A master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) is a degree consisting of a curriculum focusing on the psychological theories and therapeutic practices to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals within a family unit. In recent years, upon the onset of the pandemic, more institutions have pushed for the accessibility of graduate degrees making professional education more attainable at your convenience, including flexibility in coursework and clinical training. MFT programs in general have improved in accessibility leading to a variety of options for you to choose from that best fit your educational and ultimate career goals.
Why are graduate-level trained Marriage and Family Therapists important?
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are mental health professionals specializing in the assessment, analysis, and treatment of psychological and interrelationship issues presented by individuals and their influence on the family unit. MFTs specialize in family dynamics and focus on a systems perspective, which differentiates them from other mental health professionals such as Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) or Licensed Psychological Associates (LPA) that have a more general approach to assessment and treatment in a clinical setting. Marriage and Family Therapy is typically structured to be solution-focused and on average takes ten to twelve sessions. The therapist and clients collaboratively identify and set treatment goals that they revisit and work towards over the course of treatment.
Overview of a Master’s in MFT Degree
Marriage and Family Therapy Degrees are structured to ensure students are on track to attain licensure upon graduation. Most MFT programs average two years in length (60-credit hours) and include relevant coursework along with clinical practicum training. Some programs offer the option of a thesis track or an applied paper track. The length of your program may vary depending on what your choice with these options may be. For example, Texas Woman’s University offers a thesis option, where you would complete an empirical research project that adds to the literature of the field and is an opportunity to tap into the research and investigative area of MFT. Universities like Northcentral University offer an applied paper option that is an in-depth case conceptualization of a clinical experience of your choosing. The applied paper focuses more on the practical and therapeutic processes you have worked through.
Depending on your interests, you would want to identify if a Master of Science (MS) or a Master of Arts (MA) in MFT is better suited for you. An MS program typically emphasizes scientific research as a requirement for successful graduation and often would have a thesis track built into the program requirements which sets you up for a Ph.D. should you decide to pursue further education (e.g. Texas Tech University). An MA in MFT emphasizes the clinical aspects of MFT where you would have the option to choose a clinical applied paper and there is a lesser focus on research (e.g. Syracuse University).
What Will You Learn in an MFT Graduate Program?
In completion of the required 60-credit-hour curricula, most MFT programs are designed to fulfill the course requirements for state licensure of where the university is based. The following outlines some courses general to most programs. You will learn how to assess issues within the family system using established theoretical guidelines, diagnose individuals based on criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and provide evidence-based treatment to diverse populations that may seek mental health treatment. Clinical training typically occurs during the last year of the program where you would receive in-depth supervised clinical experience working with individuals, couples, and/or families. Here, you would accumulate practical knowledge of creating treatment plans, report writing, and other processes that go into the daily work of being an LMFT.
What happens after graduation?
Nearing graduation is an exciting time in general, and with that comes the preparation for what life after graduation would be like. Working as a mental health professional requires licensure by your state board. In order to practice as an MFT, you would have to be licensed by your state board as appointed by the AAMFT. The general requirements by most states include the successful completion of required core coursework, successful completion of the licensing examination (as regulated by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB)), and applying for licensure. Initially, you would receive probationary licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy-Associate. You will be able to work as an MFT but would have to receive clinical supervision for about two years, before being able to receive full licensure and practice independently as an LMFT.
While in the last year of your graduate program, it is important to use your clinical practicum experience as an opportunity to figure out which work environments and demographics best align with your career interests. Typically, graduate programs provide assistance with searching for practicum placements, however, you are able to look for any clinical setting that can provide you with the appropriate board-approved supervised clinical experience required by your program.
What Are Accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Masters Programs?
