Support Families with Compassionate, Cutting-Edge Therapy

Advance your career as a couple and family therapist with a Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (D.M.F.T.) degree from Nova Southeastern University's College of Osteopathic Medicine. With our innovative and interdisciplinary coursework and hands-on practicum experience, you'll gain the skills you need to launch your own counseling business, clinical programs, and educational trainings. 

The Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy is a 75-108 variable credit program (depending on student's education background) that integrates systemically oriented theory and clinical practice, language and thinking systems, and qualitative and quantitative research. 

Ignite Your Career with NSU

Prepare for a career as a private practitioner, agency administrator, clinical supervisor, and/or senior clinician. Expand and enhance your existing clinical skills and become a top-level practitioner, while at the same time demonstrating program and clinical research.

NSU provided Clinical Internship experiences that helped me to apply systemic therapeutic skills in school-based settings. The skills and mentorship received allowed me to bring Solution-Focused brief therapy to many educators, administrators and children grades K-8. I have worked in public schools, charter schools, and Catholic schools.

Giselle Bayard | MFT Doctoral Graduate, Class of 2018
Giselle Bayard

Quick Facts


Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information.

Credits & Requirements

The D.M.F.T. program is 75–108 credits, and requires both external practicums and an Applied Clinical Project (ACP). Students must complete their D.M.F.T. program within eight years from the date of first enrollment. This means that students are expected to graduate with the D.M.F.T. degree within this time period.

Application Deadlines

For Fall Entry:
February 1: Priority Application Deadline for Fall / August Admission
June 30: Final, Based on Seat Availability

Delivery Options

The D.M.F.T. is offered in person at NSU's Davie/Ft. Lauderdale campus and requires external practicums, which can be conducted simultaneously with the ACP.

Why Earn Your D.M.F.T. at NSU?

Student consulting with patient-female

Get an Industry Edge

Meet the needs of the times with top-quality training that is the NSU Edge. Not only will your coursework address the most pressing issues in mental health, but you’ll begin carving out your path to your professional advancement starting on day one with the support of faculty, peers, and community partnerships.

About the NSU Edge

D.M.F.T. Curriculum

The Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy program includes curriculum that integrates systemically oriented theory and clinical practice, language and thinking systems, and qualitative and quantitative research.

View Curriculum Requirements

Practicum and Additional Requirements

In addition to your classroom courses, you will also be required to complete internal practicums at the Brief Therapy Institute and external and clinical practicums in the community. Completion of the Clinical Portfolio and Applied Clinical Project will also be required for graduation.

Students complete four internal practicums at our onsite training facility, the Brief Therapy Institute, under the live supervision of a program clinical supervisor, with a team of no more than 6 students, for 6 hours every week throughout the term (one practicum per term - a total of four terms of internal practicums). Details regarding the practicum and the clinic are available in the Policies and Procedures Manual of the Brief Therapy Institute. Policies and Procedures are required reading, and all policies are available online at In-depth discussions of all policies are a part of internal practicums.

Background checks and fingerprinting are required of all students. Drug screening is also required of all students in compliance with NSU policies. Students need to contact the program director for details related to these processes.

Students also complete two terms of external practicums and one term of clinical practicum in the community. Students must complete all curriculum and program requirements before registering for the external and clinical practicums.

The practicums are designed to provide students with full-time advanced practice experience. Students are mentored through weekly supervision with program clinical supervisor while they are enrolled in the practicum course. If the program clinical supervisor is unavailable, the program director arranges weekly supervision coverage for the students.

We stress a commitment from our students to serving clinical populations in an affirmative, supportive, and competent manner including but not limited to underprivileged, diverse, underserved, minority, and socially oppressed groups, ethnic, racial, religious groups, LGBTQIA+ individuals, foreign nationals, individuals with different levels of ability both physical and behavioral, as well as individuals of various genders, ages, health, socioeconomic and relationship statuses.

A total of 1,000 clinical hours and 200 supervised hours are required to complete the program. At least 400 of the 1000 required clinical hours must be relational with couples and/or families in the room. Out of 1000 client contact hours, 200 hours can be alternative. A minimum of 200 supervision hours with at least 100 hours via observable data live/video/audio is required. If students are unable to complete their hours within 4 terms of internal practicum and 2 terms of external practicum, they will need to continue to register for the external practicum until they have completed the required hours. Students must keep a copy of all completed and signed forms and documents during their entire program and for future needs.

The Clinical Portfolio is a capstone experience designed to assess how students met various aspects of the program’s learning objectives and outcomes. Similar to a doctoral-qualifying exam, the Clinical Portfolio is an important benchmark in progressing toward candidacy. Students demonstrate the full range and depth of their clinical skills and theoretical knowledge, and scholarly writing.

As part of the graduation requirements, students must have an annual review at the end of each of the first three years of the program or until they are enrolled in classroom courses. This annual review consists of an evaluation of the student’s academic progress, clinical progress, professional and ethical conduct, and level of attainment of the program’s student learning outcomes. The annual review is also utilized for collection of feedback from students about the program and support services by the institution. This review is conducted in a manner needed for each individual student such as, but not limited to, a meeting with a faculty advisor, program director or via email.

After completing the research courses and meeting all other curriculum requirements, students are required to complete an applied clinical (research) project (ACP). D.M.F.T. students conduct an original applied research study in the field of couple/marriage and family therapy under the mentorship of their ACP committee members. Students are required to have a minimum of one monthly meeting with their ACP committee chair. A minimum of 9 ACP credits (three credits per term for three terms, for a duration of one year) are required to complete the ACP. If students are unable to complete their ACPs within nine ACP credits (three credits per term for three terms), they will need to continue to register for ACP credits until they have completed their ACPs.

