Tips for Becoming a Successful MFP Student

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  1. Actively set clear, positive, and realistic goals. These will help you to maintain a perspective that includes personal accountability and responsibility such as "I can accept these challenges" and "I am fully participating." Your perspective will heighten your sense of inner-directedness and control of your academic life.
  2. Diligently work to reach your academic goals and realize that many goals do not require perfection but do require commitment and steadfastness; by reaching one goal you increase your ability to achieve others.
  3. Know and understand your capabilities so that you are able to maximize your time and efforts, move forward with strategies, and appropriately and promptly address issues and/or concerns which may arise.
  4. Do not compare yourself with other students' accomplishments and/or shortcomings; focus on your goals and objectives. Stay positive, focused and diligent in your efforts and realize that completion of requirements to obtain a doctoral degree requires endurance.
  5. Identify and develop a support system to facilitate your progress and help maintain your self-esteem.


  1. Fully participate during seminars, in departmental activities, and at MFP meetings, relevant conferences and other specific research opportunities pertinent to your coursework and research focus. Your full participation will enhance your grasp of substantive content, research experience, and leadership skills.
  2. If you have completed your coursework (i.e., all but dissertation) be sure that all required course work is indeed complete and that you have passed all required exams. Identify and contact potential committee members in advance. Make sound decisions based on the individual's area of expertise, reputation, and subjective thoughts and feelings. Note: Some MFP Alumni have stated that interviewing members (based on self developed criteria and a comprehensive list of questions) is very beneficial.
  3. Make it a priority to always seek assistance when needed and do so promptly. contact appropriate parties (i.e., academic advisor, mentors, and/or MFP staff) with specific questions and/or concerns about coursework, plan of study, etc. MFP staff is particularly interested in keeping abreast of challenges you may face as well as monitoring and tracking your progress as an MFP graduate student/nurse SAMHSA Fellow.

MFP staff can be contacted at