MFT Graduate Program Overviews

A graduate degree program in marriage and family therapy (MFT) provide students with an understanding of family social dynamics and methods to diagnose and treat issues between spouses or members of the family unit.

Essential Information

Marriage and family therapy graduate-level programs typically combine coursework with residencies and field experience. In order to gain licensure as a marriage and family therapist, an individual must complete a graduate degree program and at least two years of supervised clinical experience. Applicants to these programs must have a bachelor's degree in a related field.


Graduate Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT)

In addition to clinical experience, MFT graduate students must complete some version of the following courses:

  • Research methodology
  • Human development, behavior and sexuality
  • Group counseling and psychotherapy
  • Family dynamic
  • Psychopathology diagnosis and treatment
  • Couple,marital, child and adult therapy

Employment and Career Outlook

According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the number of marriage and family therapists practicing in the United States has increased 50 times over since 1970. More than 1.8 million people are currently being treated by marriage and family therapists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that marriage and family therapists would see a 15% growth in employment from 2014 to 2024, and the median annual salary for this field was $48,600 in May 2015.

Continuing Education

Many states require that licensed MFTs take a certain amount of continuing education credits each year to maintain licensure. Many courses that meet the continuing education standards can be taken online.

Students in a MFT graduate program can take courses in research methodology, family dynamics, psychopathology and various forms of therapy. The job outlook for this field is a faster-than-average growth of 15% between 2014 and 2024.


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