Program Overview

Our Human Sexuality Ph.D. program helps shape the research, practice, and cultural dialog around a wide variety of sexuality-related subjects.

We emphasize intersectional and critical views of sexuality that include attention to salient power differentials including: ethnicity, race, gender, class, age, ability, national origin, religion, and geography.

Our students engage in rigorous academic exploration by learning and evaluating differences in theories and synthesizing theoretical and methodological approaches. Through coursework, students undergo an analysis of power structures by exploring the many socio-cultural organizations of sex and gender that influence societies. 

Our students advance the field of sexuality studies through the original research in their dissertation. Many students use their dissertation to contribute to growing bodies of research in areas including: clinical work, sex education, policy and activism. 

A primary goal of our department 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 whom one adamantly disagrees. Our program is inspired by a spirit of inclusivity and equity, seeks to further the dialogue and actual benefits for expanded freedom, rights, and expression in human sexuality. This is sexuality studies in action, striving towards positive change, and practiced as ethical praxis.

Doctor of Philosophy in Human Sexuality

Length of Program
Number of Units
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Career Paths 

All students entering Human Sexuality already hold a master’s degree. As such, most enter our doctoral program as early or mid-career professionals. We guide students to go deeper into their current field of practice or move in a new direction. Using their dissertation subject, students work over the course of their time in the program to network into solid career pathways.

Graduates influence research, educational, health/clinical, and policy areas. Our Human Sexuality graduates work in arenas such as: 

  • Research (i.e. basic research, translational research, applied research) 
  • Education (i.e. K-12, Higher Education, and community education)
  • Clinical and counseling mental health (i.e. LGBTQ+ Centers, community mental health clinics, Women’s Centers) 
  • Advocacy and policy advisement (i.e. reproductive rights, pleasure activism)
  • Nonprofit health organizations (i.e. women’s health, HIV/AIDs clinics, transgender health, eating disorder clinics)  
  • Entrepreneurial pursuits (i.e. research consulting, starting SexTech or FemTech businesses)
  • NGOs or governmental efforts (i.e. anti-sex trafficking, departments of health, human rights divisions, national or international LGBTQ advocacy organizations) 

Select courses integrate several core knowledge areas of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) to assist students seeking AASECT certification. The Ph.D. in Human Sexuality by itself does not lead to AASECT certification.

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