M.S. Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy

  • Total Credit Hours: 60
  • Degree Format: Traditional

About this field

The MFT program addresses the interpersonal and social context of mental health and emotional problems. The curriculum focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to access and intervene in the interactions among people. It prepares students to use an active, positive approach to therapy that will help individuals and their families build upon their strengths, improve communication, and develop solutions to their problems.

The Valdosta State Difference

The MFT program at Valdosta State University leads to a Master of Science (M.S.) in Marriage and Family Therapy. If you are interested in learning the art and science of change, then this is the program for you. This degree is an important part of what will make you eligible to sit for the MFT national licensing exam in Georgia and many other states. Our program is committed to nurturing the development of highly competent clinicians who work from a systemic/relational perspective. We help you develop your unique therapeutic voice, and we help you get there by infusing hands-on learning experiences with real clients from your very first day in the program.

What You'll Learn

The Value of Difference

The VSU MFT program curriculum and faculty members place a strong emphasis and value on diversity. We feel that mere tolerance of difference is not sufficient—we set a higher standard for our students. We believe that the differences that make up the rainbow of humanity must be embraced and cherished. As Mary Catherine Bateson reminds us, it is contrast—the relationship to “otherness”—that makes learning possible.

We believe that to be successful, MFT’s must have a genuine interest in their clients, possess therapeutic curiosity, be aware of ethical and therapeutic limitations, and be willing to talk openly about anything a client might wish to discuss regardless of age, sex, sexual practices and preferences, religion, race, sexual orientation, physical disadvantage, political leanings, and level of education.

Students learn that problems and attempts to solve problems make sense when relevant contexts such as age, culture, environment, ethnicity, gender, health, physical ability, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, spirituality, and socioeconomic status are taken into account. These give shape and meaning to clients’ lives. That these contexts are embedded in more encompassing cultural contexts of privilege, power, subjugation, and susceptibility is a notion that is infused throughout the entire curriculum. Through coursework, practica, and internships, we emphasize the way these contexts inform human experience and meaning systems, giving rise to multiple perspectives.

Embedding diversity in the curriculum

The intersectionality between diversity and the variety of dominant cultural discourses such as ageism, classism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, and gender are woven throughout the fabric of our curriculum. MFT faculty members strive to explore with our students the ways that cultural and institutionalized discrimination are embedded in culture and language, exacerbating the treatment issues that clients present. We also examine the ways that issues of diversity and discrimination shape the context of therapy. By the time students graduate from our program, they are able to situate themselves in the relational web of issues—class, privilege, and disenfranchisement—that are always at work in the therapy room.

Admissions Requirements

  • A baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  • An official copy of all college/university transcripts.
  • Previous coursework in social science, human-service, or mental health related areas.
  • A cumulative minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or better
  • Three references submitted on the VSU MFT recommendation form. In addition to the required Recommendation form, letters from recommenders are strongly encouraged.
  • An essay describing self, professional goals, and discussing the candidate’s reasons for choosing the MFT field and VSU’s MFT program.
  • A personal interview with an MFT faculty member
  • All MFT students must have a criminal background check that includes a sexual predator search

Exit Requirements

  • GPA of 3.00 or above
  • Pass Comprehensive Exams I and II
  • 12-month clinical practicum
  • 500 hours of client contact
  • 100 hours of supervision


While internships are not required, they are suggested and many of our students appreciate the learning experience. We assist students in locating internships at a wide range of regional service providers, for example:

  • Community mental health agencies
  • Private practice
  • Home-based therapy organizations
  • Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Domestic violence shelter
  • Hospice
  • Foster care support services
  • Addictions treatment facilities
  • University counseling centers
  • Equine therapy
  • Children’s Advocacy Centers for sexual abuse treatment
  • Secondary and high school counseling centers
  • Psychiatric hospital


  • Caseworker
  • Child/family Psychologist
  • Clinical Therapist
  • Clinician
  • Marriage and Family Therapist
  • School Counselor
  • 229.219.3550
  • Department of Human Services
    Converse Hall, 2nd Floor
    1500 N. Patterson St.
    Valdosta, GA 31698