Miriam College is a premier women's college in the Philippines. Founded in 1924, Miriam College offers programs at the basic, tertiary, post-graduate and adult education levels.

The institution supports specialized centers engaged in curriculum development, research, community outreach and advocacy in the fields of social development, peace education, environmental studies and women’s empowerment.

  • Address : Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights Quezon City 1108 Philippines

  • Email Us : info@mc.edu.ph

  • Call Us : (+63 02) 8 930-MCQC (6272)

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PhD in Family Studies

The Doctorate Program in Family Studies seeks to develop highly trained professionals with a strong scientific and multidisciplinary perspective in the field of child development and family studies.  Designed to develop an in-depth understanding of the family system, the courses are focused on the dynamics of relationships in the family and the impact of various agencies and systems on the individual and the family.  Likewise, the program prepares professionals in the area of family life education, research, family advocacy, and administration of human service agencies. 


Program Goals  

 The Family Studies program aims to strengthen the well-being of families across its various stages.  By combining theory and practice, the program equips learners with the necessary skills set to work with families in various settings and conditions, increasing resilience and other positive values within and among families.  

Program Outcomes  

Graduates of Family Studies bring in knowledge, skills, and abilities, that have proven to be beneficial to teaching, education, and research, as well as, the promotion of public policy which advocates systems change and awareness.  Learners are expected to use critical thinking and creativity in addressing challenges in typical and atypical families. They are likewise expected to be effective communicators in promoting optimal family wellbeing. The program prepares professionals in the area of family life counseling, education, research, family advocacy, and administration of human services agencies. 

What Will I Study?

The course uses a multi/interdisciplinary approach to the study of the family to enable the student-researcher-practitioner to gain a more holistic and integrated understanding and appreciation of the nature and characteristics of the family in its different dimensions as a universal institution, a social group, and a unique set of relationships. This approach draws heavily from the philosophical, sociological, anthropological and psychological foundations of the family.
The course examines advanced and recent theories in development psychology. Issues such as attachment, gender identity, cognition and emotion using a multidisciplinary approach will be discussed to understand the developmental changes across the life span of an individual. It likewise examines the various factors that contribute to those changes in each stage of the life cycle and how these changes influence human behavior. Special emphasis shall be placed on the Filipino experience/Developmental Psychology in the Philippines.
This course provides parents, community and school counselors with a presentation of family systems theories (Bowen, Minuchin, Satir among others). The course explores the theoretical and historical foundations of family systems theory and the family life cycle, and examines the predominant systems approaches for promoting change. Students will develop a personal family counseling style to facilitate systemic change.
The course deals with the rationale and nature of qualitative research and its validity as a scientific exercise in apprehending empirical data. It surveys conventional, non-conventional and transpersonal research methodologies that are currently practiced in various disciplines especially in the humanities, the social sciences and inter-disciplinary studies. It will give special attention to culturally-rooted qualitative research in the Filipino context.
The course examines the interior life of people who age – their feelings about themselves, their relationship with others, and their relationship with God. The course method will include a survey of the different approaches to and metaphors of aging, spiritual resources and reflection on life’s challenges and transitions in the later years.
  • Total Program Units: 61
  • Basic Courses: 13
    Major Courses: 24
    Electives: 12
    Dissertation: 12

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Career Paths


Graduates become family specialists and become involved as managers of Family Life and Family Wellness programs, resource persons for various issues related to children, parenting and the elderly, deans of academic institutions, educators, authors of family-oriented books and articles, and media personalities. They also provide the family perspective to spiritual direction, disaster prevention and management, and community development.

Meet the Faculty


Faculty and Alumni Vlogs

Breakdown to Breakthrough Teaser

A Mother’s Day Sonata

From Breakdown to Breakthrough Series  |  Episode 19

A mother’s love is like no other. A mother’s touch can heal a breakdown and her wisdom can inspire a   breakthrough. Let music express the love that words will never capture completely. Let this serenade convey our affection and  appreciation to all moms out there.

Happy Mother’s Day!

You Can’t Afford to be Misinformed

From Breakdown to Breakthrough series  |  Episode 18

Communication expert, Lynda Garcia, MA, explains how we can promote health and safety through proper information dissemination. She cautions families about one of the biggest pandemic risks, viral misinformation and gives tips on how to avoid it.

