MS Marriage and Family Therapy

MS in Marriage and Family Therapy


Are you interested in becoming a licensed family therapist? Would you enjoy helping individuals, couples, and families work through difficult life transitions?

East Carolina University's marriage and family therapy program prepares you to become a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). The program has been continuously accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) since 1992 and prepares students that are grounded in systems theory and its application to clinical practice. ECU's MFT program will provide you with diverse range of clinical and theoretical orientations that help to prepare you to become a competent and confident therapist. Students work cooperatively with individuals, couples, and families on treatment teams at ECU's Family Therapy Clinic to develop and apply creative therapeutic strategies to intervene in the lives of clients. The Family Therapy Clinic is equipped with state-of-the-art digital recording software so that all student client sessions can be recorded. You will enjoy studying the art of couple and family therapy under the direction of a faculty supervisor that provides feedback to you on your development and progress with clients through live and video-recorded sessions.

Each student is encouraged to develop a personalized therapeutic orientation and style that integrates theory and technique with a personalized approach for each student therapist. The combination of didactic course work and live supervision of your clinical work, creates a learning environment where students flourish and are prepared to become leaders in the rising generation.


Admission Requirements

Admission to East Carolina University does not guarantee admissions into your desired program of study.

The Graduate School has minimum requirements for all applicants to graduate programs.

  • Completed application form with paid application fee
  • Official transcripts for all colleges/universities attended
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose/Intent)
    • Your purpose for seeking a degree in marriage and family therapy
    • Your understanding of marriage and family therapy as a profession
    • Experiences (personal or professional) that have prepared you for this degree and profession
    • Characteristics that you possess that will allow you to become a competent therapist
    • Any information that will help the faculty in determining your fit for the MFT program
  • GRE scores (ECU’s GRE code is 5180)

Candidates who have been considered for a personal interview with the Marriage and Family Therapy program faculty may be asked to provide a video response to questions posed by the MFT faculty (in advance of personal interviews). Requests for video responses will be sent to candidates by e-mail and will include the format, questions, and deadline for receiving the material.

Post baccalaureate classes or degrees are not required. However, it is recommended that you have experience working with people upon which you can draw experience. It is also helpful in the interview to understand the differences in ideology between Marriage and Family Therapy and other social sciences.

Cost of Attendance

Program Requirements

The MFT program includes 51 semester hours and requires full-time study over two years.

Required Courses

Delivery Methods

This program is only offered in an on-campus, Face to Face format.

Additional Information

The clinical experience requires 9 semester hours and is completed with an on-campus placement at the ECU Family Therapy Clinic and an off-campus placement at a community agency, school setting, military base, or medical setting. During their clinical experience, students have access to supervision from clinical faculty members who are AAMFT Approved Supervisors and off-campus site supervisors. While taking the practicum, students must agree to operate as family therapists, which includes working with clients during university breaks, in the evenings, and as emergencies might dictate. The clinic is open year-round to accommodate individuals, couples, and families. Students must adjust their schedules accordingly.

*The MS degree in Marriage and Family Therapy can be obtained without a thesis although students intending to obtain their PhD are encouraged to pursue a thesis. Students who want to complete a thesis must take CDFR 7000 (thesis).

The Medical Family Therapy Certificate is now available! 

Medical family therapy is an exciting field that focuses on biopsychosocial-spiritual health within family-based treatment. The Medical Family Therapy Certificate is an opportunity for clinically focused students and professionals to learn concepts and skills regarding the clinical application of medical family therapy, biopsychosocial-spiritual health, and integrated care.

Admission is limited to ECU students currently enrolled in the master’s in marriage and family therapy program and any post-degree professional holding a master’s degree from a Commission on the Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) accredited marriage and family therapy program. Admission requirements include: Completed application form, application fee, official transcripts for all colleges/universities attended (with conferred degree from a COAMFTE accredited program), and a completed clinical practicum experience form. Admissions are accepted for the fall semester only and are due by April 15 of each year (note this deadline is different than the MS MFT and doctoral MedFT programs).

Please direct questions to: Jake Jensen, PhD, LMFT;

Accreditation Information

Established in 1988, the master’s program in marriage and family therapy (MFT) at East Carolina University (ECU) was the first MFT program in North Carolina that was accredited by the Commission on Accreditation (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The program was last reaccredited in November of 2007.

For additional information about our MS in Marriage and Family Therapy please see our program handbook.

Click here for information about the MFT faculty

Graduate Achievement Data for East Carolina University (M.S. Program)

Marriage and Family Therapy Program’s Diversity Composition

Institutional and Professional Licensure Disclosures for Enrolled and Prospective Students

ECU degree programs satisfy the professional licensure and/or certification requirements in North Carolina and prepare students to sit for these exams.  However, requirements in other states may be different.

If you are considering a degree program that may, would, could or potentially lead to a professional license and/or certification, please note that at this time ECU may or may not be able to advise whether a  program meets requirements outside of North Carolina.  Prior to enrolling in a degree program, please discuss this important topic with your program of interest.