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All applications are submitted on-line; the following link covers what a complete application includes, when applications are due, information regarding GRE and TOEFL (for international students), requirements and interview days.  

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.  Questions on compliance should be directed to the particular school or department and/or to the University's Equal Opportunity Coordinator, University of Rochester, Box 270501, Rochester, NY 14627-0501.

Our Program participates one university-wide interview day/year as well as conducts Individual Interviews as applications are completed. All interviews are by invitation.

Our program connects relational-system and biopsychosocial approaches that are culturally-informed.  Based in the Department of Psychiatry, our students experience the clinical milieu of a NYS Office of Mental Health regulated community mental health center in contract to a college campus type setting.  This setting provides the unique opportunity to learn about mental health and families in a collaborative interdisciplinary healthcare context.  Students also participate in another off site clinical practicum placement in the Rochester community.

We follow an integrated approach - training our students in all of the major approaches: Structural, Strategic, Transgenerational, Solution-Focused, Narrative, etc., as well as medical family therapy in integrated care settings. We follow a biopsychosocial approach and focus on a strength-based family systems approach that is multi-culturally informed.  Our students also have exposure to CBT, DBT, PST and other evidence-informed treatments.

MS degree applicants are not required to take the GREs.  When considering an application for acceptance into the Marriage & Family Therapy program, we look at the total academic picture, with a special emphasis on the statement of purpose, paired with the undergraduate GPA and faculty interviews.   If the applicant has, or is planning on taking the GREs, and chooses to address one’s academic potential by submitting these scores, and would like them to be part of the application, the applicant may use institution code 2948 when ordering the score report. 

GRE web site

We do not have a specific GPA requirement, because we look at the "total picture" of readiness for clinical training as a therapist. Typically, our students have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or better or have demonstrated academic preparation by successful undergraduate experience in similar coursework.

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 the state maintains the nations’ highest standards of health, safety and dignity; and by supporting the dedicated men and women who provide services.  For more information, please see the follow link to the NYS Justice Center.  In addition, all students will need to receive clearance through the Online New York State Central Registry for child protection.

Yes, we accept part time students.  Full-time students typically matriculate into the M.S. MFT program in the Fall semester; part time students occasionally start in the Spring semester.  Post Degree Certificate applications are currently being accepted with rolling admission.

The number of students enrolled in the program typically is around 20-25, including first and second year students (full and part time).  We generally admit between 10-15 students per year. The total number of applicants varies a great deal from year to year, but somewhere between 30-50 students. 

See Our Student statistics and facts page for more information on the types of degrees that we've accepted

Yes, you can take up to 10 credits of coursework as a non-matriculated student to apply towards matriculated status.

Students are able to transfer in up to 10 credits of applicable recent graduate work, with approval by the Dean.

Of the University's minimum required 30 credits for the Master's degree, no more than 10 credit hours may be accepted as transfer credit for work previously taken at the University of Rochester or another university. All transfer credit, whether taken at the University of Rochester or at another university, must be approved by the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs prior to matriculation.

Work taken prior to matriculation in a graduate degree program is classified as possible transfer work. Credit hours up to the limit may be accepted toward degree requirements if the subjects taken form an integral part of the proposed program of study and if taken within five years of the date of matriculation with a grade of B‐ or higher as interpreted in this University. Requests for transfer credit must have the approval of the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs prior to matriculation.

Permission to take work at another institution for transfer credit after matriculation in a graduate program must be approved in advance by the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs. Course Transfer Credit Petition Form

 The M.S. program runs on a trimester system, with three terms per year: Fall, Spring and Summer. 

  • Fall semester/ term: September through December*
  • Spring semester/ term: January through April*
  • Summer semester/ term: May through August*

*Check the Academic Calendar for exact dates.

  • Full time students typically complete the program in 6 terms.  (6 terms = 2 Years or 24 months. This would include two summer semesters.)
  • Part time students can adjust their plans, but are required to complete the program in 5 years.
  • Please see sample program of study  for more information.

Full time students are expected to complete the program in 2 years and to do Clinical Practicum work the entire 2nd year (Fall, Spring & Summer). Typically the first year of study requires more didactic classroom work (12 credits for Fall and Spring, 9 credits for Summer) and the second year involves more clinical practicum effort in the direct care of families, with less classroom work (3 credits in each of the Fall, Spring and Summer terms).  Masters Projects are typically completed in the second Fall or Spring.  Part time students need to maintain 6 credits per semester. Each class is typically 2-3 hours per week.

