How to Apply?

Application Checklist

  • A master’s degrees with minimum GPA 3.0 (4 Scale). Applicants should hold a master’s degree or its equivalent in a mental health field.
  • GRE Required 
  • TOEFL/ IELTS  (For all non-U.S. citizens or non-U.S. permanent residents). Learn more about testing requirements.

Applicants should hold a master's degree or its equivalent in a mental health field, and have had 36 hours or more of specific coursework in marriage and family therapy, MFT ethics, human and individual development, psychopathology, and research methods.  They should also have had several hundred hours of therapy with individuals, couples and families under supervisors trained in family therapy.

Prerequisites Breakdown

6 hours of family therapy theory, 9 hours of additional clinical coursework (not including practica), 6 hours of family studies or human development courses, 3 hours of ethics, 3 hours of assessment/psychopathology, 3 hours of research methods or statistics, 3 hours of electives, and 500 hours of supervised clinical practice, preferably under a licensed family therapist or Approved Supervisor.

 COAMFTE foundational curriculum

All incoming MFT doctoral students must document their completion of the COAMFTE foundational curriculum.  This means that the academic prerequisites for the doctoral program include coursework in the following COAMFTE Foundational Curriculum Areas (FCA):

  • Foundations of Relational/Systemic Practice, Theories, and Models (FCA1; 6 Credit Hours)
  • Clinical Treatment with Individuals, Couples, and Families (FCA2; 6 Credit Hours)
  • Diverse, Multicultural, and/or Underserved Communities (FCA3; 3 Credit Hours)
  • Research and Evaluation (FCA4: 3 Credit Hours)
  • Professional Identity, Law, Ethics & Social Responsibility (FCA5; 3 Credit Hours)
  • Biopsychosocial Health & Development Across the Lifespan (FCA6; 3 Credit Hours)
  • Systemic/Relational Assessment & Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment (FCA7; 3 Credits)
  • Contemporary Issues (FCA8; No Credit Requirement, but Document Training)
  • Community Intersections & Collaboration (FCA9; No Credit Requirement, but Document Training)

Please see the COAMFTE Accreditation Standards V12 for additional information about the FCAs.  Students who are accepted into the program but cannot document completion of the COAMFTE foundational curriculum may need to complete leveling coursework as part of their doctoral program.  Please note that leveling coursework may delay progress through the doctoral program.

Clinical Requirements

At the time of enrollment in the doctoral program, applicants should have approximately 500 clinical contact hours with individuals, couples, and families, with approximately 40% (200) of those hours being relational.  The client hours should have been conducted under the supervision of a licensed marriage and family therapist, an American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy Approved Supervisor, or an equivalently qualified mental health professional.

International Applicants

International applicants are encouraged to apply.  International applicants should hold a master’s degree or its equivalent in a mental health field, and have had coursework in the curricular areas listed above.  They should also have several hundred hours of experience delivering therapy to individuals, couples and families under the supervision of professionals trained in marriage and family therapy.

Transcripts

Scanned copy of your college transcripts with your online application, then arrange for an official copy to be sent to us after you receive an offer of admission.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required for Marriage and Family Therapy (M.S. to Ph.D., Ph.D. in Human Development). You can include references/recommedations email addresses in your online application, or have them send paper copies directly to department.

Writing Sample

Please submit one representative sample of your writing which may include a publication, a class paper, or a professional report. Any work submitted should have been completed by the applicant only; please don't include any group presentation or papers.

Graduate School Testing Requirements

Official GRE is required forMarriage and Family Therapy (M.S. to Ph.D., Ph.D. in Human Development) by the  Department of Human Development and Family Science. Please have the testing agency send official scores to Virginia Tech Graduate School, code 5859.

Letter of Interest and Curriculum Vitae

A letter of interest (3-5 pages) is required by the Department of Human Development and Family Science along with your latest Curriculum Vitae.