Typically individuals that pursue a graduate degree in mental health aim to practice as a licensed clinician upon graduation. It is important to choose a program that is accredited by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT). Accreditation means that the program requirements are in accordance with those of AAMFT and your state licensing board. For a program to maintain its accreditation status, it must uphold and fulfill the requirements of the accreditation governing body, which ensures the quality of the program, and its ability to produce competent clinicians for the field. Most states require that candidates graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), or by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
COAMFTE Accredited Masters Programs
The COAMFTE accreditation board of higher level education pertaining specifically to marriage and family therapy programs. COAMFTE accredits graduate programs such as master’s degrees, doctoral programs, and post-doctoral certifications by ensuring the program’s coursework and clinical training requirements produce competent clinicians within the field and prepares graduates from accredited programs to easily procure licensure upon graduation. This accreditation extends to some online graduate degrees under the category of ‘distance education.’
CACREP MFT Accreditation
The CACREP accreditation board is a more generalized accreditation body for counseling programs that covers undergraduate and graduate degrees in mental health. Programs accredited by this body ensure continued professional development to keep up with the changes within the field of mental health, along with ensuring that accredited institutions follow guidelines by the American Counseling Association (ACA) to produce competent mental health clinicians for the field.
University Regional Accreditations
Graduate program accreditations encase the regional requirements put forth by state licensing boards to which graduates would typically seek licensure. For example, graduates from Texas A&M University, a CACREP accredited institution, would have met all the requirements set by the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council (BHEC), the licensing board of Texas. Programs are required to provide information on their accreditation on the program website, and this is indicative of the quality of education you would receive, should you decide to pursue that program.
A List of Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy ProgramsThe following list includes all Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy programs in the United States. The table can be sorted by state, accreditation, GRE requirement, and other attributes so applicants can find the right program for them.
|Name||City||State||Degree Level||Accreditation||GRE Required?||Full Program Name||URL|
|University of Winnipeg (MMFT)||Winnipeg||AK||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Marriage & Family Therapy Program||Learn More|
|University of Alabama Birmingham||Birmingham||AL||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|University of Montevallo||Montevallo||AL||M.Ed.||CACREP||No||M.Ed. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Auburn University (MS)||Auburn||AL||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master of Science in MFT||Learn More|
|The University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa||AL||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Arizona State University||Tempe,||AZ||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Marriage and Family Therapy, MAS||Learn More|
|Northcentral University||Scottsdale||AZ||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MASTER OF ARTS DEGREE IN MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY||Learn More|
|Alliant International University - Irvine||Irvine||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marital and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Alliant International University - Los Angeles (MA)||Alhambra||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marital and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Alliant International University - Sacramento (MA)||Sacramento||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marital and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Alliant International University - San Diego||San Diego||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marital and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Antioch University||Los Angeles||CA||Masters||HLC||No||MA in Clinical Psychology||Learn More|
|Antioch University||Santa Barbara||CA||Masters||HLC||No||MA in Clinical Psychology||Learn More|
|Bethel Seminary (MA)||San Diego||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Biola University||La Mirada||CA||Masters||WSCUC||No||MA in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Cal State Polytechnic||San Luis Obispo||CA||Masters||WSCUC||No||Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology with Preparation for MFT||Learn More|
|California Lutheran University||Thousand Oaks||CA||Masters||WASC||No||MS in Counseling Psychology (MFT)||Learn More|
|California Southern University||Costa Mesa||CA||Masters||HLC||No||Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology, with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|California State University, Bakersfield||Bakersfield||CA||Masters||CACREP||No||Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|California State University, Chico||Chico||CA||Masters||CACREP||No||Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|California State University, Dominguez Hills||Dominguez Hills||CA||Masters||CACREP||Yes||Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|California State University, East Bay||East Bay||CA||Masters||CACREP||Yes||Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|California State University, Fresno||Fresno||CA||Masters||CACREP||Yes||Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|California State University, Fullerton||Fullerton||CA||Masters||CACREP||No||Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|California State University, Long Beach||Long Beach||CA||Masters||CACREP||No||Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|California State University, Los Angeles||Los Angeles||CA||Masters||CACREP||No||Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|California State University, Northridge||Northridge||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||Master of Science in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|California State University, Sacramento||Sacramento||CA||Masters||CACREP||No||Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling: Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Campbellsville University||Chatsworth||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Chapman University||Orange||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Chicago School of Professional Psychology||Los Angeles||CA||Masters||WSCUC||No||Master of Arts (M.A.) in Clinical Psychology: Marital and Family Therapy Specialization||Learn More|
