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Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy

RIGOROUS EDUCATION & CLINICAL TRAINING MEET FIRST-RATE FACULTY SUPPORT

If you’re serious about pursuing a career as a marriage and family therapist, the COAMFTE and IACSTE-accredited PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy program at NCU will provide you with a quality education and training experience that will challenge you to develop your critical thinking and research skills to a higher degree, while applying what you learn to professional practice in the field of marriage and family therapy.

Not only is Northcentral University regionally, COAMFTE and IACSTE accredited, but we’ve designed our online degree program to help you acquire the knowledge, skills, practical application and values that will shape you into a competent, ethical and culturally sensitive marriage and family therapist.

Becoming a marriage and family therapist is more than just a job—it’s about helping individuals, couples and families navigate the natural stressors of life and come out better and stronger than before. If you’re serious about pursuing a career as a marriage and family therapist, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Northcentral University will provide you with a quality education and training that will challenge you to develop your critical thinking and research skills to a higher degree, while applying what you learn to professional practice.

PHD IN MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPY: PROGRAM AT A GLANCE

8 professionally relevant specializations
Total Credit Hours: 63-99 Credit Hours
Courses: 21-35 Courses
Recommended Completion Time: 56 Months
Next Start Date: Every Monday
Classroom Size: One

COMPLETE YOUR DOCTORAL PRACTICUM/INTERNSHIP IN YOUR LOCAL AREA

At Northcentral University, the Director of Clinical Field Placements and other faculty and staff will work with you to arrange a local site at which you will complete your required face-to-face clinical training (Practicum) and your 9-month internship. Faculty will provide suggestions and assistance in finding a local placement site and qualified supervisor in your area. It is ultimately your responsibility to secure an acceptable placement. Once you are approved to begin your clinical work or internship, in addition to your local supervised experience, you will work with a Northcentral faculty member who is an AAMFT Approved Supervisor or supervisor candidate using our distance-based synchronous practicum/internship process. You will meet regularly with your faculty member along with two to five other MFT students viewing recorded sessions with clients and discussing clinical skills and knowledge. Security features are utilized to maintain confidentiality and security of client records and to meet HIPAA regulations.

Marriage and Family Therapy Resources

Read our Guide to Marriage and Family Therapy

Program Handbook

The Program Handbook is designed to serve as a guide that provides you with applicable information that can help you succeed in your goal of becoming a marriage and family therapist. You will find policies and forms related to program admission, confidentiality, student progress and retention, graduation, program learning outcomes, the organizational structure of the program, specific program requirements, discussion on pursuing licensure, and other relevant program documents. It is a supplement to, but not a substitute for, the Northcentral University Catalog to access a web-based version of the handbook.

Purpose
Provide you the opportunity to pursue a PhD in MFT in a specialized area where you are able to complete your coursework online and your clinical training and doctoral research in your local community.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) is expected to grow almost a third (29%) over the next decade, much faster than average for all occupations. Whether you are a working mental health professional or a new therapist, NCU’s online Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral program is designed to help you acquire the knowledge, skills, practical application and values that will shape you into competent, ethical and culturally sensitive marriage and family therapist. Within the marriage and family therapy doctoral degree program, you will choose from five specializations to better focus your education to match your career goals.

Outcomes
Throughout the program, you will develop advanced clinical skills in a specialization of your choosing through doctoral practicum and internship work and doctoral-level research methodology and theory, and will be prepared to find employment in the marriage and family therapy field.

Within this rigorous program, you will complete a variety of requirements, including:

  • MFT standard curriculum courses
  • Focused clinical specialization content courses
  • Advanced clinical training through doctoral practicum and internship work
  • Integrated research training throughout the curriculum
  • Doctoral ePortfolio
  • Doctoral Dissertation
  • Program Student Learning Outcomes

Northcentral University’s Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) programs have specific goals and student learning outcomes (SLO) that are designed to support the mission, philosophy, goals and objectives of the MFT program and those of Northcentral University. The goals and SLOs are reviewed on a regular basis and revised to reflect professional marriage and family therapy principles, educational guidelines, the needs and input from communities of interest, and the advancement of the program and the MFT profession.

