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Top 30 Most Accessible COAMFTE-Accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s Degrees

Best Counseling Degrees - Top Master's Programs

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By: BCD Staff

Despite their relatively high acceptance rates, the marriage and family therapy degree programs profiled here are of high quality, having earned accreditation from COAMFTE, the accrediting agency for MFT degrees.

A marriage and family therapy degree can be the perfect option for students seeking to become mental health professionals working with individuals, families, and couples in a systemic framework. With a marriage and family therapy degree from one of these programs in hand, you have the chance of finding employment in outpatient care centers, inpatient treatment facilities, private practices, schools, social service agencies, mental health centers, medical clinics, and church-based settings.

Ranking Methodology

In creating our list of the top 30 most accessible marriage and family therapy master's degrees, we began by searching through all of the prestigious programs that have been accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), the top accrediting organization for MFT degrees. Then, we researched the schools that had the highest published acceptance rates on Peterson's and ranked them from high to low. Finally, we included the in-state graduate school tuition from the College Navigator to help you make an informed financial decision on which marriage and family therapy degree programs fit your budget.


Ranking the 30 Most Accessible Marriage and Family Therapy Master's Degrees


Thomas Jefferson University

Philadelphia, PA

Offered in a collaborative partnership with the highly respected Council for Relationships (CFR) with AAMFT-approved supervisors, the Master's degree in Family Therapy (MFT) program follows a full-time two-year curriculum model with a total of 66 credits. At the end of the first year, marriage and family therapy degree students receive the unique opportunity to specialize in Sex Therapy or Family Therapy. Regardless of the track chosen, students will receive a deep understanding of today's most pressing clinical issues with at least 500 hours of direct clinical experience.

Program Acceptance Rate: 41%

Tuition: $27,798

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Seton Hill University

Greensburg, PA

Guided by a commitment to understanding and respecting cultural diversity, the Marriage and Family Therapy (M.A.) Program is designed to train students in family systems theory and clinical techniques with a special emphasis on a broader socio-cultural context. Using the most advanced technologies, the program enables students to gain practical experience at the on-campus Seton Hill Center for Family Therapy in downtown Greensburg under the mentorship of experienced licensed clinicians.

Program Acceptance Rate: 44%

Tuition: $14,220

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St. Cloud State University

Saint Cloud, MN

In an effort to train counselors to treat individuals seeking psychotherapeutic assistance within a complex set of relationships, the M.S. in Community Counseling program offers a Marriage and Family Therapy concentration that covers a wide range of concerns about marriage, children, adolescents, mental illness, substance abuse, depression, sex, divorce, family, and school. At St. Cloud State, there is also a 39-credit Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy that also holds national COAMFTE accreditation.

Program Acceptance Rate: 44%

Tuition: $6,895

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University of Akron

Akron, OH

Standing proudly as the only accredited marriage and family therapy degree program addressing the need for qualified marriage and family therapists in Ohio, the Master's in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy (MFC/T) program includes 60 credits and 500 client contact hours focused on a systemic perspective with a strong respect for diversity. Furthermore, the University of Akron offers a Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision with a Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy track that has been dually accredited by the COAMFTE and the CACREP for excellence.

Program Acceptance Rate: 45%

Tuition: $7,430

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University of Rochester Medical Center

Rochester, NY

Embedded within the University of Rochester Medical Center to immerse students in a clinical practice hospital rather than a college campus, the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program offers the unique opportunity to learn about mental health from a collaborative interdisciplinary context with diverse family populations. Professionals who already have an advanced degree can also pursue this Master's in Marriage and Family Therapy degree through URMC's Post-Degree Certificate in Medical Family Therapy program with initial COAMFTE accreditation.

