MFT Programs in Florida

Florida has become a staple of pop culture jokes in recent years. Aside from being known for the Florida man meme and Disney World, the state may be a good place to consider pursuing a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy. Let’s explore the MFT programs Florida has to offer as well as the requirements to become a licensed marriage and family therapist here.

Accredited MFT Programs in Florida

To secure license approval in Florida, you will need to attend an accredited MFT program, which means it has been assessed by a recognized accrediting agency to see if it meets the minimum training standards outlined by the state licensing board. The Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is a major accrediting agency that examines mental health counseling programs in the U.S. and Canada. There are four CACREP-accredited MFT programs in Florida.

University of Central Florida:

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

University of Central Florida

The MFT program at Orlando takes 64 credit hours to complete. The curriculum culminates in the practical application of techniques and skills through clinical practicums in the school’s Community Counseling and Research Center and in community clinics. The UCF Community Counseling and Research Center gives students a chance to practice their skills with children, adolescents, and adults from the wider community.


Barry University:

M.S. in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling

Barry University

Located in Miami Shores, Barry University’s MFT program gives students a firm foundation in systemic practices and theories through its 42 core credit courses and an additional 24 credits in marriage and family therapy-focused classes. Relationship trials, lifecycle, and developmental crises, and other key challenges are just a few of the issues this course prepares students to come into contact with in the coursework.


COAMFTE Accredited Florida MFT Programs

CACREP isn’t the only accrediting agency. The Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE) is well-known as an agency that specifically examines the standards of marital and family therapy programs. CACREP and COAMFTE-accredited programs both meet the standards for MFT licensure. Some states have schools accredited only in one or the other, but Florida has a mix. The state has three COAMFTE-accredited programs.
University Name CityStateDegree LevelModalityAccreditationGRE Required?Full Program Name Program URL
University of Central FloridaOrlandoFLM.A.CampusCACREP NoM.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here
Barry UniversityMiami ShoresFLM.SCampusCACREP NoM.S in Marital, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here
Stetson UniversityDeLandFLM.SCampusCACREP NoM.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here
University of FloridaGainesvilleFLM.S./Ed.S.CampusCACREP NoM.S./Ed.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here
Florida State University TallahasseeFLDoctoralCampusCOAMFTEYesDoctor of Philosophy, Marriage and Family TherapyClick Here
Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleFLMastersCampusCOAMFTEYesM.A. in Marriage & Family TherapyClick Here
Nova Southeastern University Fort LauderdaleFLDoctoralCampusCOAMFTEYesPh.D. in Clinical PsychologyClick Here

Nova Southeastern University:

M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy

Nova Southeastern University

Nova’s Fort Lauderdale program boasts a 100 percent job placement rate after graduation. The 60 credit programs prepares students with study of theory and techniques of effective marital and family therapy. Students practice what they have learned under supervision in the Brief Therapy Institute’s Family Therapy Clinic. The program also offers students the opportunity to pursue specialized electives in medical family therapy, solution-focused coaching, and equine-assisted family therapy.


No GRE Required MFT Programs in Florida

The GRE has historically been a major hurdle for students preparing to apply for graduate programs. The standardized test measures readiness for continued education past the undergraduate degree. However, many universities are foregoing the requirement for students to submit GRE scores in favor of other application materials. For students who are hoping to avoid the test and all the work that preparation for the GRE entails, here are a few MFT programs in Florida that do not require the GRE:
University Name CityStateDegree LevelModalityAccreditationGRE Required?Full Program Name Program URL
University of Central FloridaOrlandoFLM.A.CampusCACREP NoM.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here
Barry UniversityMiami ShoresFLM.SCampusCACREP NoM.S in Marital, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here
Stetson UniversityDeLandFLM.SCampusCACREP NoM.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here
University of FloridaGainesvilleFLM.S./Ed.S.CampusCACREP NoM.S./Ed.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here

What will you learn in a Florida MFT program?

In Florida, your educational training will be split into two categories: learning and practice. The learning portion focuses on understanding theory and techniques related to couples and family counseling, as well as ethics and professional considerations in the mental health field.

