Family Therapy, M.A.

The Master of Arts in Family Therapy at Saint Louis University is based on a systemic/relational view of individuals, couples and families. It fulfills the course and practicum requirements toward licensure in Missouri as a licensed marital and family therapist. A concentration in medical family therapy is also available.

Curriculum Overview

SLU's master's program in family therapy requires a minimum of 60 credits beyond a bachelor's degree. Prerequisites include 18 credits in the behavioral sciences. Program requirements include didactic courses, two semesters of practicum, three semesters of internship in a community setting, and a minimum of 500 hours of direct clinical contact.

The concentration in medical family therapy prepares students to function as part of an integrated care team in addressing the biopsychosocial needs of individuals and families. 

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

Graduate students perform research projects by working with a faculty mentor whose research interests match their own. Doctoral students are expected to publish and present a minimum of two research projects.


Possible careers in medical family therapy include:

  • Academic positions
  • Research positions
  • Clinical positions in medical and mental health centers
  • Private practice and consulting

Admission Requirements

A minimum of 18 credits of undergraduate coursework in the social sciences is required for admission.

Application Requirements

  • Online application and fee
  • Transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores (waived for 2021)
  • Résumé
  • Interview
  • Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students. International students must also meet the following additional requirements:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Financial documents are required to complete an application for admission and be reviewed for admission and merit scholarships. 
  • Proof of financial support that must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the student's time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of the student's study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include:
    • Courses taken and/or lectures attended
    • Practical laboratory work
    • The maximum and minimum grades attainable
    • The grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations
    • Any honors or degrees received.

WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application Deadline

Applications will be accepted through June 30, 2022. Applicants asked for an interview will meet with faculty and current students over Zoom. Please refer to the application checklist to ensure that you have completed the necessary documents. We have waived the GRE as a requirement for this year's application process.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

For priority consideration for graduate assistantship, apply by Feb. 1. 

For more information, visit the student financial services office online at


Both the M.A. and Ph.D. in medical family therapy at Saint Louis University are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), 112 S. Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703.838.9808. 

  • Graduates will be able to compare and contrast the major theoretical orientations related to the field of marriage and family therapy. 
  • Graduates will attain competency in entry-level marriage and family therapy skills. Sub-objectives:
    • Admission, assessment and diagnosis
    • Treatment planning and case management
    • Therapeutic interventions
    • Legal issues, ethics and standards
    • Use of supervision and practicum
    • Social justice issues and self-awareness
  • Graduates will be able to understand and use research in clinical practice. 
  • Graduates will be able to contribute to competent clinical services and the profession through professional and scholarly modes of communication.
  • Graduates will attain an increased cultural competence in working with diverse populations.
  • Graduates will be able to demonstrate personal and professional skills that promote social justice through involvement and leadership in their communities.
  • Graduates will be able to effectively communicate their values and demonstrate how they guide their personal and professional lives. 
MFT 5210Introduction to Family Therapy3
MFT 5320Group Counseling Theory and Practice3
MFT 5380Theory and Intervention in Human Sexuality3
MFT 5410Practicum in Family Therapy6
MFT 5600Family Research Methods3
MFT 5610Psychopharmacology3
MFT 5700Human Growth and Development3
MFT 5770Found Multicultural Counseling3
MFT 5915Internship in Family Therapy (taken over multiple semesters)7
MFT 5990Thesis Research6
MFT 6530Ethical & Legal Issues in Family Therapy3
MFT 6550Diagnosis and Assessment in Family Therapy3
MFT 6560Theoretical Foundations of Couple and Family Therapy3
MFT 6570Medical Family Therapy Externship1
MFT 6650Advanced Couple and Family Therapy3
MFT 6660Intro Family Studies3
MFT 6710Integrative and Evidence Based Models of Couple and Family Therapy3
MFT 6730Research Practicum1,2
Total Credits60-61

Project Option

The project option is appropriate if students want to teach human anatomy structure and function or if students are undecided about a career in the health professions and want to improve their academic background before applying to professional schools. It provides training in anatomy with a capstone project. A total of 30 credits is necessary to complete the degree.