Program Acceptance Rate: 47%

Tuition: $33,456

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University of San Diego

San Diego, CA

With an optional emphasis in medical family therapy available, the Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy degree is designed with a unique biopsychosocial model to prepare family therapists to work with individuals, couples, and families of diverse backgrounds from a relational perspective. Featuring a 12-month clinical practicum in which students accumulate at least 500 direct client contact hours, the COAMFTE-accredited program meets the guidelines to prepare graduates for licensure with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Program Acceptance Rate: 47%

Tuition: $23,580

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Central Connecticut State University

New Britain, CT

With an emphasis placed on the development of the "person of the therapist" to meet challenges in today's new climate of healthcare services, the Master's Program in Marriage and Family Therapy features an intensive 51-credit curriculum focused on providing a solid theoretical background and clinical training in an systemic approach to human problems. The program can be completed in a flexible evening track on a full or part-time basis as well as a weekend track for added convenience.

Program Acceptance Rate: 48%

Tuition: $5,617

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Valdosta State University

Valdosta, GA

Available in two-year full-time or three-year part-time formats, the Marriage and Family Therapy Masters Program has been accredited to prepare graduates for licensure in many states within this vibrant growing mental health profession. Boasting the university-based FamilyWorks therapy center to train students in relational thinking, the program goes beyond its required 60 credit hours in the classroom to provide at least 600 hours of direct client contact face-to-face with the diverse citizens of southern Georgia and northern Florida.

Program Acceptance Rate: 50%

Tuition: $4,140

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Seton Hall University

South Orange, NJ

As the only master's program in New Jersey designed to provide training in treating individuals, couples, and families in a systemic context, the M.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy program at Seton Hall places a unique emphasis on multicultural processes throughout the 60-credit curriculum. Through 500 hours of supervised clinical experience, students become license-eligible with a broad foundation in therapy skills and a strong code of ethics. Graduates can also choose to earn an Ed.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy or a Ph.D. in Family Psychology.

Program Acceptance Rate: 52%

Tuition: $19,188

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University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY

Allowing graduates the unique opportunity to become Certified Family Life Educators (CFLEs) as well as Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs), the Master's in Family Science program offers a Couple & Family Therapy Emphasis focused on psychotherapy for treating mental and emotional disorders within a relationship context. In addition, the University of Kentucky offers a research-based Ph.D. in Family Sciences program that offers unique emphasis areas in adolescent development, aging, family finance, or family processes.

Program Acceptance Rate: 52%

Tuition: $9,674

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Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT

In addition to the non-clinical M.A. in Family Studies offered, the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program is focused on preparing graduates to work with diverse populations who have experienced a broad range of relational problems. Boasting a new state-of-the-art Kathryn P. Koslow Center for Marriage and Family Therapy with outreach to local schools, the program offers superior clinical training in providing direct therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families from the local community. Fairfield University also appears on our list of the 30 Most Inspiring-Looking Counseling Centers in the World.

Program Acceptance Rate: 53%

Tuition: $15,750

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Northern Illinois University

Dekalb, IL

As the only accredited program offered at a state-supported university in Illinois, the Master of Science (M.S.) in Marriage and Family Therapy program follows a two-year 54-credit curriculum to train specialized therapists for promoting respectful treatment of human systems with the latest therapy techniques. To cultivate finely tuned clinical skills, students participate in a nine-month practicum progression from team member to solo practitioner in the on-campus Family Therapy Clinic at NIU.

Program Acceptance Rate: 54%

Tuition: $8,216

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University of Nevada

Las Vegas, NV

Boasting one of the highest pass rates in the nation on the national certification exam for marriage and family therapy, the M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy program at UNLV provides a 60-credit curriculum focused on therapeutic strategies for working with multicultural populations in a wide range of mental health services. At the Center for Individual, Couple, and Family Counseling, students obtain at least 500 clinical face-to-face client hours with surrounding community members under the guidance of AAMFT-approved supervisors.

Program Acceptance Rate: 54%

Tuition: $4,968

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Abilene Christian University

Abilene, TX

Featuring a recent graduation rate of 100% and a national exam pass rate of 94.74%, the Master of Marriage and Family Therapy program is focused on combining a systemic/relational understanding of people's lives with counseling theories and hands-on supervised clinical training. As a national leader in Christian higher education, the two-year 60-credit program integrates faith with learning to prepare graduates for Christian service in a variety of faith-based and secular mental health settings.

