MFT Degrees, Schools, and Careers in South Dakota

Currently, there are no programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) or the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Just because no programs within the state are accredited, it does not mean that there are no opportunities for graduate education in marital and family therapy (MFT) in South Dakota. For instance, South Dakota State University offers a M.S. in Marriage and Family Counseling. However, students that are wishing to practice MFT as a licensed MFT within the state of South Dakota should ensure that any program of education that they pursue meets the educational requirements outlined by the state in which they plan to practice.

Online MFT Degrees in South Dakota

In the past several years, COAMFTE has begun accrediting programs that are completely based online. However, to date, no online-only MFT programs based out of South Dakota have received accreditation from COAMFTE. As such, students that wish to have the flexibility and convenience of online schooling should seek out other COAMFTE-accredited institutions based in other states, such as Capella University (which offers an M.S. program) and Northcentral University (which offers an M.A. and PhD programs).

Learn more about an online marriage, family, and therapy degree.

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MFT Accreditation in South Dakota

The South Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners indicates on their website that in order to practice as an LMFT in South Dakota, individuals should complete at least 48 hours of coursework, 1,700 hours of post-graduate supervised clinical hours, and pass the national examination for MFT therapists. Individuals that attend a COAMFTE- or CACREP-accredited program are guaranteed to meet the educational requirements outlined by the state.

Overall, “accreditation” refers to a process through which a given educational program verifies that its educational programming meets requirements outlined by a given accrediting organization. Within the field of MFT, the main accreditation organization is the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Nevertheless, as indicated above, so long as a given program provides students with an education that meets minimal requirements as outlined by the state, students can apply for and receive licensure.

Career Opportunities for MFTs in South Dakota

Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 40 MFTs employed in South Dakota. MFTs can seek employment in a range of settings, including state and local governments, hospitals, individual and family care centers, child care services, and residential treatment centers. The mean salary for MFTs within South Dakota is $47,580, which is lower than the national average ($63,300); however, the lower cost of living in South Dakota likely makes up for this difference in salary.

Nationally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 14% increase in positions available for MFTs over the next decade, indicating rapid growth in the profession. The U.S. News and World Report ranks marriage and family therapy as the No. 20 job within social services, based on factors such as salary, the job market, future growth, stress, and work life balance. Read more about SD MFT license 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 South Dakota

Location 10% 25% Median 75% 90%
United States $33,140 $39,130 $51,340 $68,020 $92,930
South Dakota $29,970 $34,420 $40,670 $48,180 $55,320
Sioux Falls, SD $32,110 $35,390 $41,510 $48,890 $59,940

Table data taken from 2020 BLS (

Featured South Dakota Schools with MFT Degree Programs