A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

MA in Family Studies


The Master of Arts (MA) in Family Studies program is designed to prepare you to work in applied settings such as family services agencies, schools, churches, and other community-based programs, as well as in private practice. You will also be prepared for further graduate work in family sciences at the doctoral level.

Our program offers you the following:

  • More individual attention because of a small student-to-teacher ratio
  • A collaborative research and learning environment
  • An opportunity to individualize your program, choosing your emphasis to be consistent with your career goals, and
  • Practical experience in an actual family service agency

Other Benefits

The MA in family studies at Loma Linda benefits particularly those with a wide range of experiences, backgrounds, and goals. The degree is especially useful for those who wish to:

  • Enhance their teaching/presentation skills for conducting seminars and workshops on various family issues
  • Increase their understanding of individual development and family dynamics
  • Improve the quality of their personal and family lives
  • Pursue further studies in social or family sciences, and
  • Glean greater skills for doing pastoral ministry with an emphasis on family living

The MA in family studies program meets the highest standards and quality in the field. The program supports the standard curriculum of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR), and prepares graduates to become certified family life educators (CFLE). Graduation form Loma Linda's program guarantees quick processing of the application for this credential. Earning the CFLE credential is desirable since many agencies and educational institutions require this certification in considering potential employees.

Requirements for Admission

  • Submit a completed Loma Linda University application.
  • Provide official transcripts showing completion of a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent at an accredited college or university, earning a grade point average of at least a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and taking appropriate courses in preparation for graduate studies.
  • Completion of an introductory statistics course
  • Qualifying score on the Graduate School critical essay exam
  • Completion of a personal interview with at least two of the program faculty, and
  • TOEFL or MTELP scores if English is your second language

Courses for MA in Family Studies Program

The curriculum is comprised of 52 to 54 units and may be completed in one and a half to two years. The program is structured to accommodate part-time and nontraditional students.

Core Requirements

  • Crisis intervention counseling
  • Gender perspectives
  • Group process theory and procedures
  • Family therapy and chemical abuse

Specialization Requirements

  • Cross-cultural counseling and family values
  • Family systems theory
  • Social ecology of individual and family development
  • Human sexual behavior
  • Marriage and the family
  • Family resource management
  • Parenting
  • Professional issues in family life education
  • Religion, marriage, and the family
  • Family life education

Research Requirements

  • Social research methods I
  • Social research methods II
  • Project or thesis
  • Practicum requirements:
  • Internship in family life education


Four to six units may be selected from among various courses offered by the department, depending on professional interest or need.

National Council on Family Relations

The Family Studies graduate degree program at Loma Linda University has been reviewed by the National Council on Family Relations. It has been recognized as an NCFR CFLE-approved program offering coursework covering the content required for the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation. Graduates of NCFR CFLE-approved programs qualify to apply for the CFLE designation via an Abbreviated Application process.