You can expect to take at least one class in each of the following subjects:

-Marriage counseling techniques and theory
-Family counseling techniques and theory
-Personality theory
-Marriage and family system dynamics
-Psychosocial theory
-Psychopathology
-Diagnosis and assessment
-Human sexuality
-Substance abuse theory and counseling
-Behavioral research
-Professional, ethical, and legal considerations

The practice component of MFT programs focuses on gaining supervised clinical hours in interactions with clients. This will be students’ first interaction with actual clients in a marriage and family therapy capacity. In Florida, students must accrue a minimum of 180 hours of direct client interactions.

Some schools require students to attend short residencies throughout their graduate career. The residency is generally an in-person, hands-on experience in which students network with faculty, guest speakers, and peers and practice therapy techniques on classmates. Even if your program of choice is online, make sure you are aware of any in-person commitments that may exist beyond the internship and practicum hours.
University Name CityStateDegree LevelModalityAccreditationGRE Required?Full Program Name Program URL
University of Central FloridaOrlandoFLM.A.CampusCACREP NoM.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here
Barry UniversityMiami ShoresFLM.SCampusCACREP NoM.S in Marital, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here
Stetson UniversityDeLandFLM.SCampusCACREP NoM.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here
University of FloridaGainesvilleFLM.S./Ed.S.CampusCACREP NoM.S./Ed.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family CounselingClick Here
Florida State University TallahasseeFLDoctoralCampusCOAMFTEYesDoctor of Philosophy, Marriage and Family TherapyClick Here
Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleFLMastersCampusCOAMFTEYesM.A. in Marriage & Family TherapyClick Here
Nova Southeastern University Fort LauderdaleFLDoctoralCampusCOAMFTEYesPh.D. in Clinical PsychologyClick Here

How to become an LMFT in Florida

When it comes to education prerequisites for licensure, Florida has fewer credit requirements than most states, with a minimum of 36 credit hours needed. The program can be either an MFT masters program or a related program, as long as candidates take the required coursework outlined by Florida’s licensing body, the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage, and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling.

On top of the accredited education program, candidates will also need to complete an eight hour class in law and rules related to MFT. Candidates will also need to taek a two hour course in preventing medical errors. Finally, while not required to receive a license, candidates will need to take courses in HIV/AIDS and domestic violence within their first six months after licensure.

After graduation, candidates will enter their resident in training period, which is called something different depending on which state they are practicing. In Florida, candidates apply to become an intern (which costs $150 for the application fee). After receiving approval to become an intern and securing a placement with an approved supervisor, candidates will need to gain 1,500 hours of clinical experience over two years. Candidates should have one hour of supervision for every 15 hours of clinical interactions with clients.

To receive permission to take the Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards National Exam for licensure, candidates should apply for licensure early before the testing window in which they hope to sit for the exam. The test costs $224, and the application for licensure costs $205 ($100 for the application fee and an additional $105 to cover the initial licensing period).

What does an LMFT in Florida do?

Marriage and family therapists are a part of a larger family of mental health professionals who advocate for their clients on both personal and systemic levels to improve wellbeing. This advocacy can involve psychoeducation, psychotherapy, and even connecting clients to other resources within their communities. An LMFT works with families, couples, and individuals to help them work through intrapersonal and interpersonal challenges with techniques related to a family systems perspective. LMFTs are an important part of the communities in which they serve.

Florida LMFT Career and Salary Opportunities

The Covid19 pandemic saw many people turn to therapy as a means of dealing with newfound stressors and mental health issues that came with isolation. Perhaps due to the pandemic, mental health as a field has experienced considerable growth in a short period of time. The pandemic is only one factor. Increased awareness to mental health in general as well as an increase in access to mental health services with the rise of telehealth have made receiving care more possible than ever. The marriage and family therapy field itself is projected to grow 16 percent from now to 2030 nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Florida specifically, the state employed 2,240 LMFTs in 2021, a number which is sure to rise. As far as yearly salaries go, the national average for licensed marriage and family counselors was $59,660 as of May 2021. The Florida average yearly salary for that same year was $46,410.

Florida MFT Resources

Your education is the first step in the exciting and nerve-wracking journey to become a licensed marital and family therapist. For students who are interested in pursuing their academic training in Florida, here are some links to the programs discussed in this article:

Additional Resources:

University of Central Florida: M.A. in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling

Barry University: M.S. in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling

Nova Southeastern University: M.S. in Couple and Family Therapy