In the world of mental health, marriage and family therapy is an established but still quickly growing specialization. Marriage and family therapy focuses on the challenges that couples and family members face, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, and parenting.

Colorado, like other states, has a growing job market for marriage and family therapists. If you’re interested in entering this exciting field, you’ll need an MFT degree. Take a look at what these degree programs entail and what you’ll need to do to succeed as a marriage and family therapist.

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


University of Northern Colorado

Greeley, CO

The University of Northern Colorado offers a highly reputable Marriage & Family Therapy program through the Department of Applied Psychology and Counselor Education. Located on the scenic campus in Greeley, Colorado, this program provides students with hands-on clinical experience and a strong theoretical foundation in working with diverse populations. Graduates are well-equipped for careers in various mental health settings.


Colorado State University

Fort Collins, CO

Colorado State University offers a renowned Marriage and Family Therapy program through the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Located on the main campus in Fort Collins, the program provides hands-on training and coursework in family systems theory, systemic assessment, and ethical practices. Graduates are well-equipped to become licensed therapists in a variety of settings.


University of Colorado Denver

Denver, CO

The MA in Couple and Family Therapy at the University of Colorado Denver prepares students to become relational therapists, emphasizing diversity and inclusion. The program, accredited by COAMFTE, combines classroom instruction with hands-on experience in the Student and Community Counseling Center. Graduates are trained to address mental and emotional disorders through a holistic, systemic approach and are prepared to pass the National Marital and Family Therapy Exam.

What is an MFT Degree?

MFT degrees, short for marriage and family degrees, are degree programs that focus on a specialized approach to psychological issues as they relate to individuals, their spouses or partners, and their families. Students who graduate from MFT degree programs can enter rewarding careers as therapists, psychologists, and counselors.

Why is COAMFTE MFT Accreditation Important?

Your MFT degree program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), or CACREP if it is run by the counseling education department. This ensures that the program meets the state board’s requirements for licensure and that you will be eligible to seek licensure upon graduation.

Can I Get an MFT Degree Online in Colorado?

Sure! Many online MFT degree programs are available online or in an online/in-person hybrid format. The important thing to remember, however, is licensure. Even though your program will be primarily taught online, you will still have clinical obligations requiring in-person training in the state where your degree program is based. You’ll also need to be licensed in the same state, so if you’re relocating, make sure that the program you’re traveling to has a smooth transition process for transferring their licensure to your home state. There is currently one MFT degree program that has options for online learning in Colorado:

Colorado Christian University: If you’re looking for a biblical approach to marriage and family therapy, you may be interested in Colorado Christian University’s online Master’s in Counseling with a focus on Marriage and Families. Students can complete this program entirely online apart from three in-person clinical sessions located in Lakewood, CO.

Short Length MFT Programs in Colorado

MFT programs range in length, depending on the degree type and whether or not you are enrolled full-time. The shortest type of degree program is an MFT master’s degree program. These typically last about 2-3 years, but Colorado State University offers their program to students looking to earn their degree in a minimum of 2 years.

Affordable MFT Programs in Colorado

There are a number of affordable MFT degree programs available in Colorado, but in general, you can expect entry-level MFT degree programs (master’s degrees) to be the most affordable. These programs can often exceed $40,000 but there are several based in Colorado that will cost you much less. Here are a few examples:

SchoolDegreeTuition & Fees
Colorado Christian UniversityMaster’s in Counseling with a focus on Marriage and FamiliesDetails
Colorado State UniversityMaster’s in Human Development and Family Studies, Marriage and Family Therapy SpecializationDetails
University of ColoradoMaster of Arts in Couples and Family TherapyDetails

MFT Degree Levels

There are several different levels of degrees that focus on marriage and family therapy. While MFT undergraduate degrees are offered to students, you must graduate from either a master’s degree program or a doctorate degree program to become licensed as a marriage and family therapist. Below are a few examples of common MFT degrees and where you might find them in Colorado.

Do I Need a GRE for an MFT Program?

A GRE is a common tool used by colleges and universities to measure an applicant’s placement in certain educational areas. However, there are many schools in Washington that don’t require a GRE such as Seattle University. To find out if a given school requires a GRE to enroll, check the admissions page of your program’s website.

