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Masters Program

Brigham Young University offers a Master's of Science degree (MS) in Marriage and Family Therapy. This program meets the educational requirements for specific occupationally required professional licenses or certifications in the state of Utah. This degree is administered by the School of Family Life, and is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

Eleven full-time faculty, have primary instructional responsibility for the graduate program with support from other faculty in the School of Family Life. Major MFT courses and clinical practicum are conducted in the BYU Comprehensive Clinic which also houses programs in Clinical Psychology, Communication Disorders, and Social Work. Additional practicum experience may also be available in various inpatient and outpatient medical and mental health facilities in the community after one year of seeing clients on-site and at the discretion and approval of a student's advisor and the clinical director.

Applicants eligible for admission to the MS program need to have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Although study in the social sciences is desirable, applicants may apply from a variety of majors. Please visit the Recommended Courses page for a list of preferred, but not required, undergraduate courses. The University Graduate School policy requires an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.

Competitive applicants typically have a 3.7 GPA or higher in their last 60 hours of upper division of coursework, a verbal and quantitative GRE combined score above 300 and a score of 4.5 or higher on the written portion of the GRE. For now the GRE is recommended, but not required for applicants.

Beginning no later than halfway through the first academic year, the graduate student is involved in direct clinical work with individuals, couples and families. Clinical work, occupying approximately 10-15 hours per week, will continue without interruption, except for established holidays, throughout the student’s academic program until the student has reached 500 direct clinical hours (of which at least 251 are relational). Direct client contact is defined as face-to-face (therapist and client) therapeutic intervention. Students will be engaged in a supervision class with a faculty member each semester and term of their program where they will learn about therapeutic models and theory, clinical documentation, and receive feedback on their clinical skills and abilities.

Financial assistance is offered to those in the Master's program. One half of tuition and fees will be paid for at the LDS rate. Students are also required to complete a research assistantship of 10 hours a week for their faculty advisor, amounting to about $9,620 a year.

In addition to course work and supervised clinical practicum, each student is required to complete a master's thesis or clinical project. Often the master's thesis leads to publication or presentation at a professional meeting. The clinical project consists of thoroughly reading and reviewing a selection of clinical scholarly literature pre-selected by the MFT faculty and then also working on more readings individually selected with one's faculty advisor.

M.S. Program Goals. As a program, we aim for the following goals:

  1. Train clinicians who are competent and ethical in using marriage and family therapy theories and interventions.
  2. Graduate competent consumers of MFT research methods and findings
  3. Foster an environment of compassion, inclusion and diversity, where graduates are culturally competent in working with clients from diverse backgrounds.

Students are expected to demonstrate the following student learning outcomes:

  1. Graduates will be academically and clinically prepared for MFT-A licensure in Utah
  2. Graduating students will be competent in MFT theory
  3. Graduating students will be competent in clinical practice
  4. Graduating students will understand and demonstrate ethical behavior
  5. Graduating students will be competent in MFT research skills
  6. Graduating students will be competent in reading and synthesizing MFT research
  7. Graduating students will be competent in analyzing and interpreting data.
  8. Graduating students will have gained a better understanding and respect for cultural diversity
  9. Graduating students will be competent in addressing diversity issues
  10. Graduating students will understand diversity in a clinical setting

    Demographics for the Master's Degree

    The following areas of study correspond to the curriculum prescribed by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the AAMFT.

    (“Areas” of study refer to COAMFTE required areas of study.)
    AREA I: Theoretical Foundations Credit hours
    MFT 563 Theoretical Foundations of Family System 3
    MFT 650 Theoretical Foundations of Marital and Family Therapy 3

    AREA II: Clinical Practice Credit hours
    MFT 645 Analysis and Treatment of Human Sexual Development 3
    MFT 649 Addictions and Violence in Families 3
    MFT 651 Psychopathology and Assessment in Marriage and Family Therapy 3
    MFT 652 Marital and Individual Psychotherapy 3
    MFT 653 Family and Multigenerational Psychotherapy 3

    AREA III: Individual Development and Family Relations Credit hours
    MFT 654 Issues of Gender and Ethnicity 3
    MFT 663 The Individual and Family Over the Life Course 3

    AREA IV: Professional Identity and Ethics Credit hours
    MFT 656 Ethical and Professional Issues for Family Therapists 3

    AREA V: Research Credit hours
    MFT 600 Graduate Research Methods 3
    STAT 511 Statistical Methods for Research OR SOC 605Regression Analysis 3
    MFT 699R Master’s Thesis or Clinical Project 6

    AREA VI: Additional Learning Credit hours
    MFT 655R Theoretical Foundations of Family System 16
    Elective Theoretical Foundations of Marital and Family Therapy 3


    *Plus 400 direct clinical hours (with at least 250 being relational)