The program faculty has established the following mission, goals and SLOs for the PhDMFT program. The mission of the program is articulated below, along with a table that provides a visual representation of how these goals and outcomes are linked and support one another, and are congruent with the missions of the program and the University.

Program Mission

The mission of Northcentral’s PhDMFT Program is to prepare competent, ethical, culturally sensitive Marriage and Family Therapists. The program emphasizes a family systems perspective so that client processes, whether these clients are individuals, couples, or families, are conceptualized relationally and systemically. Faculty engage students in a one-on-one process that invites students to grow both professionally and personally through the development of critical thinking skills, information literacy, important clinical skills, an appreciation for and knowledge of research through the scholar-practitioner model, a valuing of diversity, and a lifelong commitment to learning and service.

Program Knowledge Goal Student Learning Outcome #1
1. The NCU PhD Program will prepare students to apply relational/systemic knowledge to positively impact individuals, families, and communities. 1. Students will cultivate relational/systemic innovations addressing contemporary issues in the field of marriage and family therapy.
Program Practice Goal Student Learning Outcome #2
2. The NCU PhD Program will guide students in developing advanced relational/systemic clinical competence. 2. Students/graduates will develop expertise in an area of specialization related to the field of couple/marriage & family therapy.
Program Diversity Goal Student Learning Outcome #3
3. The NCU PhD Program will demonstrate a clear commitment to diversity and social justice. 3. Students will cultivate competence in working with diverse populations in various contexts.
Program Research Goal Student Learning Outcome #4
4. The NCU PhD Program will foster the development of scholar-practitioners in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy. 4. Students will create new knowledge in couple/marriage and family therapy through independent research.
Program Ethics Goal Student Learning Outcome #5
5. The NCU PhD Program will train students to practice as ethical professionals. 5. Students will appraise relational/systemic ethical behaviors in various settings.

Take a Look at the Cultural Diversity of NCU MFT Students, Alumni and Faculty

As a PhD in MFT graduate, you may choose to follow one of four career paths or a combination of the following roles: clinician, administrator, academic and researcher.

Clinician: Many graduates will take their advanced clinical training, pursue state licensure and provide mental health services in a private practice, community-based non-profit agency, or governmental or educational institutions. Our graduates often work as clinical supervisors in these organizations.

Administrator: Many graduates will use their PhD to advance their current employment status, often within the same organization in which they are currently working. The degree helps them advance into an administrative role over mental health or social services organizations/departments.

Academic: Many graduates will pursue full-time or part-time employment as faculty/instructors in universities and graduate programs.

Researcher: Some graduates will pursue a professional career as a researcher in the area of social services, mental health, or human services.

Northcentral University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. For more information on COAMFTE accreditation, visit their website.

COAMFTE requires accredited program to provide Student Achievement data, starting with the year the program becomes accredited. The following table provide all Student Achievement data for the Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy Program.

Accredited: May 2015 - Advertised Program Length (6.2 years)

Cohort Year Students Entered Program # of Students Enrolled in Program # of Active Students Graduation Rate (%)* Maximum Graduation Rate (%)** Job Placement Rate (%)*** National Exam Pass Rate (%)****
2014 - 2015 24 16 12.5% (Advertised program length not yet reached) 12.5% (Maximum program length not yet reached) 100% 75%
2015 - 2016 36 26 Advertised program length
not yet reached
Maximum program length
not yet reached
Advertised program length
not yet reached
100%
2016 - 2017 58 44 Advertised program length not yet reached Maximum program length not yet reached Advertised program length not yet reached 100%
2017 - 2018 45 39 Advertised program length not yet reached Maximum program length not yet reached Advertised program length not yet reached 100%
2018 - 2019 14 14 Advertised program length not yet reached Maximum program length not yet reached Advertised program length not yet reached 100%
* Advertised Graduate Rate is defined as the percentage of students who graduated from the program within the time frame the program is designed to be completed.
**Maximum Graduate Rate is defined as the percentage of students who graduated within the maximum allowable time in which a student could finish the program.
***Job Placement Rates by cohort is defined as the percentage of graduates from the cohort year listed that are employed utilizing skills learned in the COAMFTE accredited program.
****This is defined as the percentage of graduates and students from the cohort year who passed the state or national licensing exam for Marriage and Family Therapy, after having sat for the exam at least once.