Prospective students are expected to review the D.M.F.T. Professional Licensure Disclosure Statement and sign and submit the D.M.F.T. Informed acknowledgment of potential differences in MFT licensure requirements across state/provincial regulatory bodies form to the program office before making enrollment decisions and financial commitments. The program director and faculty discuss the information with the prospective students, as mentioned in the links below, during the admission interviews. Prospective students are welcome to contact the program director in case of inquiries (see links below for more information).

Professional Licensure Disclosure Information

Acknowledgement Form

Ph.D. or Professional Doctorate: Which Is Right for Me?

The Department of Couple and Family Therapy at NSU offers two postgraduate tracks: the Doctor of Philosophy in Couple and Family Therapy (Ph.D.) and the Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (D.M.F.T.).

The biggest difference? The D.M.F.T. degree program seeks specifically to produce professionals whose chief contributions will be in the clinical rather than academic sphere. Still, there is some overlap in the core curriculum between the two programs.

Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy

Earn a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 81-114 credit hours

Advanced leadership in the field of couple/marriage and family therapy

  • Prepares you for a productive career as a professor, researcher, supervisor, or senior clinician in the field

Doctor of Marriage and Family Therapy (D.M.F.T.)

Earn a professional doctorate degree in 75–108 credit hours. 

Clinical-focused, terminal degree

  • Expand and enhance your existing clinical skills
  • Advance your career as a couple/marriage and family therapist

Family Therapy Admission Requirements

Ready for the Next Step?

Let’s get started! First things first, to apply, you must have—or be in the process of completing—a master’s degree. And you must possess a master's degree from a licensing program before you can begin doctoral studies.

A Note about Deadlines

Due to the competitive application pool, it is recommended that you start your application process at least 1-2 months prior to the deadline dates. The Office of Admissions processes applications on a year-round basis.

Priority application deadline for Fall/August admission: January 15 Late application deadline for Fall/August admission: June 30 (based on seat availability)

Go to Application

Complete the online application form and pay the $50 nonrefundable fee

If you’re a first-time user, be sure to create a Graduate Account to begin.

Request your transcripts

Request transcripts from all schools attended and/or agency evaluation of foreign degree be mailed to the address below or sent electronically to

Submit GRE scores*

GRE scores* are not required if you have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. If you have less than a 3.5 GPA, a total score of 300 or higher on the combined verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE taken within the past five years is required.

Please have your official scores sent to the mailing address below.

*International students should submit TOEFL scores, if applicable. Visit Requirements for Obtaining a 1-20 for more information.

A resume or curriculum vita

Send it to the address below.

Write a statement of interest

Please briefly explain (500-word minimum) why you are interested in the program for which you are applying, as well as your professional goals, your assessment of your abilities to manage the challenges of graduate school, and any other information you would like to provide.

Send a sample of academic or professional writing

Choose your best piece of professional writing and send it to the address below.

Request three letters of recommendation

Provide three academic or professional letters of recommendation, written in the past year and send to the email address below.

Submitting Your Materials

Please email all documents to:

Mailing Address (Domestic)

Nova Southeastern University
Enrollment Processing Services
Attn: College of Osteopathic Medicine
3301 College Avenue, P.O. Box 299000
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33329-9905

Fax unofficial documents to (954) 262-3609 or email the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Mailing Address (International)

For International Students:
Nova Southeastern University
Attn: Enrollment Processing Services
3301 College Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33329-9905

Please note that NSU reserves the right to rescind or place conditions upon admissions offers should information become available that calls into question an admitted student’s academic performance or character, including that which reflects a violation of NSU’s Code of Student Conduct.

Transfer students must meet the program admissions criteria. The courses that may be transferred into the program will be determined on a case-by-case basis and must be deemed comparable in level, content, and rigor to those within the D.M.F.T. program.

Foreign nationals who reside outside the United States at the time of application and whose native language is not English must present evidence of proficiency in English by satisfactorily completing the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Score requirements are as follows: minimum paper score = 550; minimum computerized score = 213; minimum Internet score = 79. A score of 6.0 on the International English Language Testing System (ILETS) exam is accepted in lieu of the TOEFL.

For a full list of English proficiency tests that are accepted by the university, please visit International Students. Test scores must be submitted to the admissions office. For a TOEFL application information, visit the website at TOEFL or write to:

Educational Testing Services
Princeton, New Jersey 08540
(609) 771-7100

Applicants who have attended foreign universities or colleges are required to have their academic credentials evaluated for U.S. institutional equivalence. While there are several credential evaluators, the most widely used companies are listed below, or visit NACES.

World Education Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 745
Old Chelsea Station
New York, New York 10113-0745
(212) 966-6311

Josef Silny & Associates
7101 SW 102nd Avenue
Miami, Florida 33173
(305) 273-1616

Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc.
P.O. Box 514070
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
(414) 289-3400

International students are encouraged to contact the Office of International Student Services at (954) 262-7240 or 800-541-6682, ext. 27240, or by emailing International Students or visiting the International Students web page.

Resident Alien students are required to submit a copy of their Resident Alien card.

After Applying, What Happens Next?

If selected, you’ll receive an invitation from the Department of Couple and Family Therapy to schedule an interview. This personal interview is the next step and does not guarantee admission. An ample amount of time and notification will be given for you to make appropriate arrangements.

Depending on the time of year, the review process may take a few weeks. You can check your application status at any time via the online application portal. Once a decision has been made, notification is sent via email to the address on file.

Take The Next Step