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Program Information

Degree Requirements

Major requirements for successful completion of the Master of Science in Human Development and Family Science with an option in Marriage and Family Therapy include:

  • Completion of all required coursework with a B average or better.
  • Completion of all clinical requirments with a minimum of 500 hours of direct client contact (meaning face-to-face with clients), with 200 of those hours being relational (meaning with couples or families), over the course of at least 12 months.
  • At least 100 hours of supervision from faculty during clinical training with 50 of those hours including observable data.
  • Demonstration of development of the program’s Student Learning Outcomes.
  • Completion of the thesis or non-thesis track requirements.
  • Passing the Marriage and Family Therapy Program Cumulative exam (with a total score of 70% or better).
  • Receiving a passing score on the Capstone Project.

Students typically require an average of 2½ years (including summers) to complete their M.S. degree. A minimum of 2 years is required for degree completion.


Admission Requirements

Applications are due each year on December 1. Top applicants are invited to campus for a day-long interview in February and program faculty make admission recommendations to the OSU Graduate College.

To apply to the Master of Science in Human Development and Family Science: Marriage and Family Therapy specialization, submit the following:

  • Graduate College application
  • Official academic transcript(s)
  • Resume or CV
  • Professional Statement : 2-3 double-spaced pages; Address the following questions and use clear headers for each question:
    • Why MFT: What specific aspects of MFT are appealing and why?
    • Future Goals: What are your long-term career goals as an MFT?
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • At this time, the Department of Human Development and Family Science is waiving the GRE test score requirement as part of the application process for fall 2022 admission. Though not required, applicants may submit GRE scores if available and desired.


Clinical Training

During clinical training, students are required to conduct at least 500 hours of therapy, primarily with couples and families. Students receive at least 100 hours of supervision from faculty while they are in clinical training. The supervision consists of individual and group supervision. A strength of this program is the emphasis on live observation supervision.

Throughout the clinical portion of their training (a minimum of 12 months), students carry a caseload at the Center for Family Services, the marriage and family therapy program's on campus, state of the art training clinic. The center has five therapy rooms that are fully equipped with one-way mirrors and digital recording equipment to facilitate supervision and student learning. In addition, after demonstrating clinical competence in the on-campus clinic, advanced students will be assigned an off-campus clinical placement in a community agency.


Required Coursework

Consistent with the guidelines established by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), the curriculum includes coursework in human development, marital and family studies, marriage and family therapy, professionalism and ethics, research and statistics, and supervised practicum. Students are required to follow an organized sequence of study, in which academic and practicum coursework are integrated. Total semester hour requirement for graduation is 60 to 63 hours.


Foundational Curriculum Areas

FCA 1: Foundations of Relational/Systemic Practice, Theories & Models (6 Hours)

  • HDFS 5613 Theoretical Models of Marriage and Family Therapy
  • HDFS 5623 Systems Theory: Applications to the Family
  • HDFS 5523 Family Theory

FCA 2: Clinical Treatment with Individuals, Couples & Families (12 Hours)

  • HDFS 5603 Pre-Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy: Basic Counseling Skills
  • HDFS 5633 Couples Treatment in MFT
  • HDFS 5643 Child & Adolescent Treatment in MFT
  • HDFS 5543 Family Crisis and Trauma 

FCA 3: Diverse, Multicultural and/or Underserved Communities (3 Hours)

  • HDFS 5503 Family Diversity

FCA 4: Research & Evaluation (3 Hours)

  • HDFS 5123 Research Methods and Design in HDFS

FCA 5: Professional Identity, Law, Ethics & Social Responsibility (3 Hours)

  • HDFS 5663 Professionalism and Ethics in Marriage and Family Therapy

FCA 6: Biopsychosocial Health & Development Across the Life Span (3 Hours)

  • HDFS 5213 Lifespan Development 

FCA 7: Systemic/Relational Assessment & Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment (3 Hours)

  • HDFS 5653 Psychopathology/Psychopharmacology 

FCA 8: Contemporary Issues (3 Hours)

  • HDFS 5583 Intimate Relationships and Sexuality Across the Lifespan

FCA 9: Community Intersections & Collaboration & FCA 10: Preparation for Teletherapy Practice (12-15 Hours)

  • HDFS 5690: Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum (Students will be continuously enrolled in practicum from their 3rd to their last semester in the program. Students will
    continue to enroll in practicum after their final scheduled semester if needed until they complete the 500 client contact hours requirement and until they develop expected
    program competencies). 

Thesis Option (9 hours)

  • REMS 5953 Statistical Methods in Education or STAT 5013 Statistics for Experimenters *or Committee approved equivalent
  • HDFS 5000 Masters Research (6 hours)

Non-Thesis Option (9 hours)

  • HDFS 5160 Masters Creative Component (3 hours)
  • Electives (two 3-credit courses for 6 hours)

Total semester hour requirement is 60 to 63 (students are required to enroll in up to 3 practicum credits each semester they are clinically active during the program).

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