Program Acceptance Rate: 58%

Tuition: $17,100

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Appalachian State University

Boone, NC

As a 48-credit program designed to meet the need for advanced preparation of counselors who work with families, the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program includes a 12-month internship with couples and families under AAMFT-approved supervision. Rather than adhere to a single school approach to marriage and family therapy, the program is highly regarded for allowing students to understand, compare, and evaluate all major approaches to integrate them into a personally effective approach for helping families change.

Program Acceptance Rate: 58%

Tuition: $4,303

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Utah State University

Logan, UT

Housed within a graduate college of education ranked in the top 2% in the country and ranked third in total research funding awarded nationwide, the Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT) program has been established to prepare students for clinical mental health careers with intern-level licensure in marriage and family therapy in Utah. Along with hands-on clinical training in the clinic, students can participate in the on-campus chapter of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), which is the oldest multi-disciplinary organization focused on family research.

Program Acceptance Rate: 58%

Tuition: $4,511

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Evangelical Theological Seminary

Myerstown, PA

Offering a unique cohort-based model that draws students closer to helping others build healthy relationships and strong family dynamics, the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) program is focused on integrating biblical principles to combine the Christian faith with marriage and family therapy theories to transform lives. In addition, the Evangelical Theological Seminary offers a Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Counseling to obtain foundational therapeutic techniques with just 23 credits.

Program Acceptance Rate: 64%

Tuition: $12,264

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Regis University

Denver, CO

Available at the Regis campus locations in North Denver, Broomfield, and Colorado Springs, the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy program is focused on preparing busy professionals with the clinical skills needed to treat mental and emotional disorders for optimal relational health through a holistic systemic approach. Along with the 60-credit affordable graduate marriage and family therapy degree, students can choose to pursue a Post-Graduate Certificate in Counseling Children & Adolescents, Marriage and Family Therapy, Transformative Counseling, or Counseling Military Families.

Program Acceptance Rate: 64%

Tuition: $10,890

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Bethel University

St. Paul, MN

Within one of the 15 largest accredited seminaries in the United States with nearly 1,400 students in St. Paul and San Diego, the M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy program is strongly rooted in biblical teaching to develop therapists who can help God's hurting people walk through a life transformation and rejuvenate broken relationships or family roots. Graduate students may also be interested in earning a M.A. in Children's and Family Ministry, Certificate in Young Life Youth Ministry, or Post-Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy online.

Program Acceptance Rate: 67%

Tuition: $20,340

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Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Boasting cutting-edge teaching practices utilizing the Standardized Patient Lab (SPL), the Master's of Family Therapy program is designed to prepare well-trained culturally competent clinicians for working with traditional and non-traditional families in today's global community with a unique emphasis on social justice in a relational context. Furthermore, Drexel students have the option to pursue a Post-Masters Couple and Family Therapy Certificate, Post-Graduate Medical Family Therapy Certificate, or Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy.

Program Acceptance Rate: 68%

Tuition: $29,295

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St. Mary's University

San Antonio, TX

Focused on providing quality clinical services to educate culturally sensitive and socially just clinician-scholars to meet the diverse needs of South Texas populations, the Master's of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program features a 54-credit curriculum with an intensive year-long internship experience of 500 direct client contact hours at the on-campus Family Life Center. After graduation, students can seek employment at various social service agencies or further education in the Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program with an accredited concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Program Acceptance Rate: 72%

Tuition: $14,490

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Alliant International University - San Diego

San Diego, CA

Available with cutting-edge specialties in Gerontology, Infant-Preschooler Mental Health, Latin American Family Therapy, and LGBT Human Services, the M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy program is focused on producing compassionate practitioners with a superior clinical training to help families from multiple cultures. In the full-time two-year program that blends on-campus residencies with online courses, students can also choose to study abroad in Mexico for up to the first three semesters. All credits are fully transferable to Alliant International's Marital and Family Therapy PsyD program as well.

