Admissions

NOTICE: ADMISSIONS DEADLINE

The admissions priority deadline is March 15. We continue to accept applications until July 15th or until all available spaces are filled.

Admission Requirements

The minimum requirements for admission into the MS in Marriage and Family Therapy program are as follows: 

  • a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university*
  • an official copy of all college/university transcripts
  • previous coursework in social science, human-services, or mental health related areas
  • a cumulative minimum undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 on all attempted undergraduate coursework
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Millers Analogies Test (MAT)
    • GRE taken before August 1, 2011: Minimum of 400 on the verbal section or 3.5 on the analytical section
    • GRE taken after August 1, 2011: Minimum of 146 on the verbal section or 3.5 on the analytical writing section
    • MAT: Minimum score of 393
    • NOTE: When you are ready to send your GRE scores to the Marriage and Family Therapy program, the online departmental code that you need is 5855
  • three references using the VSU Marriage and Family Therapy Recommendation form. In addition to the form, which is required, letters from recommenders are recommended but not required.
  • an essay describing self and professional goals and discussing the candidate’s reasons for choosing VSU’s MFT program
  • a personal interview with an MFT faculty member

Please note that personal information disclosed in admission materials or during the admissions interview will be treated as confidential. Disclosures will be made only to other professional colleagues, administrators, or staff members who share responsibility for evaluating prospective student or maintaining student files.

*A note about preferred undergraduate majors: Prospective students often ask what major we prefer. We do not have a strong preference for one major over another; however, whether it is through coursework, volunteering, or life experience, we place a high value on applicants who have found ways of learning about what it is like to work in a social service career. Some students find their passion for helping people improve their lives and strengthen their relationships through coursework; others discover how rewarding a career in family therapy can be through life experiences. What is important to the admissions committee is that applicants have been thoughtful about the decision to become a family therapist, and that goal of becoming a family therapist is grounded in accurate information about our field.

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We have found that students with majors or minors in anthropology, sociology, child and family studies, psychology, child development, education, and communication are well prepared for graduate study in family therapy. While these are degrees most commonly held by our students, we have, however, admitted students with majors in general studies, liberal arts, and a variety of other undergraduate degrees. If you are wondering if your undergraduate studies will serve as an appropriate springboard for graduate study in our program, we encourage you to contact the program director and discuss your undergraduate coursework.

Valdosta State University is an equal opportunity education institution. It is not the intent of the institution to discriminate against any applicant for admission or any student or employee of the institution based on the sex, race, religion, color, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation of the individual. It is the intent of the institution to comply with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Subsequent Executive Orders as well as Title IX, Equal Pay Act of 1963, Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Talk to a Current MFT Student and Plan a Campus Visit

Many students who are looking for a graduate program find it helpful to talk to students currently enrolled in the program. The MFT faculty members think this is a great idea, and we encourage prospective students to talk to our students.

A good way to talk to a current MFT graduate student is to contact one of our MFT Graduate Assistants. We always have two Graduate Assistants (GA), one a 1st year and the other, a 2nd year student. We suggest that prospective students talk to both in order to get a good sense of how current students
are experiencing all aspects and levels of the program.

If you want to talk to an MFT GA about the program, here are two ways you can do that:

  • Call FamilyWorks (our student-run family therapy clinic) at (229) 219-1281 between 9am and 11am, Monday through Friday. You will reach either a 1st or 2nd year graduate assistants during their morning intake hours. Ask for Riece Hamilton, one of our excellent graduate assistants.
  • Email Riece. Be sure to include your phone number and mailing address, so that she can both call and send you an information packet.

Probably the very best way to learn more about our program is to visit us! Our graduate assistants can help you to arrange a campus visits,which can include:

  • Sitting in on some MFT classes
  • Lunch or dinner with current students
  • Sitting in on a Clinical Practicum
  • Touring the community and the residential areas where students live.
  • Campus tours, including classrooms, the library, and recreational facilities
  • Tour of FamilyWorks, the program's family therapy clinic

If you prefer to look at written materials, we are glad to send you a program brochure and other written material that describe the program and the field of family therapy. If you would liketo receive an information packet, please send your request, including your mailing address to Riece Hamilton.

