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MFT Master’s Program: Specialization in Latina/Latino Family Studies

Focusing on the unique challenges of the Latina/Latino community, this M.A. program prepares each graduate to pursue licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist.

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62 units needed for degree completion

3 years full-time or 5 years part-time

Offers extensive fieldwork opportunities

M.A. Marriage and Family Therapy: Latina/Latino Family Studies Specialization

The Marriage and Family Therapy master’s degree program with a specialization in Latina/Latino Family Studies at Pacific Oaks College equips graduates with broad preparation in marriage and family therapy as well as an emphasis on the needs of Latina/Latino children and families.

Through partnerships with clinics and community-based organizations throughout Los Angeles and Southern California, students in this marriage and family therapy master’s program receive intensive supervised field experience that can help prepare them to move directly into the workforce after graduation.

Guided by a faculty of professionals who represent varied mental health disciplines and extensive academic and community-based experience, students will examine the unique challenges of Latina/Latino communities—including immigration, acculturation, trauma, culture, and advocacy.

Sample Marriage and Family Therapy Courses

Psychopathology of Adulthood

A general view of the various definitions and forms of psychopathology is presented in a historical, sociopolitical, and cross-cultural perspective. The purpose and history of various diagnostic systems will be discussed. Using the DSM-V as the main paradigm, some of the most prevalent psychopathologies of our culture will be explored. The purpose and usage of DSM-V will be studied. Focus will be on building a cognitive diagnostic competence of, as well as an effective understanding and comfort with, the various mental health disorders. Self-reflections are a part of the entire class process. Attention will also be given to etiology, epidemiology, and treatment. Some of the main psychiatric testing tools will be examined. The class will offer practice in case presentation, reviewing cases, and developing diagnoses based on DSM-V criteria.

Latina/Latino Family Systems

This marriage and family therapy course is an integration of selected clinical issues, clinical practice, and research in understanding the mental health issues experienced by diverse Latina/Latino families. Central to this course is the development of a cultural lens in family work, and the understanding of diverse family structures among the various Latina/Latino communities affected by immigration, deportation, and language acquisition and its impact on family well-being and mental health.

Other Marriage and Family Therapy Specializations



The master’s in MFT degree program satisfies all of the requirements of SB 33 and the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) (Business and Professions Code Sections 4980.36c, d e 4980.39, 4980.40, and 4980.41).

The MFT master’s program prepares graduates to sit for the California MFT exam to earn a Marriage and Family Therapist License awarded by the California Board of Behavioral Science.

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor Specialization

Students wishing to qualify additionally for licensure as a Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) in the state of California, may do so via selection of the LPCC Specialization, which includes the following courses, totaling 5 units:

  • MFT 670 Career Development Theories and Techniques (3 units)
  • MFT 681 Advanced Topics in Addictions Counseling (1 unit)
  • MFT 683 Advanced Topics in Psychopharmacology (1 unit)

Admission Requirements

  • Demonstrated commitment to the mission and values of Pacific Oaks College
  • Completed application for admission
  • Application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • Resume
  • Personal statement
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Two letters of recommendation; one must be from a current or previous supervisor
  • Interview
  • Essay for specialization

Fieldwork Requirements

100% of students secure clinical training placements within community agencies—enabling students to complete the pre-graduate portion of the 3,000 supervised hours required for the California MFT licensing exam.