Students with an interest in psychology and working with couples or families in addition to individuals may find a viable career path in marriage and family therapy. Fortunately for Alabamans, there are many options for MFT degrees at a variety of levels. If you’re ready to take your psychology career to a more intimate and specialized route, take a look at the following sections to learn how.

2025 - Best MFT Programs in Alabama's Best MFT Programs in Alabama rankings are an invaluable resource for prospective students seeking premier education in Marriage and Family Therapy. These rankings are meticulously compiled, considering key factors such as program completion rates, cost of living, institutional competitiveness, diversity of programs offered, and years of faculty experience. Each factor is carefully assessed to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the quality and suitability of MFT programs across Alabama. For an in-depth understanding of the methodology behind these rankings, please visit our rankings methodology page


Amridge University

Montgomery, AL

Amridge University offers both Master's and Doctoral degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy. These programs focus on developing skilled, ethical therapists through rigorous coursework and practical training, integrating Christian principles with professional practice. Graduates are well-prepared for licensure and effective service in diverse therapeutic settings.


University of Alabama at Birmingham

Birmingham, AL

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers comprehensive Marriage and Family Therapy programs through the Department of Human Studies. The programs prepare students to become licensed therapists through a combination of coursework, clinical experience, and research. Located on the bustling UAB campus, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources to support their learning and development.


Auburn University

Auburn, AL

The Marriage and Family Therapy program at Auburn University is housed within the College of Education's Department of Human Development and Family Studies on the university's main campus in Auburn, Alabama. This program offers a unique blend of theoretical and practical training, preparing students to become licensed therapists who can work with individuals, couples, and families in a variety of settings.

What is an MFT Degree?

Marriage and family therapy is a specialized therapeutic that focuses on the relationships between couples and families. Marriage and family therapists work with these individuals to resolve common issues that arise such as a loss of passion between married couples, resolve family trauma such as abuse or addiction, and work to strengthen their bonds.

To become licensed as a marriage and family therapist, you must first get a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy. An MFT degree will prepare students for the challenges they may face in this common but often taxing field of psychological study.

Why is COAMFTE MFT Accreditation Important?

Like any clinician, there are federal and state regulations in place to ensure that marriage and family therapists are receiving uniform and quality education. To do this, MFT degree programs receive accreditation as a way to show that their curriculum and training methods have been inspected and that students will be eligible for licensure upon graduation.

If your program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), this means you will be eligible for licensure upon completion of the program’s curriculum. If the program is a marriage and family counseling program, accreditation will be provided by CACREP.

Can I Get an MFT Degree Online in Alabama?

Online MFT programs have gained a lot of traction over the last several years. Students in Alabama who are located too far from an on-campus option can enjoy a variety of online MFT programs located both in Alabama and abroad. Many of these programs offer self-paced assignments and coursework, making this the perfect option for students who have familial obligations or are balancing a job with their education. Here are a few online options located in Alabama:

University of West Alabama: The University of West Alabama offers an online Master of Science in Family Counseling. At $429 per credit, this program is not only informative and convenient, it's also affordable.

University of Mobile: The University of Mobile offers a hybrid Master's Degree in Marriage and Family Counseling option offering a portion of their classes online and the remainder in-person.

MFT Degree Levels in Alabama

While undergrad MFT degrees exist, a majority of MFT students will graduate with a basic psychology bachelor's degree before enrolling in a master’s or doctoral degree program to get their MFT licensure.

Another common option is to graduate with a master's or doctoral degree in basic psychology before getting a graduate certificate in marriage and family therapy. This will build on the credentials they already have as a psychology graduate but will centralize their focus of study on marriage and family therapy.

Do I Need a GRE for an MFT Program?

As you begin your research, you’ll often come across schools that require a GRE (Graduate Record Examination) to apply. This examination tests your competency in the mental health field. If you want to skip this step, there are some schools that waive this requirement. Take a look at your program’s website and application to find out if they require a GRE to apply.

