Students in Human Sexuality Program at CIIS

Department of Human Sexuality

Grounded, contextual engagement with current issues in sexuality to drive positive change

Our degrees in critical sexuality studies explore the intersections of power and sexuality. Students explore the urgent challenges in the field and the best theoretical and methodological solutions to meet them.

What Our Faculty and Students Have to Say

Learn about our degree program that can be completed in a minimum of five years and 42.2 units.

Our program is important. It's urgent that we create more thought leaders around issues of sexuality and gender!”

Michelle Marzullo, Chair & Professor of Human Sexuality Department

I don't know how you could possibly go through this program and not transform in a variety of ways.”

Mallory Hanfling, Class of 2024, Human Sexuality Department

What I’m learning here in critical studies is helping me evolve as an advocate and activist.”

Courtney Johnson Benson, Class of 2027, Human Sexuality Department

The Human Sexuality department at CIIS draws professionals from many disciplines who are interested in furthering the scholarship of sexuality studies. We strive to provide an integral view of human sexuality that includes multiple perspectives and philosophies. Students are invited to explore desire, intimacy, identity, sexuality/gender, cultural influences, power and stigma, sexual response and practices, and reproduction.

The rigorous coursework invites students to create new knowledge via a scholar-practitioner model that allows for a deepening impact on scholarly insights and social change initiatives while remaining situated in the complexity of life. The department provides a rigorous academic environment and a way for you to engage in subject matter that will position professional work after graduation.

The program’s model moves you towards a grounded, contextual engagement with current issues in sexuality that have real material impact on people’s lives. Some examples of real-world inquiries pursued are:

  • Black women’s sexual freedom 
  • Sex trafficking amongst Indigenous girls and women in Canada 
  • Clinical approaches to polyamory amongst millennials 
  • Examining self-compassion techniques for women dealing with the aftermath of sexual violence and trauma

Our Programs

CIIS offers a Ph.D. as well as a certificate in Sex Therapy to advance your understanding of human sexuality. 

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    The M.S.

    M.S. in Critical Sexuality Studies - Our master’s degree is designed to introduce students to critical sexuality studies and support their becoming scholars in the field

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    The Ph.D.

    Ph.D in Human Sexuality Studies - Our Ph.D. curriculum is designed for individuals who wish to gain further expertise after having obtained a master’s degree.

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    The Sex Therapy Certificate

    The Sex Therapy Certificate - CIIS offers a Sex Therapy Certificate through our Public Programs department. The certificate program is open to all.

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    Our Upcoming Events


    Ten days of online class discussion, research opportunities and informal conversations exploring topics of current interest in language and sexuality studies, queer linguistics, and various lavender language themes.


    Online with Skylar Hall. Focus programs: Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.), Human Sexuality (Ph.D.), Transformative Leadership (M.A.), Transformative Studies (Ph.D.).

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    Our Department in Action

    Faculty Interview

    A wide-ranging discussion with the Human Sexuality Ph.D. program's new faculty member

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