Marriage & Family Therapy Program FAQ

What is the deadline for my application?

If you are applying so that you can begin the program in the fall, then you need to get your completed application in to the School of Education by February 1. Applications will not be considered complete until they have all the required components, this includes your letters of recommendation. It really helps expedite the review of your application if you ask you recommenders early enough so that they get to us before the deadline. We will review applications past the deadline as space is available. For more information, go to our admission page.

Are any standardized tests required for admission to the MFT program?

No, we do not require any standardized tests for the MFT MA program.

Once my application is complete, how long will it take to find out whether I was accepted or not?

All applications undergo a thorough review process by the members of the MFT program. Qualified applicants are then invited to a group interview on campus or via Zoom. Although we make every effort to review all applications on a timely basis, it still usually takes anywhere up to 8 weeks for a thorough review and response. It really depends upon how many applications we have received. For more information, go to our admissions page.

Do you offer any scholarships?

es, we have several scholarships. In addition to the scholarships listed below, visit the School of Education Financial Resources page.

  • Elizabeth Bigelow Scholarship — This scholarship is awarded to one or two students each year who demonstrate a commitment to adult development and women’s issues.
  • Social Justice Community Mental Health Scholarship — This scholarship is awarded to two students each year who demonstrate a commitment to working with underserved populations in the community mental health system.
  • Graduate Research Assistants — Each year, the School of Education awards research and administrative “work” assistantships. Students will either work with an individual professor (as a research, administrative, or teaching assistant) or with the MFT/PCC program (We offer two program assistantships). Students need to give the equivalent of 200 hours of “work” over the course of the school year (or as worked out with the professor).

When do classes meet?

During the fall and spring semesters, each three-credit class meets once a week for two and a half hours of class time. Classes can be scheduled Mondays through Thursday at either 3:45 or 7:20 p.m. Every so often, you might have to attend a few Friday afternoon and Saturday classes. In the summer, classes are more condensed, thus, rather than attend class for 15 weeks (at two and a half hours each meeting), you might need to come eight weeks (at five hours each class meeting). No class during the week is ever scheduled before 3:45 p.m. Summer classes range from the end of May until the end of July. Two and one-credit classes meet for less time. PLEASE NOTE: If you are going to schedule a vacation you should do so between the end of classes in December until the end of January or during the first three weeks of August.

When do I begin Traineeship?

If you are in the 3-year program, you begin in the fall semester of your third year. You apply for Traineeship during the spring semester of your second year.

If you are in the 2-year program, you begin in the fall semester of your second year. You apply for Traineeship during the spring semester of your first year.

What additional fieldwork is needed to be eligible for the LPCC?

To be eligible for the LPCC, students must complete our course sequence and additional hours of fieldwork. Students must complete 280 hours of face-to-face clinical work before graduation to be eligible for the LPCC, compared to the 150 direct clinical hours needed to be eligible for the LMFT.

Is it possible to combine School Counseling and MFT?

No, not at this time.

How many credits can I take each semester to qualify for Financial Aid?

Please check with Financial Aid Services on the main campus to discuss your particular needs, however, you can take three credits and still qualify.

What should I include in my Letter of Intent for admission?

We look for applicants who are a “good fit” with our program and the program mission. We understand what a big commitment coming to graduate school is, both personally and financially, so we want to make sure that people who choose to come to our program have all the information they need to make an informed decision. And, we want you to choose our program because you believe that it is a good fit for you too. For your letter, please tell us about yourself. We want to know who you are and why you are choosing marriage and family therapy as a career path. Thus, please include the answers to these questions within the body of your letter:

  • Who are you? What would you like us to know about you in respect to your application and your experiences?
  • Why are you choosing to become a marriage and family therapist? Specifically, what do you know about the MFT/PCC field? How is it a good fit for you, your experiences and your goals?
  • Why are you doing this now? What is significant about this time in your life?
  • Why are you applying to our program? There are many other MFT/PCC programs in the country and in the Bay Area. In the spirit of “Goodness of Fit”, what is it about our program that makes it a good fit for you?

How many pages should my Letter of Intent be?

While many applicants usually write anywhere between two and four double-spaced pages, you can write as little or as much as you need, in order to fully and succinctly respond.

Must I attend an informational meeting?

We highly recommend that applicants attend one of our informational meetings. This is a very good way to learn about our program, and you also get your application fee waived. Most of your questions should be answered during this meeting. We also have School of Education Open Houses, which are more formal opportunities to hear about the program and have your questions answered. If neither of these options are possible, you can always schedule an appointment in person or talk with someone on the phone.

Can I talk to a current student or meet with a faculty member to talk about the program before making any decisions?

Yes, of course you can! Please contact (415) 422-6868 to set this up.

Can I sit in on a class before making any decisions about attending USF?

Yes, you can! Please contact (415) 422-6868.

Do you offer online courses?

Not at this time, but we are hoping to do so in the future.

What kinds of jobs do MFTs/PCCs get after licensure?

Once licensed, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Clinical Counselors work in agencies, private practices, hospitals, schools and other community mental health agencies — most any place where other licensed mental health professionals work. They are also hired as clinic directors and administrators, supervisors as well as direct service providers. In fact, some licensed MFTs/PCCs even teach at universities. Learn more on our careers page.

What is the tuition?

For information on tuition and fees, go visit our tuition page.

What is the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) process for MFT licensure?

Please visit the BBS website for information.

What is the BBS process for PCC licensure?

Please visit the BBS website or the CALPCC website

How many credits can I transfer into the program?

We accept up to six credits and they can ONLY be transferred into our program if they are (a) graduate credits and not part of another master’s degree that you received, and (b) if the course you want to transfer is equivalent to one that we require. Thus, if you have a master's degree in school counseling and want to transfer in courses, you would not be able to transfer any of your credits from that program. However, if you took extra courses in addition to the required ones for the degree, you may be able to transfer those.

Do I need to have a bachelor’s degree in psychology to apply?

Not necessarily. We do require that you have either worked in a related field or have transferable skills. Quite often, we recommend that applicants volunteer at a mental health agency, school or other comparable setting in order to determine whether or not they really want to do this work. If you have specific questions about your readiness to apply, please come to one of our informational meetings, meet with someone from the MFT/PCC program in person, or talk to someone on the phone.

Who should I ask for letters of recommendation?

You should ask anyone who can speak to your potential as a graduate student in counseling psychology. We understand that many people have been out of school for a good amount of time and might not have continuing connections with professors who can write a letter for you. Applicants quite often use current or former employers or supervisors. Please do not use your therapist, a family member, personal friend, or a friend of your family. While they can most likely vouch for you personally, they will not be able to speak to the behaviors and skills necessary for success in school.