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Attention: Starting immediately, Graduate Certificates will no longer be available. Enrolled students can either complete their existing certificate programs or consult with their advisor to explore the possibility of transitioning into a master's degree program.

The Graduate Certificate Program in Family Studies is a 24 credit hour program (8 courses). Students who decide to continue their studies in Family Therapy may be able to apply some of these credit hours toward the M.S., Ph.D., or D.M.F.T. in Family Therapy if accepted into the program.

SFTM 5310 - Introduction to Systems Theories (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of theories that use metaphors of system, pattern, interaction, and communication to describe human behavior and relationships as well as the study of the emergence of theories from cybernetics to language studies.

SFTM 5311 - Substance Abuse/Addictions and Critical Issues in Systems Theories (3 credits)

This course addresses the application of modern and postmodern ideas to substance abuse, addictions, and critical issues in the practice of therapy. Emphasis is placed on the application of modern and postmodern ideas to substance abuse, additions, and critical issues based on research, theories, practice, and treatment. Also included are other critical issues of culture, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, violence and other areas of critical concern in social systems.

SFTM 5320 - Introduction to Marital and Family Therapy (3 credits)

An introduction and review of the history of marital and family therapy and the clinical approaches of interactional therapies are included in this course. The focus is based on basic therapeutic concepts and skills to include joining, listening, and conducting the initial interview through termination. 

SFTM 5350 - Research in Marriage and Family Therapy (3 credits)

This course offers a review of quantitative and qualitative methods of inquiry, as exemplified in recent marital and family therapy research studies. The course focuses on teaching students to be intelligent, critical consumers of research in the field. Prerequisite: SFTM 5310.

SFTM 6320 - Assessment in Marital and Family Therapy (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of methods and instruments used to define problems and indicate solutions. Diagnosis, appraisals, assessments, and testing appropriate to the practice of marriage and family therapy are addressed. This course also includes a comparative study of interactional approaches and individual and family dysfunction assessments.

SFTM 6331 - Diversity and Psychosocial Issues (3 credits)

Human development in the context of family transitions across the life cycle such as childbirth, childhood, adolescence, courtship, marriage, maturity, aging, and death are reviewed. This course focuses on the diversity of psychosocial development across ethnicity, class, gender, race, age, and culture with discussions and implications for interactional therapies and practices.

SFTM 6332 - Human Sexuality and Gender (3 credits)

This course provides a review of the psychosocial development of sexuality and gender from childhood through aging. Also addressed is a summary of clinical approaches to sexual and gender issues comparing interactional approaches with psychodynamic and behavioral models. Corequisite: SFTM 5310.

In addition to the above coursework, students are required to choose one elective from a selection of courses, including but not limited to:

  • FSHC 5000: Family Systems Health Care I
  • FSHC 5010: Family Systems Health Care II (Grief and Loss)
  • SFTM 5036: Infant Mental Health
  • SFTM 5037: Suicide Prevention and Crisis Intervention
  • SFTM 5038: Military Families
  • SFTM 5039: Collaborative Divorce
  • SFTM 5050: Family Play Therapy
  • SFTM 5355: Introduction to Equine-Assisted Family Therapy
  • DMFT 5363 Advanced Equine Assisted Family Therapy
  • SFTM 5361: Developing a Private Practice in Coaching and Therapy
  • SFTM 5362: Solution Focused Coaching
  • SFTM 5366: Advanced Addictions Treatment in Counseling and Therapy
  • SFTM 5367: Working with Autism & ADHD: Applied Behavior Analysis and Systemic Thinking
  • SFTM 6550 International Perspectives in MFT

The required electives may be taken in the term of the student’s choice.

Below is a sample of a degree plan for a full-time student who begins their studies in Fall term. Degree plans will be modified based on a student's enrollment date and pace of study.

Table 1: degree Plan: 24 Credit Hours
Year 1
Fall (September) SFTM 5310
Introduction to Systems Theories
SFTM 6331
Diversity and Psychosocial Issues
SFTM 5320
Introduction to Marital & Family Therapy
Winter (January) SFTM 5311
Substance Abuse/Addiction and Critical Issues in System Theory
SFTM 5350
Research in Marital & Family Therapy
Summer (April) SFTM 6332
Human Sexuality and Gender
SFTM 6320
Assessment in Marital & Family Therapy
Graduation & Celebration
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