What does it mean to be an online hybrid program?

The Human Sexuality Ph.D. curriculum is taught both online and during in-person academic residencies. For full-time students, the first two years of coursework are held asynchronously online and in-person, weekend-long (starting Friday morning and ending Sunday evening) academic residencies. There are three academic residency weekends per semester during coursework.

After coursework and during the comprehensive examinations and dissertation phases, students are not expected to travel to campus. Students are expected to be active participants online and at residencies, use our online learning management system for dialogue, submit their assignments, and follow the course curriculum with daily interaction. 

The benefit of a hybrid program means that students do not need to relocate to San Francisco to pursue this degree. Being an online hybrid makes our program available to more people, and enriches the student dialogue in sexuality studies by integrating student perspectives from different places around the U.S. and internationally.

At the same time, by coming together for academic residencies, students build rapport with each other and faculty, which facilitates a more in-depth and meaningful discussion around sexuality, as well as a sense of community for supporting and networking with peers through coursework, dissertation, and as alumni. Dissertation defenses are conducted virtually via video conference given that our students and their colleagues, family and friends are located across the globe.

What are academic residencies like?

After coursework and during the comprehensive examinations and dissertation phases, students are not expected to travel to campus. Students are expected to be active participants online and at residencies, use our online learning management system for dialogue, submit their assignments, and follow the course curriculum with daily interaction. 

The benefit of a hybrid program means that students do not need to relocate to San Francisco to pursue this degree. Being an online hybrid makes our program available to more people, and enriches the student dialogue in sexuality studies by integrating student perspectives from different places around the U.S. and internationally.

At the same time, by coming together for academic residencies, students build rapport with each other and faculty, which facilitates a more in-depth and meaningful discussion around sexuality, as well as a sense of community for supporting and networking with peers through coursework, dissertation, and as alumni. Dissertation defenses are conducted virtually via video conference given that our students and their colleagues, family and friends are located across the globe.

What are the dates for the academic residencies?

The three academic residency weekends are generally held within the first two weeks of the semester, around the middle of the semester, and two weeks before the end of the semester.

Find the most current, upcoming academic residency dates for the Human Sexuality Ph.D. on our Apply page. Dates listed are subject to change. Enrolled students will be informed of changes.

Academic residency schedules for a given semester are communicated to all students at least one week before a semester begins and align with course times listed in the course registration portal under each course.

What types of sexuality studies courses are included in the curriculum?

Courses in the Human Sexuality Ph.D. program guide students through the history of sexuality studies, including paying close attention to the ways that white, Western ideas of sexuality laid the groundwork for much of the early field.

Beginning with a critical engagement with the historicity of sexuality studies allows our program to, from the very first semester, engage with the vibrant interventions and reclamation of the field from previously silenced voices.

More specifically, our program centrally includes scholarship by and for those who are positively shaping and expanding the field in recent decades to on issues related to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) LGBTQ+, women of color (WOC), and intersections between sexuality and transgender experience.

We join these content-based courses with courses that build research skills in multiple methodologies (or ways of thinking about theory as applied to the practice of research) as well as teaching about qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods (ways of doing research).

Together, our curricula joined with the scholar-practitioner model shapes the engaged and timely critical sexuality studies coming out of our department.

How long will it take to complete the Human Sexuality Ph.D. at CIIS?

Full-time students can expect to complete the degree within five to six years with some taking less time and some more time dependent on the dissertation project.

For full-time study, there are two years of coursework (three courses per semester), one semester of comprehensive exams (if passed on the first try), and dissertation preparation/research. Once the coursework and comprehensive exams are complete, students dive into the dissertation process with support from their dissertation committee.

The U.S. Department of Education sets a maximum of 10 years from the date of enrollment to complete the program. But once a student becomes a dissertation candidate, CIIS faculty have set the timeline of four years to complete the dissertation project and graduate.

I work full-time, is this program for me?

We schedule academic residencies for three long weekends each semester, with the intention of not cutting too deeply into the standard workweek. However, full-time students can expect roughly 20-30 hours of schoolwork each week as they participate in online discussion forums, and complete reading and writing assignments.

Many students do work full-time during coursework and balance this load by setting up flexible work arrangements or using time off to complete assignments when needed during the semester. We would be happy to put you in touch with current students to get a better idea of how they manage their schedules.

Can I attend the Human Sexuality Ph.D. program part-time?

It is possible to attend the program part-time at two courses per semester, rather than three. Students who do this will straddle two cohorts.

I have not completed my master’s degree; may I still apply for the fall?

Yes, you can. You will be provisionally accepted to our program until you submit the final transcript from your master’s program.

What can I do when I graduate from the Human Sexuality Ph.D. program?

Our program is the second accredited Human Sexuality Ph.D. program in the United States. It supports student interests, careers, and personal development, to shape competent, sexually literate, and diverse human sexuality thought leaders.

Some students may work in research, clinical settings, education, advocacy, or at for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, or start-up independent consulting practices. Students may enhance their current practice (consulting, therapy, coaching, family medicine, etc.), develop best practices for the field, improve their academic and professional writing and research, increase their professional acumen and networks, develop policy briefs, and create change. 

Read the bios of some of our alumni.

Is the program on Facebook?

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Questions? Contact us.

We are here to help! If you have any questions about applying to a program or registering for an Info Session, please contact the Admissions Office at 415-575-6154 or .

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