The Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy prepares students to contribute to family therapy scholarship and theory as advanced clinicians, researchers, supervisors, and educators. A focus of the program is training students from diverse backgrounds in a multiculturally informed and multi-systemic perspective.
The Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).
Defined by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's 60x30 Strategic Plan as, "Those skills valued by employers that can be applied in a variety of work settings, including interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skills areas. These skills can be either primary or complementary to a major and are acquired by students through education, including curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities."
- Critically consume research literature.
- Academic/scholarly writing skills.
- Quantitative and qualitative research skills.
All students must meet the University requirements as outlined in the Admission to the TWU Graduate School section of the catalog.
This academic program may have additional admission criteria that must also be completed as outlined on the program's website.
Total Semester Credit Hours Required
A minimum of 90 semester credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree, including 6 semester credit hours for dissertation. 30 of the 90 credit hours must be research courses. The Ph.D. in Marriage & Family Therapy requires 60 semester hours of courses beyond the master's degree.
No grade below B is accepted towards any graduate degree in the Department of Human Development, Family Studies, and Counseling (HDFSC). If more than one grade below B is earned while enrolled in any HDFSC graduate program, the student will be dismissed from the program and will be ineligible to re-enroll in any program within the department for a period of 8 years.
The Ph.D. in Marriage & Family Therapy requires students to complete an advanced mentored experience across two semesters focused on two of the following areas: research, grant writing, supervision, college teaching, clinical specialization, and advanced clinical theory.
Passing a criminal background check may be required by TWU and/or certain facilities associated with the required clinical work or for certifications/licensures. If students are unable to be cleared on any of these requirements, they may not be eligible to continue in the program or become certified/licensed.
Students must submit a degree plan which follows the degree requirements listed below. The degree plan should be developed in collaboration with the student's advisor and committee, and it should be filed after the student has completed 18 hours of course work.
The Department of HDFSC requires students to complete 12 hours of research tools. The department has a list of courses that meet the research tool requirement, and these courses are part of the degree requirements listed below. They are also included in the 30 hours of research focused course work required by the Graduate School.
The Department of HDFSC administers a qualifying exam for each student prior to admission to candidacy. The student must complete the required research tools before being eligible to take the exam. Students must take the qualifying exam in their last or second-to-last semester of course work. In no case may a student be excused from the qualifying exam, and students may not register for dissertation hours (HDFS 6983 and HDFS 6993) until they have successfully passed the exam and have been admitted to candidacy. The qualifying exam may only be repeated once. Students who fail two attempts at the qualifying exam will be dismissed from the program.
Dissertation and Final Examination
All students are required to complete a dissertation. Upon completion, the student will participate in an oral defense of the dissertation and the research upon which it is based. The student's advisory committee will determine the outcome of the exam. The final examination may only be repeated one time.
|The following prerequisite courses, or reasonable equivalents, will be completed in the student’s Master's degree program. If not, they must be taken at the beginning of the doctoral degree program. In addition, students must have completed an internship experience in their Master's degree program (minimum of 12 months and 500 (200 relational) direct client contact hours).|
|Lifespan Human Development|
|Statistics for Family Sciences|
|Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment Planning for Counselors|
|Systemic Couple and Sex Therapy|
|Foundations of Family Therapy Theory|
|Research Methods in Family Sciences|
|Women and Minority Issues in Sex and Family Therapy|
|Issues and Ethics in Professional Development|
|Collaborative Healthcare in Marriage and Family Therapy|
|Family of Origin|
|Systemic Clinical Theory & Applications to Contemporary Challenges|
|MFT 6243||Advanced Applications of Family Therapy to Contemporary Challenges||3|
|MFT 6563||Advanced Family Therapy Theory||3|
|MFT 6903||Special Topics (Rotating topic - must be approved by advisor)||3|
|Foundations of Teaching, Supervision, & Leadership|
|MFT 6253||Supervision in Family Therapy||3|
|HDFS 6343||Effective College Teaching Methods||3|
|HDFS 6433||Grants Writing in Family Sciences||3|
|HDFS 6003||Advanced Study of the Lifespan||3|
|HDFS 6193||Advanced Statistics for Family Sciences||3|
|HDFS 6203||Frameworks and Ethics for Qualitative Research in Family Sciences||3|
|HDFS 6403||Theory Building in Family Sciences||3|
|HDFS 6443||Research and Issues in Family Sciences||3|
|HDFS 6693||Advanced Quantitative Research Methods In Family Sciences||3|
|HDFS 6793||Advanced Qualitative Research Methods In Family Sciences||3|
|HDFS 6893||Multivariate Statistics||3|
|HDFS 6873||Dyadic and Longitudinal Analyses with Structural Equation Modeling||3|
|Specialty Area/Career Goals|
|All electives must be approved by the student’s doctoral degree plan committee prior to enrolling in the courses.|
|Select 3-4 SCH from the following||3|
|Supervision Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy|
|Academic Life and Scholarship|
|Family Financial Counseling|
|Principles and Methods of Teaching Health Professionals|
|History of Health and Medicine|
|Foundations of Health Science|
|Strategies in Health Education Delivery|
|Health Advocacy and Leadership|
|Neurodevelopmental and Genetic Disorders In Children|
|Autism Spectrum Disorders|
|Psychopathology and Exceptionalities in Childhood and Adolescence|
|Therapeutic and Crisis Interventions for Children and Adolescents|
|Foundation of Reading: Physiological And Psychological Dimensions|
|Nature of Literacy in the Adolescent Years|
|Social Psychology Theory|
|MFT 6813||Advanced Practical Experience in Marriage and Family Therapy (two semesters)||6|