|Fresno Pacific University||Fresno||CA||Masters||Association of Theological Schools||Yes||MA in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Hope International University (MA)||Fullerton||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Loma Linda University||Loma Linda||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MS in Marital and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Northcentral University||San Diego||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Pacific Oaks College||San Jose||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Pacific Oaks College||Pasadena||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy: African American Family Studies Specialization||Learn More|
|Pacific Oaks College||Pasadena||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy: Latinx Family Studies Specialization||Learn More|
|Pacific Oaks College||Pasadena||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy: LGBTQIA+ Studies Specialization||Learn More|
|Pacific Oaks College||San Jose||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy: Trauma Studies Specialization||Learn More|
|Palo Alto University||Palo Alto||CA||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Pepperdine University||Malibu||CA||Masters||WSCUC||Yes||M.A. in Clinical Psychology with Emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|San Diego State University||San Diego||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Touro University Worldwide||Los Alamitos||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of San Diego||San Diego||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of San Francisco||San Francisco||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Marriage & Family Therapy, MA||Learn More|
|University of the West||Rosemead||CA||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||Marriage & Family Therapy, MA||Learn More|
|Adams State University||Alamosa||CO||M.A||CACREP||No||Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling||Learn More|
|Colorado Christian University||Colorado||CO||Masters||CACREP||No||Online Master's in Counseling with a Focus on Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Colorado at Denver||Denver||CO||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|University of Northern Colorado, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences||Greeley||CO||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Regis University||Thornton||CO||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Colorado Denver||Denver||CO||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Colorado State University||Fort Collins||CO||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MS in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Colorado Denver||Colorado||CO||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||MA, Couple, Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Regis University||Colorado||CO||Masters||COAMFTE & CACREP||Yes||M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Southern Connecticut State University||New Haven||CT||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Saint Joseph||West Hartford||CT||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Central Connecticut State University||New Britain||CT||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MS in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Fairfield University||Fairfield||CT||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Central Florida||Orlando||FL||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Barry University||Miami Shores||FL||M.S||CACREP||No||M.S in Marital, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Stetson University||DeLand||FL||M.S.||CACREP||No||M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|University of Florida||Gainesville||FL||M.S./Ed.S.||CACREP||No||M.S./Ed.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Nova Southeastern University||Fort Lauderdale||FL||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Valdosta State University (MS)||Valdosta||GA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Mercer University - Atlanta (MFT)||Atlanta||GA||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||Master of Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Mercer University - Macon (MFT)||Macon||GA||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||Master of Family Therapy (MFT)||Learn More|
|Toccoa Falls College||Toccoa Falls||GA||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|The University of Hawai||Honolulu||HI||Masters||WASC||N/A||Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Iowa College of Education||Iowa||IA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Couple and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Mount Mercy University (MA)||Cedar Rapids||IA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Idaho State University||Pocatello||ID||M. Coun.||CACREP||No||M. Coun. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Northwest Nazarene University||Nampa||ID||M.S.||CACREP||No||M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Governors State University||University Park||IL||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Northeastern Illinois University||Chicago||IL||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|University of Illinois Springfield||Springfield||IL||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Northern Illinois University (MS)||DeKalb||IL||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Wheaton College Graduate School (MA)||Wheaton||IL||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Northwestern University, The Family Institute (MS) Online||Evanston||IL||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Adler University||Chicago||IL||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling||Learn More|
