Prospective marriage and family therapy students have the option of choosing a master's or a doctoral degree in the field; graduate certificates are also available. These programs can prepare graduates to work as therapists and/or professors.
10 Schools with Marriage and Family Therapy Programs
Here's a list of institutions with relevant programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition 2015-2016*|
|Arizona State University||Tempe, Arizona||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state: $10,610
|University of Florida||Gainesville, Florida||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state: $10,770
|University of Central Florida||Orlando, Florida||4-year, Public||Master's
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, Michigan||4-year, Public||Doctorate||In-state: $16,122
|Florida State University||Tallahassee, Florida||4-year, Public||Doctorate||In-state: $9,684
|Brigham Young University||Provo, Utah||4-year, Private||Master's
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, California||4-year, Private||Master's||$39,984|
|University of Iowa||Iowa City, Iowa||4-year, Public||Doctorate||In-state: $8,396
|Texas Tech University||Lubbock, Texas||4-year, Public||Master's
|Nova Southeastern University||Fort Lauderdale, Florida||4-year, Private||Master's
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for marriage and family therapy schools:
- Aspiring marriage and family therapists should look for programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).
- It can be helpful to find out what the pass rate is for graduates on the state licensure exam for marriage and family therapists.
- When choosing between PhD programs, it is important to find out whether the curriculum focuses entirely on research in the field, or if candidates are also prepared for professional licensure as well.
- Prospective students may want to find out where internships and practicums take place in order to ensure that they will gain hands-on training in a setting where they would consider working in the future, such as a small private practice or a social services agency.
Master's Degree Programs
In order to become eligible for the state's Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) licensure exam, students must earn a master's degree in the field. Students take courses in counseling theory, systems paradigms and relationship dynamics. They also get real-world experience through practicums and/or internships. Graduates are prepared for the state licensure exam so that they can start practicing in the field.
Doctoral Degree Programs
In PhD programs in marriage and family therapy, students conduct advanced research in a theoretical topic of interest related to MFT. Some programs are designed specifically to provide graduates with the research and teaching skills needed for academic jobs as university professors, while others also include the clinical training necessary for licensure and professional practice. Both programs culminate in a final doctoral dissertation.
Graduate Certificate Programs
For individuals who already hold a general master's degree in counseling or a master's degree with a specialization in a different area of counseling, some schools offer graduate certificate programs that provide preparation for licensure as a marriage and family therapy therapist. These programs are intended for experienced counselors who want to redirect their careers toward MFT or expand their existing skill base in order to be able to work with a broader range of clients. Students take a series of theoretical courses and complete the clinical hours that are required for licensure eligibility. Alternatively, there are some schools that offer non-licensure graduate certificate programs, which are for health professionals such as nurses or social workers who want to advance their expertise in the field to support their work, but who aren't seeking careers as MFT practitioners.
When exploring programs for marriage and family therapy, students should ensure that the program track aligns with their career goals and helps them fulfill state licensure requirements.