Falk College

Versions Compared


  • This line was added.
  • This line was removed.
  • Formatting was changed.


The Department of Marriage and Family Therapy is one of five academic units in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. The other units are the Departments of Child and Family Studies, Public Health, Food Studies and Nutrition, Sport Management, and the School of Social Work. The Department of Marriage and Family Therapy offers an M.A. and a Ph.D. program. Both programs are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTEC.O.A.M.F.T.E).

The Department provides academic and clinical training in marriage and family therapy theory. Both the M.A. and Ph.D. programs focus on the family as a system and the cultural and societal frameworks within which couples and families grow and develop. The Department’s emphasis is on training student therapists and scholars to challenge themselves through fostering relationships with others who hold various and diverse worldviews. By working towards the creation of an environment of respect, honesty, and integrity, the programs serve to increase cultural sensitivity, heighten students’ awareness of self in relation to others, and generate an understanding of the role played by context in issues presented in therapy.

Marriage and family therapy (MFTM.F.T.) students gain hands-on experience in the Couple and Family Therapy Center. The in-house clinic is located at Peck Hall, 601 East Genesee Street in the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy. Established in 1989, it serves as a teaching and research center for MFT M.F.T. master’s and doctoral students. All MFT M.F.T. students are required to see clients at the in-house clinic and may not choose their client caseload based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, culture, age, or other difference/diversity category. Students utilize the center to gain clinical experience. Individual, group, couples and family therapy is offered to members of the Syracuse community under the supervision of the clinical faculty who operate from a family systems perspective. The Center is equipped for live and digitally recorded supervision.


Syracuse University students (those in our department and other departments of the university) or those who have graduated from Syracuse University within 12 months of the time they are applying to the doctoral program, are considered internal admits by the University. Internal admit students who wish to be considered for the doctoral program must complete a request for internal transfer (see MFT M.F.T. Administrative Assistant for form), GREs, (TOEFL G.R.E.s, (T.O.E.F.L. scores, or their equivalent for international students) personal essay, transcripts from all previous academic work, Likelive.com interviews (unless you are in the SU MFT S.U.M.F.T. Department), three letters of recommendation (not from current SU MFT S.U.M.F.T. faculty who are on the MFT M.F.T. Doctoral Admissions Committee) by December 15th of the year in which they wish to apply. Once applications are complete, internal admits will be notified about the interview in the same way as external candidates.

Before applying to the doctoral program, please review the following statement: All doctoral students in MFT M.F.T. must complete the requirements for the M.A. in MFT M.F.T. as well as the requirements for the Ph.D. If during the admissions review process it is found a student lacks certain content areas that may not be fully satisfied by the doctoral program (such as ethics), those students would be required to complete additional coursework above and beyond their master’s coursework.

Students admitted to the MFT M.F.T. Program may seek financial support outside of the department through merit-based awards, such as University Fellowships, College scholarships, and a variety of academic and student-service assistantships, or through need-based financial aid, including loans and the College Work Study Program. If interested in financial assistance, students should indicate this on the application form and at time of the admissions interview.


Initially, the M.A. program was a 30-credit degree, intended primarily for persons in the process of mid-life career change, and ministers wishing to augment their pastoral counseling skills. Students met with clinical pastoral students at the Onondaga Pastoral Counseling Center for their first-year core courses, and their practicum placements were at that Center and at the marriage and family therapy counseling offices, initially housed with the rest of the Department at 744 Ostrom Avenue and later at 100 Walnut Place. In 1983 the MFT M.F.T. Program moved to new facilities, consisting of two faculty offices and four small clinic rooms equipped for live supervision. 

In 1986, the clinic was expanded by adding another therapy room, enlarging two existing rooms, and increasing opportunities for live and videotape supervision. In fall 1989, the department was granted the use of two adjacent offices and, with the help of a grant from Diana and Stephen A. Goldberg, was completely refurbished. In February 1990, it was officially named the Goldberg Marriage and Family Therapy Center, with dedication ceremonies held in conjunction with the first annual conference of the newly formed Central New York Chapter of NYAMFTNYAM.F.T.. In summer 1993, the Center was further expanded and entirely rebuilt to become a “state of the art” training and research center, completely computerized for easy storage of and access to clinic data. It consisted of a reception area, student space, graduate assistant office, assessment office, video equipment room, large-group observation room, two administrative offices, and six therapy rooms, all equipped for live and videotape supervision. In spring, 1999, the name was changed to the Goldberg Couple and Family Therapy Center, to more accurately represent the types of services provided. In January 2006 the MFT Department M.F.T. Department relocated to the old School of Nursing at 426 Ostrom Ave. (corner of Marshall St.) in a newly remodeled area. The first floor housed the center with 5 therapy rooms, an assessment room, video room, student room, reception area and the center director’s office. All of the therapy rooms had an observation room. The classroom, another student room and all the faculty offices were located on the second floor. 

In 2010 the department moved from the 2,400 square foot site on campus to a newly renovated 5,500 square foot facility on James Street. The James Street facility had expanded office space, clinic space, student areas, and a larger classroom. Most recently, in January 2013, the MFT M.F.T. Department moved to its current location at 601 East Genesee Street. The department now is housed in a 30,000 square foot facility that has been completely renovated and updated and which has a 15 year lease to provide a more permanent home. The E. Genesee Street facility has a greatly expanded clinic area (14 counseling offices), three classrooms, a large computer lab, an entire floor for student areas (lounge, kitchen, locker room, etc.) and one floor for a community agency to occupy as a partner in clinical training for second-year students. 

Like its facilities, the academic program has also grown dramatically. In October 1972, it was granted provisional accreditation by the American Association for Marriage and Family Counseling. In April 1975, the department became the first program to receive full accreditation by the COAMFCE (now COAMFTEC.O.A.M.F.C.E. (now C.O.A.M.F.T.E.-Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education) and soon after became a 36-credit hour program. Accreditation was renewed in 1981 and the program became a 45-credit hour program. In February l984, the Program’s accreditation was revoked temporarily but reinstated in 1986. The University approved a revised curriculum in 1985 and the State Education Department approved a change in program name to Marriage and Family Therapy. In l988, the Human Sexuality Program, a treatment and training program in sex therapy, was instituted with joint sponsorship by the College for Human Development and the Department of Family Medicine, SUNY S.U.N.Y. Health Science Center. A second joint program, the Family Medicine/Family Therapy Program, was instituted in 1989. In 2010 the State Education Department of New York approved our request to change the degree program to a 60-credit degree. This change was initiated to meet the national trend toward requiring up to 60-credit degrees for licensure. In 1991 and again in 1996, 2001, 2007, and 2014 the M.A. program was reaccredited by the COAMFTEC.O.A.M.F.T.E.