Program Acceptance Rate: 73%

Tuition: $21,466

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Southern Connecticut State University

New Haven, CT

As the oldest and longest standing COAMFTE-accredited programs in Connecticut since 1983, the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program provides opportunities for graduate students to practice theories, psychotherapeutic styles, and clinical skills from a systemic approach. Within the 60-credit curriculum with over 500 client contact hours, students receive the unparalleled opportunity to participate in the Gestalt Therapy Training Program to build stronger therapist-client relationships focused upon the individual's experience in the present moment for personal responsibility.

Program Acceptance Rate: 79%

Tuition: $5,617

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University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, MS

Renowned for its exceptional opportunities for professional growth, strong student/faculty relationships, and post-graduate mentoring, the Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program is available full-time or part-time to prepare graduate students for improving the quality of life for individuals, families, couples, and groups. After finishing the 60-credit curriculum with closely supervised clinical experiences at the University Clinic for Family Therapy, 96% of graduates of this cheap graduate marriage and family therapy degree pass the national licensure examination the first time.

Program Acceptance Rate: 80%

Tuition: $6,744

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Antioch University - New England

Keene, NH

Founded with a unique social justice focus to examine complicated systems of relationships for optimal mental/emotional health, the 61-credit Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy program features a close-knit group of graduate students examining the systemic, feminister, and post-modern theories for application in clinical areas. Also at Antioch University New England, students can join the newly COAMFTE-accredited Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy program to receive up to 1,000 additional clinical hours.

Program Acceptance Rate: 81%

Tuition: $26,250

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Hope International University

Fullerton, CA

As one of the fastest growing and highest regarded graduate programs offered at Hope International University (HIU), the M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy program trains students to treat relational mental health concerns for individuals, couples, and families from a family systems perspective grounded in Christian principles. Meeting the educational requirements of the Board of Behavioral Sciences for licensure in California, the 60-unit program can be completed at the Orange Education Center in two or three-year completion tracks.

Program Acceptance Rate: 81%

Tuition: $15,417

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Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Intended for mature students with a strong commitment to the family therapy profession for clinical practice with individuals, couples, and families, the Master of Arts Program in Marriage and Family Therapy is designed to meet all academic requirements for licensure and membership in the AAMFT. Furthermore, SU offers a COAMFTE-accredited Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy program as well as a dual master's program in Marriage and Family Therapy and Social Work to complete two degrees in two distinct professions in just three years.

Program Acceptance Rate: 82%

Tuition: $31,056

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Christian Theological Seminary

Indianapolis, IN

Offering the distinct advantage over other seminaries for its state-of-the-art CTS Counseling Center to allow students to conveniently complete practicum on-campus, the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) program blends psychological studies with clinical practice and theology to train students for ministering to families mentally as well as spiritually. Students may also wish to pursue the 124-credit joint marriage and family therapy graduate degree program that leads to a MAMFT and Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree concurrently.

Program Acceptance Rate: 85%

Tuition: $10,476

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Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

As an accredited 60-credit program focused on interactional models of family dynamics to prepare graduates for clinical practice with individuals, families, and couples in a culturally sensitive manner, the M.S. in Family Therapy program is available on-campus at the NSU main campus with on-site clinical training at the Brief Therapy Institute (BTI). Students may also wish to earn a Family Systems Health Care Graduate Certificate, Ph.D. in Family Therapy, or Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT) devoted to clinical innovation.

Program Acceptance Rate: 89%

Tuition: $15,350

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Friends University

Wichita, KS

Available on-campus at the Wichita and Lenexa campus locations, the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSFT) program takes our top spot for having the best acceptance rate at 90%! As a unique graduate training experience that covers psychotherapy for individuals, play therapy with children, marital therapy with couples, and family therapy, the marriage and family therapy graduate program is focused on preparing effective clinical practitioners to support the transformational development of change among various complex familial systems.

Program Acceptance Rate: 90%

Tuition: $11,358

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Since recent federal legislation mandating health insurance coverage is expected to cause an increase in the number of people seeking treatment for mental and emotional problems, the employment of marriage and family therapy therapists is projected to skyrocket much faster than normal at the rapid rate of 31% before 2022. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you consider one of these marriage and family therapy master's degrees with the best acceptance rates to smoothly transition into a rewarding professional career helping to build stronger relationships.


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