Although students begin with clinical observations in the first and second semesters, the role of primary therapist in clinical practicum begins in the Summer semester for Full time students.

  • Full time students should allow at least 20-24 hours per week for this activity.
  • Part time students should allow for 10-15 hours per week for practicum.
  • All students will complete 15 credit hours of Clinical Practicum & at least 500 clinical contact hours with at 100 hours of supervision.

See Our Clinical Page for more information

Offsite clinical site placements are made with the expectation that all students have access to reliable transportation to get to their scheduled clinical sites. Consequently, students are required to have access to reliable transportation before the clinical practicum begins. Students are responsible for making all transportation arrangements and for defraying all costs associated with their transportation.   The program will not coordinate transportation for students to clinical sites and cannot guarantee clinical sites in close proximity to the medical center. Carpooling with classmates is not typically a viable option nor is the regional public transportation system always an efficient option for moving between classes and offsite clinical placements throughout a day. Bicycle transportation can be challenging in winter months.  

Typically refund schedules are 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.

The University of Rochester Family Therapy Training Program offers limited scholarships to applicants who show promise as academic and clinical leaders of the future. 

  • AAMFT/SAMHSA Minority fellowship program- Now is the Time Youth Application.  In 2014 The Now Is The Time: Minority Fellowship Program- Youth was established. This Fellowship is part of the President's Plan, Now Is the Time, to increase access to mental health services for youth in America.  The objectives of the NITT: MFP-Y are to reduce health disparities and improve behavioral health care outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse populations by increasing the number of culturally competent master's level behavioral health professionals serving children, adolescents, and populations in transition to adulthood (aged 16 – 25) in an effort to increase access to, and quality of, behavioral health care for this age group. The MFP is SAMHSA's premier mental health workforce development training program focused on mental health disparities faced by underserved and minority communities.
  • The Clark Family Scholarship  The Clark Family Scholarship provides financial support ($5000 maximum) for professionals working in the mental health or developmental disabilities fields within an eight-county area surrounding Rochester (Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, and Yates Counties) and who wish to pursue graduate degrees in their field. 
  • Link to the US Department of Education brochure: Financial Aid for Graduate and Professional Degree Students.

Free online scholarship search websites are:

Student Scholarship Search

Students are also encouraged to explore private foundation scholarships. 

  • Graduate Assistantships in Student Life (Applications for this year have been closed although spots may become available at a later date).  If you have any interest in further information regarding next year’s applications, please direct any questions or inquires directly to    If you are an international student and have questions about work eligibility, please contact the International Services Office  FAQ International Students.
  • Strong Family Therapy Services Clinic Assistantships are supervised by the Director, Family Therapy Services, and Institute Administrator.  Functioning as clinic ambassadors,  including greeting and assisting new patient families, facilitating exchange of information for initial and follow up sessions, welcoming children, and liaising with other clinic staff as needed.  Support will also be provided to the clinical administrative team, including enhancing connections with the communities we serve, building and maintaining resource and referral directories for collaborators and clinicians in the area, and providing on-site service as required.  The successful applicants will work six (6) hours weekly.  One first year MS student, and one second year MS student will be hired through the current academic year.  Applicants must be federal work scholarship eligible.  (Availability varies by year.) 

Yes.  There is the AAMC First Income Driven Repayment Plan and the Department of Education’s Income Driven Repayment Plan.

Are there other government options for forgiveness?

Yes.  There is the AAMC First Public Service Loan Forgiveness.  For more information, and to review the specifics of these programs, please visit the National Health Service Corps.’ website at

The Financial Aid Office suggests that to prevent late disbursement be sure to complete the financial aid process in a timely fashion, and if any of these problems arise, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

MFT Licensure in New York State

The University of Rochester M.S. Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy is registered by the New York State Education Department as licensure qualifying.  Graduates from our program are prepared for entry-level practice as MFTs in New York State.  For New York State therapists, please see the NYS Office of the Professions.  After reading through the information on this site (or from your respective state) and locating the appropriate forms needed for your licensing application, you should contact the Training Office directly before submitting any forms.

