Doctoral Programs

Doctoral and postdoctoral training programs

Doctoral programs in psychology offer varying levels of training in couple and family therapy.

Doctoral programs in psychology offer varying levels of training in couple and family therapy. APA’s (Commission for the Recognition of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional Psychology [CRSPPP], 2012) Education and Training Guidelines provides a helpful taxonomy for categorizing specialized training:

  • Exposure: doctoral programs that offer one to two courses in couple and family psychology.
  • Experience: doctoral programs that offer one to two courses, as well as a practicum in couple and family psychology.
  • Emphasis: doctoral programs that offer at least four courses and two practica in couple and family psychology.
  • Major area of study: doctoral programs that offer two to three years of didactics, supervised practica and a dissertation/research project in couple and family psychology.

Doctoral psychology programs that offer training in couples and/or family therapy are listed below by region and state. This data was aggregated from a review of program websites.

NortheastNortheast Region

New England
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont

Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts-Amherst (Amherst, Mass.)
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Child and adolescent psychopathology, child seminar clinical training. Practica in child, adolescent and family therapy are offered within the department’s Psychological Services Center and at community hospitals, mental health centers and schools.
Specialized Tracks: The child and family (CAF) concentration trains graduate students for professional work as academic clinical psychologists. The CAF specialization provides training in clinical research, assessment and intervention with children, adolescents and families. All students in the clinical psychology program are required to take coursework that focuses on both adults and children. The program addresses development across the life course, from infancy through adolescence to adulthood, with attention to the ways in which social contexts, such as family, race, ethnicity and social class, affect individual well-being and development. Students in the CAF specialization also conduct research and take part in clinical practica that focus on children, adolescents and families. Faculty maintain a strong relationship with the Center for Research On Families and the UMass Psychology Rudd Chair Home for adoption studies.

New Hampshire

Antioch University New England (Keene, N.H.)
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Psychotherapeutic intervention: individual and family (two semester sequence).

Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island (Kingston, R.I.)
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Family therapy, child therapy, child and adolescent personality assessment and intervention, developmental psychopathology
Specialized Tracks: Focus area (four additional courses) available in child/family/developmental psychology.
Mid-Atlantic
New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania

New Jersey

Piscataway
Rutgers University
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Family therapy for childhood disorders, cognitive behavioral therapy for childhood disorders, cognitive behavioral family therapy for adolescent problems, psychological intervention with ethnic and racial minority clients and families, behavioral couples therapy.
South Orange
Seton Hall University
Type: Counseling psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Couple and family dynamics: systemic perspectives, seminar in child and adolescent psychopathology, group psychotherapy with children and adolescents

New York

Albany
University of Albany-SUNY
Type: Counseling psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Doctoral students in their third year or beyond who are fluent in Spanish may go to Spain for a period of two months to one year to train in La Coruña’s interdisciplinary Postgraduate Family Intervention Program, directed by Valentín Escudero, PhD.
Alfred
Alfred University
Type: School psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Introduction to family therapy
Clinical Training: Practicum available at The Child and Family Services Center
Brooklyn
Long Island University
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Family therapy, child psychopathology, psychotherapy of children, psychopathology and psychotherapy of adolescents
Clinical Training: Third year clinical training takes place in many hospital and clinical settings in the metropolitan area. For those interested in developing expertise with children and adolescents, placements such as Beth Israel Medical Center, Bronx Children’s Psychiatric Center, Cornell Westchester Medical Center, Jewish Child Care Association and Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services provide intensive training. Students seeking intensive training in family therapy may be placed at Morrisania Hospital or other treatment facilities offering specialized training.

Pennsylvania

Chestnut Hill College (Philadelphia, Penn.)
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Introduction to couple and family therapy, advanced couple and family therapy (and lab), treating the contemporary family, family therapy with young children, advanced practice of family therapy
Specialized Tracks: Couple and family therapy concentration (nine credits) available.

MidwestMidwest

East North Central
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin

Illinois

Chicago
Adler University
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Specialized Tracks: Child and adolescent psychology emphasis provides focused coursework, training and mentorship that prepare students as clinical psychologists who work specifically with children and adolescents and the issues that impact their mental health and well-being. Students gain research- and practice-based understanding and skills related to assessment and intervention methods that are most appropriate to younger clients, as well as understanding of the broader structural and sociocultural factors that affect children and adolescents.

Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Child and adolescent assessment, family and couples therapy
Wheaton
Wheaton College
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Family systems theory and therapy, couple therapy, advanced couple and family therapy, child and adolescence interventions, sexuality and sex therapy

Indiana

Bloomington
Indiana University
Type: Counseling Psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Introduction to Marriage and Family Counseling, Family Processes and Child/Adolescent Development
Indianapolis
University of Indianapolis
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Child and adolescent psychopathology, child and adolescent assessment, advanced treatment strategies with children, adolescents and families
Clinical Training: Students can choose from about 20 practicum sites around the city that serve infants to adolescents with a variety of diagnoses. Settings include hospitals, schools, private practice and community mental health.
Specialized Tracks: The child and adolescent psychology concentration (nine credits) provides students with advanced courses in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of infancy, childhood and adolescence. Courses emphasize developmental psychopathology, through which the biological, intrapsychic, interpersonal and sociocultural levels of analysis inform the students' understanding of children's unfolding adaptive and maladaptive functioning. These advanced conceptualization skills provide the foundation for the design and implementation of interventions directed at the assessment and treatment of children, families and other related systems.
Muncie
Ball State University
Type: Counseling psychology (PhD)
Specialized Tracks: Cognate (ranging from 15 to 24 credits) available in couples and family counseling.

Michigan

Western Michigan University (Kalamazoo, Mich.)
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Family therapy, child behavior therapy

Ohio

Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio)
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Child and family intervention case seminar (two semester sequence)
Specialized Tracks: Child and family track available, with optional pediatric specialization. Students may choose a sub-specialty in clinical child/family psychology. There is a developmental focus with a goal of integrating research, theory and practice. In addition to completing general clinical requirements, trainees also take child development and developmental psychopathology classes. A year-long didactic seminar focuses on intervention approaches with children, families, parents and couples from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Students participate in and develop child-related research projects. In their third year, they take a year-long seminar where they present child and family cases. There are two child-oriented, pre-internship placements where students acquire experience with a variety of assessment and intervention approaches and populations. Specialized clinical experience relevant to a student’s particular interest also may be arranged.
West North Central
Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota

Kansas

The University of Kansas (Lawrence, Kan.)
Type: Clinical child psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Psychopathology in children, fundamentals of psychological assessment and intervention with children, advanced child and family assessment, therapeutic interventions with children, psychotherapy with families, theory of marriage and family counseling
Clinical Training: Students complete their introductory and intermediate clinical practicum in the KU Child and Family Services Clinic under the supervision of approved clinical team leaders. Advanced practicum experiences may be obtained in this clinic or at an external clinical setting.

Minnesota

Minnesota School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University (Eagan, Minn.)
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Assessment and treatment of children and families

Missouri

University of Missouri (Colombia, Mo.)
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Family and group process, developmental psychopathology
Clinical Training: Supervision in family therapy offered through the Psychological Services Clinic, a community-based outpatient facility that serves as the primary clinical practicum site for the program. Training is also available at external placements.
Specialized Tracks: Dual emphasis degree available in child clinical and developmental psychology. This program offers the equivalent of training in the area of developmental psychopathology with the added benefits of training and practice in child-clinical psychology.

WestWest

Mountain
Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming

Colorado

Denver
University of Denver
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Systems models, couples therapy, family therapy, assessment and treatment of children, assessment and treatment of adolescents, pro sem: couple and family, pro sem: child and adolescent psychotherapy
Specialized Tracks: Each student is expected to choose a specialty area in which to increase depth of theoretical knowledge and skills. Family therapy and child assessment/therapy specialties are available (15 credits).
Greeley
University of Northern Colorado
Type: Counseling psychology (PhD)
Clinical Training: Couples and family practica available, in which doctoral students are supervised by licensed psychologists and receive live supervision from behind a one-way mirror. Students received feedback immediately after finishing sessions and review real-time feedback dubbed onto session recordings. Advanced students also have the option to supervise couples and family practica.

Montana

University of Montana (Missoula, Mont.)
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Child interventions, child psychopathology, child assessment, family psychology
Specialized Tracks: Child, adolescent and family emphasis available. Students with an interest in child, adolescent and family issues are encouraged to select courses, practica, research and clinical training assistantship experiences that have a child, adolescent and family emphasis in the context of our general clinical program.

Utah

University of Utah (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Type: Counseling psychology (PhD)
Specialized Tracks: Family/marriage/couples and child/adolescent psychology specialties available, consisting of a minimum of six credits of advanced coursework.
Pacific
Alaska, California, Hawai’i, Oregon and Washington

California

Azusa
Azusa Pacific University
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Psychology and systems theory, systems II: family therapy, family psychology, moral and spiritual identity formation in the family, family forensic psychology I and II, child and adolescent psychology, systems IV: couples theory and therapy
Specialized Tracks: A family systems theoretical foundation undergirds all courses so that students learn to think systemically and apply systemic analysis to clinical situations. A family forensic psychology concentration (eight credits) is available, which provides an opportunity for students to pursue more-focused training in this specialty area.
Berkeley
The Wright Institute
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Advanced pediatric, child and adolescent assessment (three trimester sequence), as well as child treatment and emotionally focused couples therapy
Clinical Training: Advanced practica at the Wright Institute Clinic, the Wright Institute Recovery Clinic and various external placements offer training in child, couple and family therapy.
Los Angeles
Pepperdine University
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Interventions with children and adolescents, theories and techniques of couple and family therapy: A and B (two semester sequence).

