Marital and Family Therapy Program

Online Application:

  • Submit the University of San Diego Graduate School Admission Online Application and $45 application fee

    • Upload the following to submit your online application
      • Statement of Purpose
      • Resume
      • Recommenders’ Contact Information


Official transcript from the university where you earned your bachelor’s degree is required at the time of application.


  • Official E-Transcripts are acceptable only if emailed to
  • Transcripts from study abroad courses and transfer credits are not required.

Degrees Earned Outside of the United States:

Letters of Recommendation:

  • Two letters of recommendation are required at the time of application. If possible, one letter should come from a professor who can speak to your academic strengths, while the other should come from an employer or professional mentor. Letters should not be submitted by a family member or friend. The letters of recommendation should share how they know you, how long they’ve known you, and how they are familiar with your work. We encourage recommenders to share specific anecdotes that help explain how they think you will be successful in a program and in your career. 

Résumé or Curriculum Vitae (CV):

  • Your résumé or CV should be a summary of your qualifications and transferable skills related to the program. You are encouraged to highlight your professional accomplishments and relevant experiences, including volunteer experiences. In addition, you can submit a cover letter with your resume to provide context to your relevant experiences and share their connection to the program.

Statement of Purpose:

  • 500-words maximum: Please include a brief narrative describing yourself, your career goals, and the importance of graduate study in marriage and family therapy at this point in your life. You may discuss influences on your intellectual development, educational and cultural opportunities (or lack of them) that have been available to you, and the ways in which these experiences have affected you. This should not be a recording of facts already listed on the application; it should give the Admissions Committee a better sense of who you are and why you are applying to the marriage and family therapy program at the University of San Diego. If you are in a graduate program at another university, please explain why you wish to leave.

English Proficiency Exam for International Applicants:

Waiving out of the English Language exam requirement: The English Language Exam waiver may be requested if you:
  1. Have submitted your online application and 
  2. You meet one of the following: 
    • English is your primary language
    • You completed a 4-year bachelor's degree or 2-year master's degree, and obtained (or in the process of obtaining) a bachelor’s or master's degree in the U.S. with a minimum 3.0 GPA. 
    • You obtained your bachelor's degree in Great Britain, Canada, or Australia with an equivalent minimum 3.0 GPA. 

Be sure to promptly order official transcripts or official transcript evaluations, as they are also required to determine waiver eligibility.

If you believe you are eligible for an EPEX waiver, please email the SOLES Admissions and Outreach Office at . Each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Education Requirements:

  • Applicants must complete a bachelor’s degree prior to beginning the program. Applicants may apply prior to completing their bachelor's degree. In this case, please submit your most up-to-date transcripts, and if admitted, submit a second set of official transcripts after your degree is conferred.
  • The minimum cumulative Grade Point Average is 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in all undergraduate and graduate coursework.

Experience Requirements:

Experience in a related field is recommended, but not required for admission.

Interview Requirements:

After an initial review of applications to the Marital and Family Therapy program, the most qualified candidates will be invited to USD for a group interview with the MFT faculty.

If Admitted:

  • The program requires the three pre-requisite courses for students to enroll in their second semester of courses: (1) Human or Life Span Development, (2) Counseling or Personality Theories, and (3) Research Methods.
  • Students who have not taken these courses in their undergraduate studies can complete these requirements by taking a course prior to beginning the program or during their first semester at USD, either through an online program or in a traditional classroom setting. 
    • An affordable option to fulfill this course work can be found at

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2022-23, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2022. Access the catalog of record at

MFTS 500Research in Family Therapy3
MFTS 523Family Therapy Theories I3
MFTS 524Family Therapy Theories II3
MFTS 528Psychopathology in the Family3
MFTS 529Ethical, Legal, & Professional Issues in Family Therapy3
MFTS 532Human Diversity in Family Therapy3
MFTS 533Family Development3
MFTS 541Systemic Treatment of Children3
MFTS 543Developmental Psychopathology3
MFTS 544Psychopharmacology and Systems2
MFTS 546Couples and Sex Therapy3
MFTS 562Recovery-oriented Case Management1
MFTS 563Collaborative Care1
MFTS 570Systemic Treatment of Substance Abuse2
MFTS 567Individual, Family and Community Trauma2
MFTS 571Family Violence1
MFTS 574Aging Issues in Family Therapy1
MFTS 577Treatment of Severe Mental Illness3
MFTS 595PPracticum in MFT 15
MFTS 596PPracticum in MFT 25
MFTS 597PPracticum in MFT 35
Take two of the following:
MFTS 542Families of Children with Special Needs1
MFTS 572Gender Issues in Family Therapy1
MFTS 573Group Therapy1
MFTS 575Social Neuroscience for Family Therapists1
MFTS 576Self of the Therapist1
MFTS 578Spiritual Issues in Family Therapy1

Degree Requirements

Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of a comprehensive examination is required for graduation. The exam is taken in the second year and covers three areas: Theory & Application, Assessment, and Law & Ethics. Students are given two hours to complete each section. 

Clinical Contact Hours

Students must successfully complete a total of 500 clinical contact hours (minimum of 200 relational hours) and 100 supervision hours (minimum of 50 with raw data) while enrolled in Practicum.

Completion of Prerequisite Requirements

Students must complete the three prerequisite requirements (Human Development, Research Methods and either Counseling Theories or Theories of Personality) either prior to enrollment in the program or before the beginning of their second semester in the program.

Practicum In MFT

An important part of the training program is the practical experience and training students receive during the clinical practicum. The MFT faculty maintains a variety of sites that meet the rigorous clinical hour and supervision requirements. Practicum placements are typically non-paying positions.

Practicum (MFTS 595PMFTS 596PMFTS 597P) is a 12-month, three-semester sequence that is completed during the student’s final year in the program. During this clinically rich experience, students will be expected to complete 500 direct client-contact hours, 200 of which need to be with couples or families. Students receive a minimum of 100 hours of supervision from MFT faculty during this time, in addition to the supervision received from on-site supervisors. Faculty supervision is in both individual and group format, with live and videotaped data being used as the primary source of session information.

International Requirement

At SOLES, all masters and doctoral students participate in an international experience designed to support the growth of cultural competency. Our goal is to inform best practices in working with culturally diverse populations locally, nationally and globally.  International experiences are approved by each student's faculty advisor and can be credit based or non-credit based activities. 


All application materials must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by the final deadline in order for your application to be considered for admission.

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Tuition and Financial Aid

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Status and Decisions

To confirm that application materials have been received, please log into the MySanDiego portal or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (619) 260-4524. Admissions decision letters are sent via US Mail.

Submit all supplemental materials to:

Office of Graduate Admissions 
University of San Diego, Manchester Hall 105
5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110-2492

For questions about the admissions contact:

SOLES Office of Admissions and Outreach 
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall 143
(619) 260-7988
Advising Appointments