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 2021
Priority Deadline: December 31, 2020
Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a case by case basis.
Admission interviews are by invitation only in February and March 2021
All interviews take place at:
The Family Institute at Northwestern University Headquarters
618 Library Place, Evanston, IL 60201
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
- Statement of Purpose (5,000 character maximum)
- The Admissions Committee is most interested in you and why you want to be a marriage and family therapist. Your Statement of Purpose should be written so that we may "get to know you" better. Please respond to the following questions:
- What personal and family experiences have influenced your interest in a career as a marriage and family therapist?
- What academic and professional experiences have influenced your interest in a career as a marriage and family therapist?
- What attracts you to the field of marriage and family therapy (as opposed to social work, counseling or clinical psychology)?
- What attracts you to the MSMFT program here at Northwestern University?
- 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: Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL scores)
Pay the application fee of $95.00.
Application Part 2:
Program-Specific Application Requirements
The following material must be uploaded to the Graduate School online application:
- Program-Specific Application – Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy Program
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae
- A current photo of self (3 in X 5 in)
- Application(s) for any Scholarships and Assistantships (if applicable)
To apply for a Harris Scholarship, please complete and submit this application when applying to the program.
Questions regarding the Program-Specific Application or supplemental material, please contact:
Yadira Wardlow, Coordinator of Education Programs
The Family Institute at Northwestern University
618 Library Place
Evanston, IL 60201
Telephone: 847-733-4300, ext. 206
Enrollment in the Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy program is limited due to the intense clinical training students receive. Applications for Fall 2021 admission are due by December 31, 2020. 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
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.