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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I practice family therapy with a degree in MFHD?
No, the MFHD program seeks to strengthen the family by studying family processes and contributing to the academic conversation in support of the family. Those who wish to practice therapy will need a master's degree in marriage and family therapy, social work, or some other clinical degree.


Can I enter the MFHD PhD program without a master's degree?
No, we require a master's degree before students can enroll in the MFHD doctoral program.


How long does the program take?
A master’s degree generally takes 2-2.5 years. A doctorate takes 4-5 years.


Can I go part time?
Yes; however, it will decrease your chances of being admitted. Also, students attending part time struggle to complete their degree within set time limits.


Do you offer online graduate courses?
No.  If you are interested in our program, you will need to live within driving distance in order to attend class.


How can I maximize my chances of being admitted?
Write a very specific letter of intent. Decide on one or two areas you would like to focus your studies on (e.g. young children, adolescents, marriage, aging, fatherhood) and gear your letter of intent to that focus.


What about test scores?
The GRE general test is required to apply. We will not accept GRE scores from 5 or more years ago.  The GMAT or other scores cannot be substituted. International students are required to take the TOEFL.  The TOEFL scores are valid for up to two years before the semester they would begin our program.


How good do my GRE scores have to be?
On average, students admitted into the master’s program scored in the 60-70th percentile on the verbal portion of the exam, in the 50-60th percentile on the quantitative and in the 50-60th percentile on the analytical writing portion.


Is there financial aid available?
Yes, all admitted students are offered a financial package consisting of a research assistantship and/or tuition assistance.


What if I don’t know anyone who can write me a letter? Can I have a friend or someone else write one?
Students are expected to have instructors and/or professionals they have worked with who can accurately report on their skills and abilities that would qualify them for graduate school. Having a letter of recommendation from a friend, family member, or ecclesiastical leader, would be an indication that you have not prepared yourself well for graduate school.


Can I take courses before I am admitted to the program?
Students with a bachelor's degree who wish to take classes at BYU without being admitted to a graduate program must apply through the undergraduate admission application. These students are given post-baccalaureate studies status. To be considered for admission for post-baccalaureate studies, applicants should have a 3.0 (B) grade point average and complete an undergraduate application with a statement attached explaining their purpose in seeking enrollment and describing the courses they intend to take. There is no application fee. Prospective applicants for BYU graduate programs are not encouraged to register for classes on a post-baccalaureate studies basis in hopes of subsequent admission to a graduate program. Post-baccalaureate studies students must register on a space-available basis after they are admitted and the semester begins, obtaining permission from the graduate class instructor and adding the course using an ADD code. International students (unless they are permanent residents) are not eligible for post-baccalaureate studies. During Fall and Winter Semesters enrollment is limited to part time (11.5 hours or less).  Questions about post-baccalaureate studies applications should be directed to an undergraduate admissions counselor in the BYU Admissions Office.


Does taking graduate courses before I am admitted to the program increase my chances of getting in?
You are discouraged from enrolling in post-baccalaureate studies courses as a means of gaining admission. Credit taken after the baccalaureate degree has been received without admission to a graduate program is defined as post-baccalaureate studies credit. Students subsequently admitted to graduate programs should not expect all post-baccalaureate credit to apply to their graduate programs. In some instances, departments may recommend that post-baccalaureate studies credit apply to a master’s degree; however post-baccalaureate studies and senior credit combined cannot exceed 6 credit hours.


How many students are admitted each year?
Between 6-10 students are admitted each year.  The distribution between the MS and PhD programs varies from year to year.