The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral program is: to develop students' professional identities as couple and family therapists; to prepare students’ to engage in high quality scholarship advancing the MFT profession; and to become highly competent, ethically-minded clinicians and scholars. To develop all facets of professional identity, the program is guided by the scientist-practitioner model and biopsychosocial model. The program is accredited with the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).


You are provided opportunities to:

  1. Build clinical skills in family therapy practice
  2. Gain research skills that focus on individuals, couples, and families
  3. Develop quality teaching skills

Examples of learning opportunities include:

  • Clinical practice and supervision
  • Cultivating critical analytical skills through class assignments and projects
  • Acquiring knowledge and skills in research methods and statistics courses
  • Conducting research independently and with faculty members
  • Teaching classes
  • Presenting at national and state conferences
  • Publishing scholarly articles

Upon graduating, you will:

  1. Be able to conduct rigorous research focusing on relationships, present research findings at national conferences, and publish articles in scholarly journals.
  2. Enhance skills necessary to teach university classes, lead psychoeducational groups, and conduct workshops.
  3. Gain clinical and supervisory skills to ethically treat a variety of clinical issues and presenting problems.

Program Strengths

  • Faculty members have diverse clinical and research interests.
  • Faculty members are recognized at the national level for their scholarly work.
  • Financial support is provided through graduate assistantships.
  • Financial support for travel to national and state conferences is often provided.
  • The academic environment supports the development of quantitative and qualitative research skills.


You should apply for admission to the Ph.D. program in Human Development and Family Science and complete the supplemental MFT Information (application form). Applicants must demonstrate clinical training as part of the supplemental MFT information, preference will be given to students with degrees from marriage and family therapy programs or evidence of systemic intervention training. Qualified students will be invited to an on-campus interview prior to admission to the MFT program. Students interested in a Master's degree in MFT should check for a listing of accredited MFT Master's programs.

Most students complete the HDFS Ph.D. program and MFT emphasis within 5 years with a minimum time of 4 years and maximum time of 10 years.

The MFT Program is only available at the doctoral level; we do not offer a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. 


The MFT doctoral program embodies the overall missions of the University of Georgia through a commitment to excellence resulting in: students and faculty being recognized for their achievements both nationally and internationally; active recruitment of diverse and well-prepared cohorts; student and faculty scholarship that disseminates innovation in the field of couple and family therapy and therapist training; and high quality clinical services provided to the Athens-area community using a holistic, collaborative, interdisciplinary approach through the Aspire Clinic.

COAMFTE Student Achievement Criteria: UGA HDFS MFT Graduation Rate, Job Placement Rate, and National Exam Pass Rate

Student Achievement Data of HDFS MFT within the HDFS Doctoral Program

Program, Faculty and Student Learning Outcomes

Guidelines and Standards that inform program, faculty, student learning outcomes

Program Diversity Data

MFT Policy and Procedures Manual

HDFS Doctoral Handbook - Course offerings in HDFS - see page 13