M.A. MFT, Latina/Latino Family Studies Specialization

Program Description

The only master's program of its kind in California, the Latina/Latino Family Studies program equips graduates with broad preparation in marriage and family therapy as well as a special educational emphasis on the diverse mental health needs of Latina/Latino children and families. The educational experience of the Comadre-Compadre Cohort model is an intensely dynamic, intellectually relevant process. Faculty and students make up a community that uniquely challenges both the personal and professional development of all its participants.

The program provides students with a robust blend of theory and hands-on practice that qualifies graduates to sit for MFT licensure in the State of California, and to provide a wide variety of services to individuals, couples and families who are struggling with issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship problems, child-parent conflict, and more. Through partnerships with clinics and communities-based organizations throughout the Greater Los Angeles area, students also receive an intensive amount of supervised field experience that prepares them to move directly into the workforce after graduation. Students learn from faculty who are diverse professionals and represent varied mental health disciplines and extensive academic and community-based experience. 

The program is open to all students who are passionate about serving Latina/o families and studying MFT theories in context with the issues that impact the Latina/o population, such as: immigration, acculturation, trauma, culture, history, liberation psychology, and advocacy.

  • May be completed in three years full time.
  • Offered in a "cohort" model in which all students progress through the program together at the same pace, creating a growing trust, intimacy and bonding among students within the specialization.


POC:Pasadena, CA


Cultural and Family Psychology

Total Credits



Prepares graduates to sit for the California MFT licensing exam.
Existing coursework, plus the addition of an optional elective, meets requirements for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) Licensure.

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.


  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited University
  • Credit for Life Experience: Students may be eligible to waive the bachelor's degree requirement if they have at least 10 years of verifiable work experience, have successfully completed Reflections on Life Experience coursework, submit a portfolio of student work samples, qualify for 30 units of credit by assessment of prior learning, and meet other application criteria.

Sample Courses

Latina/o History and Culture

The topics in this course include the histories of Latina/o ethnic groups in their native countries and their histories within the United States. Histories of immigration, socio-economic conditions, classism and racism, and political issues will be discussed. Traditions, oral histories, literature, and the arts will be used as a way to further examine the documentation of history and its influence on the culture and variations in behavior.

Latina/o Family Systems

This course will examine family systems and how Latina/o families are affected by their experiences in the United States. The varied constellation of families including the monocultural traditional family structure, as well as the emerging bicultural/biracial family structure, are among those to be studied. Issues, such as acculturation and generation, class, changing values and beliefs, gender roles, language, religion, spirituality, within group discrimination, the effects of immigration and status, health care, myths, taboos, and traditions will be included in developing a framework in which to understand Latina/o families.

Latina/o Psychology

This course will study issues related to the development of the self and issues related to the mental health profession. Ethnic and self-identity development will be examined as well as the development of self in a collectivist culture. The strengths of the cultural traditions/practices will be examined in understanding the development of ones self worth, as well as the effects of discrimination, acculturation and bicultural experiences. Mestizo/a Psychology and Native Health Models and their application are an integral part of the course. Culturally sensitive theories, assessment and treatment models, cultural bias in assessment and testing, and racism in the mental health professions will be included.

POC:Pasadena, CA POC