|Indiana University||Bloomington||IN||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Master of Science in Education in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Christian Theological Seminary||Indianapolis||IN||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Indiana Wesleyan University - Indianapolis (MA)||Indianapolis||IN||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Indiana Wesleyan University - Marion (MA)||Marion||IN||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Purdue University Northwest||Hammond||IN||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S in Couple and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Indiana Wesleyan University - Online (MA)||Indianapolis||IN||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|The University of Kansas||Lawrence||KS||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||FAMILY COUNSELING||Learn More|
|MidAmerica Nazarene University||Olathe||KS||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Friends University - Kansas City (MS)||Overland Park||KS||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master of Science in Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Friends University (MS)||Wichita||KS||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master of Science in Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Kansas State University (MS)||Manhattan||KS||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master of Science in Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Western Kentucky University||Bowling Green||KY||M.A.E.||CACREP||No||M.A.E. in in Education in Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (MA)||Louisville||KY||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Campbellsville University (MMFT)||Louisville||KY||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Marriage and family therapy||Learn More|
|University of Louisville (MSSW)||Louisville||KY||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master of Science in Social Work||Learn More|
|University of Kentucky (MS)||Lexington||KY||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Loyola University New Orleans||New Orleans||LA||M.S.||CACREP||No||M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Southeastern Louisiana University||Hammond||LA||M.S.||CACREP||No||M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|University of Holy Cross||New Orleans||LA||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|University of Louisiana at Monroe (MA)||Monroe||LA||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Springfield College||Springfield||MA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|William James College||Newton,||MA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Couples and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Cambridge College||Boston,||MA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Maryland||College Park||MD||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Couple and Family Therapy (FCFT)||Learn More|
|University of Maryland (MS)||College Park||MD||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing,||MI||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Marriage and Family Therapy - Master of Arts||Learn More|
|Western Michigan University||Kalamazoo||MI||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, couple and family counseling||Learn More|
|St. Cloud State University||St. Cloud,||MN||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Bethel University||St. Paul,||MN||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of St. Thomas||Minneapolis||MN||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Family Psychology Concentration (LMFT)||Learn More|
|Walden University||Minneapolis||MN||M.S.||CACREP||No||MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling specialization||Learn More|
|Saint Mary's University of Minnesota (MA)||Minneapolis||MN||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Central Missouri||Warrensburg||MO||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Marriage & Family Therapy Opt. MS||Learn More|
|University of Missouri||Columbia,||MO||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Marriage and Family Therapists||Learn More|
|Saint Louis University (MA)||Saint Louis||MO||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||Medical Family Therapy Program||Learn More|
|Mississippi College||Clinton||MS||M.S.||CACREP||No||M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|University of Southern Mississippi (MS)||Hattiesburg||MS||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Montana State University||Bozeman||MT||M.S.||CACREP||No||M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|UNC Greensboro||Street Greensboro||NC||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Counseling, M.S., concentration in Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|North Carolina A & T State University||GREENSBORO||NC||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MARRIAGE & FAMILY COUNSELING CERTIFICATE||Learn More|
|Appalachian State University (MA)||Boone||NC||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|East Carolina University (MS)||Greenville||NC||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Pfeiffer University (MA)||Charlotte||NC||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Pfeiffer University, Raleigh-Durham (MA)||Morrisville||NC||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Nebraska Lincoln (MS)||Lincoln||NE||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|PLYMOUTH STATE UNIVERSITY||Plymouth,||NH||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPY||Learn More|
|Antioch University New England (MA)||Keene||NH||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of New Hampshire (MS)||Durham||NH||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Kean University||Union||NJ||Masters||CACREP||N/A||Marriage and Family Therapy (M.A.)||Learn More|
|Seton Hall University||South Orange||NJ||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||Marriage and Family Therapy (M.A.)||Learn More|
|New Mexico State University||Las Cruces||NM||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Masters of Science (MS) program in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)||Learn More|
|University of Nevada, Reno||Reno||NV||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|University of Nevada, Las Vegas (MS)||Las Vegas||NV||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Mercy College||Manhattan||NY||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY Master of Science||Learn More|
