Online DMFT Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy

Northcentral University offers excellent online doctoral options for students who want to earn their Doctorate of Marriage and Family Therapy (DMFT) in several specialties. This is a fulfilling and challenging full time, online program that is designed to meet your goals and needs in the fascinating and growing field of marriage and family therapy.

This DMFT program, whichever speciality you choose, has no entrance exam requirements. Northcentral University has an independent study approach that is made for highly motivated students who want to earn their DMFT largely on their own and at their own speed. The program has 20 courses, 60 credit hours, and a completion time of approximately 48 months.

The general core required courses are:

  • Foundations of Relational/Systemic Practice, Theories and Models
  • Clinical Treatment with Individuals, Couples and Families
  • Diverse, Multicultural and/or Underserved Communities
  • Research and Evaluation
  • Professional Identity, Law, Ethics and Social Responsibility
  • Biopsychosocial Health and Development Across the Lifespan
  • Systemic and Relational Assessment and Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Clinical Experience

Another benefit of the the DMFT program is that it is the only DMFT in the country that does not have a residency requirement. So, you can earn a regionally accredited DMFT regardless of where you live.

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Below is detailed information about the specialties available in the Northcentral DMFT program. Each specialization has a set of courses that you must complete to graduate in that particular speciality. ( You have up to seven years to complete the program, but most students complete it within four years.

Grants and Scholarships

Northcentral University offers several opportunities to help students to pay for their doctoral degree. One of the most scholarships is the President’s Scholarship. If you qualify after writing the required essay and meeting other eligibility requirements, you may be able to get your entire tuition for your DMFT covered by the university. (Visit

There also are third party scholarships available during some semesters from various organizations. NCU will post this information as it becomes available. The scholarships range from $500 to $2000, and NCU encourages students to check regularly with third party organizations about details involving awards, deadlines and submission requirements.

DMFT – Child and Adolescent Therapy

The child and teen years are often full of drama and heartache. The Child and Adolescent Therapy program will prepare you to work well in therapy settings for adolescents and children, and to view these interactions from a family systems or family therapy point of view. You will focus your program course projects, internships and dissertation on issues that relate to working closely with children and adolescents. With your online courses and offline practicum in your area, you will need to develop sensitivities and competencies related to working with children and teenagers who are dealing with challenges that are difficult for them to handle alone. (Visit

Required courses in the speciality are:

  • Dynamics of Family Interaction
  • Child and Adolescent Assessment and Diagnosis
  • Family Therapy with Adolescents
  • Early Childhood and Parenting Interventions
  • Systemic Treatment of Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Children and Adolescents

DMFT – Couple Therapy

Long term relationships and marriages always have some speed bumps and challenges on the journey. But they are especially stark today with definitions evolving. The Couple Therapy specialization will prepare you to work largely with couples in a therapy setting from a family systems or family therapy perspective.

You will focus your class projects, internship work and dissertation research on issues that deal with couples trying to repair or grow their relationship. You will develop sensitivities and competencies that relate to working with couples who have challenges in their marriage or relationship. Also, students will appraise clinical skills and ethical behaviors in systemic supervision and therapy. (Visit

Required courses in the speciality are:

  • Emotion and Differentiation Focused Couple Therapy
  • Behavior Informed Couple Therapy Models
  • Systemic Sex Therapy
  • The Couple Life Cycle in MFT Practice and Supervision

DMFT – General Family Therapy

With the many challenges facing families in America today, you never quite know which emotional problems and issues a family may be dealing with. This specialization allows the student to choose classes from many different electives so that you can focus on the area of general family therapy that most interests you. You can choose four classes from the MFT curriculum at the 8000 level. Students will develop professional expertise in the general area of marriage and family therapy.

Required courses in this speciality are:

  • Qualitative Measurement and Design
  • Advanced Practical Experience Component
  • Advanced Qualitative Design and Analysis
  • Quantitative Analysis in MFT
  • Dynamics of Family Interaction

DMFT – Medical Family Therapy

The medical family specialization will prepare you to work with singles, couples and families who are dealing with acute or chronic medical problems. This program uses a family therapy and systems perspective to help client families to grasp and understand their medical problems. (Visit

This speciality requires the following courses:

  • Medical Family Therapy
  • Medical Family Therapy Applications
  • Families, Health and Illness
  • Loss and Bereavement

DMFT – Mental Health Administration

The mental health administration specialty will prepare you to be a leader and administrator in mental health organizations and agencies. Students in this specialization will focus all of their work on mental health administration. Students can select up to two of their four specialty courses from the School of Psychology or Business. (Visit

Required courses for this speciality are:

  • Qualitative Research Design and Analysis in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Institutional Review Board and Data Collection
  • Systemic Consultation
  • Systemic Leadership
  • The Business of Therapy
  • Practice and Organization Marketing
  • Financial Administration and Budgeting

DMFT – Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship

Successfully running a small business counseling practice is not what most mental health professionals learn as they are gaining skills and knowledge in their field. That is why some very gifted and talented counselors are unable to succeed in private practice. This specialization will prepare you to manage the business administration aspects of your clinical practice, or to use your clinical expertise in an entrepreneurial fashion. Twelve credit hours of the program are related to entrepreneurship and small business development. You also can choose two of your four specialization classes from the School of Psychology or Business. (Visit

Required courses in this speciality include:

  • Research Methods in MFT
  • MFT Supervision
  • Qualitative Research Design and Analysis in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Program Evaluation and Monitoring in MFT

DMFT – Therapy with Military Families

Working in the military comes with highs and lows. They are both for the person in the military and for the family. This specialization will prepare you to work with singles, couples and families who are related to military service. You will use a family therapy or systems perspective in your work. You will face challenges in the development of skills that are needed to work effectively with families who face difficult challenges related to military life and combat stress. (Visit

Required courses in this speciality include:

  • Military Veteran Cultures Across the Lifespan
  • Trauma and Resilience in Military and Veteran Couples and Families
  • Ethical Challenges and Moral Injuries Across Military and Veteran Populations
  • Behavioral Health Care with Military and Veteran Populations

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