The Ph.D. in Family Psychology, offered through Seton Hall University's College of Education and Human Services, is designed to engage students in the advanced study of family psychology and family therapy. Students gain a broad and comprehensive grasp of the knowledge base and technical expertise required to address the complex issues of individuals and families in contemporary society. Throughout the program, students obtain the academic training to be license-eligible as psychologists and marriage and family therapists.
A Unique Approach
Seton Hall University's doctoral program in family psychology is one of the very few in the United States. It involves a unique curriculum that encompasses systemic theory and training in therapy skills, along with courses in psychological foundations, cognitive and personality assessment, advanced seminars, a supervision course, internship and dissertation.
Who Should Apply?
Professionals who already possess a relevant master's degree and desire to become leaders in understanding, researching and treating couples, families and systems should apply to this program. For specific application procedures, click on admission.
The Ph.D. in Family Psychology is a 100-credit program based on a systems/relational understanding of human functioning. The multi-dimensional and integrated curriculum engages students in academic classes, research and supervised clinical work throughout the course of the program. The program of study provides the foundations in psychology, assessment, research and treatment to become a psychologist, emphasizing biopsychosocial foundations, human development over the life span, gender and cultural processes, systemic theories, assessment skills, statistical and research competencies, ethical and effective treatment, and therapy. Concurrently, the curriculum offers the basis in systemic theory, techniques, therapy, research and supervision to serve as leaders in the practice of couple and family therapy. Students who do not already possess a master's degree in marriage and family therapy earn this enroute. Throughout the curriculum, the focus remains on a systems approach to families as they interrelate with other systems, including communities, cultures, schools, healthcare and legal procedures. The comprehensive examinations foster reflective interconnecting of biopsychosocial with systemic processes.
Research training includes a two-year sequence in statistics and a course in family systems research methods. Research ends with the completion of an empirical dissertation.
Clinical work takes place in collaboration with an approved supervisor. During doctoral clinic work, students complete 1,000 hours of direct client contact (500 hours are required for the enroute master's degree). At least 50 percent of these hours must be with families or couples. Students are supervised by an approved supervisor at a ratio of one hour of supervision for every five hours of client contact. At least 50 percent of the supervision must include live or taped data. Students gain facility in individual and relational diagnoses: cognitive, personality, relational and systemic assessment; treatment planning and interventions for individuals, couples, families and larger systems. The full range of assessment training includes cognitive personality, projective and family assessment with an option for neuropsychology. A clinical comprehensive examination is required. Clinical work culminates in a yearlong internship. Students apply for pre-doctoral internship through the APPIC process.
For detailed program requirements, click on curriculum.
Graduates of the Ph.D. in Family Psychology program are working in key leadership roles as licensed mental health professionals, supervisors, researchers and systemic thinkers in the tristate area and around the country.