MFT Licensure Outside of New York State (Portability)

The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at University of Rochester is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, (703)838-9808,, which is relevant for those who might seek licensure outside of New York State.  A professional license is required to practice as an MFT in all states and the requirements vary by state.  Graduates from our program are encouraged to educate themselves, with the support of their mentor and program co-directors regarding the requirements in the state(s), province(s), or location(s) in which they intend to practice.  Students nearing program completion will participate in a monthly Professional Development Seminar that addresses topics ranging from preparing a resume, job interviewing skills, as well as exploring relevant licensure requirements in locations outside of New York State. 

Additional information about state licensing boards and the national licensing exam can be found here: 

Licensure Forms Requests

As you prepare for state licensure in NYS or elsewhere, please direct all inquiries and forms to our Family Therapy Training Program Office (Phylliss Paeth), allowing enough time for verification of clinical hours and notarization of any signed forms.  A Program Co-Director will sign for all of your program requirements; please verify the official practicum hours we have on file for you before completing any forms to ensure that all paperwork received by the state office of professions or other credentialing body contains the same information that has been verified with the program to avoid any unnecessary delays in processing your application for licensure.

Our graduates most commonly work in community mental health centers, agencies, private practice and inpatient facilities.  Other graduates work in universities, and research centers, social service agencies, schools, employee assistance programs, business/consulting companies and courts and prisons.  Sometimes, MFTs work in teams with other health care professionals, such as family physicians, and some are involved in family research and public policy analysis from a family perspective.

Yes.  Below are the names and links for the groups.

The University of Rochester strives to be a diverse and welcoming community with many affinity groups, as well as multi-cultural events throughout the year.  For more information regarding diversity at the University of Rochester, follow the link, Equal Opportunity @ Rochester: If making a complaint of harassment or discrimination, visit:

Students must demonstrate satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree. Performance will be reviewed each semester by the Program Co-Directors. Faculty will monitor and discuss students’ progress as needed and their mentors and supervisors will convey concerns that faculty may have about performance. A course of action will be determined to support students in addressing the particular concerns. Students whose progress continues to be deemed unsatisfactory will be placed on probation in accordance to the policies of the Offices of Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs. If satisfactory progress is not achieved after one semester in such probation, the student may be asked to leave the program.

Criteria for satisfactory progress:  Maintain a B- or better in all MFT courses. Students may be given the opportunity to continue in the program if they receive a C grade in one course on the condition that they commit to a corrective course of action as specified by the instructor. Students who receive a second C grade in course work will not be allowed to continue their studies in the program. 

  • Continue to see clients every semester until completion of 500 client hours, once a student has met the requirements to register for Clinical Practicum
  • Complete the core curriculum and develop an acceptable Program of Study in accordance with the Program expectations
  • Maintain appropriate client and supervision hours and submit necessary paperwork, documenting these hours while registered for Clinical Practicum
  • Receive satisfactory end-of-term supervisor reports on the Clinical Practicum Evaluation
  • Maintain registration at all times by registering for course work and/or Clinical Practicum
  • Conduct self in a manner consistent to the standards and expectations of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, the Offices of Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs, the Department of Psychiatry, the, and the clinical sites that students may be placed
  • Conduct self in a manner consistent with standards established in the AAMFT Code of Ethical Principles

Students who take courses in this Program prior to enrolling will not be granted credit for those courses toward their program of study if they (a) did not maintain a B- grade, or (b) carried any incomplete(s) for those course(s).

All the requirements for the M.S. Degree must be completed within a period of five years. If the degree is not obtained within this period, the student may petition the MFT faculty and the Offices of Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs for an extension of time or for reinstatement of credit in an outdated course, stating rationale for currency of knowledge in the particular content.

Students who must leave the Program for personal or health reasons before completing degree requirements should file an Official Leave of Absence form, whether or not they intend to return. Students who are suspended from the Program for academic or disciplinary reasons will be officially withdrawn by the Offices of Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs at the recommendation of the Program faculty. Refer to the Bulletin of the Offices of Graduate Education & Postdoctoral Affairs for further details about procedures and implications.

Students who wish to request an exception to policies and procedures should file a petition with the Program faculty stating their request and rationale. If a student believes that the faculty has treated her/him unfairly or inappropriately, s/he should first address the concern informally with the faculty and/or supervisor directly, and the follow the stated grievance policy if the matter remains unresolved.


Contact Us

For more information about our MS MFT program, please contact: