Program Advantages

The program is unique in this geographical area in that it has its own on-campus clinic where all students work with actual clients under the direct supervision of faculty who are specifically trained and credentialed as "Approved Supervisors" by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Students must secure a minimum of 500 client contact hours and 100 hours of supervision in order to fulfill their degree requirement. The Clinical Services Center (CSC) provides the opportunity to accumulate about half of these hours. The remaining practicum hours are accumulated concurrently at a supervised off-campus site. The two sites together provide a well rounded clinical experience. The on-campus clinic has a full complement of therapy rooms with one-way mirrors and audio-visual equipment that allows student therapists to receive more direct and timely feedback from their supervisors and peers than is available in other programs. The clinic itself provides a variety of services to the community, and is an important resource for low-income families who might not find services elsewhere. Students are exposed to a broad range of systemic-relational therapeutic approaches and will work with MFT supervisors to tailor an approach that fits their own unique style of therapy.   Students learn about psychoanalytic, intergenerational, experiential, structural, strategic, solution-oriented, narrative, cognitive-behavioral and eclectic approaches. They also learn how to apply these models in the therapeutic process, including admission to treatment, clinical assessment and diagnosis, treatment planning, case management, and therapeutic intervention.

Other attractive features are the reasonable program size, compressed weekly schedule, and cohort design. Thirteen students are admitted each year. They all start at the same time and proceed through the program together as a cohort. Students are expected to attend the program on a full-time basis. Students have a clear start and finish time and are fully immersed in their education which results in high graduation success. The first year consists of academic coursework, while the second year adds a clinical practicum. On-campus courses are concentrated into Monday and Tuesday of each week both years, with an additional two to three days at an off-campus clinic added in the second year. Full-time employment outside of the program is not realistic (especially in the second year), but many students do manage at least part-time employment (see FAQs). Commuting is a realistic option. Each year students travel from as far away as eastern Minnesota, all of western and central Wisconsin, and even Madison (see FAQs). While this program design is very demanding, it results in students completing their degree in two years and provides an educational experience where students really get to know themselves and their classmates, and have the opportunity to challenge and support one another to become better therapists. UW-Stout MFT students build lasting connections with their classmates, their program, and their profession.

As part of a state assisted university, UW-Stout's MFT program offers the best training at the best value. Savvy consumers will be happy to find that UW-Stout offers reasonable tuition compared to other universities, especially private. Even out-of-state students may be surprised. Minnesota residents may qualify for in-state tuition due to state reciprocity agreements. The library is well stocked with MFT resources, and provides one of the few services in the country where students can more affordably rent textbooks with an option to buy them at the end of the semester. 

This program provides a learning context in which diversity and non-discrimination are addressed, practiced and valued. Because the University of Wisconsin-Stout is located in rural Northwestern Wisconsin, it consists primarily of European-American students and faculty. However, we value diversity and seek to admit students who are diverse in many ways, as described below. People representing such diversity are encouraged to apply. Because MFT is relational/systemic in its focus, we are aware of how inequities that occur between people can directly impact their success. Issues of power, privilege and difference are addressed in the curriculum. As such, the MFT program faculty work hard to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for all students, and our graduates tell us that we succeed at this. It is the policy of the UW System to "provide equal opportunity to all persons regardless of race, color, sex, creed, age, ancestry, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, political affiliation, marital status, disability or arrest or conviction record in its education programs, activities and employment practices. Racist and other discriminatory conduct will not be tolerated within the UW System," (UW-Stout Policy). The UW-Stout MFT program seeks to admit and foster the development of students who are diverse in these many ways, including religious affiliation, ethnicity, educational and socioeconomic background.

UW-Stout has never wavered in its dedication to preparing MFT students for success.  UW-Stout provides an institutional history, long-term program stability and reasonable student/instructor ratios that are rare to find elsewhere. The program curriculum adheres to the high standards for MFT training set by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). Accredited since 1977, UW-Stout's MFT program has the distinction of being one of the two longest COAMFTE accredited programs in the nation. Accreditation is important because it requires programs to use measures of student progress and graduate success to evaluate training effectiveness and to make changes where necessary. This goes a long way toward ensuring that (1) the program curriculum contains state-of-the-art MFT content, (2) instructors and clinical supervisors are appropriately trained and credentialed, and (3) graduates are well positioned to meet licensing requirements (since most states base their educational requirements on COAMFTE standards) and to be successful in the workplace. Evidence of the success of students in this program is found in our high graduation rate, success rates of graduates in passing the national exam, and the percentage of graduates who obtain licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist.

Go to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy website for the most current statistics on these benchmarks.