A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

PhD in Family Studies

Goals of Family Studies Program

The PhD degree in family studies at Loma Linda University represents the highest level of academic training for family scientists and provides a system approach to observing, understanding, and analyzing close relationships and families using the tools of family science. It is a non-clinical degree and is based on a scientist/professional model. Its goal is to prepare academicians, researchers, service administrators, and providers in family services agencies.

The PhD program will equip students with four major skills. These skills include:

  • The acquisition, impartation, and integration of substantive and theoretical areas of human and family development.
  • The use of statistics and research methodologies to conduct empirical research on individuals and families and close relationships.
  • The use of strategies to build individual and family competence informed by family science scholarship.
  • Mastery of assessment and evaluation skills to measure treatment and program outcomes and effectiveness.

Program Requirements

The PhD degree program in family studies consists of 98 units of course work beyond a master's degree. Students who matriculate from a master's degree in family studies/family therapy or a related field are expected to complete the PhD between three and four years. Students that do not have a solid grounding in family science will be offered a number of prerequisite courses necessary for building a foundation for later advanced courses.

Curriculum Course Requirements

The following are the major areas of study and required and elective courses for each, totaling 98 quarter units.

FMST 515 Professional Issues in Family Life Education (3)
FMST 518 Advanced Theories of Child Development (3)
FMST 524 Family Resource Management (2)
FMST 526 Marriage and the Family (3)
FMST 528 Parenting (2)
FMST 529 Family Life education (3) change credits
FMST 695 Family Studies Internship (3)
MFTH 505 Advanced Family Studies (4)
MFTH 519 Teaching in Higher Education (2)
MFTH 601 Statistics I (4)
MFTH 602 Statistics II (4)
MFTH 603 Statistics III (4)
MFTH 604 Advanced Qualitative Methods (4)
MFTH 605 Advanced Quantitative Methods (4)
MFTH 608 Analysis and Presentation Issues in Research (3)
FMST 668 Qualitative Research Practicum (2)
FMST 684 Doctoral Seminar (1)
FMST 697 Research (17)
FMST 698 Dissertation Research (3)
RELE (500 or 600 level) Clinical Ethics (3)
RELT 615 Philosophy of Religion (3)
RELR 535 Spirituality and Mental Health (3)

Concentration (12)

Electives (6)

Program Administration

Curtis Fox, PhD
Coordinator of PhD in Family Studies program

Patrice D. Harris
Administrative Assistant for Doctoral Programs

Course descriptions - See the University Catalog.

About Loma Linda University

Loma Linda University, a health sciences institution, is located approximately 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles and just south of San Bernardino, California. More than 3,200 students are enrolled in the University's schools, which include Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Behavioral Health.

The Department of Counseling and Family Sciences functions under the auspices of the School of Behavioral Health at Loma Linda University. This department offers master of arts and master of science in family studies and marital and family therapy degrees, respectively. Also, it offers a doctor of marital and family therapy (DMFT) and PhDs in family studies and marital and family therapy and several certificate programs. Administrative offices for these programs are located on the second floor of Griggs Hall on the main campus of Loma Linda University.

Trained faculty members provide high quality education for students in the program. Faculty training includes family studies, family sociology, marriage and family therapy, and educational psychology. In addition, Loma Linda University's location provides easy access to mountains, beaches, and desert climates for numerous recreational opportunities.

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.