Marriage and Family Therapy, MAS

The purpose of this self-contained accelerated program is to provide high-quality course work and supervised internship experiences that meet the degree requirements for licensure in the State of Arizona to practice marriage and family therapy as determined and laid out by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. The degree requirements are specified by the board, and the program is designed to train practitioners who wish to practice marriage and family therapy.

This 39-credit hour program will prepare the student to:

  1. Use appropriate written, verbal and nonverbal communication skills with therapy clients and professionals.
  2. Apply ethics to marriage and family therapy incorporating the rules and regulations of the profession, critical thinking and compassion.
  3. Conduct marriage and family therapy with clients of diverse backgrounds based upon an awareness and appreciation of diversity.
  4. Apply knowledge of systems theory to practice.
  5. Apply knowledge of marriage and family therapy models to practice.
  6. Provide reasoning in support of diagnosis and treatment interventions.
  7. Completion of the educational requirements for master's in family therapy licensure eligibility as defined by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (BBHE). In May 2016, the BBHE formally recognized the MAS-MFT program as meeting curriculum standards for state licensure, effective Fall 2007 until May 2021, at which time the curriculum will be reviewed again for renewal; see

A Master’s of Advanced Studies in Marriage and Family Therapy requires the successful completion of a minimum of 39 semester hours, including required coursework (see below) and completion of 300 client contact hours in a community internship placement approved by the MAS-MFT faculty. Internships are expected to last approximately 12 months. Students must maintain a GPA of 3.00 in all coursework and satisfactorily meet the expectations of the agency supervising their internship.

  • Foreign language requirements: While there is no foreign language requirement for this degree, students for whom English is a second language will need to take and pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam as specified by the Graduate College.
  • Thesis requirements: None.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores: GRE scores are waived for this program.
  • Transportation: For the internship, students are required to have a vehicle, a valid Arizona driver’s license, and proof of automobile insurance.
  • Internship examination: An examination to demonstrate readiness for internship placement will be held at the end of the first eight-week semester.
  • External employment: Because of the demands of any accelerated clinical graduate program, students can expect to accommodate, at most, flexible part-time employment. Both coursework and internships require that students be available during week-day hours.


Courses will be taught by state-licensed marriage and family therapists. 

This is a self-contained 18-month program, which means that only the students admitted to this program will be permitted to attend the MAS-MFT classes. Classes outside this program can not be used to meet the requirements for this degree, i.e. there are no elective courses, and courses taken elsewhere, either within ASU or at another institution, cannot be substituted for any of the courses required for this degree. Courses must be taken in the semester listed below.

Courses, with the exception of practicum*, will meet twice a week during daytime hours for 7.5 weeks (except for summer semesters (schedule to be announced) within the following schedule:

Tentative Course Schedule

Fall, Year One

FAS 570 Intro. To Marriage and Family Therapy (August-October) (3)
FAS 581 Professional Issues and Ethics (August-October) (3)
FAS 571 Assessment in Marriage & Family Therapy (October-December) (3)
FAS 576 Applied Issues in Human Development: Psychopathology (October-December) (3)

Spring, Year One

FAS 580* Practicum, concurrent with Internship (January-April) (2)
FAS 577 Applied Issues in Children and Adolescents (January-February) (3)
FAS 572 Advanced Techniques in Marriage and Family Therapy (January-February) (3
FAS 573 Dysfunctional Families (March-April) (3)

Summer, Year One

FAS 575 Applied Issues in Couple’s Therapy (First Six Week Semester) (3)
FAS 578 Applies Issues in Sexuality (Second Six Week Semester) (3)
FAS 580 Practicum, concurrent with Internship (Eight Week Semester) (2)

Fall, Year Two

FAS 579 Applied Research Issues in Marriage and Family Therapy (August-October) (3)
FAS 574 Family Theory for Marriage and Family Therapy (October-December) (3)
FAS 580 Practicum, concurrent with Internship (2)

This concludes the required coursework. If the student has not yet
accumulated the required 300 client contact hours in the internship, it
will be necessary to register for practicum hours for the spring

*Practicum, which is held concurrent with the student’s internship placement, will meet once per month for the duration of the internship. Entrance into practicum is contingent upon the student passing the entrance exam in October.

