Marriage & Family Therapy

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  What are the qualifications to become a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)?

A.  You must complete a master’s or doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy.  Programs accredited by the "Commission On Accreditation Of Marriage And Family Therapy Education" (COAMFTE) at the time of the applicant's degree conferral are automatically approved, and those applicants may apply to take the licensing exam during the final semester of their degree program.  Applicants with degrees not accredited by COAMFTE must 1) meet the educational requirements here: http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/4757-25-01, 2) must have fully completed and earned their degree, and 3) must submit additional information to determine eligibility to take the licensure exam.

Q.  Can I apply if I’m in the last semester of my MFT program?

A.  If you are currently enrolled in the final semester of a master’s or doctoral program accredited by COAMFTE, you are welcome to apply at any time after your final semester begins.  If your program is not accredited by COAMFTE, you must wait until after your degree has been conferred in order to apply.

Q.  How do I apply for the MFT license?

A.  Refer to the MFT Quick Links on this page, and click MFT Application Instructions.

Q.  How do I complete the BCI/FBI background checks required for this license?

A.  You can refer to the MFT instructions, or go directly to the BCI/FBI section of our website here:  http://cswmft.ohio.gov/BCIFBIBackgroundChecks/BCIFBIInstructions.aspx

Q.  If I have a criminal record, what additional information do I need to provide?

A.  Along with your online application, you will be required to provide a complete explanation of the underlying circumstances of the crime, with sufficient rehabilitation evidence, and a certified copy of the court documents (judgment entry) related to your conviction. Applicants are required under law to report all misdemeanor and felony convictions, with the exception of minor traffic violations (DUI/OVI charges are NOT considered traffic violations, and must be reported as criminal convictions). Failure to report any police record is falsification of an application and is grounds for denial.  Please be aware that if you have a conviction, your BCI/FBI checks may take up to 30 days for the Board to receive, and your file may also require additional review by the Board before the license can be issued (the Board meets every 60 days).

Q.  Does applying for the MFT license also give me approval to take the exam?

A.  Yes.  Once you submit an application and the appropriate documentation, you will receive an email with approval to take the AMFTRB exam, and instructions on how to register with AMFTRB for that test.  Allow 5-7 business days for processing.

Q.  How do I prepare for the exam?

A.  The Board contracts with an exam vendor called the Association of Marital & Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.  They are the ones who offer the exam.  Many answers to your questions about exam structure and content can be found on their website, amftrb.org.  They do sell study material through their website, and there are many other providers of study material as well.

Q.  Aside from taking the exam, what else do I need to do to get licensed?

A.  Refer to the MFT Quick Links on this page, and click MFT Application Instructions.

Q.  Once I pass my test, is my license automatically issued?

A.  Your license will be issued once you have completed ALL the steps required for licensure.  See above.

Q.  On average, how long does it take to get licensed? 

A.  Fortunately, that’s mostly up to you.  Processing time on our end is usually not significant.  Once you complete everything and get it all sent in to us, licenses are generally issued within 5-7 business days.  Keep in mind, if you’re applying in your final semester, you can’t be licensed until you graduate at the earliest.

Q.  Is there a temporary license available?  How do I get that?

A.  There are very, very limited situations where a temporary MFT license can be issued.  See our website here:  http://cswmft.ohio.gov/MFTs/MFT-Temporary-License-Instructions

Q.  I have a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee (MFTT) registration.  Can I keep working under that until I get my MFT license?

A.  Your MFTT is valid for 60 days after the end of each semester.  As long as you’re still performing work duties at your internship/field site, your MFTT is valid during that time period at that site.   Once you’ve graduated, it can’t be renewed again.  And keep in mind, if you’re going to work somewhere else, your MFTT is NOT valid at that site.  It’s only valid when you’re working at your internship site. 

Q.  Once my MFT is issued, how long is it good for?

A.  MFT licenses need to be renewed every two years.

Q.  How do I renew my license?

A.  Renewal information can be found on the Board’s website here:  http://cswmft.ohio.gov/Renewal.aspx  You will complete 30 hours of continuing education (including 3 hours in ethics), complete a renewal application through the Board’s website, and pay the renewal fee.

Q.  What are the continuing education requirements for renewal?  How do I find CEUs? 

A.  The requirement is 30 hours of continuing education every two years, including 3 in ethics.  CEUs need to be approved by this Board for MFTs.  Out of state or online courses approved for counselors or social workers CAN be approved for MFTs, provided the applicant submits a request for post-program approval (see below)  There are many other sources of continuing education as well, such as college coursework, teaching and presenting, and authoring peer-reviewed journal articles.  You can find information on CEU sources on our website here:  http://cswmft.ohio.gov/Renewal/ContinuingEducationRequirements.aspx  You can also find a list of Board-approved CEUs on this page.

Q.  What is the scope of practice for an MFT? 

A.  For information on the duties you’ll be able to perform with this license, see the rule here:  http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/4757-27-01