In 1990, the College approved a proposal for a MFT M.F.T. doctoral program and, in 1991 the University Senate approved the program. In 1992, the University was granted permission by the NYS Department of Education to award the doctoral degree in marriage and family therapy and the doctoral program was granted Candidacy Status by the COAMFTEC.O.A.M.F.T.E, receiving full accreditation in 1996. It was reaccredited in 2001, 2007 and 2015. It was the first MFT M.F.T. doctoral program in New York State and one of two MFT M.F.T. doctoral programs in the northeast. It remains one of the few doctoral programs accredited by the COAMFTE C.O.A.M.F.T.E. that is not located at large land-grant state universities.

The growth of the Program reflects the quality of its faculty, staff, and students. Six persons have served as Program Director: Sol Gordon from 1970 - 1976; Charlotte Kahn from 1976 - 1984; Eleanor Macklin from 1984 to 1998 (with the exception of 1992-93); Linda Stone Fish from 1992-1993, and 1998 to 2001. From 2001-2003, Linda Stone Fish served as the first Department Chair in the newly formed Department of Marriage and Family Therapy, within the College of Human Services and Health Professions (now the Falk College). Jonathan Sandberg began his service as Department Chair in 2003; Thom deLara became chair in 2007. Dr. Macklin joined the Program in 1982 and Dr. Stone Fish in 1985. In 1987, Phyllis Blumberg resigned as Associate Dean of the College to become a full-time MFT M.F.T. faculty member until her retirement from teaching duties in 1991. In 1990, Dean Busby and Kenneth Hardy joined the MFT M.F.T. faculty, with Dr. Hardy appointed Director of Clinical Training and Research. From 1995-96, Dr. Hardy served as Chair of the Department of Child and Family Studies and Dr. Busby served as Director of Clinical Training and Research. Dr. Stone Fish assumed responsibility for coordination of doctoral internships. In summer 1996, Dr. Anne Gosling became Director of Clinical Training, while Dr. Busby remained as Director of Clinical Research. In 1998, Dr. Macklin retired and Dr. Stone Fish began her service as Program Director. Jonathan Sandberg joined the faculty. Dr. Sandberg became Director of Clinical Research in the summer of 1999.

In 2007 Thom deLara became Department Chair. In 2012 Dr. Stone Fish was named the Falk Family Endowed Professor of Family Therapy, and assumed the role of Graduate Director for the department. Tracey Reichert Schimpff currently oversees the MFT Couple M.F.T. Couple and Family Therapy Center. Dr. Dyane Watson, Dr. Rashmi Gangamma and Dr. Deborah Coolhart are full-time members of the faculty. Lisa Tedeschi is the internship coordinator. Daran Shipman is a part-time clinical supervisor. Beth Ciciarelli is the administrative assistant for the department and Anne Metzger-Wormuth is the office coordinator for the Couple and Family Therapy Center.


The Educational Outcomes for the Syracuse UniversityMUniversity M.A. MFT M.F.T. Program are:

Program Outcomes 

PO#1. Student Achievement: Students will successfully complete the SUMFT S.U.M.F.T. program requirements and graduate, as evidenced by: 

  1. At least 80% of admitted students will graduate within five years ofregistering for their first MFT M.F.T. course

PO#2. Alumni Achievement: Graduated students will be successful in pursuing either a career in Marriage and Family Therapy or doctoral education, as evidenced by the percentages of SUMFT S.U.M.F.T. graduates who respond to the Alumni Survey indicate: 

  1. At least 80% of responders who sit for the national MFT M.F.T. licensure examination will pass.
  2. At least 80% of responders who are interested in obtaining an MFT M.F.T. license are successful in obtaining preliminary and or full licensure (appropriate to their state and location).
  3. At least 80% of responders, who are interested in MFT M.F.T. or a related mental health position or in continued education, will successfully find employmentin an MFT employment in an M.F.T. or related position, or acceptance into a program for continuing education (i.e., PhD. Or DMFT D.M.F.T. Program) within 5 years of graduation.

PO#3. Commitment to Diversity: The SU MFT S.U.M.F.T. program will show clear commitment to diversity through curriculum content and student composition, as evidenced by: 


  1. At least 70% of students will receive a B or better on the final project in MFT M.F.T. 684(Diversity-Cultural Portrait Project).
  2. At least 70% of students will receive a 3 or higher rating on the Clinical ReadinessInterview Rubric (specifically 1a, 1b, 1c, 2a, 2b, and 2c), assessed at the end ofstudent’s of student’s first fall semester of clinical practice (MFT M.F.T. 750-Introduction to MFTPractice M.F.T. Practice (first class of the Practicum course series)) (assessed annually).
  3. At least 70% of students will receive a 3 or higher rating on the Evaluation Form ofStudent completed by Supervisor supervisor (specifically 4a, 4b, 4g, 4i, 6a, 6b, 6c, and 6d),assessed at the end of each semester that the student is clinically active (Practicum course series).

SLO#2: Students will demonstrate MFT M.F.T. clinical competency skills across a variety of contexts, as evidenced by the following measures: 

  1. At least 70% of students will receive a 3 or higher rating on the EvaluationForm of Student completed by Supervisor supervisor (specifically 1a-f, 2a-e, 3a-d, 4c-f, and 4h), assessed at the end of each semester that the student is clinically active (Practicum course series).

SLO#3. Students will demonstrate an applied knowledge of MFT M.F.T. legal and ethical guidelines and professional standards, as evidenced by the following measurements: 

  1. At least 70% of students will receive a B or better on the final project in MFT M.F.T. 681(Ethics- Personal and Professional Integration Paper).
  2. At least 70% of students will receive a 3 or higher rating on the EvaluationForm of Student completed by Supervisor supervisor (specifically 5a-d), assessed at theend the end of each semester that the student is clinically active (Practicum course series).

SLO#4. Students will demonstrate an applied knowledge of MFT M.F.T. historical and current theoretical information, as evidenced by the following measures: 

  1. At least 70% of students will receive a B or higher rating two family systems theorycourse exams (MFT M.F.T. 671 and MFT M.F.T. 682).
  2. At least 70% of students will receive a 3 or higher rating on the EvaluationForm of Student completed by Supervisor supervisor (specifically 1a and 4a), assessed atthe at the end of each semester that the student is clinically active (Practicum courseseriescourse series).

Faculty Outcomes 

FO#1. Faculty will meet Syracuse University expectations for research, teaching, scholarship, and service, as evidenced by: 

  1. Completion of yearly Curriculum Vitae Update Form and successful review by theDean’s the Dean’s office

FO#2. Faculty will demonstrate teaching and supervisory effectiveness, as evidenced by: 

  1. At least 80% of instructors will receive an average score of 3 or higher on the Evaluation Form of Instructor completed by Students, assessed each semester.
  2. At least 80% of supervisors will receive an average score of 3 or higher on the Evaluation Form of Supervisor supervisor completed by Superviseesupervisee, assessed each semester.


  1. At least 80% of faculty participating and reporting professional activities fostering diversity awareness or respect for diversity with MFT M.F.T. students or supervisees.
  2. At least 80% of instructors will receive a score of 3 or higher on question 18of 18 of the Evaluation Form of Instructor completed by Students, assessed each semester.


