Master of Science in Critical Sexuality Studies

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

Program Overview

Program Length

2-3 Years

Number of Units




Next Cohort

Fall 2025

Related Program

Our Approach

The Master’s in Critical Sexuality Studies helps students understand the research, practice, and cultural dialogue around a wide variety of sexuality-related subjects. We emphasize intersectional and critical views of sexuality. Through coursework, students undergo an analysis of power structures by exploring the many socio-cultural organizations of sex and gender that influence societies. We offer three distinct areas of emphasis:

  • SexTech
    SexTech students are interested in work developing SexTech products and services, healthcare innovation in FemTech, equity considerations in back-end and front-end technology development, such as AI development, UX research, product and services development, interrupting algorithmic bias in data currency, and generally changing the landscape of tech engineers by training more women and other underrepresented people in the tech sector.
  • Public Health Analysis (first cohort 2026)
    Public health analyst students are interested in data analysis, interpretation, and distribution in for-and not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies, with projects geared toward equitable and inclusive healthcare delivery and public health systems. They may also be interested in pursuing doctoral training after the completion of the degree. Applications open August 1, 2025 for the fall 2026 cohort. 
  • Sex Counseling
    Sex counseling students are seeking counseling, coaching, and care employment that includes those currently working in or aiming to work in health care settings such as HIV and reproductive health counselors, medical assistants, nurses/physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners, midwives, doulas, clinical administrators or staff at reproductive health clinics, pelvic-floor physical therapists, and related areas. Specialization focuses on refining skills around affirming, trauma-informed, and inclusive care on issues of sexuality- and gender-based behavior, experience, and identity. Those interested in this emphasis may be seeking advanced training yet not interested in the process of acquiring licensure and/or professionals who seek to deepen affirming care, especially for their sexually minoritized clients.

A primary goal of our program regardless of focus is the ability for each person to identify their own values and participate in exchange of controversial ideas and positions while maintaining the respect for the inherent worth of each person, even those with significantly different viewpoints. 

Career Paths

The M.S. prepares students for a wide range of professional opportunities, including:

  • Researching important trends and social phenomena regarding sexuality and gender
  • Enhancing current practice in clinical practice, sex therapy, sexuality education, advocacy, and public health
  • Conducting research, develop sexual health programs, and work with clients using a critical lens inclusive of applied diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and accessibility
  • Teaching, author books and articles, advise media, and lead presentations on gender and sexuality topics
  • Collaborating with NGOs, companies, governmental agencies, and research institutes to build capacity in the field
  • Advocate for sexual and gender rights with organizations and communities domestically and globally

Students will graduate with a portfolio of work produced throughout their studies specifically designed to enhance their profile in job searches for their chosen field. 


The master's balances foundational and specialized coursework to prepare each student to pursue the scholarship that best suits their academic and career goals. Our three distinct emphases allow students to specialize in topics in critical sexuality studies while also receiving a deep understanding of the field.

A M.S. in Critical Sexuality Studies can prepare students for certification by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).

  • Foundations CoursesCritical Sexualities Studies Intro 
    Understanding Research for Sexualities Studies
    Core CoursesMethodology I 
    Methodology II 
    Sexual Health & Justice 
    Critical Sexualities Studies Theory 
    Emphasis Course WorkSexTechPublic Health AnalysisSex Counseling
    Content Courses 
    • Foundations in Queer Feminist science and tech. studies
    • Data science and bias 
    • Health systems 
    • Health communications 
    • Sex Counseling Professional Skills 
    • Queer approaches to psych. dynamics
    Skills Courses
    • UX 
    • Coding 
    • Program/policy evaluation 
    • Biostatistics and Big Data 
    • Clinical tools 
    • Problems and Professional Issues in Sexuality 
    Culminating Activities
    1. Portfolio 
    2. Proseminar 
    3. Thesis (may be extended beyond one semester)

Entry Requirements

If you would like to learn more about this program, we’re here to help. Explore our program further with in-depth materials, discuss your personal and career goals at one of our open houses, or get in touch with our admissions counselors, who are ready to assist you in navigating the application process.

  • Online Admissions Application: Begin the application process by submitting an online application and paying the non-refundable $68 application fee.

    Degree Requirement: A bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. The bachelor’s degree must be conferred to begin fall semester classes but may be in process during application to the program. A 3.0 minimum GPA is required.

    Transcripts: Official transcripts from all accredited academic institutions attended where 7 or more credits have been earned. If transcripts are being mailed to CIIS, they must arrive in their official, sealed envelopes. Transcripts from institutions outside the US or Canada require a foreign credit evaluation through World Education Services (WES) or CIIS will also accept foreign credential evaluations that are in a comprehensive course-by-course format from the current members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

    Admissions Essays Please complete both essays of 500 words each:

    1. Why is pursuing an MS in Critical Sexuality Studies essential for your professional growth at this stage of your career? Please articulate the specific ways in which obtaining this degree will enhance your career path, contribute to your professional goals, and address any current gaps in your knowledge or skills. (500 words max.)

    2. Please explain your chosen degree emphasis: Sex Counseling, Sex Tech, or Public Health Analysis. Explain your reasons for selecting this focus area and how the skills and knowledge gained from our program will be applied to your future professional endeavors, leadership, or advocacy work. Include any relevant experiences that have influenced your decision and how you envision integrating this expertise into your career. (500 words max.)


    Professional or Academic Writing Sample: A writing sample that demonstrates your capacity to think critically and reflectively and demonstrates graduate level writing abilities. Professional or academic writing sample or professional report/presentation example that you have authored are good examples of what is acceptable. A sample that uses outside sources must include proper citations based on a style guide of your choice (i.e. APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.). You may submit copies of previous work, such as a final project paper, an academic paper, article, or report that reflects scholarly abilities.

    Two Letters of Recommendation: One letter must be from an academic reference and one letter must come from a professional reference. Recommendations should use standard business format and include full contact information including name, email, phone number, and mailing address. If an applicant has been out of school for more than five years, two letters may be submitted from professional references.

    International Students: Foreign Credential Evaluations if applicable and ESL test scores if applicable.


  • 2 years for full time students, 3 years for part time students.

  • The master’s is fully online. There will be an optional in-person intensive in your last semester.

  • If you work full-time and are interested in enrolling in the CSS M.S. program, we encourage you to choose the part-time program option.

  • The master’s does not lead to licensure.

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Our Department in Action


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

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