MFT Degrees, Schools, and Careers in Iowa

For those that are interested in pursuing graduate studies in marriage and family therapy (MFT) within Iowa, it is important to note that only one program is currently accredited by the main MFT accreditation organization—the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). However, this does not mean that there is only one MFT program in general across the state—other programs may offer training in couples or family therapy, but are simply not accredited by COAMFTE.

Mount Mercy University is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. MMU offers a 60-credit, M.A. level program that seeks to develop student’s ability to assess, evaluate, and treat a range of problems experienced by couples and facilities. During their time in the program, students complete theoretical training in areas such as play therapy, medical family therapy, general models of marriage and family therapy, and human development. They also complete clinical training through practicums at local agencies, and have the option to complete a research project in the form of a thesis.

There is also the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), which accredits counseling degree programs, including those with specialties in marriage and family therapy. The University of Iowa, the University of Northern Iowa and Drake University all have accredited graduate-level counseling degree programs that may have overlapping curriculum. But none offer MFT-specific tracks within those programs.

Online MFT Degrees in Iowa

According to the AAMFT website, there are no COAMFTE-accredited online-only MFT programs based in Iowa. So, students that are looking for a COAMFTE-accredited program that is flexible and based online should consider programs that are nationally based, such as Northcentral University, which offers a masters-level and doctorate MFT program, or Capella University.

Learn more about an MFT degree online.

MFT Accreditation in Iowa

As stated previously, the Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) represents the main accrediting agency within the field of marriage and family therapy. Programs that are accredited by COAMFTE have the organizations approval, and the educational requirements of accredited programs generally meet the thresholds set by state licensing boards.

However, depending on the state in question, other MFT or counseling programs may provide the education necessary to be licensed as an MFT in Iowa, and these programs may be accredited by other institutions. Within Iowa, the licensure requirements are set by the Department of Public Health, and note that students must complete a COAMFTE-accredited program or a content-equivalent program.

Career Opportunities for MFTs in Iowa

The U.S. Best Jobs Rankings ranked marriage and family therapy as #20 within social services jobs. Average salaries across the nation for this line of work are $63,300 as of May of 2022; within Iowa, the average salary for MFTs is a bit lower at $52,050. Currently, only about 120 MFTs are employed within the state of Iowa, with greater employment opportunities located around the main cities within the state.

As is the case across within other states, individuals interested in pursuing careers in MFT can work in a variety of settings across the private and public sectors, and with a range of different populations, including children and adolescents, families, and the elderly. Read more about the IA MFT licensure requirements.

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends and salary figures for marriage and family therapists are based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed August 2023.

Marriage and Family Therapists Salary in Iowa

Location 10% 25% Median 75% 90%
United States $33,140 $39,130 $51,340 $68,020 $92,930
Iowa $32,850 $40,460 $56,840 $76,140 $96,730
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL $36,710 $41,600 $47,320 $56,490 $64,280
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA $25,900 $32,960 $41,580 $49,920 $60,230

Table data taken from 2020 BLS (

Featured Iowa Schools with MFT Degree Programs