The Educational Outcomes for the Syracuse University PhD. MFT . M.F.T. Program are:

Program Outcomes 

PO#1. Student Achievement: Students will successfully complete the SUMFT S.U.M.F.T. program requirements and graduate, as evidenced by: 


PO#2. Alumni Achievement: Graduated students will be successful in pursuing a career advancing Marriage and Family Therapy or related fields, as evidenced by the percentages of SUMFT S.U.M.F.T. graduates who respond to the Alumni Survey indicate: 

  1. At least 80% of responders will successfully find employment advancing MFT orrelated M.F.T. or related field within 2 years of graduation.
  2. Benchmark #2: AT least 60% of our students have contributed to the field ofMarriage and Family Therapy as per internet footprint, through publications,academic engagement (teaching, training, presentations, grant writing).

PO#3. Commitment to Diversity: The SU MFT S.U.M.F.T. program will show clear commitment to diversity through curriculum content and student composition, as evidenced by: 

  1. At least 75% of our courses will have at least one diversity oriented assignment orhave diversity topics integrated throughout the semester
  2. At least 40% of students and faculty in the department will self-identify withprogramwith program-identified characteristics of a diverse population (gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, culture, environment, health/ability, nationality, religion, spirituality, and socio economic status) as reported on the Demographic Survey, assessed yearly.
  3. At least 40% of dissertation research will focus on a diversity topic or a diversityrelated population.

Student Learning Outcomes 

SLO#1S.L.O.#1: Students will demonstrate competence in advanced theory and theory building 

  1. At least 80% of students will pass their qualifying examination whicharticulates their theory of therapy
  2. At least 80% of students will receive a B or higher on the MFT 861 M.F.T. 861 assignment in which they articulate their philosophy of supervision
  3. At least 80% of students will receive a B or higher on the MFT M.F.T. 865 assignment related to theory development including but not limited to Systems Theory, Family Development, and/or MFT M.F.T. Clinical theory

SLO#2S.L.O.#2: Students will demonstrate research competence 

  1. At least 80% of students will pass the research portion of the qualifying examination 
  2. At least 80% of students will demonstrate skills of ethical research and cultural sensitivity consistent with the Code of Ethics of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as evident by completion of the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) training before dissertation proposal approval
  3. At least 80% of students will receive a B or higher on the MFT M.F.T. 882 EvaluativeAssignment in which they write a publishable paper regarding Marriage andFamily Therapy outcome or process research.
  4. At least 80% of students will attend at least one research seminar and/or training workshop while in residence

SLO#3 S.L.O.#3 Students will demonstrate supervisory competence 

  1. At least 80% of students will receive a B or better in MFT M.F.T. 861 (Supervision of Therapy) course.
  2. At least 80% of students will provide 18 hours of supervision to master level MFT M.F.T. students.
  3. At least 80% of students will maintain an AAMFT membership


  1. A.A.M.F.T. membership

S.L.O.#4: Students will demonstrate professional teaching competence 

  1. At least 80% of students will pass the oral examination of their qualifying exam which assesses their ability to teach theoretical constructs.
  2. At least 80% of students will receive a B or better in the teaching assignmentfor MFT M.F.T. 865
  3. At least 80% of students will be the presenter for at least one poster, paper, and/or workshop at a professional meeting while in residence.

SLO#5S.L.O.#5: Students will demonstrate clinical competence 

  1. At least 80% of students will complete 1,000 clinical hours with 200 hours ofsupervision of supervision by an AAMFT Approved Supervisor A.A.M.F.T. Approved supervisor or equivalent by graduation.
  2. At least 80% of students will receive a 3 or higher rating on the Evaluation Form of Student completed by supervisor
  3. Students will demonstrate skills of ethical practice and cultural sensitivity consistent with the Code of Ethics of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy as evidenced by at least 80% of students will receive a 3 or higher rating on the Evaluation Form of Student completed by Supervisor supervisor (specifically 4a, 4b, 4g, 4i, 5a-d 6a, 6b, 6c, and 6d), assessed each semester.

SLO#6S.L.O.#6: Students will demonstrate awareness and engagement with cultural and contextual differences 

  1. At least 80% of students will pass the cultural awareness portion of the qualifying examination
  2. At least 80% of students will receive a B or better in the Cultural Diversity assignment for MFT M.F.T. 865

Faculty Outcomes 

FO#1F.O.#1. Faculty will meet Syracuse University expectations for research, teaching, scholarship, and service, as evidenced by: 

  1. Completion of yearly Curriculum Vitae Update Form which assesses faculty research, teaching and service, and at least 90% will have a successful reviewed by the Dean’s office

FO#2. Faculty F.O.#2. Faculty will contribute to students’ successful completion of program requirements through effective teaching, advising/mentoring and supervision, as evidenced by: 

  1. At least 80% of instructors will receive an average score of 3 or higher on the Evaluation Form of Instructor by Students, assessed each semester.
  2. At least 80% of supervisors will receive an average score of 3 or higher on the Evaluation Form of Supervisor supervisor completed by Superviseesupervisee, assessed each semester.
  3. At least 80% of advisor mentors will advise dissertation research to completion after proposal approval

FO#3F.O.#3. Faculty will demonstrate professional and community contribution, as evidenced by: 

  1. At least 80% of faculty participating and reporting at least 5% of their time devoted to direct clinical practice.

FO#4F.O.#4. Faculty will contribute to engaging awareness of and sensitivity to diversity and multicultural issues as evidenced by:

  1. At least 80% of faculty participating and reporting professional activities fostering diversity awareness or respect for diversity with MFT M.F.T. students or supervisees.
  2. At least 80% of instructors will receive a score of 3 or higher on question 18 of the Evaluation Form of Instructor by Students, assessed each semester.


The Syracuse University Marriage and Family Therapy program collects data on each Student Outcome annually. Graduating students are asked to provide contact information (email, phone, etc.) when they graduate so they and/or their employers can be contacted post-graduation. Graduated students are asked to participate in an alumni survey which will be mailed or emailed to them one year after graduation. The purpose of the survey is to gather information about alumni professional activities and employment post-graduation. As part of the alumni survey, graduates are asked to provide their current employer’s contact information and consent for their employer to be contacted to participate in a confidential employer evaluation survey. The purpose of the employer evaluation survey is to gather information about how well our graduates are doing, and how satisfied they are with the graduate’s performance to help us improve our program. Information about student achievement can be found on the COAMFTE C.O.A.M.F.T.E. website. Faculty members or supervisors may talk about individual students in order to enhance student learning and assist in their clinical training. Our hope is to be as supportive as possible and utilize the multiple resources that could benefit a student’s development during their time in the program. If faculty or supervisors have serious concerns about a student’s performance, they will address those issues directly with the student.


(Program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education - COAMFTEC.O.A.M.F.T.E.)

Goals and Objectives 

The M.A. Program in Marriage and Family Therapy is a 60-credit hour curriculum accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTEC.O.A.M.F.T.E.). It is designed to meet the academic requirements for Clinical Membership in the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and is intended for mature individuals who have a strong commitment to the family therapy profession. All MFT M.F.T. core courses are open only to matriculated students. 

