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How to Apply

Key Facts About the Admission Process

  • 28 students enter the program each year
  • All admission decisions are made on a rolling basis
  • Admission decisions are made after interviews
  • Program slots tend to fill quickly so we encourage you to submit your application as early as possible

Application Deadline & Interview Dates for the Fall Quarter 2024

  • Early Admissions Deadline: November 5, 2023
  • Regular Admissions Deadline: December 31, 2023

Admission interviews are by invitation only. Admissions interviews will be held via Zoom in December 2023 and February 2024.

Application Part 1:

Northwestern University Graduate School Requirements 

Please complete the following:

  • Complete online application form
  • Digitally submit transcripts for each institution(s) attended 
  • Digitally submit a minimum of two (2) letters of recommendation
  • Academic Statement (1,000 word maximum)
  • Personal Statement (500 word maximum)
  • The Admissions Committee is most interested in you and why you want to be a marriage and family therapist. Your Academic Statement should be written so that we may "get to know you" better. Please respond to the following questions:
    1. What personal and family experiences have influenced your interest in a career as a marriage and family therapist?
    2. What academic and professional experiences have influenced your interest in a career as a marriage and family therapist?
    3. What attracts you to the field of marriage and family therapy (as opposed to social work, counseling or clinical psychology)?
    4. What attracts you to the MSMFT program here at Northwestern University?
    5. Describe a time in your life when things didn't go well for you. Describe the circumstances of this time and how you handled the challenges associated with it.

International students: Please submit official English Language Test Scores (TOEFL or IELTS)

Please note, the MSMFT Program does not fit the criteria for STEM Optional Practicum Training for F-1 students.

Pay the application fee of $95.00.

Application Part 2:

Program-Specific Application Requirements 

2023-2024 Program Specific Application available HERE

Questions regarding the Program-Specific Application or supplemental material, please contact:

MSFT Admissions
The Family Institute at Northwestern University
618 Library Place
Evanston, IL 60201
Telephone: 847-733-4300, ext. 206 
Fax: 847-733-0390
Admission Requirements
Enrollment in the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program is limited due to the intense clinical training students receive. Early decision applications are due by November 5, 2023; regular decision applications are due by December 31, 2023. All necessary supporting documents must be on file by that date to guarantee consideration for admission the following academic year. We encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.

Individuals who represent a broad range of backgrounds and life experiences are encouraged to apply.

Eligible candidates must hold a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university to be considered for admission. Applicants usually have an undergraduate degree in one of the behavioral or family sciences. If an applicant’s degree is in another field, it is required that they take the following college level courses or their equivalent.

  • Introduction to psychology
  • Human Development

All candidates must provide evidence (i.e. transcript) of successful completion of prerequisites before beginning the program.

A few example of courses and their description are listed below:

  • Introduction to Psychology — A survey course reviewing primary psychological research and theories of human behavior. Laboratory experience exposes students to psychology as a research science.
  • Human Development: Childhood and Adolescence — Personal, social and cognitive development from birth through adolescence. Interplay of biological and experiential factors on linguistic and conceptual development, ego and personality.
  • Human Development: Adulthood and Aging — Psychological, sociological and biological factors influencing socialization and development from young and middle adulthood through old age. Influences of family, school and work on the individual.

What We Consider When Reviewing Applications

  • Academic performance
  • Work experience
  • Motivation for graduate study
  • Evidence of commitment to working with families
  • Potential for success in the program and as a marriage and family therapist
  • The Graduate School Application Requirements
Applicant Acknowledgement of Regulatory Alignment

Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) is a profession that leads to licensure in all 50 states; however, each state has its own laws and regulations about what is needed to become licensed as an MFT in that state.

Not every state will accept a degree and supervised hours earned in another state. Review license requirements in the state you intend to practice as soon as possible so that you understand what may and may not be accepted across state lines.

Learn more about each state’s licensure resources

The coursework for the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSMFT) program at Northwestern University was designed to meet MFT licensure requirements in the state of Illinois.

Learn more about MFT licensure requirements in Illinois

If you have questions about the program’s alignment with professional licensure, you may contact the Department Chair and Program Director, Dr. Mudita Rastogi.

Notice of Background Check

The Family Institute at Northwestern University requires all applicants who have received conditional admission to Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program to complete an online background check to determine criminal history. Having an adverse criminal history finding does not necessarily preclude admission.

Determinations are considered on a case-by-case basis. In the event that information from the background report is utilized in whole or in part in making an adverse decision with regard to an applicant's admission, before making the adverse decision, the Family Institute will provide the student with a copy of the consumer report and a written description of his or her rights under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.