Ph.D. in Marriage & Family Therapy

The doctoral program in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) has a long and rich history. The program addresses family processes and empirically-supported relational interventions for today’s diverse families through the engagement in programmatic research and advanced clinical preparation.

Our emphasis is on providing the training necessary to become a scholar well-equipped for an academic position while advancing clinical expertise. The program is designed to produce MFT leaders who are invested in contributing to scientific knowledge through sophisticated programs of research.

The Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Florida State University (FSU) is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, (703) 838-9808, coa@aamft.org.

FSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Clinical Faculty

Dr. Lenore McWey

lmcwey@fsu.edu
850.644.3217

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Dr. Kristen Greene

khgreene@fsu.edu
850.644.1588

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Dr. Jonathan Kimmes

jkimmes@fsu.edu
850.644.3217

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Dr. Michele Parker

mparker5@fsu.edu
SAN 212

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This program only admits students in the fall. All application materials must be received by deadline.

Program Deadline: December 1

Our strengths involve research on family processes, distressed families (e.g., families involved with the foster care system, families experiencing homelessness, military families), intimate relationships, mindfulness and attributions. Our expertise includes implementing and evaluating best practices in psychoeducation and therapy.

The MFT program is well integrated into the Department of Family and Child Sciences. Doctoral students have access to the entire departmental faculty as part of their education and professional development. Students select their major professor and supervisory committee based on areas of scholarly interest and expertise. The doctoral supervisory committee provides mentorship throughout the doctoral experience. Doctoral students have access to computer laboratories, statistical software, and on-campus and remote access library resources.

The program’s clinical training is geared toward advancing students’ clinical competencies and supervisory skills necessary to meet the needs of diverse individuals, couples, and families. During the first two years of doctoral studies, students provide therapy at the Center for Couple and Family Therapy (CCFT). The CCFT is an on-campus facility equipped with state-of-the-art technology and is a participating member in the Practice-Research Network clinical assessment consortium. Therapists at the CCFT are supervised by licensed MFT faculty who are AAMFT-approved supervisors. Supervision operates under a clinical practicum framework involving didactic content, group and individual supervision, live observation, video, and case report.

After the completion of requisite CCFT clinical hours, doctoral students engage in an internship experience in community mental health agencies, hospitals, and clinical research settings. Students are encouraged to select internship placements that align with their area of scholarship.

  1. Apply Online and pay the application fee.
    • Upload a personal statement outlining your research interests, career goals, and why Florida State University is a good fit for you. We strongly encourage applicants to familiarize themselves with the research interests of the faculty in their area so the statement can specifically address those faculty members. The statement should include how your background and prior training make you a good candidate and should include your top three (3) choices of faculty members with whom you would like to work.
    • Upload a resume or vita (information should be current).
    • Upload contact information for three recommenders. The recommenders should be professionals you have worked with who are familiar with your academic performance and can speak directly about your qualification for this degree. Academic recommendations are preferred, but relevant professional recommendations will be accepted. No personal recommendations or letters from peers will be accepted.
    • Upload a writing sample.
  2. Submit official test scores (GRE and, if required, TOEFL) and official transcripts to the FSU Office of Admissions. The school reporting code for test scores is 5219; no department code is required. We require transcripts from EVERY post-secondary institution you attended (even if those courses are posted to another institution’s transcript).

The advertised MFT Ph.D. program completion length is four years. Minimum program completion length is 3 years. There are a number of advantages to staying the fourth year and these advantages are discussed with each student on an individualized basis.

Students without a COAMFTE-accredited master’s degree can take up to five years to complete the MFT Ph.D., due to extra coursework and clinical contact hours needed.

All coursework must be completed within 5 years of enrollment in the program. When students have completed coursework, they must then complete a preliminary examination with an oral defense. Upon successful completion of the exam, the student enters into “candidacy.” The period of candidacy is limited to 5 years. Thus, the absolute maximum time to complete the MFT Ph.D. program is 10 years.

Students are only admitted to the doctoral program following completion of a clinical Master’s program degree. We DO NOT offer this Master’s degree.

The doctoral program requires a minimum of 83 credit hours, of which 21 are clinical / supervision and 24 are dissertation.

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Graduates of mental health masters programs that are not accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) must complete specified coursework (the “Standard Curriculum”) before taking the preliminary doctoral examination. (Additional information on the “Standard Curriculum” can be obtained from the director of MFT program)

Before students enroll for coursework in their first semester, the clinical faculty reviews their master’s transcript to determine whether additional coursework is needed. Based on the review process, students prepare an initial “program of study” before registering for their third term that includes these additional required courses which may not be counted toward meeting the required minimum credit hours for the doctoral degree.

Tallahassee is a beautiful and exciting place to live. Its is the largest city in the Big Bend Region and one of the fastest growing cities in Florida. The area is surrounded by national forests, natural springs, and wildlife preserves. The Gulf of Mexico is only a 45 minute drive from campus and within 2 hours, you can be on some of the most pristine beaches of the Emerald Coast. The area is famous for its abundance of live oak trees that extend over roadways to form picturesque canopy roads. There are cultural and recreational activities for everyone: ACC sports and nationally recognized music, theatre, dance and film events.

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