Students are required to remain in practicum until the semester ends in December, even if they complete their 300 hours while the semester is in progress.

(Concurrent with Internship)

Students who successfully complete the first two 7.5 week semesters AND satisfactorily pass an examination held at the end of the first 7.5 week semester will be eligible to interview for an internship placement at a mental health agency in the Valley beginning in January and continuing for 12 months or until the student completes the required 300 hours of client contact. Approved internships sites are selected by faculty members; sites are located throughout the Valley. All students will be supervised by a state-licensed marriage and family therapist.

Students must have their own car, a valid Arizona driver's license and proof of automobile insurance (out-of-state students with a valid driver's license will be able to obtain an Arizona license once they have moved to Arizona).

Application Requirements

How do I apply to the Masters Program in Marriage and Family Therapy?

The MAS-MFT program is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis for Fall 2017 as long as space is still available. If you are interested, please apply!

Applications are due by February 1. Candidates selected to proceed to the next state in the admission process will be invited for a personal interview with faculty. Our program does not have rolling admissions. Students are admitted for the fall semester only.

Follow these steps to complete the application process.

1. Graduate College Application

Send official materials to Graduate Admission Services

ASU transcripts do not need to be sent

2. Other required supplemental materials

Submit all of the following materials online via the Graduate College Application at

  • Resume or curriculum vitae outlining your employment history, volunteer activities, and any academic or civic awards.
  • Professional Statement. In three pages or less (double-spaced) please address the following:
    • What has led to your decision to apply to this MFT Program?
    • What are your professional goals and aspirations?
    • What are the strengths you have that will help you succeed in an accelerated clinical graduate program?
    • What, if any, clinical and/or research experiences do you have (either paid or volunteer)?
    • Include any additional information that will help the committee evaluate your application.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic background.

As part of the online graduate application you will submit the names and work email addresses for your three recommenders. Your recommenders will be sent instructions on how to electronically send their recommendations.

3. International Students – Required additional materials

International applicants must also meet all of the requirements and supply all of the information requested by the Graduate College at

If you have any questions about the online application procedures or about the program, please contact:

Gina Perez, Graduate Coordinator

You may also schedule an online appointment with Gina. Schedule Online Appointment.


Browse through the questions below or click the links to be taken directly to the answers.

Can I attend this program part time?

Because the program is a self-contained, accelerated program, students must attend full time and take courses according to the class schedule provided in the Program Description.

Can I take some of the MAS-MFT courses as a non-degree student?

Enrollment is limited to students who have been formally admitted to the MAS-MFT program.

Can I attend this program long-distance?

No. Because of the program's accelerated format and the year-long local clinical internship, it is required that students reside in the Greater Phoenix area (includes Phoenix and surrounding cities) for the duration of the program. Commuting from outside this area (for example, from Tucson or Flagstaff) interferes with the student's availability at the clinical internship. Students who maintain a permanent residence outside the Greater Phoenix area will need to establish local housing for the duration of the program.

Can I keep my job while I'm in school?

It is important to remember that most master's programs take 2-3 full years to complete. This program is an accelerated advanced degree program and is very demanding. Consequently, the program is unable to flex in order to meet the demands of a student's work schedule. While students can usually manage a flexible, part-time job (approximately 15-20 hours per week), we discourage students from attempting to work full-time, even with a flexible schedule. Remember, you will be attending classes two full days per week and, after the first two 7.5-week semesters, be spending a minimum of 10-15 hours each work week at your internship placement. This does not take study time into account. You will be very busy with this program!

Are assistantships available?

Because this is an accelerated, applied program with no research activity, assistantships are not available. Assistantships in other Sanford School graduate programs and in other ASU programs are typically granted to students admitted to and enrolled in those programs. Students are free to independently pursue scholarships or other forms of financial aid.

How much does the program cost?

Contact the Graduate College directly for all questions about tuition, the tuition payment schedule, and determination of residency status at: There is a program fee of $475 per each of the 39 semester hours in addition to tuition. The student is also responsible for books, transportation, parking, fees charged by the university, and any other miscellaneous expenses.

When are classes offered?

Classes are held two days each week on the Tempe campus (days may vary from semester to semester depending on classroom availability). Typically students will attend two three-hour classes twice a week. Evening and weekend classes are not offered.

