Rossier Audiences

Master of Marriage and Family Therapy

Next program start date: June 28, 2017

Deadline Notification by
Round 1 December 1, 2016 February 15, 2017
Round 2 January 15, 2017 March 15, 2017
Round 3 March 15, 2017 May 15, 2017

Applicants who submit a complete application early will receive primary consideration for USC Rossier Scholarships.

Review the Application FAQs

Application Requirements

A complete application includes all of the following:

  • Online application
  • $90 non-refundable application fee
  • Resume
  • Essay and two short answer responses
  • Official GRE test scores
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Scanned copies of university-issued official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether credit or a degree was earned)
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants only)
  • Interview (by invitation only)

Begin Application Process


Online Application

You must create an Apply Yourself (AY) account in order to apply to a graduate program at USC. Please set aside 45 to 60 minutes to complete the online application. Alternatively, you may save your information and continue it at a later date. If you are applying to multiple programs (including dual degrees), you will need to create a separate account for each application you wish to submit.

To begin the online application, visit the USC Graduate Admissions website.


A resume or CV highlighting your personal and professional experiences is required. Your resume should be detailed enough to help the Admissions Committee understand the various experiences – extracurricular, leadership, or volunteer – that have shaped your interest in the MFT program.

Essay Responses

Essay responses will be used to evaluate an applicant’s personal, professional and educational experiences and the ability to effectively communicate ideas and organize written thoughts. Applicants are required to submit three essays. Essays should be double-spaced and up to two pages in length.

  1. Discuss your interest in the MFT program and how you believe it will help you to reach your short- and long-term professional goals.
  1. In considering your personal, educational, and employment background, in what ways do you hope or expect to contribute to the academic and professional community at USC Rossier?
  1. The mission of the Rossier School of Education is to strengthen urban education locally, nationally, and globally. For more information on our approach to transforming urban education, please review our mission. Reflecting on this mission, what assumptions, thoughts, and conclusions have you drawn about working in the urban context and what evidence from your own experiences, interests and abilities supports these thoughts and conclusions? In writing about urban education, many applicants consider issues of diversity, economics, equity and reform. Please also describe what role(s) you have played and/or will play as a leader and/or change agent.

Official Test Scores

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
All applicants are required to submit a valid score on the GRE general examination. There is no minimum score for consideration. If you take the GRE more than once, we look at your highest score in each section from each sitting. The GRE score may not be more than five years old.

International students whose native language is not English and who completed their undergraduate work outside of the U.S. are required to submit an official TOEFL iBT or IELTS score as part of their application. You must have taken the test within the past two years. In order to be a competitive applicant, you must receive a score at or above 100 iBT or 250 CBT.

Official test scores should be sent from the testing agency directly to USC. Only scores received directly from the testing service are considered official. USC does not accept self-reported test scores.

USC’s ETS school code is 4852. Applicants taking the GRE or TOEFL should use this code to ensure that USC receives your official test results. No department code is required.

If you are sending IELTS scores, please select “University of Southern California” from the list of schools available for official score submission.

Letters of Recommendation

Three letters of recommendation are required. Ideally, your recommendations should come from current and former supervisors who can comment on the value you have added to your workplaces, or former instructors who can describe your ability to perform well in graduate-level courses. Recommenders will receive an email with a password and directions to upload a letter. Recommenders must write a letter. Simply completing the recommender cover sheet will not suffice. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure recommenders submit an actual letter.

Official, Sealed Academic Transcripts

You may request and send transcripts prior to submitting the online application. You must send official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, regardless of whether or not credit or a degree was obtained. If the name on your transcripts is different than your current name, please include your current name on your transcript.

Electronic transcripts are preferred as long as they are from a U.S. institution. Please send transcripts to USC Rossier at .

(NOTE: While the USC Office of Graduate Admissions also accepts electronic transcripts at, you do not need to submit transcripts to both offices. One copy sent to USC Rossier will suffice for your application.)

Hard copies should be sent to:

USC Rossier School of Education
Office of Admission and Scholarships
1150 South Olive Street
Suite 2100
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Review Timeline

Once your application is submitted and processed you will receive regular email updates (to the email address you provided on your application) indicating which documents have not been received. If you submitted a complete application by the deadlines listed above you will receive your admission decision by the corresponding notification date. In rare cases we may need additional information from you. If this is the case, our office will be in contact with you to ensure timely processing of your application.

Additional Admissions Criteria

Academic Background

The Admissions Committee looks for candidates whose prior academic work demonstrates the capability to succeed in a rigorous graduate program. All candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Applicants whose prior study was outside the United States must have completed the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. There are no set prerequisite courses or majors, and prior coursework in education or psychology is not required. The Admissions Committee reviews performance in all prior postsecondary coursework.

Evidence of Professional Promise

The ideal candidate is ready to begin work as a Marriage and Family Therapist upon completion of the program. Prior work or volunteer experience is helpful, but not required for admission to the program. Competitive applicants will likely have a record of involvement and leadership in both their personal and professional lives, which may include campus organizations, school volunteering, civic endeavors, community groups, and/or professional associations.


An interview is required of all competitive applicants under consideration for admission. The interview is an important element in determining if an applicant’s maturity, capacity for self-reflection, interpersonal skills, career focus, and motivation are appropriate to a career as a Marriage and Family Therapist.

Competitive candidates who have submitted complete applications will be contacted to schedule an interview. Interview dates will be updated as dates become available. Alternate interview appointments will be set up for candidates who are not able to attend an interview day.

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Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact:

Pedro Vasquez
Assistant Director, Office of Admissions and Scholarships
(213) 740-0224