Couple Therapy

Doctor of Philosophy in Marriage and Family Therapy

Divorce rates are hovering between 50 and 60 percent. The incidence of couple violence is estimated to be a reality for 40 percent of couples, and up to 70 percent of couples experience infidelity of some kind. Statistics like this highlight the importance of therapists receiving training in the area of couple relationships. However, 80 percent of therapists report treating couples’ issues while less than 12 percent are in a profession that requires even one formal class in the treatment of these and similar issues. The goal of the Couples Therapy specialization is to equip doctoral-level therapists and researchers to become skillful clinicians and front-runners in this complex area of mental health treatment.

General Degree Requirements

The PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy degree requires a minimum of 69 credit hours at the graduate level beyond the master’s degree.

Northcentral University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed toward a non-conferred doctoral degree at an accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better. Transfer credit is only awarded for course work that is evaluated to be substantially equivalent in content with the required course work for the MFT program.

Beyond these standard graduation requirements, the Marriage and Family Therapy doctoral program has the following degree requirements:

  1. Online Video Conferencing – In order to complete some of the course requirements and to participate in the online supervision process that is used during the practicum and internship courses, students are required to participate in several online video conferencing meetings throughout their time in the program. In order to participate in these video conference sessions, students are required to own or otherwise have access to a computer, a web cam, a headset, a video recording device, and a high speed internet connection.
  2. Client Contact – Doctoral students will be required to complete 1000 hours of direct client contact, which includes conducting face-to-face therapy with individuals, couples, families, and groups. At least 500 hours of client contact must be relational (e.g., couple or family). For more information, please read through the practicum and internship course descriptions.
  3. Supervision – In conjunction with client contact, Doctoral students must receive a total of 200 hours of supervision. Supervision of students will occur at the rate of one (1) hour of supervision per every five hours of client contact and will be face-to-face or live supervision conducted by AAMFT Approved Supervisors, Supervisors-in-Training, or equivalent state approved supervisors. In some cases, students may be required to pay for local supervision. This will depend on the clinical placement location, local clinical placement, and/or local supervisor they contract with to complete their practicum and internship requirements. The decision to pay for local supervision is entirely up to the student and not a requirement of Northcentral University.
  4. Liability Insurance – Prior to beginning any clinical experience, students are required to submit proof of professional liability insurance.
  5. Supervision Coursework – In addition to advanced coursework in marriage and family therapy, students in the doctoral program must complete a course in MFT supervision methodology . The supervision course will be conducted in connection with the requirements established by AAMFT for students to become Approved Supervisors. Not all requirements will be completed for the students to achieve the designation while in the program at Northcentral University. The supervision coursework is pre-approved by the AAMFT to count for the 30-hour supervision course requirement. Students will have to complete the direct supervision and supervision mentoring requirements outside of the program in order to quality for the Approved Supervisor designation.
  6. Doctoral Comprehensive Evaluation – Upon completion of all other program requirements and prior to beginning the dissertation process, students are required to complete a doctoral comprehensive evaluation. This evaluation is relevant to the university program only and is in no way related to, preparatory for, or representative of requirements for state licensure or the licensing exam. The evaluation includes four written components and an oral presentation. The written components include: 1) a personal theory of therapy paper, 2) a critique of a research article and proposal, 3) a detailed response to an ethical dilemma, and 4) a written case illustration that is consistent with the theory of therapy paper. Once the written components are completed, the student is required to prepare and complete an oral presentation of the theory of therapy and case illustration. This is completed through online video conferencing with at least three MFT faculty members present.
  7. Dissertation – The capstone of doctoral training is the completion of the dissertation process. All programs at Northcentral University use a facilitated dissertation process which is purposefully designed to help students follow a step-by-step sequence in the preparation and completion of a doctoral dissertation. For students in the MFT program, the dissertation must be related to marriage and family therapy and be consistent with the student's selected area of specialization. (Note: This program can be completed with a minimum of 12 credit hours in Dissertation Courses, but may require additional credit hours, depending on the time the student takes to complete the dissertation research.)

