Admissions Requirements

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

Domestic Application

*Fall: January 5

International Application

*Fall: January 5

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

Admissions Requirements

Doctoral Program

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.

What You'll Need

Official Transcripts

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

Department Graduate Testing Requirements

Official GRE is required for Marriage and Family Therapy (Ph.D. in Human Development). Please have the testing agency send official scores to Virginia Tech Graduate School, code 5859.

Letters of Recommendation

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

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.

Personal Statement

A letter of interest  is required by the Department of Human Development & Family Science.

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.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae

You will be asked to provide a current resume or CV outlining your most recent experiences or by listing those that are most relevant to your application. The resume should include:

  • Work/Research Experience Research Achievements (including publications, thesis/dissertation, journal or conference papers)
  • Honors/Awards
  • Related Courses/Skills Minors
  • and/or Specialty Areas Professional Organizations/Affiliations


Clinical Background and the Statement of Professional Ethics and Conduct forms

You must also complete and mail, fax or send by email both the Clinical Background Form and the Statement of Professional Ethics and Conduct form. Mail to MFT PhD Applications, Ms. Andrea Green, 366 Wallace Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg VA 24061-0416, fax to 540-231-7012, or email signed scanned forms to


Applying as an International Student

International students might be required to submit TOEFL scores, immigration documents, and other additional materials with their application.

We require a minimum TOEFL score of 90 (IBT) or IELTS score of 6.5 for admission.  Further, TOEFL scores of 20 or greater in Listening, Writing, Speaking, and Reading subsections are required.  Test scores should be sent to us using ETS institution code 5859.

Additional Information/Supporting Material

In addition to the required supplementary materials, applicants who have participated in a professional publication or presentation may choose to submit those materials with their application.


Applying for Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships

We offer fully funded graduate assistantships for full time enrollment in the program. A question on the application for graduate admission asks whether you want to be considered for an assistantship or fellowship. Check yes, as all of our students are fully funded.


The AAMFT SAMHSA Fellowships

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.


In-person Interviews for Selected Students

For Marriage and Family Therapy applicants, in-person interviews are conducted at a specific required time to be announced for selected students in the spring. If you are shortlisted, we will contact you by telephone or email to arrange an interview. 


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.


Submission Deadlines

Domestic Application

*Fall: January 5th

International Application

*Fall:  January 5th

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


Additional Notes

We begin review of applications in January. Students who wish to be considered for teaching or research assistantships will have the best chances for this award if their applications are complete by January. Admissions and assistantships are usually announced in March.

To apply to the Virginia Tech Marriage and Family Therapy (PhD in Human Development) program select "Human Development" as your major. You will be able to select "Marriage and Family Therapy PhD Program Area" later in the online form.

To request further information about the program or the application process, please contact graduate programs coordinator.

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

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 0325p 155 Otey Street NW

Blacksburg, Virginia 24061