All students are expected to take the basic clinical courses in marriage and family therapy theory and techniques during their first year in the Program. During the first semester of coursework, students observe therapy and are a part of therapy teams at the Couple and Family Therapy Center. Beginning with the second semester of coursework, if clinically ready, students have direct client contact, which continues until the completion of 500 hours of supervised clinical practice with individuals, couples, and families. All students spend one year providing therapy in the on-campus Couple and Family Therapy Center, which is well equipped for videotape and live supervision. They also see clients in off-campus practica practicum sites after their first semester of client contact. At the conclusion of their program of study, students have the option of completing either a one-day written comprehensive examination, presenting a Capstone Masters project or a Masters thesis.


Marriage and Family Therapy Required Courses (51 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 661 Introduction to MFT M.F.T. Practice (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 662 System Dynamics in a Group Setting (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 671 Introduction to Family Systems (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 672 Couple Therapy, Theory and Techniques (3 credits)

MFT 681 MFT M.F.T. 681 M.F.T. Ethics and Issues (3 credits)

MFT 682 MFT M.F.T. 682 M.F.T. Theory and Techniques (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 684 Intro to Cultural Diversity: Theory & Therapy (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 688 Family Therapy Across the Life Cycle (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 567 Sexual Issues for the Helping Professional (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 750 Intro. to Marriage and Family Therapy Practicum (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 760 Marriage and Family Practicum I (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 761 Marriage and Family Practicum II (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 762 Marriage and Family Practicum III (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 763 Marriage and Family Practicum IV (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 724 Psychopathology (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 781 Social Work Practice/Alcohol & Other Drugs (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 663 Applied Research in Social Work (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 997 Masters Project/Thesis/Comprehensive Exam (0 credits)


M.F.T. Elective Courses (3 courses - 9 credits total)

MFT M.F.T. 603 Introduction to Trauma Studies (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 644 Family Therapy with LGBTQ Youth (3 credits) 

MFT M.F.T. 645 Queering Theory, History and Clinical Practice (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 686 Play Therapy (3 credits)

SWK S.W.K. 626 Persons in Social Context (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 641 Divorce Mediation (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 687 Spirituality in Therapy (3 credits)

CFS C.F.S. 621* Statistical Concepts I (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 643 Family Therapy with Complex Trauma (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 642 Couple and Family Therapy/LGBTQ Relationships (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 764 Practicum in Marriage and Family Therapy V (1-3 credits) 

*Students who are planning to apply to the doctoral program are encouraged to take CFS C.F.S. 621.

Program of Study

All students must file a typed Program of Study with the Chair before the beginning of their second year of study. Upon approval by the Chair, the student will send two copies to the Graduate School and submit one for his/her official Program file. It will be necessary to amend this Program of Study prior to graduation if the actual courses taken are different than those originally submitted. Students may transfer in up to 12 credits of appropriate graduate-level coursework from other universities if they have received a grade of B or better in the course. Students wishing to transfer in credits should file their Program of Study by the end of their first term of study and file a petition if they wish to substitute transfer credits for a required course. Students, who wish to use coursework taken prior to seven years before their degree date, must file a petition providing evidence that the student has maintained current knowledge in the field to do so.


Students decide whether they wish to complete an MFT M.F.T. Capstone Project/Thesis, or take the comprehensive examination. Students cannot choose the project/thesis option after failing the comprehensive examination or the comprehensive examination option after failing to have their final project approved. Once a student has indicated in writing a plan to take the comprehensive examination, the only way to fulfill the requirements for graduation is to successfully pass the examination (students are allowed to retake the examination two times). Conversely, once a student has indicated a plan to pursue the Masters Project/Thesis and the associated proposal has been approved, the student cannot decide to elect to take the comprehensive examination. Students planning to enter the MFT M.F.T. doctoral program are encouraged to use the Masters Project/Thesis as an opportunity to gain research experience.


M.F.T. Capstone Project

Students who are not engaging in thesis research, or taking comprehensive examinations, must complete an MFTM.F.T.-related capstone project and be at Peck Hall one day at the end of spring semester (date and time to be announced). Students who are completing a thesis are invited (but not required) to participate as well in the research poster sessions. Students can choose one of the following options for their capstone project: 

  1. Research proposal: Closely following guidelines for final research proposal MFT663/SWK final research proposal M.F.T.663/S.W.K. 662 (if you have not taken this course, please contact Dr. Gangamma for research proposal guidelines), students may choose to present a proposal for research on any topic of interest relevant to MFTM.F.T..
  2. Clinical case studies: Students may choose to present a clinical case including – detailed description of theoretical conceptualization, intervention planning and implementation, outcome, cultural competence, and role of self of therapist. Please remove all identifying information about the case so that clients’ privacy is completely and absolutely protected. To insure complete confidentiality, meet with the supervisor of the case you are presenting and review methods for de-identification. Supervisor and student must sign Form A: Capstone De-identification Authorization Form and the Form must be submitted to Beth Ciciarelli one week prior to presentation.
  3. Special topics related to MFT M.F.T. practice and/or research: Students may also choose to present information that advances MFT M.F.T. training. Topics may include and are not limited to – presenting problems, issues of diversity, cultural humility, specialized treatment approaches, working with special communities or groups, etc. 


Students must complete a Masters Project Proposal Form and have it approved and signed by Chair Thom deLara by early spring (date to be announced).


M.F.T. Thesis Policy and Procedure 

Students interested in conducting master’s theses must meet with an MFT M.F.T. advisor to begin the process. Once an advisor has approved of the thesis idea, the student asks at least one additional MFT M.F.T. faculty member(s) to be on her/his committee. Once a meeting occurs with the student, advisor and additional family member(s), the Masters Thesis Proposal Form is signed by the student, advisor, additional MFT M.F.T. faculty member(s), and Chair of the Research Committee (who may be the advisor or the additional MFT M.F.T. faculty member).

Students will need IRB approval before data is collected unless an exemption is met (please see Chair of Research Committee for exemption).


Once the thesis is completed and approved by the MFT M.F.T. advisor, the student must ask two other MFT M.F.T. faculty members (either tenure track or professors of practice) to be part of their oral examination committee. One faculty member will be assigned as the oral examination committee chairperson and the other will be assigned as a reader of the final thesis. In other words, the oral examination committee consists of at least four voting members that include the MFT M.F.T. advisor, the additional member(s) who approved the Proposal Form, an oral examination committee chairperson, and a reader. The oral examination is closed to other people unless the student chooses, in consultation with her/his advisor, to invite others (at least one week before the defense date).


Students planning to complete a Masters Project or Thesis should register for MFT M.F.T. 997 (Masters Project/Thesis) for 0 credits.