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 8 years to complete all doctoral programs of more than 60 credit hours.

Competencies for PhD Programs in MFT

  • Competency in Research Writing Skills - PhD students are required to complete both MFT7101 and MFT7102 at Northcentral. Students are required to show competency in writing skills for research purposes throughout their Northcentral graduate coursework. Students may request on their own behalf or may be recommended to complete an English writing course if the School Dean or faculty determine communication skills are insufficient for doctoral-level work.
  • Graduate-Level Research Methods Competency - PhD students are required to complete MFT7103, MFT7106, and MFT7107 at Northcentral.
  • Graduate-Level Statistics Competency - PhD students are required to complete MFT7104 and MFT7108 at Northcentral.
  • Computer Competency - Doctoral students are required to have computer skills necessary for completing a dissertation. Students must be able to prepare documents using advanced word processing skills (e.g., creation of tables and figures, headers and footers, page breaks, tables of contents, hanging indents). Students must use computer programs for the statistical analysis of data (e.g., SAS). Students must produce a computer-based presentation (e.g., PowerPoint) for their dissertation oral defense.

Credit Hours

This program can be completed with a minimum of 69 credit hours, but may require additional credit hours, depending on the need for Standard Curriculum courses and the time required to complete the dissertation research.

Foundation Courses - 12 credit hours, Required Courses - 21 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

MFT7101

Foundations for Doctoral Study in MFT

This course prepares students for success in a PhD program in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy at Northcentral University, by introducing relevant technologies, reviewing professional standards and expectations, and developing critical thinking skills. Topics and practice include a review of the history of the field of family therapy, an overview of systems theory and the major models of family therapy, professional ethics, research strategies, academic integrity, and respect for diversity. Course activities will emphasize personal application and compliance with the style and formatting standards of the American Psychological Association. Students will identify and begin to explore potential research topics for use in their doctoral studies. Students will also manage and utilize an e-Portfolio to begin a collection of scholarly artifacts and materials for use throughout their doctoral program.

MFT7102

Scholarly Writing in MFT

In this course, students will learn to formulate ideas, search for and appraise text and online resources, and critically analyze and thoughtfully synthesize research findings. The student will become familiar with various writing and communication formats, such as evaluation reports, proposals, papers, poster presentations, annotated bibliographies, PowerPoint Presentations, scholarly websites, and blogs, and practice those appropriate to their degree and career goals. The student will also develop techniques for following APA form and style and avoiding plagiarism.

MFT8101

Advanced Theories in MFT

This course is designed to be an advanced survey of the theoretical literature related to the practice of marriage and family therapy. The course includes an integrative and critical thinking focus on systems theory, attachment theory, agentive theory, common factors and the metaframeworks perspective. Course content will be related conceptually to clinical concerns.

MFT8102

Dynamics of Family Interaction

This course examines the theoretical and empirical contributions to the understanding of marital and family systems. The specific focus of the course is on the processes and dynamics of interaction within these relationships. The course will include content on the history of family life, diverse family types, roles and rules in families, family problems and family health, and rituals in family life. Conceptualizations of effective functioning in marriages and families will be studied and various factors that impact marital and family systems will be addressed.

Required Courses

MFT7103

Research Methods in MFT

This doctoral-level course focuses on the fundamentals of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches to research in marriage and family therapy. Students gain an understanding of the strengths and limitations of each approach, and how these methods apply to a research topic. The concepts of research ethics, scholarly research writing, and developing a research proposal will also be explored and practiced.

MFT7104

Statistical Design for MFT Research

This course provides an introductory exploration of statistics for the graduate student. It includes instruction on the calculation, use, and interpretation of descriptive statistics, and introduces inferential statistical analysis. The emphasis of this course is on providing a working knowledge of basic statistical concepts to help the student understand statistical methodology used in family therapy research, and also more generally, developing a working knowledge of statistical usage in everyday life.

