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Admission Policies

The Family Therapy Training Program welcomes inquiries from M.S. degree applicants who are committed to:

  • a relational and systemic approach to helping individuals, couples and their families
  • a biopsychosocial integrative model of care that also includes collaborating with interdisciplinary professionals and natural supports from the family’s community
  • an appreciation for multi-culturally informed education and clinical care
  • clinical training that prepares graduates for traditional mental health settings as well as integrated health care, schools, private practice and other settings
  • reflection into self-of-the-therapist experiences, values and worldview that may shape engagement with diverse patients and families
  • a spirit of Meliora – The University of Rochester Motto “Ever Better!”

Applications are accepted online.  The University of Rochester values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation or any other status protected by law. Further, the University complies with all applicable non-discrimination laws in the administration of its policies, admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs and activities.

Full-time matriculated students begin the program in the Fall semester only.  Occasionally part-time matriculated students are admitted in the Spring semester.  However, interested applicants should speak with the Program Co-Director prior to applying to determine if Spring admission is recommended for their program of study needs.

In addition, prior to matriculating, the NYS Justice Center requires all prospective clinical trainees to complete a background check in the interest of protecting people with special needs from abuse, neglect and mistreatment.  This will be accomplished by assuring that the state maintains the nation’s highest standards of health, safety and dignity, and by supporting the dedicated men and women who provide services. For more information, please see the following link:   In addition, all students will need to receive clearance through the Online New York State Central Registry for child protection.  

Applicants who intend to apply for NYS licensure as an MFT are encouraged to review the criteria for MFT licensure on the New York State Office of Professions, as past criminal convictions, current charges or any professional disciplinary actions are required to be reported on the licensure application form.  Those pursuing licensure in other states are encouraged to review the corresponding state licensure requirements.

We accept applications to the Master of Science Program in Marriage and Family Therapy throughout the calendar year for enrollment beginning in the Fall semester only. The number of applicants that we accept each year is limited, so we highly recommend applicants begin the application process as early as possible.

University of Rochester's Master’s Application Timeline

For Admission to Fall 2021 Semester

  • May 1:  Final Deadline for application completion, ongoing application review, interview dates and final consideration
  • May 31: Offer of admission notices mailed
  • June 15:  Responses due for Offer of Admission
  • August (TBA):  New student Orientation
  • August 31:  Fall semester begins

Contact Phylliss Paeth for further information, or to schedule a remote conversation with the Program Co-Director, Jenny Speice. 


Application Requirements

A complete application includes

  • Application - The 2021 application is available now.
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Official transcript(s)
  • TOEFL (applicants whose native language is not English).  We also accept DuoLingo scores.
  • Application Fee: $60.00
  • Research papers, publications, other original works, as well as CVs and resumes, may also be submitted for consideration but are not required.
  • Completed Interviews with three (3) program faculty

Our Program participates one university-wide interview day/year as well as conducts Individual Interviews as applications are completed. All interviews are by invitation.  Applicants are interviewed by three program faculty after submission of their application materials.

Current Students And Faculty

Our current students represent a rich diversity of backgrounds, life experiences, undergraduate degrees and other professional or volunteer work.  Some are local to Rochester or New York State, others come from across the United States (New Jersey, Virginia, Washington State, Maryland); recent graduates from California, Maine, Maryland, Texas, Utah, Washington State, Wisconsin) and internationally (Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Thailand).  Our faculty, many of whom have worked together for decades, also bring a broad array of personal and professional backgrounds to our program.  Most of our faculty hold dual appointments in our primary Department of Psychiatry, as well as faculty appointments representing teaching, clinical work or research in the Departments of Family Medicine, Medicine, Neurology, OB/GYN, Pediatrics, and/or Surgery.

