Advising & Registration


A graduate academic advisor's goal is to help you plan your academic career. This includes preparing for registration, resolving academic problems, and offering academic/educational advice. Our expectation is that this will be a collaborative relationship, a shared responsibility between you and your adviser.


Getting Started

  • Students in the MFT program typically follow a two-year course of study, however you are allotted up to seven years to complete your degree.
  • After acceptance, you will receive the Plan of Study form from your advisor. You and your advisor are expected to determine the plan of study that best suits you using information on the MFT Program Requirements page.
  • Once a Plan of Study has been created and signed by you and your advisor, the advising flag will be lifted to allow you to register for classes.

More Information 

Find details below. If you have any additional questions, please reach out to your advisor.

  • MFT Advising and Course Registration

    Academic advising for MFT students is intended to provide necessary tools and information to MFT students, allowing you to meet institutional and degree requirements as well as take responsibility for developing educational and career plans compatible with your personal goals.
  • Being Assigned an Advisor

    When you have been accepted for admission into the MFT program, you will receive an email that includes an Admission Information Letter. One of the items in this letter is the name and contact information of your faculty advisor. Your advisor, who also has your name, will contact you before classes begin. 
  • Responsibility of Advisor

    • Help advisees understand the requirements of their programs and to plan appropriately to meet those requirements.
    • To assist students with making their own decisions choosing educational and career objectives that commensurate with their interests and abilities.
    • To answer questions raised by students and to make them aware of the possible short- and long-range consequences of their choices.
    • Help advisees correctly prepare paperwork necessary to meet program requirements, such as course substitutions, waivers, the application for graduation, and the graduation check sheet.
    • To be an information source regarding policies and procedures of the MFT Program and the University.
    • To be an on-going source of dialogue and advise concerning academic goals, career, and life.
    • Maintain a permanent student file (either electronic or hard copy) for each student.
  • Responsibility of Advisee

    • Know the requirements for completing the program, graduation, and other university requirements published on the MFT Program and university websites and/or the University catalog.
    • Work with an advisor to develop a curriculum plan that will allow you to stay on track toward graduation, while recognizing other responsibilities you might have including family and work obligations.
    • Contact the assigned advisor when concerns arise. These might include deficiency points that have been earned, when any changes are made such as dropping a course (s), when concerned about grades, or when substituting courses.
    • Remember, at the graduate level, professors may not post mid-term grades.  If you are having difficulties or you are concerned about your standing in the class, you should meet with the professor and your advisor prior to the midterm to discuss whether you should drop or withdraw from the course. 
    • Accept ultimate responsibility for selection of classes that incorporates personal decisions as well as the academic advice given by the advisor.
    • Evaluate the MFT advising process and individual academic advisors by completing an advising survey.
  • How to Create a Plan of Study and Get Your Flag Lifted

    Most students in the MFT program follow a two-year course of study; however, students are allowed up to seven years to complete the degree. Regardless of the speed with which you complete the program, you must create a Plan of Study. You and your advisor do this by considering your academic goals, personal and future plans, and life circumstances as well as MFT Program course requirements. Once your Plan of Study has been created, both you and your advisor will sign it. Your advisor will retain the original for inclusion in your permanent student file, and you will keep a copy. Then, your advising flag will be lifted, at which point you are free to register for classes. 

  • Registering for Classes

    Generally, registration is open for a one-month window at mid-semester and reopens again a week prior to the first day of classes. Check the electronic message board (EMB) at FamilyWorks and/or see the VSU Academic Calendar for specific registration dates. Prior to open registration periods, your advisor will lift your advising flag, which allows you to register for classes. If your advisor has not received a revised Plan of Study and a note or email describing the changes and the reason for them, he or she will assume that your last approved advising plan is in force.

    We encourage you to meet with your faculty advisor whenever you are considering making changes to your plan of study or whenever you have questions about the order and availability of coursework. It is your responsibility to register for the proper coursework, take the appropriate pre-requisites, and meet all graduation requirements.

  • If You Make Changes to your Plan of Study

    Students are expected to meet with their faculty advisor whenever they are considering making changes to their Plan of Study or have questions about the order and availability of coursework. Prior to making changes to a Plan of Study, students must provide advisors with the following:

    • A revised copy of the Plan of Study form
    • A brief note or email explaining the proposed change(s) and how the change(s) may impact your date of graduation.

    Keep your Plan of Study up-to-date! When there is more demand for a course than space or enrollment limits allow, students with outdated advising plans will be removed from the course in question. It is the responsibility of each student to register for the proper coursework, take the appropriate pre-requisites, and meet all graduation requirements.

  • Add, Drop, or Withdraw from Classes

    Dropping or Adding Classes

    Drop/Add Time Limits – Students may drop and add courses during the official drop/add period, which is usually the first week of classes. Students can drop classes as withdrawal/passing until the midterm; after that, withdraw/failing is the only option. See the VSU Academic Calendar for specific dates.

    Withdrawing from a Class

    Dropping a course and withdrawing from a course are different. Make sure you know how they differ, particularly as it concerns your continued financial aid eligibility. Prior to dropping or withdrawing from a course, talk with your financial and/or academic advisors.

    Talk to Your Professor and/or Your Advisor

    At midterm, students should evaluate whether they want to continue in the classes for which they are currently registered. Unlike undergraduate classes, graduate classes may not have pre-midterm assignments or exams that help you gauge your progress. To help you decide whether you should remain in one or more of your classes, ask yourself questions such as these: Do I feel comfortable with the material, and do I believe I am gaining mastery over the concepts? Can I reasonably get all of the work done by the end of the semester?

    If you are having difficulties or if you are concerned about your performance in a class, you should meet with the professor and your advisor prior to the midterm to discuss whether you should drop or withdraw from the course.

    If you do decide to drop or add a course, please see your advisor and re-read the section on changing your advising plan.

  • How To Do the Program in 3 or 4 Years

    If you plan to go through the program more slowly than 2 years, contact your faculty advisor and schedule a meeting prior to the MFT Program Orientation in August. The two of you will put your heads together and, based on your needs, hammer out a Plan of Study that meets graduation requirements and your personal circumstances and goals.

  • Graduation

    For information on the graduation process, advising, and paperwork, see the Application for Graduation page. Students who do not fall into the typical two-year course schedule must meet with their advisor at least two semesters prior to the anticipated date of graduation to complete the proper graduation forms.

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