MFT7105

Advanced Assessment in MFT Research and Intervention

In this course, students are trained to administer assessment instruments as an evaluative component of clinical practice and research in marriage and family therapy. Students will become familiar with the use of a wide variety of assessment instruments and clinical assessment procedures relating to children, individuals, couples, and families. Students will also identify specific measurement and evaluation tools or methods for potential use in their own dissertation research.

MFT7106

Quantitative Research Design in MFT

This course provides students with the skills essential in the critique and execution of quantitative research methods relating to marriage and family therapy. Course content will cover evaluation and critique of research processes, research problems, research designs, selection of appropriate methods of data collection, data analysis strategies, interpretation of findings, and research/evaluation report writing. Students will develop a preliminary methodological design for potential use with their envisioned dissertation research.

MFT7107

Qualitative Research Design in MFT

This Doctoral level course will focus on understanding fundamental assumptions within the qualitative research paradigm, the utility and experience of performing qualitative research inquiry in contemporary family therapy, and exposure to various methods and approaches to data collection within the qualitative paradigm. There is an emphasis on clinical research from a systems perspective and students will be expected to take a learning-through-doing/experiential approach. Course activities will develop a students appreciation of a qualitative research stance, ability to critically review various field methods within qualitative research, and development of qualitative research writing skills via reflexive journals and fieldnotes. Although we will focus primarily on only a few, through readings and experiential activities, students will be exposed to a variety of qualitative research methods. These will include Phenomenology, Grounded Theory, Action Research, Performance and Arts-Based Ethnography, Narrative Inquiry, Life Histories/Case Studies, Critical Ethnography, Fieldwork Interviews, Discourse and Conversation Analysis, and Focus Groups. The signature activity of the course is a draft of the students Methodology dissertation chapter.

MFT7108

Advanced Data Analysis Strategies in MFT

This course is an intermediate examination of statistical analyses commonly used in the field of marriage and family therapy (MFT). It prepares doctoral MFT students with the skills required to plan, conduct (using SPSS), report, and interpret quantitative statistical analyses. Topics include: basic statistical knowledge, probability theory, exploratory date analysis, assumptions for statistical tests, parametric, and nonparametric tests. Specific analyses include: correlation, regression (simple, multiple, and logistic), basic ANOVA, and advanced ANOVA techniques.

MFT7109

Planning Dissertation Research in MFT

Students in this course will begin the process of writing a dissertation. The course will address the University dissertation process and aids to successfully completing a dissertation, including self-care and time management.

Standard Curriculum – Applicants are not required to have taken the exact same course, but they must have completed the required number of credit hours in courses in the same content area. Courses must have been passed with a B or higher.

Areas/Courses Available

Name

Credits Required/Course Descriptions

Area I

Theoretical Knowledge

6 Credit Hours - Area I content will address the historical development, theoretical and empirical foundations, and contemporary conceptual directions of the field of marriage and family therapy. It should enable students to conceptualize and distinguish the critical epistemological issues in the profession of marriage and family therapy. The material will provide a comprehensive survey and substantive understanding of the major models of marriage, couple, and family therapy.

MFT5104

Treatment Planning and Traditional Family Therapy

This course uses a treatment planning focus while training students to have a thorough understanding of traditional models of marriage and family therapy. Course content will be focused on application of these clinical models to common clinical concerns and will address a wide variety of presenting clinical problems. Material and assignments in the course will address family therapy practice and be related conceptually to theory.

MFT5105

Recovery Oriented Care and Postmodern Family Therapy

This course trains students to work with clients using a recovery-oriented approach that focuses on client strengths and working collaboratively toward meaningful change and improvement. Using this focus, course content will address social constructionism, narrative, solution-focused, and collaborative models of therapy as well as other postmodern trends. Course material will address a wide variety of presenting clinical problems and will address contemporary conceptual directions of the field of marriage and family therapy.