Master's Degree in MFT

MFT master’s degree programs are the lowest level of MFT degrees students can obtain and still get licensed. For this reason, they are much more common than undergraduate MFT degrees or even doctoral degrees. On average, they cost around $40,943 in Colorado and take about two years to finish. They also include several clinical hours that the student must complete before getting licensed. Here are a few MFT master’s degree programs you can find in Colorado:

University of Colorado: The University of Colorado offers a Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy that offers special insights into the common issues that arise between couples and family members. The program lasts 2.5 to 3.5 years and requires the completion of 54 credits. Students enrolled in this program perform clinical work on campus at the University of Colorado’s Student and Community Counseling Center.

Regis University: This Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy is perfect for students looking for small class sizes and an intimate campus environment. Regis University averages about 12 students per skills class and 8 students per clinical class, which allows students to get more one-on-one time with their teachers and peers.

Graduate Certificate in MFT

MFT graduate certificates are non-degree programs that allow students to specialize in this exciting field. They become handy when a student already has a graduate degree in psychology or counseling but wants to specialize further as a marriage and family therapist. These programs take one to two years to complete and typically cost an average of $8,149 in Colorado. Here are a few examples in Colorado:

Denver Family Institute: The Denver Family Institute offers a fully accredited two-year MFT graduate certificate focusing on the intersectionality and diversity of relationships and community. Students who have obtained a counseling graduate degree or are currently enrolled in a counseling graduate degree program will be eligible to apply.

Regis University: In addition to a master’s degree program in marriage and family therapy, Regis University offers a graduate certificate in marriage and family therapy. The program requires 12 credits to be completed at its Denver campus.

MFT Doctorate Degrees (Ph.D. or PsyD)

There are two types of MFT degrees that are considered doctoral degrees. The first is a PhD which focuses on the research, education, and theory of marriage and family therapy. The second is a PsyD, which focuses on clinical practice.

Doctoral MFT degree programs are the highest level of education that a marriage and family therapist can achieve. They typically run for four to eight years and cost between $35.000 and $300,000 in Colorado. Doctoral MFT degrees are much less common than master’s degrees, and currently, there are no options based in Colorado. However, Colorado students who want to get their doctorate in marriage and family therapy can find these programs in nearby states or online. Here are a few options:

Texas Tech University: Colorado students who don’t mind relocating to Texas may find Texas Tech University’s PhD in Couples, Marriage and Family Therapy program appealing. This program provides unique insight into diverse topics such as military families, substance abuse, and domestic violence and emphasizes a strong clinical focus.

Texas Wesleyan University: Another great MFT doctoral degree located in Texas is Texas Wesleyan University’s PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. This program requires 68-71 credits over the course of four years and offers opportunities to study in the classroom or abroad.

Becoming an LMFT in Colorado

Once you’ve graduated from a master’s degree or doctoral degree program, the next step will be to get licensed. If your program is located in Colorado, here is the general guidelines you’ll need to follow:

  • Supervised Experience: Complete the required supervised clinical experience. In Colorado, this typically involves accumulating 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, depending on your educational background. This experience must be obtained under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional, with at least half of the required hours being direct client contact.
  • Examination: There are two exams that licensure applicants must pass in order to become licensed in Colorado. The first is the Mental Health Jurisprudence Examination administered by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, which tests your knowledge on state laws surrounding mental health practitioners. Following this exam, you must pass the National Marital and Family Therapy Examination (NMFT) administered by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB). This exam assesses your knowledge of marital and family therapy principles and practices.
  • Application: Submit an application for licensure to the Colorado State Board of Marriage and Family Therapist Examiners. This typically involves providing documentation of your education, supervised experience, examination scores, and any other required materials.
  • Background Check: Undergo a criminal background check as part of the application process.
  • Continuing Education: After obtaining licensure, fulfill any continuing education requirements to maintain your license. In Colorado, LMFTs must complete 40 hours of continuing education every two years.

List of MFT Degree Programs in Colorado

Denver, CO

1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400
Denver, CO 80217-3364
(303) 556-5600

Fort Collins, CO

Master's Programs
102 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100
(970) 491-1101

Greeley, CO

Carter Hall - Rm 4000
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1890

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