Application Requirements

To apply, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. A degree in behavioral or family sciences is preferred, but if your background is in another field, you must take (or have previously taken) an introduction to psychology and a human development course. These courses can be taken at an outside institution.

CohortsEarly Decision DeadlinePriority Application DeadlineFinal Application DeadlineClasses Begin
January 2024
August 18
September 15
October 23
January 2024

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Common Prerequisites

Application Requirements

Common Prerequisite Degrees and Courses

Behavioral/Family Sciences Bachelor’s Degrees

  • Psychology
  • Social sciences
  • Behavioral sciences
  • Child and family services
  • Human development and family studies
  • Family science

Introduction to Psychology: Common Course Titles

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Basic Concepts in Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Personality Theories

Human Development: Common Course Titles

  • Developmental Psychology
  • Human Development—Lifespan
  • Lifespan Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Child Development
  • Adolescent Development
  • Introduction to Developmental Psychology

Application Requirements

Your completed application must include the following items:

  • Transcripts: Provide both unofficial and official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions or programs attended. You may upload unofficial transcripts to the online application, but matriculating students must submit official transcripts before the end of their first quarter.

Official transcripts must be sent electronically to or by mail to the following address:

Application Processing Center
PO Box 30096 011-001
College Station, TX 77842

  • Letters of recommendation: Provide at least two letters from professional or academic references who can attest to your dedication to helping others and your ability to succeed in a rigorous master’s program. If you are more than five years removed from your degree, you do not need to submit an academic letter. Those unable to access an academic reference may instead submit an addendum.
  • Resume/CV: Upload your current resume or curriculum vitae. Be sure to include any volunteer experiences you may have.
  • Statement of Purpose: Write a statement describing your interest in earning a graduate degree in marriage and family therapy online. Explain, in no more than 2 pages single-spaced, how your academic and/or professional background has prepared you to succeed in the program and how you will be an asset to the Northwestern community. In your statement, please respond to the following questions:
    • What personal/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 (rather than social work, counseling, or clinical psychology)?
    • What attracts you to the MFT@Northwestern program?
    • Describe a time in your life when things did not go well for you. Focus on the circumstances of this event and how you handled the associated challenges.
    • A diversity statement is optional but highly encouraged.
  • Application fee: Pay the $95 application fee by debit or credit card within the online application. Please contact an admissions counselor before submitting your priority application in order to receive an application fee waiver.
  • International scores: If applicable, submit your TOEFL or IELTS scores with your application.
  • Background check: The Family Institute at Northwestern University requires all applicants with conditional admissions to the MFT program to complete an online background check to determine criminal history. Having an adverse criminal history does not necessarily preclude admissions, as determinations are considered at a case-by-case decision.
    If information from the background report is utilized in whole or in part in making an adverse decision regarding admissions, prior to the decision The Family Institute will provide the applicant with a copy of the consumer report and a written description of his or her rights under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Group Interview

A group interview is a required piece of the admissions process. After your application is complete, you may be invited to participate in a peer-group interview with one faculty member and up to eight other prospective students in our online classroom.

For a successful interview, ensure you have a stable Internet connection and choose a quiet, distraction-free location.

Financial Aid

We encourage you to apply for financial aid when you complete your online application. For more information, visit our financial aid page.

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact the admissions team at 1-844-684-6221 or