Area II

Clinical Knowledge

9 Credit Hours - Area II content will address, from a relational/systemic perspective, psychopharmacology, physical health and illness, traditional psychodiagnostic categories, and the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of major mental health issues. It will address contemporary issues, which include but are not limited to gender, sexual functioning, sexual orientation, sex therapy, violence, addictions, and abuse, in the treatment of individuals, couples, and families from a relational/systemic perspective. The material will address a wide variety of presenting clinical problems.

MFT5103

Systemic Evaluation and Case Management

This course provides students with foundational training in understanding and using various assessment and evaluation tools and methods with clients with attention to individual, couple, and family level evaluations. This course also trains students in standard case management methods including identifying and aligning clients with appropriate community resources.

MFT6102

Psychopathology, Diagnosis, and Systemic Treatment

Using a relational/systemic perspective, this course will address the traditional psychodiagnostic categories as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The focus of the course content will be on the assessment and treatment of major mental health issues through marriage and family therapy. This course is designed to address the program's second Student Learning Outcome (SLO) which states, "Students will apply family systems oriented clinical skills across a variety of contexts (SLO-2)."

MFT6105

Couple and Sex Therapy

This course will address several models of couple and sex therapy. Within each model there will be a focus on assessment of couples’ dynamics, goal setting, and potential interventions. Specific attention will be given to the development of a personal theory of working with couples based on a foundation of existing models.

Area III

Individual Development & Family Relations

6 Credit Hours - Area III will include content on individual and family development across the lifespan.

MFT6101

Lifespan Individual and Family Development

This course will include content on individual and family development across the lifespan. Specific emphasis will be given to developmentally appropriate and atypical transitions related to common concerns in marriage and family therapy.

MFT6103

Cultural Diversity, Gender, and Family Therapy

This course addresses issues related to diversity and power and privilege as they relate to culture, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, sexual orientation, and spirituality. Economic diversity and the impact of poverty on individuals and families are emphasized. Each of these types of diversity is examined with respect to the relevance they have to the profession and practice of family therapy.

Area IV

Professional Identity & Ethics

3 Credit Hours - Area IV content will include professional identity, including professional socialization, scope of practice, professional organizations, licensure, and certification. The content will focus on ethical issues related to the profession of marriage and family therapy and the practice of individual, couple, and family therapy. A generic course in ethics does not meet this standard. The areas will address the AAMFT Code of Ethics, confidentiality issues, the legal responsibilities and liabilities of clinical practice and research, family law, record keeping, reimbursement, the business aspects of practice, and familiarity with regional and federal laws as they relate to the practice of individual, couple and family therapy.

MFT5102

Legal, Ethical, and Professional Development in MFT

This course will include content regarding professional identity, including professional socialization, scope of practice, professional organizations, licensure, and certification. The course will focus on ethical issues related to the profession of marriage and family therapy and the practice of individual, couple, and family therapy. Specifically, students will address the AAMFT Code of Ethics, confidentiality issues, the legal responsibilities and liabilities of clinical practice and research, family law, record keeping, reimbursement, and the business aspects of practice. The course will inform students about the interface between therapist responsibility and the professional, social, and political context of treatment.

Area V

Research

3 Credit Hours - Area V content will include significant material on research in couple and family therapy. This area will focus on research methodology, data analysis and the evaluation of research. It will include quantitative and qualitative research and its methods.

MFT5106

Research Methods and Evidence Based Practice

This course investigates existing research and research methods used in marriage and family therapy as well as research ethics training, evaluation of existing research, understanding common research designs, and exploring potential research options of interest to the students. Course content also focuses on the importance of a scientist-practitioner approach to clinical work and the validation and use of evidence based practices in family therapy.

Area VI

Additional Learning

6 Credit Hours - Additional learning will augment student's specialized interest and background in individual, couples, and family therapy. Additional courses may be chosen from coursework in a variety of areas but should be related to the field of Marriage and Family Therapy in some way.