What is the class attendance policy?

Because this is an accelerated, clinical graduate program, students are required to attend all classes. Program policy permits students a maximum of one excused absence (one day) per course each semester at the discretion of MAS-MFT Faculty, not to exceed a total of five excused absences (one day each) during the entire program. The only exception to this is a documented emergency. See page 9 of the Student Handbook for additional information.

Will I be licensed as soon as I graduate?

At present, the State of Arizona has two levels of licensure: Associate and Independent, plus a Temporary License for new graduates who are planning to take the licensing exam on the next available date it is offered. Upon graduating, you can apply to take the licensing exam and, upon passing it, you will receive an Associate License. (Whether or not you apply for a Temporary License depends on the timing of your exam date.) This requires that you work for a minimum of 24 months in an approved setting while accumulating additional supervision and client contact hours. Once you've obtained these hours, you can apply for full licensure, which allows you to practice independently. For the most current information, go to

Will I be able to get licensed in other states?

The MAS-MFT program is designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure in Arizona. Each state determines its own credentialing requirements for mental health professionals. Arizona has one of the more stringent licensure requirements, but it is impossible for us to keep current with other states. If you are considering a move to a particular state, we recommend visiting that state's website to find out what credentialing requirements are.

Can I transfer credits from another MFT program into this program?

No. All of the courses in this self-contained program must be taken as prescribed in the course schedule. No transfer credits or course substitutions are permitted.

Who teaches the classes in the MAS-MFT program?

All MAS-MFT faculty are licensed as marriage and family therapists in Arizona. Co-Director Dr. Karissa Greving Mehall served as President of the Arizona Association for Marriage & Family Therapy from 2010-2012 and then served as Past President until December 2013. Co-Director Mary Doyle was a member of the Arizona State Board of Behavioral Health Examiner's Marriage & Family Therapy Credentialing Committee beginning in 2009 and chaired that committee between January 2014 and October 2015, when the committee was disbanded. Since November 2015 she has chaired the Board's Marriage & Family Therapy Academic Review Committee.

Do I have to find my own internship?

In most instances, no. All approved MAS-MFT internship sites are selected by MAS-MFT faculty. Sites are located throughout the greater Phoenix area. In some specific instances, such as a student failing the internship interview, it will be the student's responsibility to secure an alternate internship placement that meets the approval of MAS-MFT faculty.

Do I automatically start my internship/practicum in the Spring Semester?

Although our first two 7.5-week semester's classes will prepare you to begin your internship/practicum, students will be required to pass a comprehensive examination after successfully completing the first two 7.5-week classes in the fall semester with a grade of 3.0 or higher. Once a student passes this exam, they will be able to interview with internship site directors at potential placements. Each agency will also conduct a background check before approving a student. Important: A felony and/or certain misdemeanors in a candidate's background will make the candidate ineligible for placement at internship sites and thus unable to complete the program.

When are internship/practicum hours?

Hours of operation vary from site to site. Students must be at their internship site for a minimum of a minimum of 15-20 hours each work week and can expect to work a combination of daytime hours, evening hours, and, in some cases, on Saturdays. This reflects the typical work schedule of employed therapists. The more flexible you can be with your schedule, the sooner you will be able to complete your client contact and supervision hours.

Why do I need a car for my internship?

Although Phoenix has public transportation, it is not adequate to get you to and from your internship. In addition, you will likely be providing services to clients in their home as part of your internship. Agencies will also require a valid Arizona driver's license and proof of current automobile insurance, which must be maintained for the duration of the internship in accordance with Arizona law. Having one's own car is also required because student therapists must be able to transport themselves not only to their assigned internship site for in-office therapy sessions, supervision meetings, and case management activities, but also to client's homes when in-home therapy is part of the service plan.

How is in-state residency determined?

Residency status is determined by the Graduate College:

What is the English language requirement for international students?

For international students, proficiency in English as demonstrated by satisfactory TOEFL scores is required. Contact the Graduate College directly through:

Do you admit students each semester?

No. Students are admitted for the fall semester only.

Is this program accredited with COAMFTE (Commission on Accreditation for Marriage & Family Therapy Education)?