Alabama Master's Degree in MFT

A master's degree in marriage and family therapy is the minimum degree level that students need to obtain to become licensed marriage and family therapists. The degree builds on the psychology background that the student has developed in their baccalaureate program and prepares them for the workforce.

These programs typically take two years to complete and require a minimum of 50 credits and 500 therapy clinical hours. On average, a student enrolled in an MFT master's degree program in Alabama can expect to pay between $400 and $800 per credit.

Auburn University: One great example of an MFT master's degree program located in Alabama is Auburn University's Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. Students enrolled in this program can partner with therapeutic and psychological institutions throughout the state to gain hands-on experience and context to the knowledge they gain in classrooms.

Alabama Graduate Certificate in MFT

A graduate certificate in MFT is a one-year non-degree program designed for psychology students with either a master's degree program or a doctorate in psychology. An MFT graduate certificate builds on the student's existing education and allows them to centralize their focus in marriage and family therapy.

These programs are often attractive for their timely and cost-effectiveness – students can expect to graduate within one year (or less) and pay a total of $1,000 to $1,500 for their graduate certificate.

At this time, there are no graduate certificates in MFT available on Alabama campuses. However, there are many options available in neighboring states and online.

University of Georgia: The University of Georgia offers an intensive graduate certificate in marriage and family therapy that provides a track for students to become LMFTs. To enroll, they will need to graduate from or be currently enrolled in an MFT graduate degree program at UGA.

Alabama MFT Doctorate Degrees (Ph.D. or PsyD)

The highest level of education that a marriage and family therapy degree student can obtain is a doctorate degree in MFT. There are two types of MFT doctoral degrees. A PhD in MFT is a focus on the research and theory involved with marriage and family therapy while a PsyD is awarded to students who want to specialize in treating couples and families on a clinical level.

A doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy typically spans over four to seven years and requires 120 credits to complete. Students will also typically need to complete over 1,000 clinical hours. On average, these programs can cost anywhere from $35,000 to $200,000, depending on the program. While no MFT doctoral degrees currently exist for Alabamans, they can access them in neighboring states or online:

University of Georgia: Students who want to get their doctorate degree in marriage and family therapy can relocate to Georgia where they can get their PhD in MFT. Students enrolled in the University of Georgia's program can take advantage of on-campus learning experiences through their on-campus psychological clinic.

Becoming an LMFT in Alabama

Graduating from a master's degree or doctoral degree program is a major part of becoming an LMFT, but arguably the most important part is becoming licensed to practice. This will allow you to find jobs as a licensed marriage and family counselor. To begin the process, students must fulfill the following obligations:

  • Education: You must have a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or a related field from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Supervised Experience: You need to complete a certain number of supervised clinical hours, typically around 3,000 hours, including 2,250 hours working directly with clients as a marriage and family therapist and the remainder working indirectly with patients.
  • Licensure Examination: You must pass the National Examination in Marriage and Family Therapy, administered by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB).
  • Jurisprudence Exam: Alabama requires that you understand state law as it applies to the practice of marriage and family therapy. A jurisprudence exam tests your knowledge in this area.
  • Application: You need to submit an application for licensure to the Alabama Board of Examiners in Marriage and Family Therapy, along with any required documentation and fees.
  • Background Check: You may need to undergo a criminal background check as part of the licensure process.
  • Continuing Education: After becoming licensed, you are required to complete 40 continuing education credits every 2 years to maintain your license.

List of MFT Degree Programs in Alabama

Auburn, AL

Master's Programs

Auburn, AL 36849
(334) 844-4000

Birmingham, AL

Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
(205) 934-4011

Livingston, AL

Master's Programs
Station One
Livingston, AL 35470
(205) 652-3400

Montgomery, AL

5345 Atlanta Hwy
Montgomery, AL 36109-3390
(334) 272-5820

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