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Marriage and Family Therapy

Plan A: Thesis (MS: Master of Science in Family, Consumer, and Human Development, MFT Specialization)

Plan C: Non-thesis (MMFT: Master of Marriage and Family Therapy)

What is the Degree about?

A degree in Marriage and Family Therapy is an applied degree designed to students training in working with individuals, couples, and families with a wide range of problems, including anxiety, depression, relationship issues, and parenting. USU offers both a Plan A (MS, thesis required) and Plan C: Non-thesis (MMFT: Master of Marriage and Family Therapy). Utah State University’s MFT program is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education and meets all the requirements for licensure in the state of Utah.

Degree Requirements

All students earning a master’s in MFT complete 27 credits of theory and content courses related specifically to marriage and family therapy. Further, students complete 8 credits of practicum courses during which they complete face to face clinical hours while under direct supervision. Additionally, students also complete 6 credits of family theory courses, as well as a graduate level statistics course. The MS degree requires an additional 6 credits of thesis work.


The Utah State University MFT master's program was started in the 1980s under the directorship of Dr. D. Kim Openshaw. It was discontinued due to lack of funding but reactivated in 1992 with the generous donation of long-term funds by Julie Bullen. Drs. Thorana S. Nelson and Scot M. Allgood joined Dr. Openshaw. The program became accredited for the first time in 1996 by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), the accrediting arm of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and has been continuously accredited since then.

Utah State University is a Carnegie I Research Institution and is also the land grant university for the state of Utah. Within this structure, the MFT program contributes to both research and service components of the university mission. The MFT program is housed in the Department of Family, Consumer, and Human Development, located in the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. The MFT Clinic, faculty offices, and classroom space are housed in the Family Life Center on the edge of campus. Space in the FCHD West annex, next door to the Family Life Center, also provides faculty and classroom space.

Our Programs

Degrees offered include the master of science in Family, Consumer, and Human Development with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. The MS requires a thesis. We also have a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT), adopted in 2010, which requires no thesis. Both degrees are accredited by the COAMFTE (Student Achievement Data), and require extensive coursework, supervised clinical practica, and a Theory of Therapy and Change project, the degrees' capstone projects.

Consistent with the mission of the university, students in the program and clients in the clinic receive quality training and service. Practica experiences are completed in both an onsite clinic and in offsite agencies. All clinical work is supervised by AAMFT approved supervisors. The onsite clinic provides services to the greater Cache Valley community.

MFT Staff Assistant

Nancy Potter

       FLC 101

MFT Program Director

Dr. Dave Robinson

       FLC 104