Curriculum Overview
This online hybrid program consists of two years of coursework (36 units), comprehensive exams, and a dissertation (4-6 year estimated completion).

During the two years of coursework, all students must attend three long weekend academic residencies at CIIS each semester. Coursework for the balance of the semester is completed asynchronously online. The academic residency weekends change from year to year, but for Spring 2018, they are:

January 26-28, 2018
March 9-11, 2018
April 27-29, 2018

For 2018-2019, they are expected to be:

August 30-September 2, 2018
October 26-28, 2018
November 30-December 2, 2018

February 1-3, 2019
March 8-10, 2019
April 26-28, 2019

First Year Coursework

In the first year, we build the cohort experience, and lay down an intersectional foundation of knowledge including concepts, theory, and methodology. We aim to advance student scholarship through critical thinking, creativity, and self-reflection.

Introduction to Human Sexuality (3 units)
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (3 units)
Sexual Theory and Intersectionality (3 units)
Sexual Function and Practices (3 units)
Problems and Professional Issues in Sexuality (3 units)
Sex Education and Learning Theory * (4 units)
Sex Therapy Professional Skills * (4 units)

* Elective course
Students take at least 6 units in electives over two years from among these options.

Second Year Coursework

In the second year, students continue to refine their research question and learn more about methodology and theory.

Sexual, Gender, and Reproductive Rights (3 units)
Sex, Love, and Intimate Relationships (3 units)
Gender and Queer Theory (3 units)
Methodology I (3 units)
Methodology II (3 units)
Technology, Sexuality, and Culture * (3 units)
Other Ways of Being Human: Alternative Sexualities, Family and Kinship Systems * (3 units)

* Elective course
Students take at least 6 units in electives over two years from among these options.

Third and Fourth Year Coursework

In the third year, students complete their comprehensive exams, writing papers to review the literature and research in the field. Comprehensive exams support research for and writing of the disseration, which begins in the fourth year. Comprehensive Exams and Disseration courses have 0 units, and are charged a flat tuition fee.

Course Descriptions

Introduction to Human Sexuality
This course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of human sexuality and sexual literacy. It reviews theoretical, methodological, epistemological, historical, clinical, policy, and public health areas of knowledge in understanding the spectrum of sexual meanings and practices across time and space.

Sexual Theory and Intersectionality
This foundational course surveys the broad and diverse theories and conceptual frameworks developed in various places and times to account for the behaviors, experiences, identities, and expressions of sexuality and gender. Experiences of sexuality and gender are collocated with other positionalities, such as various racial, ethnic, class, national, economic, age, religious, sexed, dis/ability statuses, and various other salient social and cultural locations, identities, and ascriptions. Therefore, this course integrates key literature on intersectionality and related scholarship in queer, feminist, post-colonial, and critical race theory.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
This is an advanced introduction to theories and methods used to understand and frame sexual orientation and gender identity in the field of human sexuality.

Sexual Function and Practices
This course represents the core knowledge about sexuality practices and behaviors that are required of students to be competent in the field. Content areas are aligned with AASECT's course knowledge areas* and are part of the required content for sex therapy and sex educator certification. This course will be addressed from an inclusive and sex-positive perspective. *Core knowledge areas covered: B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, and M; for more details, visit www.aasect.org.

Problems and Professional Issues in Sexuality
This course addresses issues of ethics, axiology, exploitation, abuse, harassment, assault, trauma, rape, rape culture, sex trafficking, problematic sex (e.g. compulsions, dysfunction, sexuality and substances, and disease) and other issues that can be thought of as problematic. Attention will be paid to the history of the field, ethics, philosophical issues, and professional communication skills. Content areas are aligned with AASECT's course knowledge areas* and are part of the required content for sex therapy and sex educator certification. *AASECT core knowledge areas covered: A, I, J, N, O, P, and Q; for more details, visit www.aasect.org.