|Long Island University||Brooklyn||NY||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Manhatan College||Riverdale||NY||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPY - M.S.||Learn More|
|Nyack College (MA)||New York||NY||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Iona College (MS)||New Rochelle||NY||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Rochester (MS)||Rochester||NY||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Hofstra University||Hempstead||NY||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)||Learn More|
|Syracuse University (MA)||Syracuse||NY||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Falk College||Syracuse||NY||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||Marriage & Family Therapy M.A.||Learn More|
|?The Ohio State University||Columbus,||OH||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Couple and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Akron (MA)||Akron||OH||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Oklahoma State University (MS)||Stillwater||OK||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Central Oklahoma||Norman||OK||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Masters in Science Family and child studies||Learn More|
|Mid-America Christian University||Oklahoma City||OK||Masters||NCA||No||Masters in Family Therapy to Strengthen Couples and Families||Learn More|
|Oklahoma State University||Stillwater||OK||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||Master of Science in Human Development and Family Science||Learn More|
|Oklahoma Baptist University||Shawnee||OK||Masters||NCA||Yes||Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Oregon||Eugene||OR||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Couples and Family Therapy (CFT)||Learn More|
|George Fox University||Portland||OR||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Portland State University||Portland||OR||M.A./M.S.||CACREP||No||M.A./M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|University of Oregon (MS)||Eugene||OR||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Lewis and Clark College (MCFT)||Portland||OR||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Marriage, Couple & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Oregon Institute of Technology||Klamath Falls||OR||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Geneva College||Beaver Falls||PA||Masters||CACREP||N/A||Master's in counseling program||Learn More|
|Kairos University||Sioux Falls||PA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Kutztown University||Kutztown||PA||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Duquesne University||Pittsburgh||PA||M.S.Ed.||CACREP||No||M.S.Ed. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Geneva College||Beaver Falls||PA||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Messiah University (previously Messiah College)||Mechanicsburg||PA||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Evangelical Theological Seminary (MA)||Myerstown||PA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|LaSalle University (MA)||Philadelphia||PA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Drexel University (MFT)||Philadelphia||PA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master of Family Therapy (MFT)||Learn More|
|Thomas Jefferson University (MMFT)||Philadelphia||PA||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||Master of Family Therapy (MFT)||Learn More|
|drexel university||Philadelphia||PA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master of Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Rhode Island (MS)||Kingston||RI||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Human Development and Family Science||Learn More|
|The University of Rhode Island||Kingston||RI||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Couple and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of South Carolina||Winston-Salem||SC||Masters||CACREP||No||Counselor Education, Ed.S. (Marriage, Couples & Family Counseling)||Learn More|
|Converse University - University Center of Greenville||Greenville||SC||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Converse University (MMFT)||Spartanburg||SC||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master of Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Converse University||Spartanburg||SC||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT)||Learn More|
|Converse University||Spartanburg||SC||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Converses Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT)||Learn More|
|University of South Carolina||Winston-Salem||SC||Masters||CACREP||No||Counselor Education, Ph.D.||Learn More|
|South Dakota State University||Brookings,||SD||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Marriage and Family Counseling (M.S.)||Learn More|
|KAIROS UNIVERSITY||Sioux Falls,||SD||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|The University of Memphis||Memphis,||TN||Masters||CACREP||N/A||Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|The University of Tennessee||Knoxville,||TN||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Master in Family Therapy (M.F.T.) or Master in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.||Learn More|
|Belmont University||Nashville||TN||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Lee University (MS)||Cleveland||TN||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Trevecca Nazarene University||Nashville||TN||M.M.F.C./T.||CACREP||Yes||M.M.F.C./T. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Lipscomb University (MMFT)||Nashville||TN||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||Master of Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Texas State University||San Marcos,||TX||Masters||CACREP||N/A||Professional Counseling (Marriage and Family Counseling Concentration Non-thesis Option)||Learn More|
|ST. MARY'S UNIVERSITY||San Antonio,||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|ST. MARY'S UNIVERSITY||San Antonio,||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy Program.||Learn More|
|Houston Baptist University||Houston,||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|A&M University||Killeen,||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||The Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) masters program||Learn More|
