Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

What can a Marriage and Family Therapist do?

The Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) program provides the educational foundation to meet the standards for the Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Missouri. After the completion of 54 credit hours in the class and practicum setting, students have the tools necessary to treat marital problems, child-parental problems and individual psychological problems as well.

Marriage and family therapists treat a wide variety of problems, including:

  • depression
  • marital problems
  • anxiety
  • individual psychological problems
  • child-parent problems
Research indicates that marriage and family therapy is as effective, and in some cases more effective, than standard and/or individual treatments for many mental health patients.

Requirements for the MAMFT Program

Location Offered: Springfield, Missouri

Before completion and submission of the application, please read the following requirements thoroughly.
  • Prospective students need a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution and must have earned a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) or better on a 4.0 scale during the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. Applicants without the required GPA are considered on a highly selective basis and are invited to address this issue in their personal essay. If the applicant is extended an invitation to interview, this issue will be discussed in detail.
  • Applicants to the Master's program need the equivalent of 12 semester hours in social sciences. These hours must include the following courses or equivalents.
    • Family Studies or Family Relations
    • Human Development
    • Psychology Course (e.g. Abnormal Psychology)

Admission to the MFT program is limited. Due to supervisory and client contact limitations, not every student who applies to the program will be admitted, even if they meet minimal qualifications.

The application packet consists of a completed application form and a non-refundable application fee of $50, in addition to the following:

  1. Three Professional Recommendations
    College professors, supervisors, or others who have known the candidate for one year or longer and who have evaluated the candidate's personal, professional, and academic qualifications should be contacted to complete the Professional Recommendation Form. At least three professional recommendations are required. The references must comment specifically on your ability to undertake a course of study in marriage and family therapy, as well as your ability to provide marriage and family therapy if suitably educated and trained.
  2. Personal Essay
    Through the personal essay much is learned about the candidate, including his/her interests, goals, character and if he/she is a good fit for the programs at Forest. Personal essays should range from five to eight pages in length using 1" margins, double spacing, and preferably Times New Roman 12 pt. font. Essays should be tailored to the program or cluster for which admission is sought. Ex. Prospective MFT students should discuss the MFT focus in their essay. Essays must specifically address the following:
    • What personal knowledge, skills, attitudes, qualities, and life experiences do you possess that would make you a good Marriage and Family Therapist? Elaborate on which of these you will bring to your training at Forest Institute. Which do you hope to develop during your training at Forest Institute?
    • Discuss why you believe that you are "fitted for a future in being of service to the diverse human community" as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
    • Please tell us any additional information that you believe the Admissions Committee should know to assist in making their decision regarding your application.
  3. Current Resume/Vitae
    List other activities since high school, including military service, that are relevant to professional goals.
  4. Official Transcripts
    Official transcript of all graduate and undergraduate work are required, including part-time and summer sessions, and should be mailed directly from all institutions attended since secondary school. If college credits were earned while in secondary school, an official transcript is required of the college/university from which those credits were received.
    Students making application to the program are required to complete and submit their scores for the Verbal, Quantitative and Analytical sections of the GRE. International applicants, who do not hold a United States undergraduate degree and whose native language is not English, are required to submit their TOEFL scores. Forest 's code number for forwarding GRE and TOEFL results is 8525. For information about GRE test dates and requests for scores, write to the Educational Testing Services, Princeton , NJ 08541-6000 . The phone number is (609) 771-7670; the web site is

Final Steps in the Admission Process for MAMFT Applicants

  • Notification of Interview
    As a final step in the application process, the selected candidates are invited to participate in an on-site interview or Skype with MFT faculty during one of the scheduled interview days. The interview process is intended to provide both the candidate and the MFT faculty members an opportunity to learn more about each other. Following the personal interview, the MFT faculty members will conduct the final review of application materials. The application will only be reviewed once a candidate has successfully met all admissions requirements.
  • Notification of Acceptance
    Candidates are selected for admission to Forest Institute on the basis of demonstrated intellectual capacity for the study of psychology and evidence of the character and personal integrity expected of a person who serves the public as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Candidates are usually notified of their acceptance status within two weeks following the personal interview process. Candidates are then given approximately two weeks in which to submit their "Letter of Intent" to enroll in the program along with the non-refundable Enrollment Deposit, or decline the offer of acceptance. At the end of the two-week period, the offer of acceptance will be rescinded if no response is received from the candidate.

Candidates that have accepted an offer of enrollment from Forest but wish to postpone matriculation may submit a written request to delay enrollment to the Director of Admissions. Such an extension may only be granted for up to one year, and may not carry-over into another academic year. In situations where a candidate wishes to begin enrollment in an academic year other than that which was offered, reapplication may be required, including payment of the application and matriculation fees.

Acceptance into one of Forest's programs does not guarantee acceptance into another program. Current students wishing to pursue secondary degree or certificate programs at Forest must make application for such programs through the Admissions Office.

Applications for admission are available from the Admissions Office and on-line, and should be submitted either in person, by mail, by FAX, or electronically through the Forest web site. Because those accepted into the program will render services to the public, Forest routinely performs a personal background check on all incoming students, following written consent.

Download a copy of the Professional Recommendation Form