University of Southern California
Type: Clinical science (PhD)
Specialized Tracks: Clinical child/family track offers students research and clinical training in work related to children, adolescents, couples and families. The program emphasizes a developmental psychopathology perspective, incorporating a focus on both normal and abnormal development as related to family, community, school and cultural context. Students enroll in courses in normal cognitive and social development, longitudinal research methods, cultural context and a seminar in clinical interventions with children. Additional coursework on policy affecting youth and families is available in social work, education and law. Required practicum work involves a year-long course in intervention with couples, children and families involving applied work in our own Psychology Services Center. Additional assessment and intervention practicum experiences are available in schools, hospitals and mental health clinics that provide services to youth and families.
Palo Alto
Palo Alto University/Stanford Consortium
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Psychopathology across the lifespan: child and adolescent, couples and family therapy and child and adolescent therapy
Clinical Training: Practica opportunities with children, adolescents, couples and families
San Francisco
American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University-San Francisco Bay Area
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Family and couples therapy
Santa Barbara
Fielding Graduate University
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Marriage and family therapy, human sexuality and culture, forensic assessment in child custody and parental rights
Specialized Tracks: Parent-infant mental health and forensic psychology concentrations available.

University of California–Santa Barbara
Type: Counseling, clinical or school psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Counseling children and families, family and school violence, resiliency, strengths and youth development, behavioral assessment and intervention for children and adolescents
Clinical Training: Internal and external practica that provide training in assessment and psychotherapy with couples and families.
Southwestern California
Alliant International University (Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco, Calif.)
Type: Clinical Psychology (PhD and PsyD)
Related Coursework: Family psychology, child psychopathology, child assessment, child psychotherapy, couple therapy, interventions with military couples and families, advanced assessment elective: clinical assessment of children and adolescents, advanced assessment elective: clinical inference – children, family violence: child abuse
Specialized Tracks: Each track integrates external practicum placements working with children and families and requires a dissertation topic related to family psychology. The child and family track (San Francisco campus) fosters commitment to helping children and adolescents in bettering their future. Ecosystemic child emphasis (Fresno campus) is offered through the Ecosystemic Play Therapy Training Center, which provides all coursework required by the Association for Play Therapy to become a Registered Play Therapist. Family/child and couple emphasis (Los Angeles campus) builds the skillset to assess, diagnose and practice family and couple psychology in clinical settings. Family/child psychology emphasis (San Diego and San Francisco campuses) focuses on the study of ethnic and cultural issues within individuals and families from a variety of theoretical viewpoints including cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, family-systems and life span development.

SouthSouth

East South Central
Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee

Alabama

University of South Alabama (Mobile, Ala.)
Type: Combined clinical and counseling psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Child and family psychopathology and intervention
Clinical Training: Advanced practica available in parent child interaction therapy and emotion focused therapy.

Tennessee

Tennessee State University (Nashville, Tenn.)
Type: Psychology (PhD), counseling psychology concentration
Related Coursework: Couples, families and systems: assessment, theory and intervention, assessment, theory and interventions with military service members and families
West South Central
Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas

Texas

Denton
University of North Texas
Type: Counseling psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Psychopathology of childhood, diverse family systems, marriage and family therapy I and II, counseling for sexual dysfunction, child/adolescent psychotherapy
Specialized Tracks: The child and family cluster (15 credits) includes a three-course sequence in couple and family psychology. The first course is a general family psychology course and the second course combines didactic education in various theories and modalities of couple and family therapy with a heavy emphasis on role-plays and hands-on practice in the assessment and treatment of families. The final course requires students to translate therapeutic theory into actual counseling practice in a practicum experience with community couples or families. As the capstone experience, students provide services through the UNT Couple and Family Intervention Program, which offers 10 weeks of free assessment and therapy services to diverse community families with a wide range of concerns. Student clinicians work under close supervision (e.g., live supervision and video review). Students often choose to follow this internal training with additional external practica that focus on child, couple and/or family intervention.
Houston
University of Houston
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Child interventions, developmental psychopathology
Specialized Tracks: The clinical child psychology (CCP) concentration provides rigorous academic training in research and clinical interventions with youth ranging from infancy to young adulthood. Faculty work closely with mentees to develop the next generation of academic clinical child psychologists who are actively involved in generating, applying and disseminating scientific findings related to the psychosocial development; behavioral, affective and physical health; and evidence-based treatment of children and families. Concentrated study is available in the areas of depression and anxiety, externalizing disorders, personality development and disorder, emotion regulation, social cognition, family relationships, domestic violence, forensic psychology and sleep/wake processes. Faculty members and students participate in ongoing research collaborations at surrounding institutions including Texas Children’s Hospital, The Menninger Clinic and the Harris County Psychiatric Center-University of Texas.
San Antonio
Our Lady of the Lake University
Type: Counseling psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Psychotherapy with children, adolescents and their families, group and family processes, family processes across cultures, advanced systemic approaches to psychotherapy, couples and sex therapy
South Atlantic
Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, District of Columbia and West Virginia

