If you’re interested in a rewarding career in the mental health field, you might want to consider marriage and family therapy. Marriage and family therapy is a broad but rapidly growing psychological field that focuses on families and couples to help them navigate challenges in their relationships or individual lives. There are many opportunities for residents of Missouri to become marriage and family therapists, but the first step is securing education through an MFT degree program.

2025 - Best MFT Programs in Missouri

CounselingPsychology.org's Best MFT Programs in Missouri rankings provide an essential resource for prospective students seeking high-quality 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 thoroughly assessed to offer a comprehensive evaluation of the quality and suitability of MFT programs across Missouri. For an in-depth understanding of the methodology behind these rankings, please visit our rankings methodology page.

University of Missouri-St Louis

Saint Louis, MO

The University of Missouri-St Louis offers a highly acclaimed Marriage and Family Therapy program through its Department of Counseling and Family Therapy. Located on a beautiful 470-acre campus, the program provides students with comprehensive training and hands-on experience in a supportive and diverse learning environment. Graduates are well-equipped to address the complex needs of couples and families in today's society.


Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis University's Marriage and Family Therapy program, located on its main campus in St. Louis, Missouri, is highly regarded for its rigorous curriculum and hands-on clinical experience. The program, housed within the Department of Counseling and Family Therapy, offers both a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy degree, preparing students to become competent and compassionate therapists in the field of family systems.


University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg, MO

The University of Central Missouri offers a highly acclaimed Marriage and Family Therapy program within the Department of Communication Disorders and Social Work. Located on the beautiful Warrensburg campus, students receive hands-on training through clinical experience and coursework in areas such as family systems, couples therapy, and child development. Graduates are well-equipped for careers in mental health and social work.

What is an MFT Degree?

An MFT degree (otherwise known as a marriage and family therapy degree) is a program that is typically utilized by students to prepare them for a career in marriage and family therapy. Students who graduate from MFT degree programs go on to become researchers, clinicians, educators, clergy members, therapists, and counselors and seek professional licensure when applicable.

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 CACREP also accredits programs that result in counseling degrees. These accrediting bodies approve MFT programs that meet the minimum requirements of the state board, ensuring a smooth licensure process.

Can I Get an MFT Degree Online in Missouri?

Online degree programs are a popular option for students looking to enter marriage and family therapy. While most MFT degree programs offered online will require some in-person clinicals to meet licensure, there are a few that allow students to fulfill these in a community near them.

Currently, there are no online MFT degree programs based in Missouri; however, this does not necessarily mean that students based in Missouri can’t receive their education online. It does mean that receiving Missouri MFT licensure will be more complicated. You’ll need to enroll in another state’s MFT program, which means that you’ll be graduating with another state’s licensure, and you’ll need to transfer that licensure if you want to practice in Missouri. It also means that you may have to travel to the state where the program is based in order to fulfill clinical requirements. Here are a few online MFT programs that are based in nearby states:

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 (based in Campbellsville, KY) offers a fantastic online Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy based in Christian values. The program is accredited by COAMFTE and offers a path to licensure.

Mount Mercy University: Located in Cedar Rapids, IA, this MFT master’s degree program has a strong focus on neuroscience, which sets it apart from many other similar MFT programs. Mount Mercy University also has its very own on-site therapeutic clinic dedicated to treating couples, families, and individuals in the Cedar Rapids community, where students can take part in their required clinical arrangements. Apart from these in-person requirements, the bulk of Mount Mercy’s program is accessible online.

MFT Degree Levels

There are several types of MFT degrees available at schools across the country. While some undergraduate MFT degrees are available, the overwhelming majority are graduate degrees. The reason for this is that both MFT master’s degrees and MFT doctoral degrees enable students who want to work in a clinical setting to seek licensure as marriage and family therapists. Another common type of MFT program is a graduate certificate, which follows a master’s degree, typically in a mental health-related field.

Do I Need a GRE for an MFT Program?

In some situations, you may come across a program that requires its applicants to submit a GRE. This is the abbreviated term for the Graduate Record Examination which measures a student’s placement at the graduate level. Not all schools, however, require their students to submit a GRE to apply. For example, some schools, such as The University of Central Missouri, instead require their students to submit their transcripts, essays, and other academic achievements with their application.

