MFT Programs in Colorado

The natural beauty of Colorado and the endless possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts are an incredible draw to those looking for adventure and nature. But the Rocky Mountains aren’t the only incentive. Luckily for students pursuing marriage and family therapy licensing, the state also has many MFT programs to choose from. So, whether you are hoping to study in Colorado, work here, or both, let’s look at the MFT program options in the state and how to become a licensed marriage and family therapist here.

Accredited MFT Programs in Colorado

One of the major accrediting agencies for clinical mental health counseling graduate programs is called the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). The agency makes sure the training program has a quality curriculum that fully prepares students to enter the world of counseling. If you are looking for CACREP-accredited programs in Colorado, there is one in the state. 

University of Northern Colorado, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences:

M.A. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling

Just an hour away from Boulder in Greeley and right beside the Rocky’s, University of Northern Colorado offers students an MFT training program that takes 66 credit hours to complete. Courses in the program focus on applying therapy techniques to family systems and relationships. Along with the core required courses, students are required to complete a practicum and an internship during their graduate career. During this time, students will gain practical experience counseling couples, families, and individuals in a clinical setting.


COAMFTE Accredited Colorado MFT Programs

While there are other accrediting agencies for clinical mental health programs, CACREP is the big name in quality checking for graduate programs. However, another accrediting agency has become popular specifically for marriage and family therapy training programs. The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE) accredits MFT programs across the country. Many states have even chosen to make COAMFTE-accrediting the golden standard for what students should be learning in a training program for marital and family counselors.
NameCityStateDegree LevelAccreditationGRE Required?Full Program NameURL
Regis UniversityThorntonCOMastersCOAMFTENoMA in Marriage and Family TherapyLearn More
University of Colorado DenverDenverCOMastersCOAMFTENoMA in Marriage and Family TherapyLearn More
Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsCOMastersCOAMFTENoMS in Marriage and Family TherapyLearn More
University of Colorado DenverColoradoCOMastersCOAMFTEYesMA, Couple, Marriage and Family TherapyLearn More
Regis UniversityColoradoCOMastersCOAMFTE & CACREPYesM.A. Marriage and Family TherapyLearn More

University of Colorado at Denver:

M.A. in Couple and Family Counseling

Situated in the heart of Colorado’s capital, the university’s MFT program takes a holistic approach to the application of systems theory and family and couples counseling. The 54-credit program takes about 2.5 years to complete full-time or 4 years part-time. With a focus on diversity and a systemic framework, the program offers students the opportunity to learn under licensed clinical mentors giving direct feedback in the Student and Community Counseling Center, where students can put their theoretical learning into practice.


Colorado State University:

Marriage and Family Therapy

This university in Fort Collins takes two years to complete if you take part in the summer sessions. Coursework is taught from a relational-systemic philosophy and values multiculturalism and ethics. Along with regular coursework, students can learn first-hand about the application of techniques through the on-campus Center for Family and Couple Therapy, a clinic that has video equipment and one-way mirrors so students can both observe and be supervised as they complete their practicum hours. The school also has a community outreach and partnership program which gives students the chance to work in the local communities. Through these on and off campus experiences, you will earn the mandatory 500 client hours and 200 supervision hours required for licensure.


No GRE Required MFT Programs in Colorado

Many students hoping to apply for graduate school will be required to take the GRE, a standardized test used to assess a candidate’s readiness for graduate school. While in the past, GRE test scores have been a major consideration for graduate schools in choosing candidates for their programs. These days, especially after the Covid19 pandemic, many graduate programs have opted to focus less on the GRE and more on other materials, like undergraduate GPA and letters of recommendation. For those hoping to avoid the GRE, below are some of the MFT master’s programs in Colorado that don’t require GRE scores for consideration in the program:
NameCityStateDegree LevelAccreditationGRE Required?Full Program NameURL
Adams State UniversityAlamosaCOM.ACACREPNoMaster of Arts in Clinical Mental Health CounselingLearn More
Colorado Christian UniversityColoradoCOMastersCACREPNoOnline Master's in Counseling with a Focus on Marriage & Family TherapyLearn More
University of Colorado at DenverDenverCOM.A.CACREPNoM.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingLearn More
University of Northern Colorado, College of Education and Behavioral SciencesGreeleyCOM.A.CACREPNoM.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingLearn More
Regis UniversityThorntonCOMastersCOAMFTENoMA in Marriage and Family TherapyLearn More
University of Colorado DenverDenverCOMastersCOAMFTENoMA in Marriage and Family TherapyLearn More
Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsCOMastersCOAMFTENoMS in Marriage and Family TherapyLearn More

What will you learn in a Colorado MFT program?