Florida

Coral Gables
University of Miami
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Child and adolescent psychopathology, psychological evaluation of children and families and evidence-based psychological intervention with children
Clinical Training: Internal and external practica working with children, adolescents, couples and families
Specialized Tracks: Child/family clinical and child health/pediatric clinical tracks are available. Both clinical tracks are built on a scientist-practitioner model with a greater emphasis on the clinical science component. Dissemination of effective interventions into the community or health care settings cuts across both of these tracks.
Fort Lauderdale
NOVA Southeastern University
Type: Clinical Psychology (PhD, PsyD)
Related Coursework: Child and adolescent psychopathology, child and adolescent intervention, systems/family therapy
Specialized Tracks: The child, adolescent and family (CAFP) track addresses the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with significant emotional and behavioral problems and troubled families. The area focuses on empirically supported assessment and treatment methods. In addition, the area is concerned with efforts to promote and better understand healthy child and family development as well as the prevention of psychological problems of youth. Students participate in pre-practicum research and clinical practica with core faculty and complete 18 credits of specified coursework.
Gainesville
University of Florida
Type: Counseling psychology (PhD)
Clinical Training: Multiple external practicum placements offer supervision and experience in child, couple, and family therapy
Specialized Tracks: Students are required to take 14 credits of electives to tailor their training. Possible focus areas include children and adolescents, relationship and family therapy and sexuality and sexual functioning.
Melbourne
Florida Institute of Technology
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Child disorders and therapy, family approaches, marital and sex therapy
Specialized Tracks: The family/child psychology emphasis includes research opportunities, training in clinical assessment and evidenced-based treatments and internal and external practicum placements. Students are required to complete a least one practicum in the area of child and family psychology, although many students elect to take several practica.
Miami
Albizu University
(also has a location in San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Family theory and systems, family therapy I and lab, child psychopathology, child psychotherapy, child and adolescent assessment and children at risk Clinical Training: Practica opportunities providing couples and family psychotherapies
Specialized Tracks. A child psychology concentration is available, designed for students specializing in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents. Students are trained to use the developmental model to conceptualize behavioral and emotional disorders in youths. Special emphasis is placed on evidenced-based interventions with youths and their families.

Florida International University
Type: Clinical science in child and adolescent psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Assessment and intervention in childhood psychopathology (nine credit sequence) introduces the continuum of mental health care from assessment to treatment in the primary domains of childhood psychopathology.
Clinical Training: Students have extensive opportunities through partnership with the FIU Center for Children and Families, an interdisciplinary center focused on clinical research in child and adolescent mental health. Faculty, students and postdoctoral trainees conduct both large- and small-scale research and clinical activities with children and families to develop and implement prevention, intervention and dissemination activities across externalizing and internalizing dimensions of child and adolescent psychopathology.

Georgia

Georgia School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University (Atlanta, Ga.)
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Child and adolescent assessment, family and couples therapy

North Carolina

University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Type: Clinical psychology (PhD)
Related Coursework: Advanced family theory and research, empirically validated approaches to child and family psychotherapy
Specialized Tracks: Child/family clinical track available.

South Carolina

University of South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.)
Type: Clinical community psychology (PhD), school psychology (PhD)
Clinical Training: Practica available in child/family therapy, advanced child/family therapy and applied individual and couples psychotherapy

U.S. TerritoriesU.S. Territories

American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands
Albizu University (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
(Also located in Miami, Fl.)
Type: Clinical psychology (PsyD)
Related Coursework: Family theory and systems, family therapy I and lab, child psychopathology, child psychotherapy, child and adolescent assessment and children at risk Clinical Training: Practica opportunities providing couples and family psychotherapies
Specialized Tracks. A child psychology concentration is available, designed for students specializing in the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents. Students are trained to use the developmental model to conceptualize behavioral and emotional disorders in youths. Special emphasis is placed on evidenced-based interventions with youths and their families.