We currently have 25 (15 full time; 10 part time) students in the University of Rochester’s Marriage and Family Therapy program.   15% are male, and 88% are female.  64% are European-American, 8% are African-American; 4% are Hispanic/Latino; 4% are multi-racial and 20% are Asian/International.  Of the 13 faculty members in the MFT program, 15% are male and 85% are female.  92% are European-American, and 8% Asian.  There are 11 supervisors in the MFT program:  9% percent are male, and 91% are female.   All are European-American.

Criteria For Entering Clinical Practicum

In preparation for beginning Clinical Practicum, students must successfully complete core didactic coursework (Family Therapy Theory and Technique, Clinical Assessment in Family Therapy, Psychopathology and Family Systems, and Family Therapy Ethics and Professional Practice) and the Rochester Objective Structure Clinical Evaluation (ROSCE) prior to registration for Clinical Practicum.  Clinical Practicum consists of at least 500 hours of supervised clinical practice with individuals, couples and families.  For full-time students, this typically occurs over a 13-month period, and in two concurrent clinical site placements; part-time students typically complete one placement at a time.

Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

The University of Rochester complies fully with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g. Under FERPA, students have, with certain limited exceptions, the right to inspect and review their educational records and to request the amendment of their records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights. Requests to inspect or review records should be addressed to the Registrar or to the appropriate administrator responsible for the record and will be honored within 45 days. Any student questioning the accuracy of any record may state his or her objection in writing to the University administrator responsible for the record who will notify the student of his or her decision within 45 days of receiving the objection. Final review of any decision will be by the appropriate Dean who, if requested by the student, will appoint a hearing committee of two faculty members and one staff member to investigate and make recommendations. Students concerned with the University's compliance with FERPA have the right to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education's Family Compliance Office.

FERPA further requires, again with certain limited exceptions, that the student's consent must be obtained before disclosing any personally identifiable information in the student's education records. One such exception is disclosure to parents of dependent students. Another exception is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests, on a "need‐to‐know" basis, as determined by the administrator responsible for the file. A "school official" includes: anyone employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); any person or company acting on behalf of the University (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); any member of the Board of Trustees or other governance/advisory body; and any student serving on an official committee, such as disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. The University may forward education records to other agencies or institutions that have requested the records and in which the student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. Other exceptions are described in the FERPA statute at 20 U.S.C. 1232g and regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 99.

The University considers the following to be directory information: name, campus address, e‐mail address, home address, telephone number, date and place of birth, academic fields of study, current enrollment (full or part‐time), dates of attendance, photographs, participation in recognized activities and sports, degrees and awards, weight and height of athletic team members, previous educational agencies or institutions attended, and other similar information. The University may publicize or respond to requests for such information at its discretion. However, the use of the records for commercial or political purposes is prohibited unless approved by the appropriate Dean.

Currently enrolled students may request that directory information be withheld from disclosure by making a request, in writing, to the appropriate registrar. The University assumes that failure on the part of the student to specifically request the withholding of any directory information indicates approval of disclosure.

See Financial Aid Office for more information.

The refund percentage of tuition within the drop/add period in the event that a student must drop or withdraw from graduate coursework during a period of enrollment is typically as follows:  if a course is dropped within the first 2 weeks of the semester (around mid- September or mid-January), the refund is 100%; if a course is dropped within the first 4 weeks of the semester (around mid-October or mid- February, the refund is 50%.  There are no refunds after those dates.  For more information regarding withdrawal refunds/fees, please contact the Bursar’s Office.

Disability Resources

The University of Rochester offers a variety of disability services for students. These services aim to provide an inclusive experience and equal access to academic content and program requirements.

If your request for an accommodation has been denied or you believe you have been improperly been given an alternative accommodation, you can request a review of the accommodation decision. For information on how click here.

The University of Rochester values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity for persons regardless of age, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military/veteran status, national origin, race, religion/creed, sex, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law. Further, the University complies with all applicable nondiscrimination laws in the administration of its policies, programs, and activities. Questions on compliance should be directed to the particular school or department and/or to the University’s Equal Opportunity Compliance Director.