behavioral Health


We communicate with applicants via email, so please provide a valid email address and adjust your email settings to allow mail from

This application is supported by Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.  Students using Internet Explorer or Safari may not have full functionality of the application.

Application Cycle

Application Deadline: August 15

To be considered complete and eligible for review, your application must be completed online by the deadline date. Required letters of recommendation, transcripts, and personal statement and all other applicable documents (certifications, test scores, etc.) must be submitted. All documents must be postmarked by the deadline date to be eligible for review.

Decisions are granted on a rolling basis throughout the cycle until the class is filled. We may contact academically eligible applicants via e-mail to schedule an interview (provided space is still available). Decisions include: Offer of Admission, Denied Admission, Hold for Grades and Waitlist.


The majority of your prerequisites must be completed before an admissions decision can be made. You do not need to have your prerequisites completed before you apply. You may also earn credits through standardized tests, including CLEP.

Questions about prerequisites can be directed to or 215-503-8890

Degree & GPA

Students are required to have a Bachelor's degree and a 3.0 GPA.

Courses & Credits

Courses must be completed with a grade of “B” or above to be eligible for transfer.

Course Title Credits
General Psychology 3
Abnormal Psychology * 3
Statistics 3

* Psychopathology also accepted

Performance Requirements/Technical Standards

Individuals participating in the Couple & Family Therapy program at Thomas Jefferson University must have the essential skills to perform successfully as a student. These requirements apply to classroom, supervision and clinical environments. A student must be able to perform the following cognitive/intellectual tasks (reasonable accommodation is allowed):

  • Acquire, process, retain and apply knowledge through a variety of instructional methods such as written materials, lecture, video, clinical experience, supervision and independent learning.
  • Complete reading and writing assignments in standard and organized English, search and analyze professional literature and apply information gained to guide clinical practice.
  • Process large amounts of complex information, apply theoretical concepts to clinical practice and perform clinical problem solving in a logical and timely manner.
  • Apply basic statistical skills to evaluate research findings.
  • Participate positively in cooperative group learning activities and actively participate in class discussions and as a member of team.
  • Orally present information in class and in professional and clinical situations in an organized and coherent fashion.
  • Take and pass tests/quizzes in a variety of formats.
  • Apply knowledge and judgment required to demonstrate ethical reasoning and behavior.
  • Apply safety and judgment to a variety of situations.
  • Comply with practica site rules and regulations.
  • Demonstrate mastery of core foundational, advanced theoretical and empirical information in the areas of human development, systems theory, family development, models of family and couple therapy, couple and family therapeutic process, human sexuality, gender, diversity, psychopathology, couple and family therapy research, ethics and other areas deemed relevant by the faculty to the field of couple and family therapy.
  • Apply clinical reasoning and judgment necessary to develop appropriate clinical assessments and treatment plans.
  • Demonstrate judgment necessary to establish clinical priorities and develop and use effective clinical strategies.
  • Form a collaborative relationship with clinical supervisors.
  • Behave in ways that conform to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) Code of Ethics

Clinical Skills & Competencies

Students must possess sufficient interpersonal, communication and professional behaviors to adequately perform the following clinical skills and competencies.

Engagement Competencies

  • Engage client(s) in treatment in a systemic way
  • Foster a feeling of trust and hope in the therapeutic process
  • Maintain a balanced therapist-client(s) alliance

Problem Identification & Assessment Competencies

  • Obtain all the necessary information about any problem or problems
  • Observe and become aware of the emotional process(es) at work in the client(s)
  • Identify and explore relationship problems, including maladaptive interactional patterns such as triangulation, collapsed hierarchies, boundary issues, intergenerational legacies, attachment styles, destructive entitlement, etc
  • Identify individual psychopathology, its role in the system and implications for treatment
  • Use both formal and informal assessment tools to identify individual and relational problems
  • Integrate assessment with treatment

Case Formulation & Goal Setting Competencies

  • Describe any case within a systems perspective (individual, interactional, intergenerational)
  • Formulate and test hypotheses about the system
  • Describe orally and in written format the functioning of the system from several theoretical perspectives
  • Establish realistic and workable goals in collaboration with the client(s)
  • Change goals as a function of stage of therapy and needs of the client(s)

Change & Facilitation Competencies

  • Modify maladaptive interaction patterns using appropriate therapeutic techniques including: pacing, boundary modification, reframing, clarifying cognitive distortions, unbalancing, structuring, creating therapeutic focus and themes, creating enactments, affect regulation, assigning tasks and therapeutic homework, confronting or working with resistance, etc.
  • Clarify how actions may lead to consequences which constitute problems for the client(s)
  • Help the client(s) to identify and alter emotional factors that may block attempts to achieve better functioning
  • Help the client(s) implement new, adaptive patterns of interaction
  • Help the client(s) mobilize outside resources
  • Identify and build on client strengths in the service of change

Termination Competencies

  • Assess the situation when a client(s) initiates the termination process
  • Assess the need for termination and initiating termination when appropriate
  • Conclude treatment constructively

Application Process

For application related questions, please visit TJAPP Instructions and FAQ's.


TJAPP, Jefferson's application for admission, is managed through a central application service. All application materials should be delivered to TJAPP.

The application fee is $50.00 and needs to be submitted by credit card (Visa or Mastercard only) upon submission of the application. The fee is non-refundable.


Submit your CV or resume to TJAPP.  

Official Transcripts

Submit official transcript(s) from every college or university attended to:

P.O. Box 9130
Watertown, MA 02471

If your coursework was completed outside of the United States, you must submit a course-by-course evaluation from one of the following international evaluation agencies:

Personal Statement/Essay

Submit a personal statement/essay describing your motivation or desire to become a Couple and Family Therapist to TJAPP.

Recommendation Letters

Submit two recent professional or academic recommendations to TJAPP. Request recommendations from professors, managers/supervisors, volunteer coordinators, etc. Do not send letters from colleagues, classmates and/or family members.

International Students

Please see our additional information for applying as an International Student.

English Language Proficiency

Send official TOEFL scores to Jefferson (if applicable).

Please click here for additional information on the TOEFL.

Drug, Criminal Background & Child Abuse Clearances

All students who are offered admission are required to have a criminal background check and child abuse clearance. In addition, PA students who are offered admission are required to be fingerprinted and undergo a drug test. Some clinical sites may require health professions and pharmacy students to be fingerprinted and/or undergo a drug test. The Office of Admissions will provide you with the appropriate information to complete these requirements, as needed.

Clinical rotation and fieldwork sites that require a criminal background check, child abuse clearance and/or fingerprinting may deny a student’s participation in the clinical experience, rotation or fieldwork because of a felony or misdemeanor conviction or a record of child abuse. Clinical sites may also deny participation in clinical experiences for other reasons, such as failure of a required drug test, or inability to produce an appropriate health clearance. As participation in clinical experiences, rotations or fieldwork is a required part of the curriculum and a requirement for graduation, denial of participation by a clinical site may result in delay of graduation or the inability to graduate from the Program.

Regardless of whether or not a student graduates from Thomas Jefferson University, individuals who have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor may be denied certification or licensure as a health professional. Information regarding individual eligibility may be obtained from the appropriate credentialing bodies.

Contact Us

Thomas Jefferson University
Office of Admissions
Phone: 215-503-8890