|University of Houston||Houston,||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||The Master of Arts in Family Therapy||Learn More|
|St. Edward's University||Austin||TX||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Texas State University||San Marcos||TX||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|University of Mary Hardin-Baylor||Belton||TX||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi||Corpus Christi||TX||M.S.||CACREP||No||M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Sam Houston State University||Huntsville||TX||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Texas Tech University (MS)||Lubbock||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Couple, Marriage, and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Our Lady of the Lake University - Houston (MS)||Houston||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Our Lady of The Lake University - Rio Grande Valley||La Feria||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Our Lady of the Lake University - San Antonio (MS)||San Antonio||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Texas Wesleyan University (MS)||Fort Worth||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Texas Woman's University (MS)||Denton||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Abilene Christian University (MMFT)||Abilene||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master of Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Abilene Christian University Online (MMFT)||Dallas||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master of Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Southern Methodist University||Dallas||TX||M.S.||CACREP||Yes||M.S. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|University of Houston Clear Lake (MA)||Houston||TX||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.A in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)||Learn More|
|Utah State University (MS)||Logan||UT||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Utah Valley State University||Orem||UT||Masters||Seeking COAMFTE Accreditation||No||Master of Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Brigham Young University (MS)||Provo||UT||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||M.S in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Utah Tech University||St. George||UT||Masters||Seeking COAMFTE Accreditation||Yes||Masters of Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Regent University||Virginia Beach||VA||Masters||CACREP||N/A||M.A. in Marriage, Couple & Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Family Therapy Center of Virginia Tech||Blacksburg,||VA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||marriage and family therapy doctoral program||Learn More|
|Liberty University, Counselor Education & Family Studies||Lynchburg||VA||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|College of William and Mary||Williamsburg||VA||M.Ed.||CACREP||No||M.Ed. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Regent University||Virginia Beach||VA||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Virginia Tech||Blacksburg||VA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Virginia Techs marriage and family therapy doctoral program||Learn More|
|lu online liberty university address||Lynchburg||VA||Masters||SACSCOC||Yes||MA in Family and Marriage Therapy Online MFT Degree||Learn More|
|Whitworth University||Spokane,||WA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Marriage & Family Therapy Program||Learn More|
|Pacific Lutheran University||Tacoma||WA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA||Seattle||WA||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|City University of Seattle||Seattle||WA||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Gonzaga University||Spokane||WA||M.A.||CACREP||No||M.A. in Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling||Learn More|
|Seattle University (MA)||Seattle||WA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.A in Couples and Family Theraphy||Learn More|
|Antioch University Seattle (MA)||Seattle||WA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||MA in Couple and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Pacific Lutheran University (MA)||Tacoma||WA||Masters||COAMFTE||No||Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|Seattle Pacific University (MS)||Seattle||WA||Masters||COAMFTE||Yes||Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|EDGEWOOD COLLEGE||Madison,||WI||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Wisconsin Superior||Superior,||WI||Masters||COAMFTE||N/A||MSE in Counseling Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
|University of Wisconsin Stout (MS)||Menomonie||WI||Masters||COAMFTE||No||M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy||Learn More|
What Will You Learn in a Masters in MFT Program?
Length of Programs
Most MFT master’s programs include the completion of requirements that meet state requirements for licensure upon graduation. The programs typically consist of 60 credit hours which include required course work (with some electives to choose from), clinical practicum training, and the options of a thesis or applied paper. The coursework within the program covers theoretical and conceptual foundations to assess issues with individuals and within the family system, along with training to make diagnoses based on the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), along with multi-faceted approaches to the treatment of issues for individuals and families. Clinical practicum training typically includes a placement off-campus and is similar to a residency program where you would complete an internship with supervised experience until you meet the required hours set by your program. The practicum training is designed to give you real-life experience in applying theoretical knowledge to the daily work of a clinical setting.
Most programs structure course offerings based on licensing requirements in the state where the program is located. Since AAMFT assigns accreditation boards, general competencies in specific courses are required and these are common to most MFT programs. The following is an outline of those courses:
Theoretical foundations of marriage and family therapy – The foundations of family systems dynamics, common issues, and treatment conceptualizations within marriage and family therapy.
