Frequently Asked Questions

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What is accreditation?

 Accreditation is a public service that aims to: a) improve the quality of educational programs in marriage and family therapy; b) encourage programs' ongoing self-evaluation, development, and improvement; and c) serve as an indicator that programs continually evaluate themselves in relation to their institution’s and program’s mission, and meet established standards as measured by their own stated goals, educational objectives and established outcomes.

What does it mean that a program is ‘COAMFTE accredited’?

Programs accredited by COAMFTE have completed a multi-year application and review process to demonstrate their compliance with COAMFTE Standards. Successfully completing this process demonstrates that the program has met a minimum set of standards set by the subject matter experts in the MFT field.

Can an individual be accredited by COAMFTE?

No, only masters, doctoral and post-degree clinical training programs in marriage and family therapy in the United States and Canada can be accredited.

Is it a requirement that a program in Marriage and Family Therapy be accredited by COAMFTE?

No, but there are many benefits to both the program and its students for the program to be accredited by COAMFTE. Some benefits include graduates meeting licensure requirements with more ease, eligibility to be hired by such employers as the Veterans Administration and accreditation providing the structure for continuous self-evaluation, peer review, and quality improvement for programs.

Why should I attend an accredited MFT program?

  • Ensure you will receive, a quality education in marriage and family therapy that has been evaluated and has met accepted standards established by the profession.
  • Ensure that your program faculty will be active participants in contributing to the body of knowledge for the field of marriage and family therapy.
  • Ensure that your program does what it promises on its website and promotional materials.
  • Prepare you for licensure as a marriage and family therapist.
  • Allow for ease of transferability of coursework, clinical hours, and credits completed among COAMFTE-accredited programs.
  • Ensure you will be prepared for the national and/or state examination in marriage and family therapy.
  • Facilitate your attainment of a state license as a marriage and family therapist by providing a recognized qualifying degree.
  • Facilitate obtaining a MFT license when you move from one state to another by providing a recognized qualifying degree.
  • Give you an advantage in obtaining employment as a marriage and family therapist.

How do I find out if the MFT program that I am attending is accredited?

You can search for your program in the COAMFTE Accredited Program Directory on the COAMFTE website. 

What if my program is not on the list of accredited programs?

You can contact to see if your program is currently seeking accreditation or if your program was accredited in the past.

If I attended a program that is not COAMFTE-accredited, will I still be eligible to become licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist?

Licensure is regulated at a state level and licensure requirements vary from state to state. We recommend that you contact the licensing board in the state you would like to seek licensure.  Please find a listing of State Licensure Boards at  

Where can I find information on the MFT National Exam for licensure?

For questions regarding the MFT National Exam, please contact the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.  For specific questions and information about the MFT National Exam, please visit  Some other resources that may be helpful on the AMFTRB website are the FAQ section and the Candidate Handbook.

If my program is seeking accreditation, will I be a graduate of a COAMFTE-accredited program?

Each licensure board and employer uses a different definition to determine if an individual is considered a graduate of a COAMFTE accredited program. We would encourage you to contact relevant licensure boards and employers to clarify their definition and requirements.

If I transfer from a non-accredited program to a COAMFTE-accredited program, will my courses be accepted for transfer?

Transfer credit approval is determined by each institution’s policies and procedures. Individuals interested in transferring should review the new program’s website, published policies, and contact core program faculty and administrators.

If I graduated from a COAMFTE-accredited program, will I meet the licensure requirements in a different state from the program I graduated from?

Programs often develop their degree requirements to satisfy the licensure requirements of their state. Additionally, graduating from a COAMFTE-accredited program often helps meet the licensure requirements in many states besides the one the program resides in. However, requirements vary from state to state and you should review the requirements in any potential state you would like to seek licensure in.

Is a program still accredited if it has stipulations or on probation?

Yes, programs with stipulations and on probation are still accredited. Programs with stipulations or on probation have deficiencies in their compliance with the Accreditation Standards and must submit reports to COAMFTE to demonstrate their compliance. Programs on probation may lose their accreditation if the stipulations are not removed in a certain timeframe. Individuals should contact COAMFTE staff and the program if they have a question about their accreditation status.

How do I bring a complaint about a program to the attention of COAMFTE?

Students who wish to submit a complaint about a COAMFTE accredited program need to follow the COAMFTE Compliant Procedure by using this form.

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