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       PhD in Medical Family Therapy -- About Our Program

Director's Welcome About Our Program What is MedFT Admission Requirements Course Info Faculty Bios Alumni & Student Spotlight Military Family Therapy Modules

The first ever doctoral program in Medical Family Therapy (MedFT) was established at East Carolina University (ECU) in fall 2005 and graduated the first group of MedFT doctoral students in the nation in May of 2008. The mission of the doctoral program in Medical Family Therapy (MedFT) 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. Our doctoral students conduct research, teach, and supervise from a relational and systemic perspective through the incorporation of a biopsychosocial-spiritual approach. The aim is to widen the knowledge base in healthcare to include biomedical, psychosocial, and family data in the collaborative education, treatment, research, and theoretical understanding of medical and mental health issues. In January 2009, the Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Family Therapy was accredited by COAMFTE (Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education), which made it the first accredited MedFT program in the United States. The program was reaccredited in 2013.

East Carolina University Medical Family Therapy graduates are competent in:

  • Conducting both qualitative and quantitative research regarding health, relationships, and larger systems
  • Assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients from a variety of different cultural, socioeconomic, and racial communities using a biopsychosocial-spiritual lens
  • Treating patients, researching and teaching in medical contexts
  • Supervising MFT and MedFT supervisees

What does the East Carolina University Medical Family Therapy program offer its students?

  • A variety of internship opportunities in the field from medical settings to military settings
  • Opportunities for full academic funding through tuition remissions, graduate assistantship positions, and health insurance coverage
  • Flexibility in developing new and exciting research and training opportunities
  • State-of-the-art audio/visual technology for observing and recording live therapy and supervision sessions
  • Faculty with diverse interests who have gained numerous awards and honors
  • Learning environments that foster diversity and tolerance


Redditt House: Medical Family Therapy Research Academy:

On August 15, 2011 the doors to the Redditt House: Medical Family Therapy Research Academy were opened as a place for national and international opportunities for collaborative and integrated healthcare research and training.

The MedFT Research Academy Mission Statement:

The Medical Family Therapy Research Academy cultivates national leaders in research, teaching, policy, supervision, and advanced practice in collaborative and integrated health care. For more information please visit:

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. Students completing the program will be expected to fulfill educational and clinical requirements for marriage and family therapy licensure. This program is taught in a traditional face-to-face classroom environment.

More information about our program:


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