Application Requirements

Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (MMFT)

Application Deadlines

Deadline Interview Day* Notification by
Round 1 November 1, 2018 November 30, 2018 December 20, 2018
Round 2 January 15, 2019 February 22, 2019 March 15, 2019
Round 3 March 15, 2019 April 12, 2019 April 19, 2019

*By invitation only

Application Requirements

A complete application includes all of the following:

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions (see instructions below)
  • Resume/CV
  • Official GRE test scores
  • Essay and two short answer responses
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • $90 non-refundable application fee
  • Interview (by invitation only)
  • International applicants only: TOEFL or IELTS scores

Application Checklist


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.

Application Instructions

Follow the instructions below to complete your application. For printable summary of the application instructions, download and print the application checklist.

Please note the following:

  • ALL application materials must be submitted by the round deadline in order to receive notification of your admission decision by the corresponding notification date. Incomplete applications may be delayed to the next application review round.
  • Applicants who submit a complete application early will receive primary consideration for USC Rossier Scholarships.

1. Complete the online application

You may save your information and continue to complete your application at a later date. If you are applying to multiple programs please indicate this in your application.

  • Enter your name as it appears on your government issued ID. Indicate any alternate or previous names in the “other name” field (i.e. maiden name)
  • Enter the email address USC Rossier should use to communicate with you throughout the application process.

2. Request college or university-issued official transcripts

College or university-issued transcripts must be received from all post-secondary institutions you attended, regardless of whether credit or degree was earned.

Transcript submission is a two-step process:

Step One:

  • Request that official transcripts from each college or university you attended be mailed to your residence (print-outs from portals are not acceptable).
  • Scan and upload these official transcripts into the application system online. College or university-issued transcripts must be received from all institutions attended (regardless of whether credit or a degree was earned).

Step Two:

  • After you submit your application and receive your 10-digit USC ID number, request that a second copy of all official transcripts be sent from all institutions directly to USC. You can use one of the following two methods to send USC your official transcripts:

Electronic transcripts
Official electronic transcripts are preferred as long as they are from a U.S. institution. Transcripts must be emailed directly from the college or university to the USC Office of Graduate Admission at

Hard copy transcripts
Hard copies of official transcripts from all post-secondary schools you have attended should be sent to the addresses provided below:

University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

Transcripts must arrive at USC in a sealed envelope from the institution. You may not send transcripts that have been previously opened.

3. Upload a resume/CV

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 program.

  • Make sure your resume clearly outlines your role(s) and responsibilities within each organization and highlight any special achievements or accomplishments

4. Request an official copy of your GRE test scores

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

  • Take your exam no later than a month before the application deadline
  • Use institution code 4852 (no department code is required)
  • Test scores should be sent electronically from the testing service to be considered official. Photocopies or paper copies are NOT acceptable.

5. Enter your essay and short answer responses

Essay responses will be used to evaluate your personal, professional and educational experiences, path to a degree in student affairs and ability to effectively communicate ideas and organize written thoughts.

  • Answer the required essay and short answer questions in the online application. Remain within assigned character limits for each question.

6. Input contact information for recommenders

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.

  • Provide the name and email address for each reference who will electronically submit a letter of recommendation. References will receive an email with a password and directions.
  • References must complete the cover sheet and write a letter.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure all recommendations are submitted by the deadline.

7. Submit $90 application fee or obtain fee waiver

  • Application fees must be paid via credit or debit card
  • An application fee waiver is available to applicants who meet certain eligibility criteria. If you choose to apply for a fee waiver you must:
    1. Start your online application – do not submit until fee waiver is approved.
    2. Provide supporting documents to demonstrate qualification.
    3. Have your fee waiver request approved.
    4. Complete and submit your online application.

    Eligibility criteria and instructions for obtaining a fee waiver can be found at the USC Graduate Admission website.

8. Interview (by invitation only)

  • Competitive candidates who have submitted a complete application will be invited to the interview date corresponding with the round in which their application was submitted.
  • Alternate interview appointments will be set up for candidates who are not able to attend the interview day.


USC Rossier welcomes international applicants. If you are a citizen of a country other than the United States, please be aware that you are subject to U.S. government regulations regarding entry into the United States and enrollment in programs. Please follow these additional instructions to complete your application:

Request official copy of TOEFL & IELTS
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. 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.

  • TOEFL: To send scores, use USC’s ETS code 4852
  • IELTS: Select “University of Southern California” at the time of registration. Alternatively, provide this information to your testing center after taking the test. Scores are valid if earned within two years of the intended first term at USC
  • No department code is required to send TOEFL and IELTS scores

Financial Statement
If you are not a U.S. citizen or resident, you may also be asked to submit a Financial Statement/Verification of Funds document.

For more information, visit the international student application’s page.


  • Once your application is submitted, refer to your application portal for timely and accurate updates on your application status (including missing items).
  • If your application is complete by the round application deadline, you can expect to receive notification of your admission decision by the corresponding notification date.

Additional Resources

Review the Application FAQs

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact:

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