There are many options when it comes to choosing an area of focus as a mental health practitioner. One of the broader options is the area of marriage and family therapy (MFT). This specialization focuses primarily on interpersonal relationships and how they relate to families, couples, and individuals. It utilizes therapeutic methods to address common problems such as parenting dynamics, lack of passion in a marriage, or abuse. To enter this rewarding and popular psychological practice in Minnesota, you’ll need to first enroll in an MFT degree program.

2025 - Best MFT Programs in Minnesota's Best MFT Programs in Minnesota rankings are an essential guide for prospective students seeking top-tier education in Marriage and Family Therapy. These rankings are thoughtfully curated, considering critical factors such as program completion rates, cost of living, institutional competitiveness, diversity of programs offered, and years of faculty experience. Each factor is meticulously evaluated to provide a comprehensive assessment of the quality and suitability of MFT programs across Minnesota. For a detailed understanding of the methodology behind these rankings, please visit our rankings methodology page.


Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

Capella University's Marriage & Family Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and offers both a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy degree. The program is housed within the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and is available online, providing students with flexibility and convenience while still receiving a high-quality education. Students have access to real-world training through hands-on experience and virtual simulations.


Saint Cloud State University

Saint Cloud, MN

Saint Cloud State University offers a highly esteemed Marriage and Family Therapy program within the Department of Counseling and Student Development on its beautiful central Minnesota campus. This program provides students with a comprehensive curriculum and hands-on clinical experience, preparing them for careers as licensed therapists in a rapidly growing field.


Adler Graduate School

Minnetonka, MN

Adler Graduate School offers comprehensive Marriage and Family Therapy programs that prepare students to become competent and ethical therapists. The Department of Marriage and Family Therapy offers both a Master of Arts and a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy, with a focus on social justice and diversity. The programs are offered at the main campus in Richfield, Minnesota and also online for flexibility.

What is an MFT Degree?

MFT degrees (also known as marriage and family therapy degrees) train students on how to provide mental health resources to couples and families, as well as individuals. Enrolling in an MFT degree opens up a wide variety of career options for students who want to become researchers, educators, and clinicians.

Why is COAMFTE MFT Accreditation Important?

As you decide what type of MFT degree makes the most sense for you, it’s also important to remember to check for accreditation. Doing so ensures that you will be eligible for licensure upon graduation. The main accrediting body for marriage and family therapists is the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), but you may also find that some programs, particularly counseling programs, are accredited by CACREP.

Can I Get an MFT Degree Online in Minnesota?

For the last several years, online programs (including online MFT degree programs) have become increasingly popular across the country. Because MFT degree programs require a significant level of in-person clinicals, these programs are usually partially conducted online and partially conducted on campus. Some programs (though rare) may allow you to complete these clinical requirements in your own community at hospitals and community mental health organizations.

Currently, there are no online MFT programs available in Minnesota, which means that you will likely need to look for these types of options or consider relocation if you want to take advantage of online learning. You will also need to understand the implications an out-of-state online MFT program will have on your licensure — you will need to choose a state that allows easy transfer of licensure to Minnesota if you plan on practicing in your home state. Here are a few online MFT degree programs based in states near Minnesota:

Northwestern University: The Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy offered by Northwestern University based in Evanston, IL allows students to complete self-paced coursework online, attend live virtual classes, and fulfill their clinical requirements in a community near them. Students enrolled in Northwestern University’s program work with a placement specialist to find clinical arrangements that meet their location needs.

University of Wisconsin: The University of Wisconsin offers an online Master of Science in Education – Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy program which leads to MFT licensure in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. The program allows students to complete coursework online while participating in over 700 clinical hours.

Short Length MFT Programs in Minnesota

If you’re looking to shorten the amount of time between your enrollment and your transition to the workforce, the best option is to get a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. These programs usually last four years or less, though many MFT master’s degree programs based in Minnesota only require about two years of study. One example of such a program is the Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy offered by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Affordable MFT Programs in Minnesota

It’s no secret that MFT degree programs will cost tens of thousands of dollars (if not more), but there are many programs available in Minnesota at the master’s level that are much more affordable than the others. Here are a few of the more notable examples of these:

SchoolDegreeTuition & Fees
St. Cloud State UniversityMaster of Science in Marriage and Family TherapyDetails
University of St. ThomasMaster of Arts in Counseling Psychology, Family Psychology ConcentrationDetails
Bethel UniversityMaster’s Degree in Marriage and Family TherapyDetails

MFT Degree Levels

MFT degrees are available at all levels, but they’re most commonly offered at the graduate degree level. This is primarily because students must have either a master’s degree or doctoral degree to become licensed as a marriage and family therapist. If you already have your graduate degree in counseling, psychology, or a related practice, you may be interested in MFT graduate certificate programs. These allow students to further build on their mental health background to gain additional knowledge in marriage and family therapeutic methods.