Human development, family studies, multicultural and gender issues – The stages of human development, theories of development and maladaptive behaviors, interrelationships of individuals with family systems and society. Multicultural competence and theory. Gender issues relating to sexual identity, gender identity, and development. The influences of mentioned topics on the identity development of the individual.
MFT assessment and treatment – Treatment modalities, techniques, and approaches used in therapy with individuals, families, couples, and children. Topics covered include (but are not limited to) relationship therapy, crisis intervention, sex therapy, sex and gender issues, interfaith couples, parental issues, multi-cultural issues, and therapy for the elderly.
Professional ethics – Professional guidelines and ethical roles pertaining to professional mental health providers. Ethical obligations, limitations, and scope of practice. Professional affiliations and guidelines to enhancing personal and career development. Common ethical issues and guidelines in clinical practice over general settings and information for appropriate reporting.
Professional research – Guidelines and processes of professional academic research. Tenets of evidence-based research and how to conduct ethical experimentation. Research evaluation and guidelines of responsible consumption of literature. The use of clinical research in treatment practice and understanding of data within the literature. A general understanding and application of statistical knowledge and an ability to gather and measure outcomes.
Treatment of addictions and management of crisis – Theoretical conceptualizations of the process of addiction and its influence on marriage and family systems.
Psychopathology – Theoretical and clinical competence in the assessment and diagnosis of pathology using psycho-diagnostic categories and criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Assessment and screening based on evidence-based tools and practices.
Supervised clinical practicum/internship – Completing supervised clinical experience.
Specializations and Concentrations Within MFT Programs
As a master’s level clinician, gaining a specialization in MFT sets you apart as a qualified professional to work with individuals, couples, and families. You have the options and opportunities to further specialize your scope of practice to specific demographic groups such as adolescents, couples, families, geriatric populations, military therapy, and LGBTQ+ family therapy.
You also have the option of specializing in specific psychological focuses such as therapy in trauma, divorce counseling, bereavement, addictions, and general MFT. The variety of specializations and demographics to choose from makes a career in MFT versatile in the career environment that best fits you.
What Are The Requirements to Enroll in an MFT Master’s Program?
Bachelor’s Degree and Prior Education – A degree from an accredited institution is re typically a requirement but not specific to that degree being in mental health. While you can hold a Bachelor’s degree in another field, you must have at least 12 semester hours of psychology courses along with a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) ranging from 2.5 to 3.5, depending on the program you apply for.
Application – Applications for MFT programs are almost always submitted online. You would have to enter background information including prior education, experience, a personal statement detailing your motivations for attending and completing the graduate degree, and pay the application fees. Most programs require three letters of reference, which is an opportunity to back your personal statement about why you would be a good fit for the program. You may also be asked to list specific faculty you would like to gain mentorship from, especially if you decide to choose a thesis track. This will be based on your long-term research and career interests.
Transcripts – Programs require official transcripts to be sent directly from your previous educational institution(s). More universities accept electronic formats in recent years.
Personal Statement (program dependent) – A personal statement may be required depending on the program. This typically is a two-page essay outlining your intentions of pursuing an MFT degree in that institution, background information that would make you a good fit, and an opportunity for you to highlight specific faculty under which you would like mentorship, along with reasons for your decision. Essentially, the personal statement is a personalized opportunity to convince the admissions committee that you would be a good fit for the program.
GRE – The requirement of a GRE score while required by some institutions, has been waived by others due to the pandemic. While some programs have waived the GRE requirements (if you have other qualifications) the ones that do, typically look for a GRE score around 315 (verbal ~ 160, quantitative ~ 155). Some programs may require the completion of GRE subject tests. Scores would be submitted with the application directly by the testing center, which you would be able to do upon completion of the test.
What is the Career Outlook for Marriage and Family Therapists?
The field of mental health is constantly growing in its versatility within specializations and the improvement in awareness amongst the general public. Therapists within the MFT specialization have seen steady growth over the last few years.