The Comprehensive Examination is designed to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate the ability to integrate their coursework and clinical training in a creative and scholarly fashion. The Examination is taken at the completion of all required academic credit hours. Any work required for the removal of incompletes must have been submitted to and approved by the appropriate faculty member prior to the student sitting for the Examination. Students may elect to take the Examination prior to the completion of MFT M.F.T. 760 if they have obtained 400 or more clinical hours. The Examination is an eight-hour, closed book, essay examination that may be taken at a time mutually convenient to the student and the faculty. A student should inform the Chair in writing of his/her intent to take the Examination at least one month prior to the planned date of the Examination. At the time of the Examination, the student will receive a description of a clinical case about which s/he is to answer the following three questions: 


The Examination will be evaluated by the Chair and, at his discretion, other MFT M.F.T. staff members. Satisfactory performance will require demonstration of the ability to integrate knowledge from marriage and family therapy and to apply this knowledge to the development of an appropriate clinical treatment plan. In the event that the student fails to pass, s/he may retake the Examination a total of two times. On occasion, the committee may request that the student redo a portion of the original examination; in this case, the retake must be completed within one month from the date of this decision.


Students must complete 500 supervised clinical hours of direct (i.e., face-to-face) client contact with individuals, couples, families, and therapy groups at approved practica sites prior to graduation. They must be enrolled in MFT M.F.T. Practicum, for at least five semesters and should maintain a minimum of 5-8 direct client contact hours per week each semester they are enrolled. Students should enroll in MFT M.F.T. Practicum the first semester of their graduate work so that they can begin center meetings, accrue team hours, and acclimate themselves to the Couple and Family Therapy Center. Before students can see clients in the Center, they are expected to complete MFT M.F.T. 681: MFT M.F.T. Ethics and Issues (or the equivalent) and MFT M.F.T. 661: Introduction to MFT to M.F.T. Practice (or the equivalent). In some rare instances, an alternative course of action can be approved. Students begin to see clients during the second semester (after passing the clinical readiness interview) and are expected to continue seeing clients throughout the summer and to arrange with their supervisor for appropriate vacation periods. At least 250 hours must consist of relational work with couples or families present in the therapy room. Fifty relational hours and 50 individual hours, totaling 100 hours may be obtained by serving as a member of a live-supervision team if the student is present to observe the same client case for an extended period of time and engages in the planning of treatment. When supervised by an AAMFT AAM.F.T. approved supervisor, students may count up to 50 hours of psycho-education towards their 500 total hours. 

Twelve months of client contact must be completed at the Couple and Family Therapy Center. Students begin to see clients in the Couple and Family Therapy Center at the beginning of the second term in the MFT M.F.T. core unless the faculty decide on the basis of performance in the Fall courses that they are not clinically ready to do so. All students have a clinical readiness interview with the faculty and Director of Clinical Training before seeing clients. They will continue to see clients in the Center for one full year. During the spring term of their first year they should interview for an outside placement at an approved community site, planning to begin this placement as early as June but preferably no later than the following fall. Agency representatives from the practicum sites visit the Center and students are informed of available sites and who to contact regarding a placement interview. Agencies make the final decision regarding how many and which students they can take as trainees. The following approved community practica sites have been used in the recent past: The Brownell Center at Liberty Resources, Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Services, St. Joseph’s Hospital, SUNY S.U.N.Y. Upstate Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Vera House, CAC C.A.C. Foundation, Family Counseling Services of Cortland County, Inc., Harvest House Counseling, Akira Psychotherapy, and the Cayuga Counseling Center. 

Students in practica must submit to the Office Coordinator monthly statements of their client and supervision hours, signed by their supervisor(s). These monthly records are kept in the student’s practicum folder and a cumulative tally compiled at the end of each academic term. At the time of graduation, a letter is sent to AAMFT AAM.F.T. certifying the total number of client and supervision hours and the date of completion of all graduation requirements. Students who later apply for Clinical Membership may begin counting the required two-years post-degree from this official date of completion (which may be before the official graduation date). 


At least 50 hours of the total supervision of a student's clinical work must involve the use of raw data (i.e., either direct observation, videotapes, or audiotapes). At least 25 hours of this supervision will be based on direct observation or videotapes. When students are involved in the direct or videotape supervision of a group member and a supervisor is present, all of the students may count this as direct or videotape supervision. Co-therapy counts as clinical hours if both student therapists are students and share in the responsibility for the case such as making interventions in therapy, making the appointments, writing the notes, and being the contact to manage crisis situations. When the student's supervisor is the co-student therapist the hour is counted only as supervision, unless the student has primary responsibility for the case.

Requirements for


M.F.T. Supervisor Eligibility

All official supervision of MFT M.F.T. students must be conducted by experienced marital and family student therapists who are either AAMFT A.A.M.F.T. Approved Supervisors, Supervisors-in-Training, or the equivalent. When students receive occasional supervision from persons without the necessary credentials or by persons who are doctoral students in our Program, they may not count these supervision hours on their monthly records and their client hours must be signed for by their official supervisor. All supervisors must be actively involved in clinical practice and students should have some opportunity to observe their supervisor engaged in clinical work. 

Under special circumstances, students may receive client hours at a placement where there is no AAMFT A.A.M.F.T. Approved Supervisor available. When this occurs, the student must augment the supervision of these client hours with supervision by an Approved Supervisor or Supervisor-in-Training. In this case, the student will have two supervisors: The agency supervisor, who will be responsible for case management, and the Approved Supervisor or SITS.I.T., who will help the student apply theory to practice. Only the AAMFT A.A.M.F.T. Approved Supervisor or SIT S.I.T. hours may be counted toward the required 100 hours.


Students must satisfactorily complete MFT M.F.T. 750 (Introduction to MFT to M.F.T. Practicum) and at least 12 credits of MFT M.F.T. Practicum before graduation, Students register for MFT M.F.T. 750 in their first semester and in a Practicum section for each of the next four semesters of their coursework. A student must take one additional term of Practicum for each term s/he receives a grade of less than B-. If after two full years, students require additional time to complete the clinical requirements, they will register for one additional Practicum section (MFT M.F.T. 764) for each additional semester required. Students must stay at the placement site in which they are assigned until they complete their 500 hours (unless they begin doctoral work in another COAMFTEC.O.A.M.F.T.E.-accredited program and make arrangements with the program and SU’s S.U.’s Director of Clinical Training). Grades for MFT M.F.T. Practicum will be determined by the supervisor or, in the case of students who have an outside placement and a placement at the Couple and Family Therapy Center, by the Center supervisor Supervisor who will average the grade s/he would give the student with the grade given by the outside supervisor.

Student Membership in



All students must become student members of AAMFT AAM.F.T. before beginning to see clients. National dues are $58.00. Division (state/province) membership is automatic when the student joins. New and transferring applicants also pay a non-refundable $25.00 application-processing fee. 


The 500 client hours required for MFT M.F.T. 760 cannot be done in private practice (i.e., fees paid to the student therapist by the client for services rendered outside of a University-approved agency), even if under the supervision of an Approved Supervisor. The policy of AAMFT A.A.M.F.T. is that the MA degree is the qualifying degree for the field and, therefore, a person should not hold him/herself out as a marriage and family student therapist before having received a M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy or having completed an equivalent program of study. 