Preserving a Father’s Peace of Mind during the Pandemic

From Breakdown to Breakthrough | Episode 16

Jerry Jurisprudencia, Ph.D., a registered psychologist and guidance counselor, provides the acronym A-N-A-K as a guide for fathers who try their best to wear a brave face everyday in order to protect and provide the needs of his family amidst the challenges brought forth by the Covid-19 pandemic.

How to Engage Children during the Home Quarantine

From Breakdown to Breakthrough | Episode 14

Clarissa Mariano-Ligon, Ph.D. (Col 2001, Family Studies, 2018) shares the daily routine followed by her two boys to keep a sense of balance between individual and family activities. She gives a caveat to parents who are just too obsessed in keeping their kids very busy during the lockdown.

Care for Children with Special Needs

From Breakdown to Breakthrough |  Episode 13

SPED instructor and assessor, Ditas Tiamzon, Ph.D. offers ways to help families with special children during the lockdown. As a mother of two boys on the autistic spectrum, she shares how she creatively  manages the energy and emotions of her two amazing sons.

Dr. Tiamzon is an MC alumna (Col ‘83 and PhD Family Studies ‘18). She teaches Special Education courses at the College of Education, Miriam College.

Recognizing Child Anxiety and What You Can Do About It

From Breakdown to Breakthrough |  Episode 12

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Zairah Castelo-Corpus, MD encourages parents to provide young children with a caring and nurturing environment to help them cope effectively during the pandemic. As in-house Psychiatrist at Miriam College, Dr. Corpus emphasizes the need to reassure  children calmly in age-appropriate ways.

Fatherhood at the Time of Enhanced Community Quarantine

From Breakdown to Breakthrough |  Episode 11

Blessed are the homes whose fathers have no qualms about doing household chores. Joselito G. Gutierrez, Ph.D (MCFamily Studies, 2017) shares the three fundamental roles of fathers and how the love languages of Quality Time and Acts of Service are best performed during the enhanced community quarantine. 

Challenges of the New Normal, A Mother’s Diary

From Breakdown to Breakthrough | Episode 10

This episode is for all those who are mothers, who play the role of mothers, and soon to be mothers in their families. When a new “normal” emerges in your life, what are the best ways of adapting, coping, and moving forward?

How to Connect with Teens in this time of Quarantine

From Breakdown to Breakthrough |  Episode 9

As a licensed psychologist and registered guidance counselor, Dr. Alignay offers a valuable resource to parents who wish to connect and engage with their teens more meaningfully.

Finish Strong: The lockdown continues

From Breakdown to Breakthrough  |  Episode 8

Dr. Malou Chavez, a registered guidance counselor and psychologist, shows us the way of tapping on our inner resources to be emotionally resilient during this extended lockdown. As an advocate of Positive Psychology, she suggests that we intentionally look for positive things and to shift our mental stance from frustration to curiosity.

Rise Up and Love

From Breakdown to Breakthrough  |  Episode 7

Cynthia Ballat, Ph.D reminds us that we need to rise up and pray so that we can see this crisis through the eyes of Faith. As a family we are called to forgive, forget past hurts, and to look forward to our own Easter morning.

How to Experience and Deepen Faith as a Family in this Time of Covid-19


Edwin A. Eulalia, Ph.D. (MC Family Studies, 2014) shares tips on how families can deepen their Faith and participate in spiritual practices and traditions inside the sacred space of our homes.

Clearing Meditation for Holy Week


“How are you on the the inside right now?” Grace Brillantes-Evangelista, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, leads  us into a guided meditation that focuses on checking inwards to clear the space for a meaningful Holy Week encounter.

Exercising Marital Patience in the time of COVID-19

From Breakdown to Breakthrough: Episode 3
Harriet H. Hormillosa, Ph.D.,  founder and managing director of the Reintegration for Care & Wholeness Foundation, Inc. and a long time marriage and family counselor, enumerates the symptoms of “couple cabin fever” and explains the three Cs of living in marital harmony during a lockdown.

Self-talk your Way to Functioning Well

From Breakdown to Breakthrough | Episode 2
Dr. Gail provides practical tips not only to keep yourselves together, but to function effectively in these very challenging times.

Work-life Balance during the Enhanced Community Quarantine

From Breakdown to Breakthrough: Episode 1
Dr. Maria Margarita A. Acosta, Ph.D. shares her reflections on balancing multiple roles, as she adapts to the new normal.

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