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Finally, the MFT faculty members are always glad to talk to prospective students who are considering a career in family therapy or who have questions about our program. Please feel free to call:

  • Dr. Kate Warner (229) 293-6264
  • Dr. Lana Kim (229) 333-7983
  • Dr. Jennifer Lambert-Shute (229) 245-4323
  • Dr. Martha J. Laughlin (229) 249-4961

the Application Process

The MFT program accepts applications all year long, and we review each application as soon as the application packet is complete. The deadline is for submission of application materials – the last date we accept applications for a given year is July 15. The program has usually filled all slots by April, May, or June of that year. After all openings are filled, accepted students are placed on a waiting list, or given the option to defer admission to the following year. We recommend that applications are submitted as early in the year as possible. Although the program admits students all year long, we only admit students for Fall entry. We do not start new students in the Spring or Summer.

The application process is as follows:

  • The applicant submits the required materials to the VSU Graduate School. Note: The departmental code to send your GRE scores to the Marriage and Family Therapy Program is 5855.
  • When all of the application packet is complete, the Graduate School sends the application to the Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT) Faculty
  • The MFT Faculty reviews the application and selects the applicants who move on to the interview stage of the application process.
  • The selected MFT student candidate is contacted and an interview is scheduled.
    • The interview can take place by phone or on campus. Often applicants combine the campus interview with a day-long campus visit.
    • After the applicant is contacted, the interview typically takes place within 5-10 days. When candidates are traveling from out of state, it often takes longer because travel arrangements must be made.
    • Face-to-face interviews takes place with one or two faculty members and usually lasts about one hour. It is a time for the applicant to ask questions about the program and for the faculty to share information about the program requirements. In addition, applicants are asked to talk about a range of topics, including career goals, their approach to diversity – including how they anticipate helping clients who hold values and goals different than their own, their personal philosophy about embracing difference, how they define family, why they wish to become family therapists, how they feel they fit with the VSU family therapy program, and what they are looking for in their clinical training experience.
  • After the interview, the MFT faculty members convene and make a final decision about the applicant. MFT faculty members forward their recommendation to the Graduate Dean.
  • The Graduate Dean reviews the application and the MFT faculty recommendation and makes a final decision to accept or deny the application, then sends the applicant a letter informing him or her of the final decision, a copy of which is simultaneously sent to the MFT Program Director.
  • When an applicant has been granted admission to the MFT program, the Program Director sends the student a letter welcoming him or her to the program. Among other things, the letter . . .
    • informs the student that a slot will not be confirmed until the MFT Program Director is informed in writing (email is fine) of the student’s intent to attend the program.
    • requests that the student provide the Program Director with complete contact information so that arrangements can be made for advising, attending the MFT New Student Orientation, and when needed, getting help relocating to Valdosta.
    • provides the student with a reading list that will help prepare him or her for graduate study in the MFT program.

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The Application Timeline

Action

Approximate Time Frame

The applicant submits the required materials to the VSU Graduate School

Time period determined by the applicant and the time it takes for recommendations, transcripts, and other application materials to arrive

    The Graduate School sends the completed application packet to the MFT Faculty

      2 - 5 days (expect slightly lower processing times in March and April.)

        The MFT Faculty reviews the application and selects applicants who can move to the interview stage of the application process.

          2 - 5 days

            The MFT student candidate is contacted to schedule an interview with MFT faculty member(s)

              2 - 5 days, depending on accessibility and responsiveness of the candidate

                Time that typically elapses between the contact and the interview

                  5 - 10 days, depending on schedule conflicts and travel arrangements

                    MFT faculty members convene and make a final decision about the application.

                      2 - 3 days

                        The Graduate Dean reviews the application and the MFT faculty recommendation and makes a final decision to accept or deny the application.

                          2 - 5 days

                            The Graduate Dean sends the applicant a letter informing him or her of the decision.

                              2 - 5 days

                                Upon receipt of a copy of the Graduate Dean’s letter, the MFT program director sends the admitted student a letter welcoming the student to the program.