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Marriage and Family Therapy - Master's

Availability: Hattiesburg Options

Study Marriage and Family Therapy at USM!

If you’re looking for an intensive training experience, consider our COAMFTE accredited MFT program. Our mission is to prepare highly skilled and ethical mental health clinicians. We fulfill our mission through a student-focused process that results in enhanced self-awareness, more authentic relationships, and more effective clinical skills. Our students engage in focused clinical training that includes the provision of 500 hours of direct therapy services through both our on-site training clinic and community placements.

The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at USM is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and meets the educational requirements for licensure in the state of Mississippi.

View our Student Achievement Data and Tables.

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100%Pass Rate on National Exam
96% Employment Rate within 3 months
6:1 Student Faculty Ratio

What Will I Learn?

Students enrolled in the academic and clinical training in the MFT program advance their knowledge and skills in the following areas:

• Development of genuine relationships with self and others
• Increased self-awareness, healthy boundaries, and self-worth
• Assessment and diagnosis of mental illness
• Joining and creating an effective therapeutic alliance
• Application of therapy models and interventions that promote change
• Enhanced understanding of diversity and global awareness
• Provision of therapy services to individuals, couples, and families

  1. A minimum of 2.75 undergraduate GPA
  2. Three reference letters that speak to your ability to succeed in graduate school and your emotional maturity; two letters must be from former professors
  3. A written essay identifying your personal and professional goals
  4. A resume
  5. A personal interview with the program director and clinical faculty

The first application deadline is January 1 and qualified applicants will be invited to interview shortly afterward. Acceptance of applications will continue until all program slots are filled.

Our mission is to train highly effective and ethical mental health clinicians. Therefore, the program has a strong clinical focus. In addition to the therapeutic services provided by students within the program’s training clinic, students also have the opportunity to complete internships in a variety of community-based clinical placements. These placements have included settings such as in-patient psychiatric wards, school-based therapy with children and adolescents, addictions centers, community mental health settings, and the USM student counseling center to name a few. These clinical experiences result in skilled clinicians whose services are highly prized.

The MFT program at USM has a strong track record of student support and success including:

  • Financial support in the form of graduate assistantships and tuition waivers (as funds permit)
  • Strong faculty/student mentoring
  • 100% pass rate on National MFT Exam for the past 6 years
  • 96% employment within 3 months following graduation for past 6 years
  • 100% acceptance into Ph.D. program of choice for past 4 years

Faculty, staff, and students in the marriage and family therapy program at Southern Miss embrace diversity of people and thought, including but not limited to culture, race, ethnicity, age, gender, class, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical and mental abilities, religious and spiritual values, immigrant/language status, and belief systems.  Through the curriculum, classroom activities, clinical experiences, and professional development opportunities, students and faculty collaborate to expand our world view, facilitate understanding and acceptance, and enhance our ability to co-construct meaningful therapeutic experiences for all people.

Our students, faculty, supervisors, and clients represent diversity on many dimensions, including culture, race, ethnicity, age, gender, class, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical and mental abilities, religious and spiritual values, immigrant/language status, and belief systems.  Below is a description of our students, faculty, and supervisors:

2017-2018 Students

We currently have 22 students in the USM marriage and family therapy program. Nine percent are male, and 91% are female.  Eighty-two percent are European-American, 14% are African-American, and 5% are Hispanic.


Of the four full-time faculty members in the MFT program, 50% are male and 50% are female.  All are European-American.  There are two ancillary faculty members who teach coursework in the program: 50% are European-American, and 50% are African-American. Both are female.


There are five on-site supervisors in the MFT program who supervise all clinical work. All are AAMFT Approved Supervisors and licensed marriage and family therapy supervisors in the state of Mississippi. Forty percent are male, and 60% are female. All are European-American. 

As part of their clinical training, students may have the opportunity of completing some of their clinical hours within a community placement site. These placement sites provide students with the opportunity to work with diverse populations in a variety of settings and to receive additional training from supervisors with a wide range of experiences and perspectives. Currently, there are seven individuals who are supervising the clinical and administrative work of our students in placement.  Eighty-six percent are female and 14% are male. Eight-six percent are European American and 14% are African American. Forty-two percent are licensed clinical social workers, 29% are psychologists, and 29% are licensed professional counselors.

Faculty/Student Mentoring

A hallmark of the MFT program is faculty/student mentoring. Faculty maintain an open-door policy and invite dialogue. Although the program’s focus on personal growth can be intense, faculty are actively engaged in the process through experiential activities, feedback, and group exploration that enhance self-awareness and promote therapist development. Faculty serve as clinical supervisors participating in live supervision and observation in our clinic, where students receive real-time feedback and guidance as they enhance their clinical skills.


Degree Plan Availability
Marriage and Family Therapy MSHattiesburg
  • Psychiatric Unit Therapist
  • Child and Adolescent Therapist
  • School-based Therapist
  • Community Mental Health Therapist
  • Addictions Therapist
  • Private Practice Therapist
  • Colby Pomeroy, 2017
    Primary Therapist, Catalyst Residential Treatment Center, Brigham City, Utah
  • Chasity Barbour, 2014
    Children and adolescent therapist, AltaPointe Health Systems, Mobile, Alabama
  • Benjamin Wood, 2016
    Clinical Therapist, Gratitude Program at Forrest General, Hattiesburg, MS
  • Jessie Kelly, 2013
    Clinical Director, Youth Opportunity Investments, Tennessee
  • Regan Deal-Linton, 2015
    C-Campus Resource Coordinator, USM Center for Child Development
  • Leslie Anderson, 2012
    Doctoral student, marriage and family therapy, University of Georgia