Ph.D. in Family Therapy

The mission of the Doctor of Philosophy in Family Therapy program is to prepare systemic family therapists to contribute to family therapy scholarship and theory as advanced clinicians, researchers, supervisors, and educators. We are committed to training students from diverse backgrounds in a multicultural, multi-systemic perspective.



The Ph.D. in Family Therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

Benefits of the degree

  • Close mentorship focused on meeting each student’s individual career goals and needs
  • Advanced training in supervision of MFTs
  • Opportunities to publish in peer-reviewed journals and present at state and national conferences
  • Advanced research and teaching preparation for applying and serving in academic positions
  • Training in advanced clinical theory and practice with diverse populations
  • Acquire rich experiences with a diverse student body
The PhD in Family Therapy prepares graduates to take the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists licensure exam. If you are a resident of another state, contact our department to determine whether our program fulfills requirements to take the licensure exam in your home state.

Degree plan

Catalog information for the Ph.D. in Family Therapy

Admission requirements

Admission to the TWU Graduate School

Approval for admission to the Graduate School is required of all graduate students.

Graduate School admission does not imply admission to candidacy for an advanced degree. Candidacy will be granted only after a period of successful graduate work and after compliance with the conditions and course of study established by the University and its departments, schools, and colleges have been met.

The total enrollment of graduate students is limited. All applications to the Graduate School are subject to whatever provisions may limit the enrollment of graduate students. Admission is granted for not more than one academic year. Students who do not attend the University for four or more terms, including the term of admission, must reapply. Graduate students who have been enrolled, may stop out for a maximum of two years including the last semester of enrollment. If another institution is attended during the two year timeframe, the student must reapply.

Graduate students are subject to the general rules and regulations of the University and are expected to maintain the high standard of social and academic life of the University as well as the professional standards of their chosen field of study. Thus, graduate students are subject to all rules and regulations set forth in the Student Handbook, the Graduate Catalog, and the policy statements of the Graduate School and the academic components. All graduate students of Texas Woman’s University are expected to know and adhere to high standards of personal conduct and of academic integrity and scholarship. Any falsification, misrepresentation, or misapplication of information or research; any violation of professional or ethical standards; or any violation of the rules and regulations of the University may result in dismissal.

*Admission to the Ph.D. in Family Therapy

Program Contact

Aaron Norton, PhD

Application Deadlines

Fall – December 1
Spring – August 1

Admission Requirements

  • Clinical master’s degree (e.g., marriage and family therapy, counseling, psychology)
  • 3.5 GPA on most recent master’s degree

How to Apply

  1. Apply for admission to the TWU Graduate School.
  2. Submit the following documents as separate PDF files in ONE email to
    1. Curriculum Vitae
    2. Letter of Intent adhering to the following guidelines:
      • Use the style of a professional business letter, including date, name, and return address
      • Limit the body of the letter to 300 words
      • Discuss the following in the body of the letter:
        • Your interest in and reasons for wanting a doctorate in Family Therapy. If you are not already familiar with the discipline of family therapy (as compared to other clinical mental health fields), we suggest you visit the website of the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy ( and read the material available to learn more.
        • The strengths and skills you will bring to the Family Therapy program. These may include elements of your life experience, personal characteristics, occupational background, academic accomplishments, etc.
        • How you will adapt your current life to make room for doctoral studies.
        • Your research interests.
        • Your professional goals for this degree.
    3. An on campus interview process is required through participation on Interview Day. The admissions coordinator will contact those applicants the department invites to interview.

For more information

Aaron Norton, Ph.D., LMFT
AAMFT Approved Supervisor
Ph.D. Program Coordinator

Page last updated 3:30 PM, June 13, 2019