I don’t quite meet all of the admission requirements. How firm are they?
We look at the entire application package that prospective students send to us. That is, perhaps you have spent several years in the helping professions, either by employment or through volunteering, that would help you stand out in another way. Or you might have a stellar GPA but
find taking tests to be difficult. That being said, entry into the MFT Program is quite competitive, so the lower one is on a GRE, the more emphasis we place on other types of experience and expertise to balance out a low GRE. Applicants are encouraged to explain special circumstances in their statement of purpose or their autobiographical statement.
What undergraduate degree do I need to apply to the program?
We prefer undergraduate majors from Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, and Human Development & Family Studies; however we have taken outstanding applicants from other majors.
I’m thinking about applying to the program, and I’m wondering what courses I should take to help prepare me for graduate work.
We strongly suggest you take a statistics course prior to starting our program. If you have a major that is different from those stated in the previous question, then we strongly recommend you take coursework in human development and/or family studies.
I see the program requires a thesis. What makes writing a thesis so important?
We strongly believe that through conducting your own research, you learn how to be an educate consumer of research, meaning that you know how to critically read and evaluate research that others have done, as well as knowing how to conduct your own research studies. We value the scholar-practitioner model, which says (in part) that competent clinicians are effective consumers and producers of research, and vice versa.
As the mental health profession becomes more accountable for its effectiveness in the marketplace (e.g., to insurance companies), clinicians will need to know how to record evidence of effectiveness—this is another important reason why clinicians need to know about research.
Finally, many of the graduates from our program go on to PhD Programs in Marriage and Family Therapy—most of which require a completed thesis. We like to provide as many possibilities for our students to be successful in different ways; writing a thesis opens up the possibility for PhD work in our graduates’ futures.
Who should write my letters of recommendation?
We look for letter writers who can speak to your skills and abilities that are applicable to graduate school in general and specific to being a (future) therapist; therefore, we prefer letter writers to know who you are in an academic or work capacity. We suggest that you work closely with one or two faculty members on a project or task for a semester or two, so that you can learn more about research and academia. Similarly, we like to see applicants who have experience volunteering in the field, so a letter writer who has overseen your volunteer work tends to be a good reference for you as well.