Curriculum for the PhD in Human Sexuality

Curriculum Overview

The PhD in Human Sexuality requires 36 semester units, 18 units or equivalent each year, for two years. The required units are spread across three types of courses: core required courses, concentration required courses, and electives.

The group of core required courses listed below are for the program as a whole; each student’s concentration in the program will determine which of these courses will be needed to complete the program according to the student’s specialization. One of the innovative features of this curriculum is the unique nature of its cohort experience, enabling students to learn from and teach each other, and create long-term professional networks to facilitate their professional development and success in the field.

The focus in Year 1 is to build the cohort experience, lay down an intersectional foundation of knowledge, concepts, theory, and methodology, emphasizing diversity of all kinds. The first year aims to advance professional development through awareness of the interdisciplinary field of human sexuality, its intellectual history, primary scientific societies and organizations, controversies, and contemporary public and private concerns in relation to each concentration.

All students will be required to take core-required courses in Year 1, including a foundational course that involves writing a major scholarly paper, the core of which may serve as the student’s dissertation research. In the second semester, students further develop their expertise and express this in a major integrative paper reflecting what they learn in specialized courses. Each of the two cohorts (clinical, policy) will be required to develop a critical perspective on the policy and/or clinical implications of their chosen line of study. The two cohorts will critique each other’s work through an appropriate rubric so that the strengths of each, including distinct approaches and evidence, are brought to bear on the final products. This also will serve to foreground the dual focus of the program as a generative nexus of new thinking and thought leadership, rather than as a “problem.”

The focus in Year 2 is to allow for concentration and specialization, including clinical case conference under supervision for clinical practice students, and specified internships in policy and leadership settings and organizations for sexuality policy students.

There is a mixture of traditional face-to-face classroom courses and hybrid courses, with a small number of online courses. All required courses are traditional classroom or hybrid in nature, beginning with the foundational seminar in Year 1, semester 1. Spring semester, Year 1, and after, each concentration has specific required courses.

  I.  Common Core (Required)

       HSX 7175       Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: Research, Policy, Society, and Self-Awareness (3 units)

       HSX 7179       Introduction to Human Sexuality: Theory, Research, and Knowledge (3 units)

       HSX 7180       Sexual Development Across the Life Course (3 units)

       HSX 7193       Caring for the Sexual Body: STIs—Research, Treatment, and Policy (2 units)

       HSX 7264       Mixed Methods in Sex Research (3 units)

       HSX 7263       Sexual, Gender, and Reproductive Rights (3 units)

       HSX 7278       Transgender Experiences, Identities, Policies, and Communities (3 units)

II.  Concentration Courses—Clinical Practice (Required)

       HSX 7830       Proseminar in Sexuality and Clinical Practice (sequence 1 internship) (3 units)

       HSX 7831       Proseminar in Sexuality and Clinical Practice (sequence 2 internship) (3 units)

       HSX XXXX       Sex, Love, and Intimate Relationships (3 units)

III. Concentration Courses—Sexual Policy Leadership (Required)

       HSX 7270       Research Methodology in Sexuality for LGBT and Reproductive Policy (3 units)

       HSX 7272       Sexuality Policy, Leadership, Identities, and Community Formation (sequence 1 practicum) (3 units)

       HSX 7273       Sexuality Policy, Leadership, Identities, and Community Formation (sequence 2 practicum) (3 units)

IV.  Comprehensive Exam (Required)

       HSX 9600       Mastery of the Field – General Comprehensive Exam (2 units)

  V. Electives

       HSX 6828       Sexuality, Spirituality, and Religion: Humanistic, Clinical, and Policy Implications (3 units)

       HSX 7268       Women’s Sexuality and Reproductive Health and Rights (1-3 units)

       HSX XXXX       Men’s Sexuality: Self and Intimate Relationships (1-3 units)

       HSX 7259       Diverse Sexuality Across Ethnicities and Cultures (1 units)

       **Electives throughout other CIIS academic programs may be considered under faculty advisement

VI. Dissertation (Required) 

       HSX 7900       Dissertation Proposal Completion  (0 Units)

Please go to the COURSE DESCRIPTIONS page to see the course details.

5-year Sketch of Human Sexuality PhD Program Work, and Retreat/Weekend Dates for 2014 Cohort

The faculty would like you to be familiar with the flow of work and study over the course of your PhD at CIIS. Here is an overall quick narrative to connect the dots for you in studying human sexuality.

Year 1

Fall Semester 1

This first semester will include 2 hybrid courses and one pure online course. There will be three intensive short face-to-face meetings this semester starting with the 4-day retreat in August; this will be followed by a month of online work, then a 3-day week-end retreat, followed by another month of online work, and then the final 3-day weekend of face to face work. Both Policy and Clinical tracts will be taking these courses together as a cohort. Below is the Fall 2014 Schedule:

RETREAT--Aug. 28 (evening dinner)-29-30-31 Thurs-Sun

*Online Work – September 1-September 26th

WEEKEND--September 26-27-28 Fri-Sat-Sun

*Online Work – September 29th-November 6th

WEEKEND--November 7-8-9 Fri-Sat-Sun

*Online Work – November 9th – December 16th

Spring Semester( 2)

This follows the same layout as Semester 1, except that there will be three long-weekends and no extended retreat:

WEEKEND--January 23-24-25 Fri-Sat-Sun

*Online Work – January 26th- March 5th
WEEKEND--March 6-7-8 Fri-Sat-Sun

*Online Work March 9th – April 2nd
WEEKEND--April  3-4-5 Fri-Sat-Sun

*Online Work – April 6th – May 12th

You will have completed six courses at the end of year 1


Year 2

Fall Semester (3)

The Sexuality Policy and Clinical tracts will diverge in your second year.  While there will still be required courses for the cohort, Policy concentrators will begin their 9 month long traineeship at an institution of their choosing locally, nationally or globally; while the Clinical tract concentrators will begin a 9-month long proseminar on clinical case formation that will meet weekly with Prof. Buggs.

 ***There will be only an intensive retreat at the beginning of the year for the new cohort and your second year cohor, where there can be opportunity for face-to-face dialogue. Date TBA.

Spring Semester (4)

Students will continue to complete all required residential and hybrid courses.

At the end of year two, if successful, the students will be advanced to study for their comprehensive exams. They will have completed all or most of their 36 units of core work, and will transition to independent study with a faculty member.

Year 3

Students will complete their comprehensive exams, which have two components; one in sexuality knowledge and skills broadly, and the other is a specialized exam that will be focused on the student’s area of interest in Policy Leadership or Clinical practice.

Upon successful completion of exams in year 3, the student will advance to candidacy and dissertation research; they will pose a research or policy or clinical question with appropriate theoretical research literature review, methodology, and a framework for analysis. They will be guided by three faculty members.

Years 4-5

Students will pursue dissertation research with Independent study and Dissertation units till they have completed their study and submitted the dissertation for approval by their committee. After completion of the dissertation – they will have completed their doctorate which is expected to be around 4-5 years.