Because membership in AAMFT A.A.M.F.T. is voluntary, this policy is not enforceable in states where there is no licensing of MFTsM.F.T.s. However, professional liability and ethical standards become a particular concern when student therapists see clients privately before being awarded the appropriate degree. One can be sued by clients for professional malpractice if one holds oneself out to be professionally competent without the degree. The person who agrees to supervise a student in private practice will also be liable, and the SU MFT S.U.M.F.T. Program will be liable if the hours being sued for are being used as practicum hours. To defend yourself against such a charge, you would have to demonstrate that you are professionally competent. Such competence is usually established by (a) having an appropriate degree and (b) having been certified by the profession.


(Program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education - COAMFTEMarriage and Family Therapy Education - C.O.A.M.F.T.E.

Goals and Objectives 

The doctoral program in Marriage and Family Therapy at Syracuse University seeks to prepare clinical scholars who will advance theory, supervision, research, and teaching in the field of marriage and family therapy. Students are prepared primarily for teaching, supervisory, and research positions in graduate degree-granting institutions, training institutes, and health care settings. The program builds upon a clinical Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, and is designed to provide students with an understanding of advanced theory in marriage and family therapy with expertise in process and outcome research methodology in marriage and family therapy.


The doctoral program builds on a M.A. degree in MFT M.F.T. or completion of courses equivalent to the COAMFTE C.O.A.M.F.T.E. Standard M.A. Curriculum. The 72 credit-hour curriculum consists of 33 credit hours from a M.A. in MFT M.F.T. or equivalent; 12 credits of advanced theory and practice; 12 credits of advanced research methodology; 3 credits of elective; 6 credits of advanced practicum; and 6 credits of dissertation. Requirements also include a 9-month clinical internship and satisfactory completion of the doctoral qualifying examination and the doctoral dissertation and related oral examination.


Three courses from the following: (9 credits)  

MFT M.F.T. 861 Supervision in MFT M.F.T. (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 862 Advanced Family Therapy with Children & Adoles. (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 863 Advanced Couple Therapy (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 865 Advanced Family Therapy Theory (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 875 Cultural Diversity: Family Theory & Therapy (3 credits)

Plus 2 courses from the following (or equivalent)*: (6 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 772 Divorce & Remarriage: Family Theory & Therapy (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 773 Family Violence: Theory & Therapy (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 774 Parenting & Family Enrichment: Programs & Res. (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 776 Dysfunctional Families: Theory & Therapy (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 777 Family Perspectives on Gender Roles & Socialization: Theory & Therapy (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 778 Loss Across the Life Cycle: Family Theory & Therapy (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 779 Sexual Identity and Family Therapy (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 864 Family Systems and Family Health (3 credits)


Advanced Research Methodology (12 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 885 Introduction to Qualitative Research (3 credits)

CFS C.F.S. 622* Statistical Concepts in Human Development II (3 credits)

CFS C.F.S. 732 Research Methods for Child & Family Studies II (3 credits)

MFT M.F.T. 882 Assessment & Research Methods in MFT M.F.T. (3 credits)

Elective* (3 credits)

Advanced Practicum:


 M.F.T. 860 (6 credits) 

Masters Courses (maximum 33 credits)



 M.F.T. 960 (0 credits)

Dissertation** (6 credits)


Academic Advisor/Mentor 

You will be assigned a MFT M.F.T. faculty member as your advisor at the time of admission to the Program. Unless you elect to change advisors and another faculty member agrees to serve as your advisor, this person will remain your advisor, serve as the clinical supervisor for your work in the Couple and Family Therapy Center, and chair your dissertation committee. 


Students may transfer up to 33 credits of appropriate graduate coursework from other universities if they have received a grade of B or better in the course. Practicum courses may not count as transfer courses. Students who have received an M.A. in MFT from a COAMFTEM.F.T. from a C.O.A.M.F.T.E.-accredited program will be granted 33 credits automatically. Other students will have their programs evaluated on an individual basis in order to determine the extent to which their prior coursework was equivalent to the required MFT M.F.T. M.A. coursework. Students wishing to transfer in credits from another University should file their Program of Study by the end of their first term of study.

Clinical Requirements

All MFT M.F.T. doctoral students are expected to continue clinical practice throughout their graduate study and to complete, prior to graduation, the 1000 supervised client contact hours with individuals, couples, and families required for AAMFT A.A.M.F.T. Clinical Fellow Membership. These 1000 client hours may be accumulated prior to doctoral work and during the doctoral practicum and internship experience. Any hours in excess of the 1000 required for Clinical Membership may be used to fulfill the remaining 1000 hours of clinical work required for certification as an Approved Supervisor. Up until they complete their doctoral internship, doctoral students are expected to submit signed monthly statements of client and supervision hours, and these hours must meet the same standards outlined for the Master’s Program. At least 50% of their client contact hours must be with couples or families physically present in the therapy room, at least 50% of their supervision must be individual supervision, and at least 50% of their supervision must be based on live, videotaped, or audiotaped session data. Doctoral students must receive 1 hour of supervision for every 5 client contact hours, with the exception of internship students who must have one hour of supervision weekly. All supervision must be by Approved Supervisors, Supervisors-in-Training, or the equivalent. Students who begin doctoral work without the equivalent of 500 client contact hours from a COAMFTEC.O.A.M.F.T.E.-Approved Masters Program must register for MFT register for M.F.T. 760 until the client contact hours are completed.


M.F.T. 860, Advanced


M.F.T. Practicum

All doctoral students must see clients at the Couple and Family Therapy Center under the supervision of the MFT M.F.T. faculty for two years and register for a total of 6 credits of MFT M.F.T. 860. Students who wish to extend their work at the SU S.U. Center beyond the two required years must register for 1 credit of MFT M.F.T. 860 for each additional semester of supervision at the Center.


M.F.T. 960,


M.F.T. Internship

Students cannot begin the internship until all coursework and case notes are up to date and the qualifying examination is passed (unless otherwise negotiated with the doctoral committee).


At least two months before beginning the internship, the student should present in writing to the Doctoral Program Director a proposal for how s/he wishes to complete the internship requirement. The contract should clearly stipulate the basis and format for evaluation of the student's performance throughout the course of the internship. The student and the Doctoral Program Director must sign the internship contract before the internship can officially begin. Students should register for MFT M.F.T. 960 every semester they are on internship. 

COAMFTE C.O.A.M.F.T.E. has stipulated that clinical internship sites must meet the following criteria: 


Each student must submit a paper that demonstrates a thorough understanding of her/his philosophy of family systems based therapy, grounded in germinal and extant family therapy literature. There is no page limit for the paper. It must demonstrate doctoral level writing skills (correct grammar, proper paragraph and sentence structure, clear and succinct language, correct APA A.P.A. style and referencing). 

The paper is to be prepared with minimal consultation from the advisor. It is recommended that students gain an understanding of the examining process by attending qualifying examinations of other students and that they seek feedback from their colleagues before submitting their written portion. Samples of the written portions of previous qualifying examinations are available upon request from the Administrative Assistant. 


