PhD Medical Family Therapy
Do you want to teach in a medical family therapy or marriage and family therapy program or in a medical school? Are you interested in becoming a policy maker for best practices in health-care systems?
The medical family therapy (MedFT) program at East Carolina University was the first of its kind in the nation. In 2005, East Carolina University created the first doctoral program in medical family therapy. At ECU, MedFT students conduct research, teach, and supervise from a relational and systemic perspective through the incorporation of a biopsychosocial-spiritual approach. The aim of the MedFT program is to widen students knowledge base in health care by furthering competency in biopsychosocial-spiritual and family based treatment via integrated care, research, and theoretical understanding of medical and mental health issues. The mission of the doctoral program in medical family therapy is to advance students learning in the areas of research, theory, clinical practice, leadership, supervision, and teaching in order to prepare and qualify them to pursue employment as researchers, educators, administrators, and/or clinicians in the field of medical family therapy.
Admission to East Carolina University does not guarantee admissions into your desired program of study.
The Graduate School has minimum requirements for all applicants to graduate programs.
- Completed application form with paid application fee
- Official transcripts for all colleges/universities attended
- Three (3) letters of recommendation
- Statement of Purpose/Intent)
- Student experiences related to medical family therapy
- Research experiences and interests, including a clear research plan if accepted into the program
- Vision for one’s career with a medical family therapy degree (i.e., why your career would require a PhD
- Strengths and areas of growth that have shaped one’s career; and description of oneself as a researcher and clinician)
- GRE scores
- A writing sample of no more than 10 pages is required. Applicants will be notified by mail if they are eligible for an interview. Candidates who have been considered for a personal interview with the Medical Family Therapy program faculty will be asked to participate in an individual and group interview.
Students must complete a standard curriculum for doctoral programs as stipulated by the Commission for the Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). The 59 s.h. program includes: research (14 s.h.), theory (12 s.h.), clinical practice (3 s.h.), clinical supervision (3 s.h.), cognates and electives (12 s.h.), dissertation (6 s.h.), and internship (9 s.h.). Full-time students are expected to complete the program in a minimum of three years and maximum of five. Students completing the program will be expected to fulfill educational and clinical requirements for marriage and family therapy licensure.
This program is only offered in an on-campus, Face to Face format. The only exception is during a student’s internship year (i.e., year three in the program) when they may secure their internship at a location off campus.
Students may transfer up to 9 credit hours of doctoral course work toward their degree. Students who do not have a master’s degree in family therapy must complete specified courses from the marriage and family therapy program’s standard master’s curriculum, as stipulated by the Commission for the Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), prior to starting the doctoral curriculum. A completed thesis or thesis equivalency is strongly recommended prior to the start of the program. It is a program requirement that must be completed by the end of the spring semester in year one of the program.
Students must complete a standard curriculum for doctoral programs as stipulated by the (COAMFTE). Students are expected to complete the program in a minimum of three years and have up to five years to complete all requirements. Students completing the program will be expected to fulfill educational and clinical requirements for marriage and family therapy licensure.
In addition, collaborative research, teaching, and clinical partnerships with a number of schools and departments assist our students in the study and delivery of medical family therapy (e.g., ECU Brody School of Medicine (BSOM), School of Nursing, School of Allied Health Sciences, and Department of Psychology). Students have permission to enroll in courses and/or participate in research in one or more of the aforementioned units to ensure a well-rounded educational experience. Research and clinical placements and teaching opportunities at the BSOM and in the community are available as part of the doctoral education experience.
Additional information about our PhD in Medical Family Therapy please see our program handbook.
The PhD in Medical Family Therapy is fully accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).