Do I Need a GRE for an MFT Program?

Depending on the program, you may need to submit a GRE (Graduate Record Examination) along with your application to show your placement amongst other undergraduates. Not all institutions, however, require this, such as St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. Your admissions department will have guidelines as to whether or not you will be required to submit a GRE or some other type of accompanying document to show your academic merit.

Master's Degree in MFT

MFT master’s degree programs typically run for two years. They usually require the completion of around 60 credits and cost an average of $28,220 in Minnesota. Upon graduation from an MFT master’s degree, you’ll be eligible to become licensed and sit for the exam. There are several MFT master’s degree programs located in Minnesota:

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota: This 48-credit Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy offered by Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers a comprehensive curriculum with the opportunity to complete 300 hours of clinical service to prepare you for a long and rewarding career as a marriage and family therapist. The program also emphasizes an ethical approach to marriage and family therapy and strives for inclusivity in its curriculum.

St. Cloud State University: St. Cloud University offers a challenging and extensive Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program that prides itself on an intimate 5:1 student-teacher ratio and a rigorous curriculum. While most MFT master’s degree programs require clinicals in the second year, one of the defining aspects of this program is opportunities for clinical work during both years. During their first year, students have a supervised practicum experience at their on-campus training clinic, and in their second year, students engage in a supervised, year-long community internship.

Graduate Certificate in MFT

Graduate certificates are not degree programs, but they are a great way to specialize in marriage and family therapy without fully committing to it as your sole career. If you want to apply yourself primarily in separate mental health practice (such as child psychology or grief counseling) but still would like to educate yourself in marriage and family therapeutic methods, you can do so with this one-year certificate program.

MFT graduate certificates cost between $1,000 and $1,500, and though they won’t lead to licensure on their own, the credits you earn through the program can often be transferred to a graduate program. There is currently one in-state option for Minnesotans to attend an MFT graduate certificate program and another close-by option:

St. Cloud University: Students interested in gaining a strong background in marriage and family therapy outside of licensure can enroll in St. Cloud University’s Marriage and Family Therapy Graduate Certificate. This program offers instruction by doctorate-level faculty members and a strong focus on diversity and multiculturalism.

Family Therapy Training Institute: Aurora Healthcare’s Family Therapy Training Institute (located in Milwaukee) offers a post-graduate certificate in family therapy. Unlike typical graduate certificates, this program lasts two years and is only available to students who have graduated from a clinical mental health master’s degree program. Additionally, the program leads to licensure through over 500 hours of clinical supervision (you will need an additional 500 to be eligible for MFT licensure in Wisconsin).

MFT Doctorate Degrees (Ph.D. or PsyD)

If you want to go beyond the minimum requirements for MFT licensure, you may want to consider an MFT doctoral degree program. Doctors of marriage and family therapy have many more options when it comes time to define your career pathway. Ph.D. degrees in marriage and family therapy are typically research and education-oriented, while PsyDs offer a route to clinical practice.

MFT doctorate degrees typically last between four and eight years and cost between $30,000 and $300,000. There is currently one program option for students in Minnesota:

University of Minnesota: The University of Minnesota currently offers the only Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy in the state. The program is primarily focused on research and education, but there is a significant clinical portion throughout the duration of the study. Applicants must have master’s-level clinicals completed.

Becoming an LMFT in Minnesota

After completing a graduate degree program, the next step is to complete your licensure requirements and sit for the exam. You’ll need to meet the following requirements to receive and maintain your licensure in Minnesota:

  • Education: Obtain a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or a related field from a regionally accredited institution. Ensure that your program meets the coursework requirements set by the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy.
  • Supervised Experience: Complete the required supervised clinical experience. In Minnesota, this typically involves 4,000 hours of post-graduate supervised experience, with at least 1,000 hours of direct client contact. This experience must be obtained under the supervision of a qualified supervisor who is approved by the Board.
  • Examination: Pass the national licensing examination for marriage and family therapy. In Minnesota, this is the Examination in Marital and Family Therapy (EMFT) administered by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB).
  • Application Process: Submit an application for licensure to the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy. This will include providing documentation of your education, supervised experience, examination scores, and any other required materials. You may also need to undergo a background check.
  • Continuing Education: After obtaining licensure, you’ll need to maintain it by completing continuing education requirements as mandated by the Minnesota Board of Marriage and Family Therapy. These requirements involve completing 40 continuing education hours every two years.

List of MFT Degree Programs in Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN

225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55402-3389
(866) 808-4080

Minnetonka, MN

10225 Yellow Circle Dr.
Minnetonka, MN 55343
(612) 861-7554

Saint Cloud, MN

Master's Programs
720 Fourth Ave. South
Saint Cloud, MN 56301-4498
(320) 308-0121

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