MFT6104

Family Therapy with Children

This course is designed to provide clinically relevant background information, theory, and therapeutic models and interventions for a wide variety of presenting clinical problems relevant to children. Course material will address family therapy practice and be related conceptually to theory. Specific methods of therapy with children and facilitating parental and family involvement will be discussed. Facilitating child involvement in the therapeutic process for families will be addressed as well.

MFT6106

Families in Crisis

This course will address contemporary crisis-related issues in marriage and family therapy to include gender, violence, addictions, and abuse. It will also address the treatment of individuals, couples, and families from a relational/systemic perspective with respect to these issues. The focus will be on the effects of trauma and stress on family life and relationships as well as recovery from a variety of related presenting issues.

Clinical Experience

Must include face-to-face client contact under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional.

MFT6951

MFT Practicum I

This course provides students with an opportunity to engage in ongoing therapeutic practice. Emphasis is placed on the development of therapy and assessment skills, theoretical integration, and personal growth. The local on-site supervisor will provide regular supervision of the student and assist the student in managing cases. The Northcentral University Mentor will maintain regular contact with students and site supervisors and will facilitate the process of learning and knowledge integration. Additionally, students will participate in individual and group supervision with the Northcentral University faculty member. Students with an LMFT license (or equivalent) are not required to have an on-site supervisor. Students must enroll in two Practicum courses (MFT 5495: Practicum I and MFT 5496: Practicum II). MFT 5495: MFT Practicum lasts 16 weeks and students are required to be clinically active for the duration of that time. It is intended that students will accrue at least 125 client contact hours. To meet this requirement, students should plan to complete a minimum of 8 direct (face-to-face) client contact hours per week. Additional time will be needed each week in order to complete paperwork, set appointments, read relevant material, and complete course assignments. Direct services can include intake interviews, assessment, and therapy for individuals, groups, couples and/or families. Half of all client contact hours (i.e., 62.5 hours) must be relational (couple or family). Students must receive one hour of supervision (individual or group) for every five hours of client contact. These hours will be accrued between supervision with the on-site supervisor as well as the Northcentral University faculty member.

Total Credit Hours

36

* Courses must have been completed at a regionally accredited institution and passed with a B or higher, and be approved by NCU MFT faculty

Specialization Courses - 12 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

MFT8301

Advanced Couple Therapy

This course involves an in depth study of systemic approaches to couple therapy. Topics will focus on assessment methods, empirical research on couple therapy, specific models of couple therapy, integration of course content with personal case work, special problems in couple relationships, and the dynamics of gender and diversity in relation to couple therapy.

MFT8302

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

This doctoral level course will familiarize students with the concepts, theory, and application of emotion-focused couple therapy. Emphasis will be placed on the role attachment and attachment injuries play in couple interaction and how interactional cycles of the relationship are impacted by individual fears, unmet needs, and trauma.

MFT8303

Systemic Sex Therapy

This graduate level course covers information pertinent to human sexuality and sex therapy. Ancillary aspects of sexuality are also explored, including: influences on human sexual behavior, physiological, psychological and socio-cultural variables associated with sexual behavior and gender identity. A significant focus of the course is the application of systemic concepts to the assessment and treatment of psychosexual disorders and sexual dysfunctions. Ethical considerations will be explored throughout the course.

MFT8304

Treating Infidelity and Sex Addiction

This course will examine the individual, family, and societal issues pertaining to infidelity and sex addiction. Specific methods of assessment and treatment will be studied. In addition, attention will be given to the effects of the internet on infidelity and sex addiction.

