Marital and Family Therapy Program

  • The University of San Diego Graduate School Admission Application and $45 application fee

    • Upload the following to submit your online application
      • Statement of Purpose
      • Resume
      • Recommenders’ Contact Information
    • An official transcript from the university where you earned your bachelor’s degree is required at the time of application.

        • Students who earned their bachelor's degree from an institution outside the United States must submit a course-by-course degree evaluation conducted by a NACES current member.  
      • Applications for students educated outside the United States will not be considered complete nor can an admissions decision be made until this degree evaluation has been submitted.
    • NOTE:  
      • Official E-Transcripts are acceptable only if emailed to
      • Transcripts from study abroad courses and/or transfer credit are not required.
      • Letters of Recommendation and International Transcript Evaluations must be received by the program deadline to complete your application.
  • One official score report with the results of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test or the  Miller Analogies Test (MAT)
  • A minimum of two professional letters of recommendation from professors or employers
  • A current resumé or curriculum vita
  • A 500-word maximum statement of purpose. 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.
  • International applicants only:
    • Official score reports for the  Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)or the  International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is required of all international applicants and may only be waived if English is the applicant’s primary language or if he or she obtained a bachelor’s degree in the U.S., Great Britain, Canada or Australia.
      • TOEFL minimum scores:
        • Internet-based test: 83
        • Computer-based test: 237
        • Paper-based test: 580
      • IELTS minimum score:
        • Band score 7
    • Transcripts from universities outside of the United States must be accompanied by a Course-by-Course transcript evaluation from World Education Services (WES).

Admission Requirements

Standardized Testing Requirements

  • Applicants must provide scores from the  Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) General Test or the  Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Scores must be less than five years old from the test date.
  • The University of San Diego’s Institution Code numbers are 4849 (GRE) and 1972 (MAT). This number must be included on test registration forms in order to have the official results sent to the university. Standardized testing must be completed well in advance of the deadline as it typically takes about 2 weeks for the score reports to arrive after a request is made.
  • For more information on preparing for the GRE, visit  USD's Test Prep or call (619) 260-4585.

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.
  • Three pre-requisite courses are required by the program: (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

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. 

Application Process

Application Deadline

All application materials, including transcripts, test score reports and letters of recommendation, must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by the final deadline in order for your application to be considered.  View current deadlines for admission.

Application Status and Decisions

To confirm that application materials have been received or to check the status of your application, please log in to the MySanDiego portal with your applicant login or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (619) 260-4524. Admissions decision letters are sent via US Mail.

Submit all application materials online, or to:

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

For questions about this program or the admissions requirements contact:

Office of Admissions and Outreach
School of Leadership and Education Sciences
University of San Diego
Mother Rosalie Hill Hall 143

Phone: (619) 260-7988

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2019-2020, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2019. 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 566Individual, Family, and Community Trauma1
MFTS 570Systemic Treatment of Substance Abuse2
MFTS 571Family Violence1
MFTS 574Aging Issues in Family Therapy1
MFTS 575Social Neuroscience for Family Therapists1
MFTS 577Treatment of Severe Mental Illness3
MFTS 578Spiritual Issues in Family Therapy1
MFTS 595PPracticum in MFT 15
MFTS 596PPracticum in MFT 25
MFTS 597PPracticum in MFT 35
Take one of the following:
MFTS 542Families of Children with Special Needs1
MFTS 572Gender Issues in Family Therapy1
MFTS 573Group Therapy1
MFTS 576Self of the Therapist1

Degree Requirements

Comprehensive Examination Clinical Contact Hours

Students must successfully complete a total of 500 clinical contact hours (minimum of 250 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, 250 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.