About the Marriage and Family Therapy Program

Mission Statement

The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program is to provide systemically-oriented, ethical, inclusive and socially-just training that meets rigorous clinical and academic standards. The program trains students in modern and postmodern theories, with emphasis on critical thinking and reflective practice in an effort to develop therapists who are competent to work with diverse families, couples, and individuals throughout the lifespan in a variety of professional settings.


We are a community of scholars who engage in collaborative dialogue to enhance students' educational experiences. In order to facilitate this, faculty and students maintain ongoing conversations in and out of the classroom. We host monthy community meetings. 


Students majoring in the Marriage and Family Therapy  Master of Arts degree program take courses listed below. Full time student can complete the curriculum in 2 years. We are a thesis optional program. Opportunities to work on faculty research projects are available to students. 

   MFT Program Required Courses (PDF, 46 KB).

   MFT Program Overview and Course Sequence (PDF, 97 KB).


Students complete a 12 month community internship during the second year of the program. Current interns are placed at agencies engaging in intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment, in-school day treatment, school-based therapy, outpatient individual and family services, in-home services, and residential treatment. Students complete a minimum of 400 face-to-face clinical hours, of which 180 hours are with relational systems. Students receive supervision at their internship site, and weekly group and individual supervision with a faculty supervisor throughout the internship year. 


This program curriculum meets the North Carolina Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy (LMFT) requirements outlined by the North Carolina Board of Marriage and Family Therapy, and the MFT program at App State cannot guarantee eligibility for licensure in other states. However, faculty work with students who plan to apply for licensure in other states on a case-by-case basis to design a plan of study that will attempt to meet course requirements in other states, whose requirements are available via AAMFT MFT Licensing Boards and the Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB). It is the student's responsibility to contact the state licensure board of the state the student wishes to move to upon graduation to determine these requirements. 

The Marriage and Family Therapy program is a 51 credit M.A. program and most states require between 48-60 credits in a graduate MFT degree program as part of the licensure requirements. Some states require courses that are not part of our core MFT curriculum (i.e. addictions, group therapy, couple therapy, child and adolescent therapy). This varies widely state to state. Fortunately, these courses are frequently available to our students as electives.

All states with the exception of California require the National MFT National Examination, which students may take upon graduation in NC. Supervision requirements vary from state-to-state. Students planning to seek licensure from a state other than North Carolina are advised to determine the licensure requirements of the state they plan to practice in before submitting a program of study to the graduate school. This will help students design a program of study that will increase the likelihood of obtaining licensure in other states. Graduates of the MFT program have successfully gained licensure in many states. 

Thesis and Research

The MFT program offers a thesis option. Students who select the thesis option must complete 4 thesis hours. Additionally, opportunities to work on faculty research projects are available to students. 

CTH Graduate Certificates

The Department of Counseling, Family Therapy and Higher Education offers two graduate certificate programs which MFT students can apply to. Certificates offer additional concentrated training: Expressive Arts Therapy and Addiction Counseling. Full time students may need to extend their program of study beyond 2 years to complete certificate curriculum requirements. MFT students who complete the requirements for the Addiction Counseling Certificate and complete an internship working with addition and recovery are eligible to be certified as a North Carolina Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS) after graduation. 


The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Appalachian State University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3061.