Overview of Major
The Master of Science program in Marriage and Family Therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education. The program currently offers a full-time track and a part-time track. These tracks combine academic coursework with supervised clinical experiences involving couples, individuals, and families. Both tracks are designed to focus on the integration of theory, research, and clinical practice throughout family life span development. Full-time students normally complete their degree requirements in two full calendar years while part-time students may complete degree requirements in three to four calendar years. The mission of the Marriage and Family Therapy program is to prepare ethically competent mental health professionals who are dedicated to improving the human condition through both prevention and intervention. The program emphasizes a systematic and contextual perspective so that individual, couple and family processes are conceptualized within an ecological framework. Due to the professional nature of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program, student performance is evaluated at the following major transition points: (1) entry into the clinical component of the program, and (2) advancement through each step of a four-level practicum program. Movement through each transition point requires an endorsement by a majority of the marriage and family therapy faculty. Graduates of the program are prepared to fill family therapy leadership roles in both public and private human services agencies, public and private psychiatric hospitals, and to pursue licensure as a marriage and family therapist.
Special Program Requirements
The marriage and family therapy program requires a personal interview with the program director and the clinical faculty, and emotional stability and maturity, as evidenced through at least three letters of recommendation from previous professors or employers, and a written essay that identifies the applicant's personel statement of goals. Students wishing to apply to the marriage and family therapy program are encouraged to turn in their application at any time prior to February 15 for priority consideration. Interviews begin in February to select students to be admitted to the program.
Plan of Study. Students must submit their signed, official Plan of Study form to the Graduate School by the end of the first semester they are enrolled. The Plan of Study forms are available at www.usm.edu/graduateschool/planofstudy.php - click on the "Plans of Study" link.