Admissions and Prospective Students
The Marriage and Family Therapy program no longer requires the GRE or MAT.
In order to register for MFTH 7600 Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy, students must be screened by the MFT faculty and receive faculty approval to enroll. This screening process is accomplished through the Comprehensive Exam I. Students write the Comp Exam I at the end of the first Spring semester or at the close of the semester in which the student has successfully completed service learning (shift management and outreach) and the following six courses:
The Comprehensive Exam II or Statement of Orientation, written in the spring semester of the student's second year during the second practicum, is a paper in which the student articulates his or her theory of therapeutic problem formation, engagement, and change.
- a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university*
- an official copy of all college/university transcripts, undergraduate and graduate
- an overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.75
- three references
- an essay describing yourself, professional goals, and discussing your reasons for choosing the MFT field and VSU’s MFT program.
- a personal interview with an MFT faculty member
- a criminal background check that includes a sexual predator search. Before or after the start of Fall classes, the Minors on Campus office will send all new students links to do the 40-minute training and give permission to sign up to have a background check done. There is no cost to the student.
Please note that personal information disclosed in admissions materials or during the admissions interview will be treated as confidential. Disclosures will be made only to other professional colleagues, administrators, staff members, or graduate assistants who share responsibility for evaluating prospective students or maintaining student files.
*A note about preferred undergraduate majors:
The program places value on previous coursework in the social sciences, human-services, or mental health. Although we do not favor one major over another, we have found that students with majors or minors in anthropology, sociology, child and family studies, psychology, child development, education, and communication are well prepared for graduate study in family therapy. While these are degrees most commonly held by our students, we have, however, admitted students with majors in general studies, liberal arts, and a variety of other undergraduate degrees. Whether through coursework, volunteering, or life experience, we place a high value on applicants who have found ways of learning what it is like to work with people or in a social service career. Some students find through coursework a passion for working with people. Other students discover how rewarding a career in family therapy can be through life experiences. What is important to the admissions committee is that applicants have been thoughtful about the decision to study family therapy and that the goal of becoming a family therapist is grounded in accurate information about the field.
If you are wondering whether your undergraduate degree will serve as an appropriate springboard into MFT, we encourage you to contact the MFT Program Director, Dr. Martha Laughlin, and discuss your undergraduate coursework.
Many students looking for graduate programs find it helpful to find helpful to obtain more information before submitting their application. The MFT faculty members think it is a great idea, and we encourage prospective students to talk to our currently enrolled students. We offer a number of options when planning a visit: a campus tour, sit in on MFT classes, talk to a current student, sit in with a consultation team, a FamilyWorks Tour, and visit VSU’s main campus.
If you are interested in speaking with someone, here are your options:
Admission into the MFT program is for Fall entry only. The last day we accept applications for a given enrollment year is July 15. We except approximately 30 students each year, and the seats are usually filled by June, so we recommend that applicants submit as early in the year as possible. After all openings are filled, applicants can be placed on a waiting list and/or given the option to defer admission to the following year. The application process is as follows:
- Go to the homepage of either the MFT Program website or the Graduate School website and click Apply Now.
NOTE: At this time, you may discover that you can complete and submit the application only. Additional materials—recommendations, personal essay statement, and unofficial test scores, etc.—can be sent as attachments (.pdf, .doc, or an image file) to email@example.com. If your prior schools allow electronic transcript delivery, select the VSU Graduate School as a recipient of an official electronic transcript. If you need to supply your previous school(s) with an email address to which they can send your transcripts, use firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: The code for sending your GRE scores to the Graduate School is 5855. The code for sending your MAT score is 1117.
- When your application packet (official transcripts, all references, personal essay, etc.) is complete the Graduate School sends your application packet to the Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) program, where MFT faculty review the application and decides if the applicant is eligible to move on to the interview stage of the admission process. If so, we contact you to schedule an interview, which typically takes place within a few days to three weeks. The interview can take place by phone or on campus. Often applicants combine the campus interview with a day-long campus visit.