There has been a push for awareness and accessibility of mental health which has led to a rise in the demand for competent mental health providers. Marriage and family therapy in particular is a growing area of specialty. According to the Department of Labor Statistics, there is a projected growth of 16% in the next decade. This projected growth is much higher than the average of other occupations in the United States. As of 2021, the median annual pay for MFTs nationally is $49,880, with hourly rates at an average of $24.00, with salaries ranging from $37,050 – $96,520.
Where can MFTs Practice?
Marriage and Family Therapy although a specialized area has wide demographic and clinical versatility that offers a variety of clinical settings in which MFTs can practice. Within the working world, employers may require prior experience similar to that of the potential job, and some employers such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs may require that employees have graduated from COAMFTE-accredited institutions.
MFTs can practice in private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and in-patient residential settings, outpatient clinics, schools, non-profit organizations, and state hospitals. If you have more interest in pursuing a non-clinical route, you have the option of working in research centers, academia, or in training positions for other MFTs. With experience and exposure, MFTs often move towards building their own private practices where they can build their own business independently. Being an MFT offers many options beyond a traditional nine-to-five workday, and can cater to your work style and level of desired work autonomy.
What does it mean to be an LMFT?
A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist is a mental health provider who has graduated from an accredited MFT institution and accrued the necessary requirements to hold licensure by the state board to which they belong. The educational requirements are typically overarching across states but an overview of the standard curriculum is listed above. One of the main factors to consider is obtaining a degree with a COAMFTE or CACREP accreditation as it ensures your preparation for licensure upon graduation. As graduation approaches, candidates will begin preparing for the state or national licensing examination that is governed by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB). Successful completion of this examination is a requirement to be approved for an LMFT-Associate (LMFT-A) license.
Clinical training is vital in being a competent MFT. Almost all programs (online or in-person) incorporate a clinical practicum or internship as a requirement to successfully graduate. This is typically 12 semester hours. Upon graduation and successful completion of the licensing examination, you would have a probationary LMFT-A license. Generally, LMFT-As need 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience working with clients, 1,500 of which must be direct services with patients. Requirements for the number of hours worked with couples and families specifically vary by state.
The AAMFT council is the national entity that governs state boards overseeing MFTs in their specific states. Information on state boards and requirements per state can be accessed here. State boards set the policies and regulations on the licensing renewal process, licensing requirements, state ethics code, information on board actions and restrictions, licensure limitations, and information on how to file grievances for therapists and clients. Information on programs that are accredited, and board-approved supervisors available in your area for licensing purposes and supervision hours, may be located via your state’s licensing board website,
What are the Benefits of an Online Master’s in MFT Program?
With a steady increase in awareness and a push for accessibility to services pertaining to mental health, there has been a steady increase in the demand for competent clinicians as well. There have also been an increase in the number of applicants for graduate programs in mental health, and marriage and family therapy programs. In the past few years, accessibility in education has made it easier for people to pursue professional degrees including specialized graduate degrees online while maintaining the standards and requirements of the awarding institution.
An online education’s biggest advantage is the flexibility in time and pace of learning. While you may miss out on some one-on-one time with an instructor and peers, you would be able to set your own schedule which offers a healthy work-life balance, especially if you are pursuing a degree on top of working full-time. Also, depending on your learning style, you would be able to learn at your own pace while cutting out distractions and the time spent commuting back and forth to campus. Perhaps another deciding factor in pursuing a graduate degree is its associated cost. Online degrees may have lower tuition fees (depending on your chosen program) but you will eliminate all other associated costs of being a student. This would include any relocation costs, commuting costs, and campus utility fees, as you would be a distance learner. You would also have the advantage of attaining a degree from an institution across the nation, from the convenience of your home!
Pursuing a degree in MFT will offer you an opportunity for a fulfilling career, where you would see your impact on people’s development and even your own personal development. The opportunities for professional development are vast, and the field is ever expanding.
American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards
Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
GRE General Test
Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council
United States Department of Labor Statistics