  1. Theory of Therapy: An in-depth delineation of the student's theory of therapy, including a discussion of her/his assumptions about how change occurs, a description of related intervention strategies, an analysis of the student therapist's use of self in therapy, and a statement about the definition of health. 
  2. Description of Case: An in-depth description of one family or couple case whichillustrates which illustrates the above theory, including description of the clients, overview of the course of treatment, review of any assessment instruments utilized, discussion of related cultural and gender issues, and evaluation of the interventions given the context of the therapy. The role of supervision in the development of the case should be clear. This section of the paper should conclude with a detailed discussion of how the student’s theory was illustrated in the clinical work with the case.


The dissertation committee will be present at the time of the oral examination and the defending student can decide to invite others. Only SU MFT S.U.M.F.T. students are allowed to be present during the video clips and the defending student must use pseudonyms and caution when discussing the case. 


In the case of failure or pass with revisions members of the examining committee will submit feedback to the student and the adviser will meet with the student to explain the reasons for failure and the desired changes. If the student is required to retake one or all parts, s/he will be allowed to have two repeats of the failed portion of the examination process. Students must take the examination within 90 days of the failed attempt. Students may not begin their internships until all three parts of the examination are completed. If the student does not pass all parts of the examination process the third time, s/he will be asked to withdraw from the MFT M.F.T. Program. 

Students who fail only the written portion and/or research component may, at the discretion of the committee, not repeat the oral examination. Students who fail the oral part of their examinations must wait until the next time the exams are offered to take them again. Students who fail the written and/or research part of the examination may not begin their internships until they resubmit and pass these portions.


Students may defend their dissertation proposal after all their course work is satisfactorily completed and the qualifying examination has been passed. The preparation of a dissertation proposal will be supervised by a dissertation committee composed of at least three faculty members chosen by the student on the basis of his/her area of special interest. The committee will be chaired by the student’s advisor and must include at least one other MFT M.F.T. faculty member; the remaining member may come from either inside or outside the College. If the student and advisor deem it advisable and useful, they may add additional members. 


  1. Earn a B- or better in all MFT M.F.T. courses (and courses affiliated with Certificates of AdvancedStudy) and maintain a GPA G.P.A. of 3.0 or better for all courses listed on the Program of Study.
  2. Conduct self in a manner consistent with standards established in the AAMFT A.A.M.F.T. Code of Ethics;
  3. Refrain from behavior determined by the faculty to be detrimental to self or others (clients, classmates, university employees, etc.)
  4. Register for MFT M.F.T. Practicum each semester and continue seeing clients until 500 client contact hours are completed, or, after matriculation as a Ph.D. student, register for MFT M.F.T. 860and continue being clinically active until completion of coursework and the qualifying examination;
  5. While registered for MFT M.F.T. Practicum, 860, and 960, maintain appropriate client and supervision hours and submit necessary paperwork documenting these hours;
  6. Receive satisfactory end-of-term supervisor reports;
  7. Maintain registration by registering for course work or for GRD G.R.D. 998, Degree in Progress, 0 credits, every semester until date of degree;
  8. If you are enrolled in the CAS C.A.S. in Trauma-Informed Practice, earn a B- or better in all corecourses core courses and maintain a GPA G.P.A. of 3.0 or better for all elective courses.
  9. If doctoral student, show continual progress toward completion of coursework, qualifying examination, internship, dissertation proposal, and dissertation.
  10. Doctoral students who have completed coursework and not yet defended their qualifying exams or dissertation must meet with the faculty once a year to demonstrate “continual progress toward completion” of program requirements.


  1. Faculty and teaching staff will advise the Department Chair of any MFT M.F.T. student who is not performing at a B- or better level at or after the mid-term of the semester.
  2. Faculty and teaching staff will advise the student of the unacceptable performance and will note to the student that the program requires a B- grade or better in all MFT M.F.T. courses during their degree program.
  3. The Department Chair may determine, in consultation with the Graduate Director, and/or the Director of Clinical Services, and/or the Internship Coordinator, and/or the faculty or teaching staff member, to convene a meeting with the student to discuss the performance issue and develop a corrective course of action plan.
  4. A record of unacceptable academic and/or clinical performance will be maintained in the student’s record in the department office.
  5. MFT M.F.T. faculty and teaching staff will review policies related to academic and clinical performance on an annual basis, at the April department meeting.
  6. The Department Chair will report annually, to all faculty and teaching staff, aggregated dataon student academic and clinical performance, at the April department meeting.

Students who take courses in the Graduate School prior to enrolling in the MFT M.F.T. core courses may not begin the MFT M.F.T. core courses if they (a) have a GPA G.P.A. of less than 3.0 or (b) carry any incomplete(s) for course(s) being counted toward the degree. Students who have been admitted to the Department but do not matriculate the following Fall must either defer their application or re-apply for admission.

All requirements for the M.A. degree must be completed within a period of five years from the date the student registers for the first course to be used in her/his MFT M.F.T. M.A. program of study. If the degree is not obtained within this period, the student may petition the MFT M.F.T. faculty and the Graduate School for an extension of time or for reinstatement of credit in an outdated course, stating rationale for currency of knowledge in the particular content. A candidate for the doctorate is expected to complete the dissertation within five years after passing the qualifying examination or must similarly petition the Graduate School for extension of time. Justification for such extension must include evidence that the student is maintaining current knowledge in the field. A student who fails to receive such an extension will be required to repeat the qualifying examination.


Students have the opportunity to provide direct feedback to the department regarding the needs of their cohort through participation on department committees and through representation at MFT M.F.T. Faculty/Department meetings. Student representatives sit on the MFT M.F.T. Research Committee, the MFT the M.F.T. Curriculum Committee and the MFT M.F.T. Technology Committee. M.F.T. MFT Department meetings will include all faculty and staff, and one student representative from each cohort (1st-year and second-year classes). A student representative will be appointed to the Promotion and Tenure Committee at the discretion of the committee chair. Student representatives to MFT M.F.T. Department committees may be from any cohort, and may include part-time students. Department meetings are held monthly throughout the academic year (August, September, October, November, December (if necessary) and January, February, March, and April. Department meetings during the summer sessions are held on an ad hoc basis.

Additionally, the department surveys first-year students in the fall semester, in regards to the admissions and orientation process, and surveys second-year students in the spring semester to determine overall satisfaction with the MFT M.F.T. department. This is supplemented by the Program Director meeting with all students in the department, in small groups, for an informal lunch discussion about their issues and concerns about the department. These meetings take place on an annual basis. Students can contact the Department Chair to indicate interest in serving on a committee or as representatives to department meetings.


Students must maintain registration from time of matriculation until graduation. In those semesters when you are not registered for specific course or dissertation credits, you must register for GRD G.R.D. 998, Degree in Progress, 0 credit. This allows you to maintain an active student status without tuition cost and entitles you to use all campus resources, including libraries and computers. Please be aware that masters students can be awarded full time student status while completing clinical requirements through the summer of their second year, for issues related to student loans. 