Qualifying Examination and Defense

Upon completing the core curriculum, the student must identify an independent study project under the guidance of a Center for Anatomical Science and Education (CASE) faculty adviser for the required master's project (ANAT-5960, two to four credits) course. 

The master's project course is intended to foster students' intellectual development by working independently with a faculty adviser and an M.S. (project) committee. It is hoped that a student will develop the capacity to plan and execute a project and acquire competence and critical writing skills.

The M.S. (project) committee will be formed as the student prepares the project proposal. A three-member M.S. (project) committee, chaired by the student’s primary adviser, will be recommended to the director of the anatomy graduate program for approval. The committee must include at least two CASE anatomy graduate faculty members.

The initial responsibility of the M.S. (project) committee is to determine the feasibility of the project and its proposal and to permit the student to proceed only after such determination has been made. The committee and director of the anatomy graduate program shall sign off on the student's proposal and a copy should be kept in the student's file in the CASE office. The signing of this document signifies that the student has permission to proceed with the study as outlined in the proposal. 

The M.S. (project) committee will meet regularly with the student and adviser and is responsible for reviewing the ongoing project and manuscript drafts, and to provide feedback in a timely manner.

A manuscript of the project, in the form of a treatise, must be completed and approved by the faculty adviser and M.S. (project) committee. The treatise is a critical analysis of the project and is expected to demonstrate mastery of the material using critical thinking skills. The manuscript should follow the formatting guidelines issued by the Office of Graduate Education.

As the project and manuscript near their completion, a tentative date to complete the oral examination will be scheduled, no less than two weeks in advance, by the faculty adviser and approved by the M.S. (project) committee. The last day to complete the final oral examination will be identified by the graduate education calendar of deadlines and will be strictly enforced.

Before the oral examination is officially scheduled to take place, the student's master's project course project must be completed and approved by the student's faculty advisor and M.S. (project) committee. 

Two weeks before the thesis defense, an electronic and print announcement of the date, time, location and title of the defense will be publicized to all members of CASE. A final draft of the student’s thesis must be made available in the anatomy conference room for faculty and students to review at least seven working days prior to the defense. 

The oral examination will consist of a formal presentation of the student project to the M.S. (project) committee, the faculty and students in CASE, and to any family member or anyone from the general public wishing to attend. After the presentation, the committee will meet with the student privately to ask any questions relating to the project and manuscript, and of the student's knowledge of anatomy. After the private meeting, the student will be asked to leave the room as the committee votes on the oral examination performance by filling out the ballot issued by the Office of Graduate Education. Once the ballot is completed, signed and sealed it is the committee chairperson's responsibility to deliver the ballot to the Office of Graduate Education immediately following the oral examination. 

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
MFT 5210 Introduction to Family Therapy 3
MFT 6530 Ethical & Legal Issues in Family Therapy 3
MFT 6660 Intro Family Studies 3
MFT 5610Psychopharmacology 3
MFT 5410 Practicum in Family Therapy 3
MFT 6550 Diagnosis and Assessment in Family Therapy 3
MFT 6560Foundations in Couple and Family Therapy 3
MFT 6710 Integrative and Evidence Based Models of Couple and Family Therapy 3
MFT 5320 Group Counseling Theory and Practice 3
MFT 5380 Theory and Intervention in Human Sexuality 3
MFT 5410 Practicum in Family Therapy 3
MFT 6570Medical Family Therapy Externship 1
Year Two
MFT 5600Family Research Methods 3
MFT 5770 Found Multicultural Counseling 3
MFT 5915 Internship in Family Therapy 3
MFT 5990 Thesis Research 3
MFT 6730 Research Practicum 1
MFT 5700 Human Growth and Development 3
MFT 5915 Internship in Family Therapy 3
MFT 5990 Thesis Research 3
MFT 6650 Advanced Couple and Family Therapy 3
MFT 5915 Internship in Family Therapy 1
 Total Credits60