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Ph.D. in Marriage & Family Therapy

You're going to learn from the experts, and when you're done, you'll be at the top of your field. Our degree teaches you to be the best.

What will I learn?

The Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy program will lead highly qualified LMFT practitioners through an in depth study of advance therapy methods.

Students will gain experience

  • Mentoring master-level counselors
  • Serving as counseling supervisors and classroom instructors

The program will include

  • Seminar-style sessions with guest lecturers sharing an intensive review of therapy methodologies
  • Engaging research and publication opportunities for students
  • Off-campus training at renowned facilities in the U.S. and abroad
  • An independent study project
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When are classes?

Classes will vary between traditional meeting format, seminar format, practicum and dissertation hours.

  • Traditional classes meet once a week for three hours in a face-to-face setting 
  • Seminar format classes meet Friday evening and all day Saturday during various times throughout the first two semesters 
  • Practicum courses require 100 hours of counseling at Texas Wesleyan’s Counseling Center. 
  • Dissertation courses require independent work with faculty oversight leading from design to proposal to defense of selected topic.
What are the admission requirements?
  1. Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, social work, psychology or in another related mental health field
  2. Full, associate or intern license in a mental health field such as LMFT, LPC or MSW
  3. Master’s degree GPA of 3.2 or higher
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation from a licensed therapist or counselor that's known you for at least three years and can attest to characteristics that would make them a good applicant for the program
  5. Interview with graduate counseling faculty to assess an overview of marriage and family therapy, its models, applications and ranks clinical skills for future improvement as a marriage and family therapist. It also assesses the candidate's future career vision and research interests as a marriage and family therapist.
  6. Complete at least two of four foundations courses required for licensure as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Texas making a B or higher prior to beginning doctoral courses in the fall of the first year of study in the doctoral program.The remaining foundation courses must be taken prior to beginning the third year of study in the doctoral program.
  7. Writings sample proctored on-site
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Admission Deadline:

  • Priority Deadline: Feb. 1
  • Final Deadline: July 15
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What licenses qualify for the Ph.D.?

Texas Wesleyan has created a pathway for Licensed Professional Counselors and Social Workers to attain both the Ph.D. and LMFT licensure.

  • Applicants with an LPC or MSW license (at full, associate or intern status) will be evaluated for any inclusion of MFT coursework in their master’s degree.
  • Up to 4 foundation courses at the Masters level will be added to the Ph.D. degree plan to ensure program preparation and licensure eligibility.
  • 2 foundation classes must be complete prior to the 1st doctoral class.  All foundation classes must be completed prior to the third year (fall) of doctoral study. Courses may be completed at accredited universities or taken on the Wesleyan campus.
  • B or higher must be earned in the foundation courses.
  • Candidates needing this consideration should apply for the priority deadline to allow for Summer coursework prior to joining the full cohort in the Fall term.

Foundation coursework:

  • COU-6320     Principles of Marriage & Family Therapy
  • COU-6321     Strategies for Interventions in Family Therapy
  • COU-6322     Family Systems
  • COU-6323     Family of Origins
What is the program mission?

The mission of the Texas Wesleyan University Marriage & Family Therapy Doctoral Studies Program is to prepare students who will function at the highest level of competence and, as a result of their training, make a contribution to the field of marriage and family therapy in regard to intervention-based research based on family systems theory, as exhibited in their dissertation.