When a student is working to fulfill the requirements for two or more distinct masters degrees at SUS.U., the minimum number of credits needed must be at least 80 percent of the combined total of Syracuse credits normally required for each of the separate degrees. When a student is planning to pursue a M.A. in MFT M.F.T. and a doctoral degree in another field, the student should consult with the Chair as early as possible about appropriate protocol. 


In the term in which you wish to receive a degree, you must (a) register for 0 or actual credit, (b) file a Diploma Request card by the due date (usually within the first few weeks of the term within which one is to graduate), (c) ensure that your Program of Study has been approved and filed with the Graduate School, (d) check that your transcript matches your Program of Study and that all necessary petitions for exceptions to published requirements have been approved and filed with the Graduate School, and (e) check that the Department has informed the Graduate School of the completion of any additional requirements (e.g., comprehensive examination or Masters project, practicum requirements, internship, qualifying examination, and dissertation oral examination). Additionally, students must have completed the required clinical and supervision hours and submit signed paperwork confirming these requirements have been met.


AAM.F.T. Membership 

Students should maintain membership in AAMFT A.A.M.F.T. throughout their enrollment in the M.A. and doctoral programs. M.A. students should apply for Student Membership in AAMFT A.A.M.F.T. their first term in the core program and maintain registration until receiving their degree. Doctoral students should apply for Student, Associate, or Clinical Membership, depending upon their credentials.

A student is eligible to apply for Associate Membership when all requirements for the M.A. degree are complete. The Chair notifies AAMFT A.A.M.F.T. when a student has completed allrequirements all requirements for the degree so that s/he may begin as soon as possible to count the two years that must pass between completing degree requirements and applying for Clinical Membership. You may want to check to be sure that this is done. Within a few months after applying for Associate Membership, you will receive notification from AAMFT A.A.M.F.T. regarding how many more client and supervision hours you will require for Clinical Membership. If this does not match your records, check with the Chair.

An individual who graduates from an accredited program is eligible to apply for Clinical Membership upon completion of the following: (a) a minimum of two years of MFT M.F.T. clinical hours and supervision following completion of requirements for the M.A. degree; and (b) 200 hours of appropriate supervision and 1000 hours of face-to-face MFT M.F.T. client hours. At least 100 of the 200 hours must be individual supervision. If you accumulate more than 500 client hours and 100 supervision hours while completing your M.A. degree, you will be credited with all of these hours provided that supervision and client hours have at least a 1-5 ratio.


Syracuse University offers federally funded student financial aid to qualified graduate students. The Financial Aid Office administers financially funded loans and Federal Work Study. To be eligible for federally funded student financial aid, you must be accepted into a program leading to a degree, not be in default or owe a refund on any previous student loan, be enrolled at least half time (6 credits per semester), maintain satisfactory academic progress, have financial aid transcripts from the colleges and universities you have attended sent to the SU S.U. Financial Aid Office, and be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. To apply for such aid, you must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSAFederal Student Aid (F.A.F.S.A.), which is available from most college or university financial aid offices and high school guidance offices. When you complete your FAFSAF.A.F.S.A., you must list Syracuse University as one of the schools to which you want the information sent. Within four weeks of submission, you should receive a Student Aid Report (SARS.A.R.) from the Department of Education. Syracuse University will receive this information approximately two weeks after you receive your SARS.A.R. You should apply for financial aid as far as possible before the beginning of the semester in which you enroll. Though you will not be notified about financial aid eligibility until you are admitted, you should not wait until you are admitted to file your FAFSAF.A.F.S.A. Contact the SU S.U. Financial Aid Office for more information.


Graduate Assistantships

Outside of the MFT M.F.T. department, assistantships come in various forms and sizes. The most common are teaching assistantships and research assistantships, either full-time (20 hours of work a week from the beginning of Fall term until the completion of Spring term) for 24 tuition credits plus a stipend or part time (10 hours of work a week) for 12 tuition credits and a stipend. Search and see what you can find, and then apply, apply, apply. Be sure to inform yourself of the benefits available to students on assistantship (e.g., health benefits, tuition benefits for spouse, and discounts at the bookstore).


These are coveted and highly competitive awards for which Ph.D. students are nominated by their program or department. The deadline to be nominated is in early February. University Fellowships come in two forms -- the multiple year package (which generally consists of two years of fellowship interspersed by a year of assistantship) and the one-year award. Generally, the multiple year awards go to new applicants (in an effort to recruit outstanding students to the University), but students who are completing the M.A. degree at SU S.U. and who have been admitted to a doctoral program will be considered as new applicants. The one-year awards are for continuing students completing their doctoral program, and hence are given to students about to be enrolled in their final full year of study (e.g., completed all coursework and qualifying examination). A fellowship usually provides for 30 tuition credits and a stipend.


Both the department and the college award monies to help defray cost of attendance at professional meetings to present a paper or serve as invited presenter. Both grant periods are in the fall and applications are typically due the first part of October. The application and award processes for the college and department are run separately. The chair of the department will have applications for both sets of awards. The awards are small, typically around $300; the department goal is to fund as many students as possible.

Teaching Fellowships and Outstanding


T.A. Award 

Each January, faculty are asked to nominate outstanding teaching assistants to compete for the 24 Teaching Fellow positions. Teaching Fellows serve as the core instructional staff during the summer TA Summer T.A. Program orientation, serving as small group leaders and mentors to the University’s 300+ new TAs T.A.s and contributing to the Program’s activities throughout the year. Fellows receive a stipend plus board. Applicants must submit an application, vita, and teaching portfolio containing evidence of teaching experience and competence. To be appointed a Teaching Fellow is a significant academic honor. If you are interested in competing, be sure your faculty know to nominate you. The Outstanding TA T.A. Award, one of the top honors bestowed upon graduate students by the University, is granted to about 4% of all TAs T.A.s campus-wide and, again, is dependent upon nomination by faculty. Students who wish to be considered for any of these awards should begin early to develop the necessary teaching portfolio.


If you are a first or second year MFT M.F.T. M.A. student on a full-time assistantship, you must petition to have your credits “redistributed”. This is because, whereas you are given 9 credits of tuition a term (12 if on a fellowship) plus 6 in the summer, you usually register for 10 credits the first Fall, 8 credits the first spring, and 7 credits the first summer.


M.F.T. Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Professional Staff


Syracuse University and I are committed to your success and to supporting Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This means that in general no individual who is otherwise qualified shall be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity, solely by reason of having a disability. If you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Services(ODSO.D.S.), located in Room 309 of 804 University Avenue, or call (315) 443-4498 for an appointment to discuss your needs and the process for requesting accommodations. ODS . O.D.S. is responsible for coordinating disability-related accommodations and will issue students with documented Disabilities Accommodation Authorization Letters, as appropriate. Since accommodations may require early planning and generally are not provided retroactively, please contact ODS O.D.S. as soon as possible. You are also welcome to contact me privately to discuss your academic needs although I cannot arrange for disability-related accommodations. If you have an authorized disability-related accommodations you should provide me with a current Accommodation Authorization Letter from ODS O.D.S. and review those accommodations with me at the beginning of the semester.