Psychology and counseling students can enter into many types of specializations to narrow their focus on a particular type of therapy or demographic. One type of specialization is marriage and family therapy (MFT). This area of focus specializes in working with families and couples to overcome common challenges that affect their lives. If you’re ready to start your next career move, you must first graduate from an MFT degree program.

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


University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY

The University of Kentucky offers a highly regarded Marriage and Family Therapy program through its Department of Family Sciences on its Lexington campus. The program provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of relationships and family dynamics, preparing them for careers in counseling, research, and advocacy. Graduates are well-equipped to make meaningful contributions to the field of mental health and well-being.


University of Louisville

Louisville, KY

The University of Louisville offers a top-ranked Marriage and Family Therapy program through the Department of Counseling and Human Development at its main Belknap campus. The program combines theory, research, and clinical experience to prepare students for careers in mental health counseling. Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities and experienced faculty who are committed to training culturally competent therapists.


Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, KY

Western Kentucky University offers a highly regarded Marriage and Family Therapy program through its Department of Counseling and Student Affairs on its main campus in Bowling Green. This COAMFTE-accredited program provides students with a diverse and rigorous curriculum that prepares them for careers in clinical practice, research, and leadership in the field. Graduates of this program have a strong track record of success in passing licensure exams and securing employment in a variety of settings.

What is an MFT Degree?

An MFT degree (also known as a marriage and family therapy degree) is a specialized degree that trains future mental health professionals on the therapeutic methods of marriage and family therapy. While most students enrolled in these types of programs will go on to become marriage and family therapists, many more simply want to work in the mental health field and understand this popular and broad area of focus.

Why is COAMFTE MFT Accreditation Important?

As you begin your search for the perfect MFT graduate program, make sure that you check each program for accreditation. This ensures that upon graduation, you’ll be able to take your licensure exam and practice in a clinical setting. Accreditation for marriage and family therapy degree programs is offered by both the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and CACREP.

Can I Get an MFT Degree Online in Kentucky?

Online MFT degree programs are available nationwide, and residents of Kentucky can take advantage of these programs from their home state. However, it’s important to understand the implications this has on your MFT licensure options.

If your MFT degree program is based in Kentucky, you’ll be able to become licensed in-state. However, in order to become licensed, you’ll still need to fulfill any in-person clinical requirements in addition to your online coursework. This could mean that you’ll need to commute far distances, depending on the program.

If your program is located out of state, you’ll need to be licensed in the state where the program is based. If you want to practice as a marriage and family therapist in Kentucky, you must transfer your licensure from your MFT program’s state. As of 2024, there is only one MFT Kentucky-based program available online, Campbellsville University, which is mentioned in the master’s degree section below.

Short Length MFT Programs in Kentucky

There are many options for students in Kentucky who are seeking a quick transition from the admissions process to the workforce. MFT master’s degree programs are typically the fastest route for students looking to become licensed, as this is the minimum requirement for licensure and will only require 2-3 years of full-time study. Here are Kentucky’s shortest MFT master’s degree programs:

SchoolDegree LevelLengthAttendance
University of KentuckyMaster’s Degree in Family Sciences with an emphasis on Couples and Family Therapy2 years and one SummerFull-time
Campbellsville UniversityMasters in Marriage and Family Therapy2 YearsFull-time
University of LouisvilleMaster of Science in Couple and Family Therapy2 YearsFull-time

Affordable MFT Programs in Kentucky

MFT programs in Kentucky range considerably in tuition costs, but there are several options available to students who want to save a little money. Again, MFT master’s degree programs excel here. Master’s degrees are short and entry-level, and therefore, often cost much less than doctorate degrees. Here are a few of the most affordable ones located in Kentucky.

SchoolDegreeTuition & Fees
Western Kentucky UniversityMaster of Arts in Education in Marriage, Couple, and Family CounselingDetails
Louisville Presbyterian SeminaryMaster of Arts in Marriage & Family TherapyDetails
Campbellsville UniversityMasters in Marriage and Family TherapyDetails

MFT Degree Levels

There are several different types of MFT degrees offered at various levels. While some undergraduate degrees exist in marriage and family therapy, the bulk of these are offered at the graduate level including master’s degrees and doctorate degrees. There are also many graduate certificates offered in marriage and family therapy, though these are not technically degrees.

Do I Need a GRE for an MFT Program?

Some schools may require that you take an assessment to gauge your undergraduate placement in areas such as math or reading comprehension. This assessment, otherwise known as a GRE (Graduate Record Examination), is commonly required by MFT program applicants, but not always. Campbellsville University is one institution that does not assert this requirement. Check your school’s admissions page to find out more.