Please address the following questions in the letter of interest:

  • Please include a 3-5 page, double-spaced personal statement that describes your background, professional goals, and interest in our department. Listed below are items that you should consider when writing your personal statement:
  • Explain your reasons for pursuing graduate study, in particular, describe how studying Human Development at Virginia Tech will help you meet your educational and professional goals.
  • Discuss how your research, professional, and/or volunteer experiences shaped your interest in pursuing this degree, indicating how your prior experiences will contribute to your studies. Make sure to elaborate on any relevant work history, teaching experience, research experience (e.g., projects, grants, interviewing, testing, coding), clinical or consulting experience, leadership positions, scholarly contributions, achievements, awards, or skills.
  • Describe the vision you have of yourself after completing your degree in terms of your identity as a researcher, educator, and a citizen of your profession. Indicate how you envision yourself being professionally active after you complete your studies at Virginia Tech.
  • Indicate specific faculty research, training opportunities, and content areas that are of interest to you. Discuss possible topics for your thesis or dissertation research.
  • Briefly assess your strengths and weaknesses related to graduate study.
  • You may also choose to explain any special circumstances applicable to your background.

Clinical Background and the Statement of Professional Ethics and Conduct forms

Complete and upload the Clinical Background Form and Statement of Professional Ethics and Conduct Form.

Evidence of English Proficiency 

The Graduate School requires that all non-U.S. citizens or non-U.S. permanent residents demonstrate English proficiency to ensure they enter the university with sufficient English skills necessary to function in a graduate program. A TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test score is the most common way international applicants demonstrate English proficiency. We require a minimum TOEFL score of 90 (IBT) or IELTS score of 6.5 for admission. Test scores should be sent to us using ETS institution code 5859. See this page if you qualify for a English language proficiency test waiver. 

Applying as an International Student

  • Blacksburg Campus: Prospective residential on-campus international students might be required to submit immigration documents, and other additional materials with their application. Please consult with Graduate Student Immigration Services.

Additional Information/Supporting Material

Applicants are welcome to submit any additional information with application material that would be useful in evaluation of your application.

Application Fees

Degree-seeking students must include a $75 fee with their application, though check to see if you qualify for a waiver or reduced fee. All application fees are non-refundable.

Application Fee Waivers

Veterans and other applicants are eligible for waivers of the application fee. This form includes the eligibility requirements.

 

To apply to the graduate program, students must submit the Virginia Tech Graduate School online application. 

Submission Deadline for Domestic Application

**Fall: January 5

* Students seeking assistantships for funding should submit all required admissions materials by January 5 for full consideration.

Submission Deadlines for International Application

**Fall: January 5

* Students seeking assistantships for funding should submit all required admissions materials by January 5 for full consideration.

Blacksburg Campus Application Type:

  • Please select an Application Type: First Time Graduate Study or Readmission
  • Please select a Program: Human Development
  • Please select a Option:  Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Please select a Degree Type: PHD
  • Please select a Campus: Blacksburg (Main Campus)
  • Please select a Term: Fall

 

 

Include a scanned copy of your college transcripts with your online application, then arrange for an official copy to be sent to us after you receive an offer of admission.

The official transcripts showing degree conferral should be sent directly from your institution(s) to Graduate Admissions:
Virginia Tech Graduate Admissions
120 Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown (Mail Code 0325)
155 Otey Street NW
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061

 Send official scores to Virginia Tech Graduate School, code 5859.

Department of Human Development and Family Science has a limited number of graduate assistantships and fellowships available for students applying for full time study on the Blacksburg Campus. Entering students can apply for such funding as part of their admissions application. No separate application required.

All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the AAMFT Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Minority Doctoral Fellowships, regardless of ethnicity or intention to specialize in substance abuse.  Applicants can be of any race and simply must have some interest in working with diverse populations and addictions.

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

The Graduate School sends an official offer of admission to applicants upon the recommendation of the department faculty. Admitted applicants who are offered graduate assistantships at Virginia Tech are not required to make a decision to commit to the assistantship offer until April 15. See the assistantships page for more details.

Graduate Admissions

Megan Dolbin-MacNab, Marriage and Family Therapy Area Coordinator
840 University City Blvd Suite 1
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-231-6807
mdolbinm@vt.edu

Cindy Smith, Director of Graduate Studies
303 Wallace Hall
295 West Campus Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-4793
smithcl@vt.edu

 

Application Questions

Anna Nicole Weaver, Graduate Program Coordinator
366 Wallace Hall
295 West Campus Dr
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-4794
aweav32@vt.edu

Program Inquiries

Megan Dolbin-MacNab, Marriage and Family Therapy Area Coordinator
840 University City Blvd Suite 1
Blacksburg, VA 24060
540-231-6807
mdolbinm@vt.edu

Cindy Smith, Director of Graduate Studies
303 Wallace Hall
295 West Campus Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-4793
smithcl@vt.edu