Sex Therapy Professional Skills
This practical and professional training builds on the core knowledge from Sexual Function and Practices in an applied manner in service of the treatment of sexual issues. The course emphasizes: multiple theoretical orientations to sex therapy; sexual assessment and diagnostic skills; theory and methods of intervention; collaboration with clinical sexologists and sex medicine; working with interdisciplinary teams; treatment planning; ethical practice; and case conceptualizations. Content areas are aligned with AASECT's course knowledge areas* and are part of the required content for sex therapy and sex educator certification. *AASECT sex therapy training areas covered: A, B, C, D, E, F, and G; for more details, visit www.aasect.org.

Sex Education and Learning Theory
This practical and professional training builds on the core knowledge from Sexual Function and Practices in an applied manner toward developing competence as a sex educator. This course offers an overview of the theory and methods of sexuality education, including curriculum development, teaching, pedagogy, and assessment of learning. Attention is paid to addressing diverse learning styles, classroom facilitation, ethical issues, and social-emotional and transformational dimensions of learning. Content areas are aligned with AASECT's course knowledge areas* and are part of the required content for sex therapy and sex educator certification. *AASECT sex education training areas covered: A, B, C, D, E, and F; for more details, visit www.aasect.org.

Methodology I
This course examines core concepts in quantitative methods and reviews the basic steps used in constructing a rigorous, empirically valid research study on sexuality and/or gender. It reviews the purpose of an institutional review board (IRB)/human subjects committee and the existence of institutional and independent IRBs. The course grounds technical learning with an examination of scientific positivism by drawing upon critiques from anti-colonialist, queer, and feminist scholars. Students apply these concepts and theories to critically assess statistically based evidence.

Methodology II
This course introduces students to the basic techniques of conducting and analyzing qualitative research to answer questions in the field of sexuality studies. Students will learn about qualitative selection criteria and ethical research practice, questions design, and modalities of data collection, description, and interpretation. Students will also learn about various software programs available to increase the power of qualitative data inquiry.

Technology, Sexuality and Culture
This course will explore the ways that sexuality and gender are mediated by technology and culture.

Sex, Love, and Intimate Relationships
This course is a systematic advanced introduction to the philosophy, research, knowledge, clinical practice, and policy issues related to holistic sexuality and intimate relationships.

Sexual, Gender and Reproductive Rights
This course examines sexual, gender, and reproductive rights in the context of the culture and history of rights- and identity-based movements.

Gender and Queer Theory
This course will examine gender as a category of analysis alongside the ideas that together constitute queer theory. Particular attention will be paid to understanding power relations such as between sexuality, gender, race, class, dis/ability, indigeneity, nation, and geographic location.

Comprehensive Examination I: Mastery of the Field
The first comprehensive examination is intended for doctoral students in good standing with the Human Sexuality Studies (HSX) Program. Prerequisites for registering for this course are completion of all coursework (exceptions with permission of the program chair), and selection of a comps chair from CIIS core faculty in the HSX program. The first comprehensive examination asks students to produce a scholarly paper providing an overview of the field of human sexuality via identifying at least three literature realms (for example, reproduction, feminist studies, and citizenship) as these relate to work done in sexuality studies.

Comprehensive Examination II: Area of Interest/Dissertation Research
The second comprehensive examination is intended for doctoral students in good standing with the Human Sexuality Studies (HSX) Program. Prerequisites for registering for this course are completion of all coursework (exceptions with permission of the program chair), and selection of a comps chair from CIIS core faculty in the HSX program. The second comprehensive exam is focused on students producing a literature review of the relevant scholarly work within the realm of human sexuality as it pertains to their particular dissertation topic.

Dissertation Proposal Completion
This course provides support for dissertation proposal writing after all coursework and comprehensive examinations are successfully completed.

Dissertation Seminar
This seminar provides close advisement on the research and writing of a dissertation project with the mentorship of and in close consultation with the dissertation chair and committee.

Questions about Admissions or the Human Sexuality program?

Admissions Counselor: Lindsay Roth
(415) 575-6291 | lroth@ciis.edu

Program Manager
(415) 575-6199 | hsx@ciis.edu

Stay Connected