Virginia Tech™home

Marriage and Family Therapy Concentration

Ph.D. in Human Development


Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Residential/On Campus

Concentration Overview

The Virginia Tech Marriage and Family Therapy PhD Program, in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, is the oldest continuously accredited MFT doctoral program in the nation, attracting students from across the country and around the world.   Students, faculty, and graduates have singular records of achievement, winning prestigious honors, holding important positions, and publishing some of the most respected articles in the field.

  • Minimum GPA 3.0 (4 Scale)
  • GRE Required
  • TOEFL/ IELTS score Required  (If Applicable)

Learn more 

We are currently able to provide assistantship funding to all graduate students who make timely and satisfactory progress. All Ph.D. students that maintain full-time status and maintain a 3.0 GPA will be offered an assistantship (20 hours of work per week). Assistantships may include research obligations, teaching undergraduate level courses, or other administrative tasks. Students on assistantships receive a monthly stipend, tuition waivers/remission, and health benefits.

Find out what loans are available as a graduate student and other opportunities.

Domestic Application

*Fall: January 5

International Application

*Fall: January 5

*Deadline for admission with full consideration for funding:  January 5

Megan Dolbin-MacNab, Marriage and Family Therapy Area Coordinator
840 University City Blvd Suite 1
Blacksburg, VA 24060

Cindy Smith, Director of Graduate Studies
303 Wallace Hall
295 West Campus Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Anna Nicole Weaver, Graduate Program Coordinator
366 Wallace Hall
295 West Campus Dr
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Our Graduate Students

Why choose this program?

  • Individuals, couples, families, and communities face numerous challenges. Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) offers potential solutions that can enhance quality of life as well as individual, family, and community mental health and well-being. 
  • Our students focuses on research and scholarship that promotes well-being in individuals, families, and communities. 
  • The department provides students with a plethora of research opportunities, including experimental and observational research in laboratory settings, field research in the surrounding communities, and secondary data analysis.
  • Our small program enables students to get individualized attention with award-winning and research active faculty. 
  • Graduate students are also encouraged to lead research projects and publish in scholarly journals.
  • Numerous rewarding career opportunities are available for graduates the Human Development program. In academe, career options for graduates include teaching, research, and extension service. A wide range of career options also exists outside academe: Program development and evaluation, policy analysis and advocacy work, and administration and supervision in private and public human services agencies are just a few examples.

What You'll Study

Student scholarship takes place not only in the classroom, but also through mentorship, research, and clinical practice. Students may participate in wide-ranging faculty research projects using diverse methodologies and dealing with issues such as clinical processes and intervention, vulnerable families, trauma and resilience, participatory research, and policy.

Programs of study are individualized, permitting inclusion of significant coursework in specific subjects related to marriage and family relationships across the life course.

Faculty Experts In Marriage and Family Therapy

Family Therapy Center

Since 1979, therapists at the Family Therapy Center of Virginia Tech have provided low-cost, high quality marriage and family therapy and mental health services to individuals, couples, and families in the New River Valley and surrounding areas.  The Family Therapy Center is the clinical and research training facility for doctoral students in Virginia Tech’s marriage and family therapy program.

Marriage and Family Therapy Research Focus

MFT faculty employ theoretically rich research questions with rigorous analytic techniques, resulting in publications in top-tier academic journals and other academic sources including Ageing and Society, Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, and Family Relations. Human Development faculty across the focus areas of Adult Development and Aging, Child and Adolescent Development, Family Studies, and Marriage and Family Therapy often collaborate on research and service projects. Graduate students are often a part of research projects and subsequent publications through collaborations with Human Development & Family Science faculty and faculty in other departments such as Psychology. 

Faculty Bookshelf