MFT Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Degree programs in marriage and family therapy (MFT) are available at the graduate level. Training in this field can prepare a student to become a practicing psychologist, researcher or teacher.

With the variety of topics discussed in MFT programs, it's important for students to consider the curriculum that will best equip them for a future career. Concentrations include critical thinking, multicultural perspectives, leadership skills and organizational habits.

10 Schools with MFT Programs

The following is a list of 10 schools that offer MFT programs. Tuition is based on the 2015-2016 school year:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Graduate Tuition (2015-2016)*
Alliant International University San Diego, CA 4-year, Private for-profit Master's, Doctoral $22,021
Oklahoma State University Stillwater, OK 4-year, Public Master's $4,704 in-state; $18,858 out-of-state
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 4-year, Public Doctoral $11,560 in-state; $31,032 out-of-state
Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's, Doctoral $18,900
University of Akron Akron, OH 4-year, Public Master's, Doctoral $7,731 in-state; $13,237 out-of-state
Edgewood College Madison, WI 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $15,606
University of Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, Public Master's $4,968 in-state; $18,878 out-of-state
Auburn University Auburn, AL 4-year, Public Master's $8,802 in-state; $26,406 out-of-state
Northwestern University Evanston, IL 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $48,624
Regis University Denver, CO 4-year, Private not-for-profit Master's $10,800

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

MFT programs are available at the graduate level through 4-year colleges and universities. Students should consider the following when selecting a school:

  • Students should make sure the program leads to a degree since some schools only offer marriage and family therapy certificate programs, which don't qualify graduates to work as counselors.
  • The courses offered in MFT programs are fully dependent on the school. Students should make sure the topics they're interested in are included in the curriculum prior to selecting a school.
  • Students who want to obtain licensure should consider schools that are accredited by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
  • While a master's degree is typically required for entry into a doctoral program, some Ph.D. programs will accept students with only a bachelor's degree and research experience.

Master's Degree in MFT

Master's programs typically require about 60 credit hours of coursework and 500 hours of clinical practicums with direct client contact; at least 100 of those hours are under direct supervision from faculty. Graduates can practice therapy under the supervision of a licensed therapist, but they aren't qualified to immediately practice unsupervised.

MFT Doctorate

Those with a Ph.D. in MFT cannot become practicing psychologists; a master's or doctoral degree in clinical psychology with a specialty in MFT is necessary to conduct marriage and family therapy. Instead, these programs prepare students to become researchers.

There are a number of schools across the nation that offers graduate level MFT programs. Since tuition is largely based upon the student's location to the institution, individuals should focus on the courses offered in each program and which colleges are accredited by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

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