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Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Admission Requirements

Please note that there are two steps to our MFT admission process:

  • 1. Application, letter of intent, and other materials sent to the graduate school
  • 2. Email the MFT essay, resume and photo (optional) to the MFT Staff Assistant

Applicants must have:

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college
  • Evidence of ability to do graduate work

Prerequisites for admission to the master's program include

  • Undergraduate upper-division course in statistics (e.g., Psychology 2800 or Sociology 3120)
  • Undergraduate upper-division course in social science research methods (e.g., FCHD 3130)

In addition, candidates who have the following courses will have special consideration

  • Abnormal psychology or psychopathology
  • Human sexuality
  • Undergraduate course in family therapy theories or family intervention

The following items will be assessed and are needed for consideration:

  • GRE or MAT scores (GRE must be above 40% for Verbal and Quantitative) (MAT must be above 40% for Percentile for Total Group)
  • Undergraduate GPA
  • Transcripts
  • An application and letter of intent to the Graduate School
  • A separate written MFT essay to the MFT program
  • Three letters of reference (2 must be from former professors)
  • An interview

Applications must be received by December 20th of each year for matriculation in the fall. Application is now accomplished online. For information and procedures, please go to the School of Graduate Studies application procedures.

Interviews are typically held in February.

  • Email the MFT essay, resume and photo (optional) separately to the MFT Staff Assistant – Nancy Potter at nancy.potter@usu.edu; do not send them to the Graduate School.
  • Send all other materials to the Graduate School including transcripts and letters of reference.

The Rest of the Process:

  • The number of finalists for consideration will be determined by the number of applicants and available slots. Six students are admitted each year.
  • Selected finalists will be invited to participate in an interview in February. The purpose of the interview is to provide an opportunity for candidates and faculty to get to know one another so that each can make informed decisions about the appropriate fit of the program and student. Students will then be invited into the program.
  • All finalists must be approved by the Family, Consumer, and Human Development Department's Graduate Admission and Finance Committee.
  • The selected students will be notified as soon as possible following the interviews and will have one week to respond. A letter of acceptance is required as well as a telephone call. Alternates also will be selected.

Applications to the Utah State University Graduate School should include all of the following:

  • Completed Graduate School application, including intent portion
  • THREE letters of reference, 2 from former professors
  • GRE and/or MAT scores (GRE must be above 40% for Verbal and Quantitative) (MAT must be above 40% for Percentile for Total Group)
  • Official transcripts of all work completed at accredited institutions
  • Application fee

Items Sent to the MFT Program Staff Assistant – Nancy Potter at nancy.potter@usu.edu include:

  • A separate MFT essay.
  • Resume
  • Wallet-size photo (optional)

The MFT cover letter and essay should:

  • Your application should also include a cover letter that is one page, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12 point font.
  • The most important part of the cover letter is to include:
    • Which MFT-specific courses (MFT, Human Sexuality, Abnormal Psychology/Psychopathology) you have taken (include the course name and number).
    • List the prerequisite course you have taken (university, course name, number, and semester taken). If you have not fulfilled the prerequisites, you need to explain how you intend to fulfill them prior to beginning the program (you do not have to have them completed before you apply).

MFT Essay:

  • Your essay should be 4-5 pages, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font. Use headers.
  • Please include your current address, email, and telephone number at the beginning or end of your essay.
  • Use your best writing skills to convey your thoughts. Make sure you proofread and have other people read it.

Your essay should cover the following topics/sections:

  • Tell us about your journey to choosing MFT as a profession. Of all the possibilities, why did you choose MFT?
  • Talk about the experiences that you have (personal and professional) that you feel have prepared you to pursue a graduate degree in MFT. What specifically did you learn (skill-wise and about yourself)?
  • Highlight the personal skills and attributes that you will bring to our program. In doing this, make sure to address how you plan to cope with the rigors of a graduate degree in MFT, including how you have overcome specific challenges in the past. Also, discuss what you expect to contribute to an MFT student cohort of 6-7 students.
  • What do you most want to get out of an MFT graduate program? In addition, what are your professional goals? (You don’t have to have it all figured out, but we want to understand more about your direction).
  • How do you anticipate that the USU program and faculty members can help you accomplish your goals? Be specific.

Your essay should contain all of the information above, but feel free to use your own creativity and writing ability to decide how to organize your essay. Keep in mind that the MFT essay is the most important part of your application and is the most effective way for us to gain insight into who you are as a person.

We strongly suggest you read the tips for applying to graduate school and follow them, which will make you a more competitive applicant.

If you have any questions about the basic components of the application, please call or email the contact people in the boxes on the right

MFT Staff Assistant
MFT Program Director