Missouri Master's Degree in MFT

If you’re hoping to get licensed as quickly as possible, you’ll probably want to at least start with an MFT master’s degree program. These two-year programs typically require the completion of 60 credits and cost an average of $34,400 in tuition in Missouri. Additionally, there are usually around 1,000 clinical hours you’ll need to complete in order to become licensed. Currently, there are two options for MFT master’s degree programs in Missouri:

Saint Louis University: Students who want to take advantage of a unique opportunity to seek specialization within the marriage and family therapy degree can do so at Saint Louis University’s Master’s Degree in Family Therapy with a concentration in Medical Family Therapy. This program addresses the unique relationship between medical ailments and therapeutic approaches. The specialization is optional, so if you’re looking for a more traditional MFT master’s degree option, you can also find it within the same department.

University of Central Missouri: The University of Central Missouri offers a Master’s Degree in Human Development and Family Science, Marriage and Family Therapy option that prepares students for a variety of career options centered around marriage and family therapy. One unique thing about the program is that it offers several tracks depending on your educational and career goals. You can choose the one-year option if you are not interested in becoming licensed, or you can choose either the thesis or integrative project track, depending on whether you plan on attending a doctorate degree program after graduation.

Graduate Certificate in MFT

MFT graduate certificates, though not degrees, are a great option for students who are not interested in licensure, or have already obtained licensure through a clinical mental health-related graduate degree program. These types of certificate programs are open to graduates at all levels and provide valuable context to marriage and family therapy in a succinct format. Most MFT graduate degrees last about a year or less and cost between $1,000 and $1,200. There is currently one option for graduate certificate programs in Missouri:

University of Missouri: The Graduate Certificate in Couple, Marriage, and Family Counseling offered by The University of Missouri is a 12-credit program that provides a well-rounded and comprehensive curriculum the offers both rigorous coursework and clinical opportunities in the Saint Louis area. Unlike other types of MFT graduate students, the program invites students with an undergraduate degree and enrollment in a mental health practice program to apply, so long as they meet the GPA requirements of 3.0 or higher.

MFT Doctorate Degrees (Ph.D. or PsyD)

Lastly, MFT doctorate degrees are the highest level of education that a student can obtain. On average, these degrees cost between $35,000 and $300,000 and last between 4 – 8 years. There are two types to choose from — a Ph.D., which specializes in research, theory, and education, and a PsyD, which prepares students for clinical practice. Currently, there is only one MFT doctoral degree available in Missouri:

Saint Louis University: In addition to its MFT master’s degree program, Saint Louis University also offers a PhD in Family Therapy. Like the master’s degree, the Ph.D. in Family Therapy also comes with the option to specialize in medical family therapy, allowing students to seek careers in medical centers, hospitals, clinics, and other medically focused healthcare organizations. The program requires 51 credit hours plus a dissertation and a number of clinical hours to graduate.

Becoming an LMFT in Missouri

Once you’ve completed your educational requirements, you’ll also have to begin the licensure process if your goal is to work in a clinical setting:

  • Education: Obtain a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy or a related field from a regionally accredited institution. Your program should be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) or equivalent.
  • Supervised Experience: Complete a certain number of supervised clinical hours. In Missouri, this typically involves completing 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, with at least 1,500 hours of direct client contact.
  • Examination: Pass the National MFT Examination administered by the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards (AMFTRB).
  • Jurisprudence Exam: In addition to the licensure examination, you’ll also need to pass the jurisprudence exam, which tests your knowledge of marriage and family therapy laws and regulations.
  • Application: Submit an application for licensure to the Missouri Committee for Marital and Family Therapists, which operates under the Missouri Division of Professional Registration. This application will include documentation of your education, supervised experience, examination scores, and any other required materials.
  • Background Check: Undergo a criminal background check.
  • Fees: Pay any required application and licensing fees.
  • Continuing Education: Once licensed, you must fulfill continuing education requirements to maintain your license—40 hours every two years.

List of MFT Degree Programs in Missouri

Saint Louis, MO

Master's Programs
One North Grand Blvd
Saint Louis, MO 63103-2097
(314) 977-2222

Graduate Certificate Programs
One University Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63121-4400
(314) 516-5000

Warrensburg, MO

108 W South Street
Warrensburg, MO 64093
(660) 543-4111

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