Master's Degree in MFT

A large portion of students who want to become marriage and family therapists enter into an MFT master’s degree program. This is because master’s degree programs are the lowest level of degrees that a student can graduate from and still get licensed. MFT master’s degree programs typically last around two years and require 60 credits to complete. On average, students pay between $400 and $800 per credit. Here are a few options for MFT master’s degrees in Kentucky:

University of Kentucky: The University of Kentucky offers a Master’s Degree in Family Sciences with an emphasis on Couples and Family Therapy that caters to both clinical and research-oriented students looking to specialize in couples and family therapy. Students will participate in various in-person clinical and community-oriented licensure requirements, research opportunities, and graduate assistantships.

Campbellsville University: If you’re interested in learning the various fundamentals of marriage and family therapy, including the religion, spirituality, philosophy, classical and contemporary theory, social situation, media, biology, and knowledge that surround this unique field, Campbellsville University offers a fantastic Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy based in Christian values. The program is accredited by COAMFTE and offers a path to licensure.

Kentucky Graduate Certificate in MFT

As mentioned, MFT graduate certificates are not technically degrees, but they offer a specialized focus in marriage and family therapy. If you’re not worried about becoming licensed or you are already licensed in marriage and family therapy, you can enroll in an MFT graduate certificate program and expand your horizons to help couples and families navigate difficult challenges.

MFT graduate certificates typically range in cost between $1,000 and $1,500, depending on the program, and they require a year or less of study. While you currently will not be able to find these types of certificate programs available in Kentucky, you can find them available online or in nearby states. Here are a few to choose from:

Northeastern Illinois University: While this graduate certificate won’t allow you to become licensed on its own, it will allow you to accrue clinical hours to put towards your licensure requirements. Northeastern Illinois University’s Certificate in Couple and Family Counseling requires the completion of 18 credit hours and can offer a convenient downtown Chicago classroom location and a narrow student-to-teacher ratio.

Wright State University: This graduate certificate program, located in Dayton, OH, offers a Marriage and Family Counseling Certificate to students looking for a specialized focus in family, couple, individual, and group therapy with marriage and family counseling. To apply to Wright State University’s program, you will need to have graduated from or be currently enrolled in a clinical psychology degree program.

MFT Doctorate Degrees (Ph.D. or PsyD)

The final MFT graduate degree program available to students seeking higher education in marriage and family therapy is an MFT doctorate degree. There are two types: a Ph.D., which specializes in research, theory, and education on topics related to marriage and family therapy, and a PsyD, which is more geared toward clinical therapists. Both degrees are well-respected and lead to exciting careers that advance this fascinating psychological field.

On average, you can expect to pay around $35,000 to $300,000 for your MFT doctorate degree and the time frame can range between four and eight years. Neither Ph.D. nor PsyD programs in marriage and family therapy are available in Kentucky; however, you may be able to find them in neighboring states or online. Here are some examples:

Ohio State University: Students willing to relocate to Ohio for their MFT doctoral degree program can find a fantastic Ph.D. in Couples and Family Therapy offered by Ohio State University. The program utilizes on-site clinical training facilities where students gain over 1,000 clinical hours of experience working firsthand with couples, families, and individuals to get valuable training and fulfill the State of Ohio’s licensure requirements.

Adler University: The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Couple and Family Therapy program offered by Adler University (located in Chicago) is a great choice for students looking for a marriage and family therapy program that combines a research-oriented approach with first-hand clinical experience. A unique aspect of this program is that it also allows students to specialize further in both sex therapy and substance abuse counseling with additional credits.

Becoming an LMFT in Kentucky

After completing your educational requirements, you’ll be ready to start the MFT licensure process. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to become licensed in Kentucky:

  • Education: Obtain a master’s or doctoral degree in Marriage and Family Therapy or a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution. Ensure your program meets the requirements set forth by the Kentucky Board of Licensed Professional Counselors.
  • Supervised Experience: Accumulate supervised clinical experience. This requires completing a total of 1,000 hours of supervised direct client contact clinical work.
  • Examination: Pass the National Examination in Marital and Family Therapy, typically administered by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB). The Kentucky Board of Licensed Professional Counselors will also include a jurisprudence section that tests the applicant’s knowledge of the state laws surrounding clinical mental health therapy.
  • Application: Submit an application for licensure to the Kentucky Board of Licensed Professional Counselors, including all required documentation such as transcripts, verification of supervised experience, and examination scores.
  • Background Check: Undergo a criminal background check.
  • Supervision: During the period of licensure, you may need to continue to work under supervision until you have met all the requirements for independent practice.
  • Continuing Education: After becoming licensed, you’ll need to complete 15 hours of continuing education every year.

List of MFT Degree Programs in Kentucky

Bowling Green, KY

1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1000
(270) 745-0111

Lexington, KY

South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40506-0032
(859) 257-9000

Louisville, KY

2301 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40292-0001
(502) 852-5555

Wilmore, KY

204 N Lexington Ave
Wilmore, KY 40390-1199
(859) 858-3581

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