Doctoral Practicum & Internships - 9 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

MFT8951

MFT Doctoral Practicum I

This course provides students with an opportunity to engage in ongoing therapeutic practice. Emphasis is placed on the development of therapy and assessment skills, theoretical integration, and personal growth. The local on-site supervisor will provide regular supervision of the student and assist the student in managing cases. The Northcentral University faculty member will maintain regular contact with students and site supervisors and will facilitate the process of learning and knowledge integration. Additionally, students will participate in individual and group supervision with the Northcentral University faculty member. Students with an LMFT license (or equivalent) are not required to have an on-site supervisor. Students must enroll in two Practicum courses (MFT 5495: Practicum I and MFT 5496: Practicum II). MFT 5495: MFT Practicum lasts 16 weeks and students are required to be clinically active for the duration of that time. It is intended that students will accrue at least 125 client contact hours. To meet this requirement students should plan to complete a minimum of 8 direct (face-to-face) client contact hours per week. Additional time will be needed each week in order to complete paperwork, set appointments, read relevant material, and complete course assignments. Direct services can include intake interviews, assessment, and therapy for individuals, groups, couples and/or families. Half of all client contact hours (i.e., 62.5 hours) must be relational (couple or family). Students must receive one hour of supervision (individual or group) for every five hours of client contact. These hours will be accrued between supervision with the on-site supervisor as well as the Northcentral University faculty member.

MFT8961

MFT Doctoral Internship I (1-credit course)

Doctoral students are required to complete a clinically focused internship for a duration of nine months. This nine month experience is organized into three one-credit courses, each being 12 weeks in duration. The first of these is MFT 8991. For students that have not completed and documented a total of 1,000 direct client contact hours (at least 500 relational) and 200 hours of direct supervision from a qualified MFT supervisor, this internship time is focused on completion of these requirements. For those that have completed the required client contact and supervision hours, the doctoral internship may be a combination of clinical work, clinical research, or clinical teaching. Prior to beginning the internship, students must complete the pre-internship process and receive approval from the MFT Clinical Coordinator to begin the internship process. At that time, the MFT Clinical Coordinator works with students to establish how many hours they have successfully completed toward those that are required for graduation. As part of the internship course students must complete quarterly reports, signed by their internship supervisor(s), regarding the completion of client contact hours, relevant paperwork, and supervision and/or documented research or teaching activities. Additionally, students must submit a supervisor’s evaluation of the student’s clinical work and/or professional development. Forms for the supervision contract, clinical hours reports, and quarterly evaluations are available in the Resources area for this course. In addition to completion of the required clinical, research, and/or teaching experience and supervision, during the internship course, students must prepare for and take the practice exam for the national licensing exam. Finally, students must prepare and submit a portfolio that illustrates how their internship experience has facilitated professional development toward the accomplishment of professional goals established at the onset of the internship process.

MFT8962

MFT Doctoral Internship II (1-credit course)

Doctoral students are required to complete a clinically focused internship for a duration of nine months. This nine month experience is organized into three one-credit courses, each being 12 weeks in duration. The first of these is MFT 8991. For students that have not completed and documented a total of 1,000 direct client contact hours (at least 500 relational) and 200 hours of direct supervision from a qualified MFT supervisor, this internship time is focused on completion of these requirements. For those that have completed the required client contact and supervision hours, the doctoral internship may be a combination of clinical work, clinical research, or clinical teaching. Prior to beginning the internship, students must complete the pre-internship process and receive approval from the MFT Clinical Coordinator to begin the internship process. At that time, the MFT Clinical Coordinator works with students to establish how many hours they have successfully completed toward those that are required for graduation. As part of the internship course students must complete quarterly reports, signed by their internship supervisor(s), regarding the completion of client contact hours, relevant paperwork, and supervision and/or documented research or teaching activities. Additionally, students must submit a supervisor’s evaluation of the student’s clinical work and/or professional development. Forms for the supervision contract, clinical hours reports, and quarterly evaluations are available in the Resources area for this course. In addition to completion of the required clinical, research, and/or teaching experience and supervision, during the internship course, students must prepare for and take the practice exam for the national licensing exam. Finally, students must prepare and submit a portfolio that illustrates how their internship experience has facilitated professional development toward the accomplishment of professional goals established at the onset of the internship process.