In Colorado, those attending graduate MFT programs full-time can expect to complete the coursework in around two years. In Colorado, to qualify for MFT licensure, you must complete a COAMFTE-accredited program with at least 45 semester hours of coursework. 

You can expect to take courses in human development (9 semester hours), marriage and family studies (9 semester hours), marriage and family therapy (9 semester hours), research (3 semester hours), and professional studies (3 semester hours). You will also be required to complete supervised practicum hours, where you will get your first hands-on clinical experience.

Some accredited programs will also require in-person or online residencies during the program. These residencies are your first chance to practice your techniques in a safe environment. Generally, students in the program gather with staff and guest speakers to learn and practice together. While not all programs require these residencies, be sure to check on the requirements for your school of choice.

How to become an LMFT in Colorado

It starts with your education. To become an LMFT in Colorado, you must complete a COAMFTE-accredited graduate program or a program deemed equivalent. MFT program students in Colorado have to complete 45 semester hours of coursework.

After graduating from your program, you will need to become a resident in training, which means working in a clinic approved by your school and working under an approved supervisor to gain clinical practice hours. In Colorado, students entering their residency in training will need to apply to the State Board of Marriage and Family Therapist Examiners to become a Marriage and Family Therapy Candidate (MFTC). Once approved and registered, students have five years from the time they are approved to complete their licensure requirements. Students should complete a minimum of two years of internships with at least 2,000 hours of clinical practice, all post-graduate. At least 100 of these hours must be direct clinical supervision. 

To secure licensure, you will also need to complete the exam created by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards. You do not need to wait until you have secured your post-graduate supervision hours to apply for permission to take the exam. You can do so as early as your graduate program’s final term. In addition to the licensing exam, you also need to pass the online jurisprudence exam called the Colorado Mental Health Jurisprudence Examination.

Much of your paperwork will have already been processed when you applied for approval as an MFTC. Overall, candidates will need to do the following:

-Submit payment of the application fee.

-Upload transcripts from a COAMFTE-accredited master’s or doctorate program.

-Upload passing jurisprudence score report.

-Provide information for a general and criminal history screening with documentation supporting the information provided.

-Complete a Healthcare Professions Profile with supporting documentation.

What does an LMFT in Colorado do?

While a general clinical mental health counselor counsels individuals on life issues and challenges, a marriage and family therapist will deal with many similar issues from a family systems perspective. LMFTs in Colorado can expect to work with individuals as well as couples and groups within families. These counselors help clients navigate interpersonal relationship challenges and foster personal growth that leads to healthier interactions and lives. An LMFT may also refer clients to other specialists or services, like psychiatrists, social workers, group therapies, in-patient treatment centers, addiction clinics, etc, in an effort to remove barriers to their clients’ well-being.

Colorado LMFT Career and Salary Opportunities

Those just starting out on their journey to becoming marriage and family therapists will be exiting graduate school with the field on an upward trend. The marriage and family therapy field is expected to grow 16 percent from now to 2030 nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is much faster than other industries. The growth can be attributed to many factors, including the rise in mental health awareness, increased demand for services after the Covid19 pandemic, and greater access to therapy because of the rise of telehealth services. As far as salaries go, the national average for licensed marriage and family counselors was $59,660 as of May 2021. With 1,130 LMFTs in the state as of 2021, Colorado’s average yearly salary for that same year was quite a bit higher at $73,040. 

All Marriage and Family Therapy Programs in Colorado

With a robust state university system, there are a number of marriage and family therapy programs in the state of Colorado to choose from. Review the following list for insight into which programs match your needs.
University Name CityStateDegree LevelAccreditationProgram NameProgram URL
Regis UniversityThorntonCOM.A.COAMFTEM.A. in Marriage and Family TherapyClick Here
University of Colorado at DenverDenverCOM.A.COAMFTEM.A. in Couple and Family TherapyClick Here
Colorado State UniversityFort CollinsCOM.S.CACREPM.S. in Marriage and Family TherapyClick Here

Colorado MFT Resources

If you are interested in continuing your search for graduate school programs in Colorado, here are a few links to relevant resources mentioned throughout this article.

Additional Resources:

University of Northern Colorado, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences: M.A. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling

University of Colorado at Denver: M.A. in Couple and Family Counseling

Colorado State University: Marriage and Family Therapy