No, and there are no plans to apply for accreditation. While the role of accreditation is to ensure a high standard of quality across all MFT programs, we have demonstrated a high standard: our graduates are successfully passing the national licensing exam and becoming licensed in Arizona as MFT's, which is what our program is designed to do. Our faculty members are all Arizona-licensed MFTs with experience in all aspects of working in Arizona as an MFT, including community mental health and community-based private clinics. In addition, the MAS-MFT program has been granted curriculum approval by Arizona's licensing Board, the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (approval is granted for five-year increments) at: Prospective students who wish to investigate accredited programs will find a list of them at

How do I apply?

Application information: The application deadline each year is February 1 for admission for the following fall. All supplemental materials must be received by February 10 or the application will be disqualified as being late. We do not admit students in the spring semester.

When will I know if I've been accepted?

The application deadline is February 1. After the Co-Directors review the pool of applications, some applicants will be selected for a personal interview, which is the next stage of the admission process. Interviews are typically scheduled in mid-February and are conducted in March. At the conclusion of the interviews, we will make admission recommendations to Graduate Education. Not all applicants who are interviewed will be recommended for admission into the program. Graduate Education makes the final admission determination and will notify applicants of the outcome of their application, typically by late April.

If I'm admitted to the program, can I defer my admission?

No. Deferred admissions are not available for this program. If a student who has been admitted determines that he or she cannot attend the program for the year of admission, the student will need to reapply to the program and resubmit the required application materials.

How do I learn more?

Because of the high volume of prospective applicants, it is no longer possible to schedule individual informational meetings. We encourage prospective students to attend one of the group informational meetings on campus in the fall (dates will be posted on the program's webpage by the start of the fall semester) to learn more about the program. Specific questions that are not covered on this webpage can be directed to either or

2016 Reflections

Alexia Coleman

Reflection on this 18-month experience in the MFT program is such a rewarding experience as I am able to think back to the first class and my little understanding of what being a marriage and family therapist truly means. As I began the application process for graduate programs, I remember feeling like the Marriage and Family Therapy program at ASU was the best fit as the systemic approach echoed my own thought process about how relationships work.

Read Entire Reflection (.PDF) 

Courtney Brenner

Although the Marriage and Family Therapy program is a challenging and time-consuming 18
months, I would do it 10 more times because of how rewarding the experience has been!

Read Entire Reflection (.PDF) 

2015 Reflections

Desiree Barnett

Being accepted into and going through this program for the last 18 months has completely changed my life. While I was ready for it to be a challenging experience, nothing could have prepared me for how rewarding and fulfilling it would be.

Read Entire Reflection (.PDF) 

S Montano

Having spent the past seven years working in sports public relations, I had no idea what to expect when I decided to change career paths and move to Arizona from California to enroll in Arizona State University's Marriage and Family Therapy master's program.

Read Entire Reflection (.PDF) 

Tiffany Moser

Deciding which Master's Program will fit what an individual desires to fulfill their future goals and aspirations is not an easy process. Amidst numerous choices available for graduate programs in the mental health field, it is necessary for an individual to intensively research what each Master's program has to offer.

Read Entire Reflection (.PDF) 

Brianna Valencia

I never thought that I would be returning to school for a graduate degree, but I know that in order to go further in my career I needed to pursue a master's degree. I considered the Marriage and Family Therapy Program because I am very interested in helping people with their concerns.

Read Entire Reflection (.PDF) 

For additional information, please contact:

Mary Doyle

Karissa Greving Mehall

Degree Offered

Marriage and Family Therapy, MAS
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of


Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application Deadline

The MAS-MFT program is no longer accepting applications for Fall 2017. The next opportunity to apply is for Fall 2018 – the application process for Fall 2018 will be open starting mid-September, 2017 and the deadline to apply is February 1, 2018.


Come and learn more about the program and meet the program's co-directors.

We invite you to attend one of our informational sessions on the Tempe campus - no RSVP necessary – see you there!

  • Spring dates coming soon!

Tuition and Fees

Students pay graduate tuition (in-state or out-of-state), fees, and a per semester hour program fee of $475. Residency status is determined by the Graduate College. Because this is an applied accelerated program, assistantships and other funding are not available. Students are encouraged to pursue scholarships or other forms of financial aid independently.


MAS-MFT Graduate Handbook