MFT8965

MFT Doctoral Internship and Portfolio (1-credit course)

Doctoral students are required to complete a clinically focused internship for a duration of nine months. This nine month experience is organized into three one-credit courses, each being 12 weeks in duration. The first of these is MFT 8991. For students that have not completed and documented a total of 1,000 direct client contact hours (at least 500 relational) and 200 hours of direct supervision from a qualified MFT supervisor, this internship time is focused on completion of these requirements. For those that have completed the required client contact and supervision hours, the doctoral internship may be a combination of clinical work, clinical research, or clinical teaching. Prior to beginning the internship, students must complete the pre-internship process and receive approval from the MFT Clinical Coordinator to begin the internship process. At that time, the MFT Clinical Coordinator works with students to establish how many hours they have successfully completed toward those that are required for graduation. As part of the internship course students must complete quarterly reports, signed by their internship supervisor(s), regarding the completion of client contact hours, relevant paperwork, and supervision and/or documented research or teaching activities. Additionally, students must submit a supervisor’s evaluation of the student’s clinical work and/or professional development. Forms for the supervision contract, clinical hours reports, and quarterly evaluations are available in the Resources area for this course. In addition to completion of the required clinical, research, and/or teaching experience and supervision, during the internship course, students must prepare for and take the practice exam for the national licensing exam. Finally, students must prepare and submit a portfolio that illustrates how their internship experience has facilitated professional development toward the accomplishment of professional goals established at the onset of the internship process.

MFT8970

MFT Supervision Methods

This course introduces the fundamentals of systemic supervision with an emphasis on the importance of contextual variables such as culture, SES, and ethnicity. There is also an exploration of the impact of gender on the supervisory relationship. The design of the course meets the criteria for the 30-hour supervision fundamentals course for the AAMFT Approved Supervisor track. The intention is for the course also to be useful for any professional who is actively engaged in clinical supervision. Learning methods include short writing exercises and 15 hours of participant involvement in videoconferences with colleagues and course mentor. During the videoconferences there will be critiques of vignettes, role playing exercises, and discussion of short papers. Participants wishing to pursue the AAMFT Approved Supervisor designation should verify their eligibility with AAMFT.

Doctoral Comprehensive Exam - 3 credit hours. Dissertation Courses - 12 credit hours

Course Code

Name

Course Description

CMP9500MFT

MFT Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

In their pursuit of a research doctoral degree (PhD) at Northcentral University, students gain expertise in their academic discipline and in one or more specializations that complement their academic discipline. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is intended to assure that students have mastered knowledge of their discipline before candidacy status is achieved and their dissertation work is initiated. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is taken following the completion of all foundation, specialization and methods courses. This course is graded using Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) grading criteria. The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination must be successfully completed with an “S” grade prior to beginning any work in Dissertation courses. This course may only be retaken once.

DIS9501MFT

Doctoral Dissertation Research I

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least every 28 calendar days. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9502MFT

Doctoral Dissertation Research II

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least every 28 calendar days. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9503MFT

Doctoral Dissertation Research III

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least every 28 calendar days. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

DIS9504MFT

Doctoral Dissertation Research IV

In this course sequence, students work progressively on completing each doctoral dissertation milestone toward the completion of the PhD degree. These milestones include Committee and University approval of a dissertation concept paper, a dissertation proposal paper, an approved IRB application by the Northcentral University Institutional Review Board, the collection and analysis of research data, the preparation and approval of the final dissertation manuscript, and the successful completion of the oral defense. Courses are taken continually and sequentially until all dissertation milestones have been completed. Throughout these courses, students often work independently but are required to be in communication with the Chair of their Dissertation Committee at least every 28 calendar days. These courses are graded utilizing Satisfactory (S) and Unsatisfactory (U) as the grading criteria.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s PhD MFT costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $943
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $2,829
  • Program cost: $65,067-$89,950
  • Average Book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Technology Fee: $0
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

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