- The face-to-face interview takes place with one or two faculty members. It is a time for the applicant to ask questions about the program and for the faculty to share information about program requirements. In addition, applicants may be asked to talk about a range of topics, including career goals, their approach to diversity–including how they anticipate helping clients who hold values and goals different than their own—their personal philosophy about embracing difference, why they wish to become family therapists, how they feel they fit with the VSU family therapy program, what they are looking for in their clinical training experience, and how they hope to use their degree.
- Once you have been accepted for admission to the MFT program, you will receive two email letters. The first welcomes you to the program and asks you to send confirmation of your intent to start the program. Once we have received that confirmation, we send you a second email letter, which provides a great deal of important information about advising, licensure, diversity, business cards, program requirements over and above the curriculum, how to get into the clinic, student FERPA rights, anticipated costs, and much more. This information will help you plan ahead and transition smoothly into the program. Please note that any and all correspondence or offer of admission from the program is unofficial. You will receive official notification of your admission status in an email letter signed by the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research at some point after your interview.
- To apply online, or contact the Graduate School
- Call the Graduate School at (229) 333-5694 or toll-free at 1-800-618-1878
- You can write a letter to the Graduate School by addressing it to
The Graduate School
1500 N Patterson Street
Valdosta, Georgia 31698-0005
- Tuition and Fees. You can learn more about the tuition and fee schedule at Financial Services Tuition and Fee Schedules webpage.
- If you live in Florida, you may be in one of the counties to which VSU grants in-state tuition. Click here to learn if you qualify.
- Financial Aid and Student Loans. VSU has a wonderful website filled with useful information to help students identify sources of loans and other financial aid. To learn more about financial aid offered to graduate students and visit the Office of Financial Aid
- Grants and Scholarships. Grants and scholarships are available for graduate study and to minority students. Below are some resources for finding scholarships:
- College of Education and Human Services Scholarships
- VSU Office of Scholarships
- External Scholarships
- PurdueGlobal for Minority Students
- Grants for Multicultural Students
A website that offers multicultural students opportunities for grants at all school levels and for various degrees
- Academic Information
A website which offers multicultural student resources and scholarship opportunities/
A website which offers links and information on financial aid funding and fellowships:
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
HSF is the nation’s leading organization supporting Hispanic higher education. HSF was founded in 1975 with a vision to strengthen the country by advancing college education among Hispanic Americans, the largest minority segment of the U.S. population. In support of its mission to double the rate of Hispanics earning college degrees, HSF provides the Latino community more college scholarships and educational outreach support than any other organization in the country.
- United Negro College Fund
UNCF is the nation’s largest, oldest, most successful and most comprehensive minority higher education assistance organization. UNCF provides operating funds and technology enhancement services for 38 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), scholarships and internships for students at almost 1,000 institutions and faculty and administrative professional training.
- Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
has as its mission the construction of higher education environments in which lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni have equity in every respect.
- American Indian Graduate Center
AIGC is unique in the higher education landscape in the support and services provided and in having grown in its services by expanding partnerships with other agencies. We now collaborate with like-minded organizations and graduate schools that support many of our American Indian and Alaska Native students. For over thirty years the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) has awarded more than 9000 fellowships to qualified Native American and Alaska Native students to pursue graduate degrees in all fields.
- Grants for Multicultural Students
“New Student Orientation is held in the MFT Classroom the Friday before the start of Fall classes. We strongly encourage all new students to attend. You will meet the entire faculty as well as your new fellow-students. It is important that you review the MFT Clinical Training and Personal Disclosure Policy that your advisor sent to you. If you have questions, jot them down. We will review the Policy, and you can ask questions then. You will also initial and sign your copy, which will be retained in your student file. “
Prior to orientation, please complete the online Graduate School Orientation.
If you would like to get a preview of your Fall classes, check the MFT Program Requirement page, and University Class Schedule page.
We look forward to meeting you!