Child Development & Family Relations  

       PhD in Medical Family Therapy -- Admission Requirements

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Click here to apply to East Carolina University. Admission to East Carolina University does not guarantee admissions into your desired program of study.

Admission Requirements:
Candidates should follow the application procedures of the University Graduate School.
Applications must be submitted on or before January 1st. The Graduate School has minimum requirements for all applicants to graduate programs. In order to meet the Graduate School’s criteria, you must have at least a 2.75 GPA and be in the 30th percentile on the GRE. Many of our successful applicants have a minimum 3.0 GPA and 302 on the GRE.

Applicants must have a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy or a related discipline. Applicants from a related field should have completed a course of study that demonstrates competencies in basic marriage and family therapy studies and clinical experience.

The application must be submitted by January 1 and include:

  1. Completed application form and application fee
  2. Official transcripts for all colleges/universities attended
  3. Three (3) letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty or supervisors from medical contexts)
  4. Statement of Intent (should include the student's
    1. Experiences related to medical family therapy
    2. Research experiences and interests, including a clear research plan if accepted into the program
    3. Vision for his/her career with a medical family therapy degree (i.e., why your career would require a PhD)
    4. Strengths and areas of growth that have shaped his/her career
    5. Description of him/herself as a clinician
  5. GRE scores
  6. 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 may transfer up to 9 credit hours of doctoral course work toward their degree. Students who do not have a master’s in family therapy must complete specified courses from the M.S. family therapy curriculum prior to starting the doctoral curriculum. Contact Dr. Angela Lamson regarding transfer credits at

Other Requirements:
Students must complete a standard curriculum for doctoral programs as stipulated by the Commission for the Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Full time 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’s Brody School of Medicine (BSOM), School of Nursing, School of Allied Health Sciences, Department of Psychology, and the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies). 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 are available as part of the doctoral education experience.

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