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M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy

Help couples and families find hope and healing.

Make a profound impact on couples and families while advancing your career through our Committee on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE)-accredited program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. In Minnesota, where the demand for marriage and family therapists is high, you can join the 2,342 professionals who are making a difference, surpassing the national average for a state of this size. With a median annual salary of $65,146, well above the national average, this is an opportunity to find fulfillment and financial stability.

As a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), you’ll adopt a holistic approach to healthcare and play a critical role in couples’ and families’ long-term well-being. Through the dynamic of prevention and intervention, you’ll help couples and families navigate life’s challenges on their path to healing.

Our program offers a dynamic and transformational learning community, where you’ll learn the compassionate, ethical practice of therapy in a diverse and multicultural world. Enroll in our program to advance your career and help families when they need it most. 

This program prepares you to seek licensure with the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy. 

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Individual credits and completion times vary


per credit


start dates

2 years

completion time




Individual credits and completion times vary


per credit


start dates

2 years

completion time


M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy Program Highlights

  • Our courses are taught by practicing professionals who are experts in their respective fields, ensuring that you receive firsthand knowledge and insights from those actively engaged in the profession.
  • Gain valuable hands-on experience through our program, with an opportunity to complete 300 hours of clinical work. This practical training will enhance your skills and prepare you for the demands of your future career.
  • Discover scholarships available through our partnerships with several regional and national employers. See if your employer is part of our Trusted Partnership Program. Learn more.

M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy Program Accreditation

The Marriage and Family Therapy program at Saint Mary’s is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

Graduates of a COAMFTE-accredited program increase the portability of their degree and are better positioned to pursue licensure in several states, as many states base their educational requirements on COAMFTE standards.* Specialty accreditation requires programs to maintain rigorous training and outcomes. It is a recognized method for ensuring the competence of faculty and the curriculum.

Learn more about student demographics as well as demographics for faculty in this program.

View the Graduate Achievement Data Table.

View the Program Handbook.

What You'll Learn in Our Marriage and Family Therapy Program

  • Cultural diversity-centered assessments and intervention for clinical practice
  • Various systemic/relational theories and models of LMFT practice
  • Systemic perspectives for the treatment of mental health issues
  • Interventions to promote well-being in clients
  • Ethical framework for clinical practice
  • Strong elements of reflection and personal growth

Information Sessions

Join us for an information session to learn more about programs, how to apply, transferring your credits, and more. We offer live information sessions where you can meet other prospective learners and faculty, as well as an archive you can view on your own time.

Jen Elmquist: A Journey from Entertainment to Empowering Mental Wellness

Jen Elmquist, a versatile professional with a rich background in sales, acting, and modeling, found her true calling in mental wellness. As a licensed therapist and faculty member at Saint Mary’s University, she focuses on building strong relationships and promoting mental health. Discover how her diverse experiences have shaped her into an award-winning author and a pioneer in preventive mental wellness.


Ready to apply? Learn about taking the next steps.

    • The program admits students to begin classes in either the summer or fall. The number of students admitted each year is limited. Admission decisions are based on the applicant’s ability to meet the expectations for academic performance outlined in the Program Handbook. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not ensure admission to the program. 
    • Applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution and maintained an overall grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.00 scale. 
    • Applicants may be considered for conditional admission status with an overall grade point average between 2.75 and 3.0 on a 4.00 scale. 
    • Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework.
    • Applicants may need to complete an interview with a program administrator as part of the admission process.


  • Students with transcripts from universities outside the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada (except for the Quebec Province) must take and pass English proficiency testing.

    Saint Mary’s accepts:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 72
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0
    • Michigan Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) with a minimum score of 74%
    • International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) with a minimum score of 4.0 or Pearson Test of English with a score of 51
    • Duolingo with a minimum score of 100.

  • Your application must include the following items:

    1. A completed application form
    2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor’s degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution.)
      • Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated on a course by course basis by a university accepted evaluation service, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, One Earth International Credential Evaluators or any approved member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES.org) and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards.
      • Saint Mary’s can order and cover the cost of transcripts from institutions that allow third-party requests for eligible degree-seeking applicants. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.
      • Official Transcripts should be sent to Office of Admission
        • Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
          2500 Park Avenue
          Minneapolis, MN 55404
        • Or electronically: tcadmission@smumn.edu
    3. A personal statement which includes:
      • A brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience and,
      • A statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program and,
      • A description of the areas the applicant considers to be his or her strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities and,
      • Any personal information the applicant wishes to share.
    4. Letter(s) of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability and,
    5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience


    Please Note: We do not require that applicants take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogy Test (MAT). Research suggests that these examinations are not the best predictors of graduate student success or success after graduate school.

  • Summer/Fall 2025: December 15, 2024

    • Summer: May 6, 2025
    • Fall: September 2, 2025

  • All applications are reviewed following the application deadline. Accepted applicants will be notified by March 31

Tuition & Fees

We help you find ways to finance your education. Talk to your Enrollment Counselor about scholarships, loans, and other ways to make your  education affordable.

Course Catalog

In addition to foundational courses, you’ll take courses such as:

  • Parenting Interventions
  • Trauma and Play Therapy
  • Neuroscience in Couple Therapy

The course catalog provides complete information about course requirements.

Career Outlook for LMFTs

The demand for marriage and family therapists is accelerating at a rapid rate, growing 16 percent between 2020 to 2030.1 LMFTs work in private practice, day treatment, outpatient, nonprofit, schools, prisons, hospitals, medical clinics, and religious systems with children, teens, and adults, individuals, couples, families, and groups. Start your career as an LMFT today.

Marriage and Family Therapist

$65,146 per year in Minnesota

Related Programs

Find the right program for right now — or the future. Saint Mary’s offers adult degree completion programs, as well as graduate certificates, master’s, and doctoral degree programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • At Saint Mary’s, we want you to succeed, and we help you do so, inside and outside of the classroom:

    Student Central: Your one stop for student services

    Library: Resources and services are available 24/7 to all students.

    Writing Center: Offers virtual and face-to-face services to support students

    Career Services: Can help you develop your career-readiness skills at any point in your education

  • Yes, please view our financial aid and scholarships page here.

  • It is possible to switch, but it often requires taking time off in order to avoid retaking courses. Applicants are encouraged to be thoughtful about which cohort will best suit their needs.

  • Non-degree seeking students are eligible to enroll in elective courses only, as courses required for the degree are reserved for degree-seeking students in cohorts. Contact one of our enrollment counselors to learn more!

News and Information from the School of Health and Human Services


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Sources and Disclaimer

All career data on this page can be found at Lightcast (lightcast.io) Q1 2023 Data, September 2022-February 2023.