Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about our program.

What does it mean to be an online hybrid program?

Our curriculum is taught both in face-to-face academic residencies and online. For the first two years of coursework, students are required to meet at CIIS for three long weekends (Friday morning through Sunday night) each semester. Thereafter, coursework continues asynchronously online using CIIS' online learning platform, Canvas. Students are expected to be active participants online, using Canvas for dialogue, papers and projects, and readings—all of which may be completed from home locations. Being an online hybrid makes our program available to more people, and enriches the student dialogue in human sexuality policies, cultures, and perspectives. 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.

What are academic residencies like?

Academic residencies last three days and are hosted in CIIS classrooms. Generally, the residencies meet all day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. During breaks, students may enjoy CIIS' on-site meditation room, library, and rooftop garden. There are restaurants and cafes nearby.

The residencies are comprised of lectures, workshops, panel discussions, local guest speakers, CIIS events, and networking and community-building opportunities. We also offer some opportunities to visit local sites focused on sexuality, gender, and San Francisco history.

Students who begin the program at the same time become a cohort through the academic residencies. Together, they maintain contact and support, and engage in academic discourse together through the dissertation process.

What are the dates for the academic residencies?

The dates change each year. For 2018-2019, they will be:

September 6-9, 2018
October 26-28, 2018
November 30-December 2, 2018

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

How long will it take to complete the degree?

There are two years of coursework, one year of comprehensive exams and dissertation preparation. Once the coursework and comprehensive exams are complete, students dive into the dissertation process with support from faculty. Students have a maximum of 10 years from the date of enrollment to complete the program.

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 work week. However, full-time students can expect roughly 20-30 hours of school work each week as they participate in online discussion forums, and complete reading and writing assignments. Many students have jobs, practicums, or projects; others are in school full-time. We would be happy to put you in touch with current students to get a better idea of what their schedules look like.

Can I attend this program part-time?

It is possible to attend our program part time, though students who do so miss out on participating in the cohort model.

I have not completed my MA; 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 MA.

What can I do when I graduate from this program?

Our program is the second accredited human sexuality PhD program in the US. It supports student interests, careers, and personal development, to shape competent, sexually literate, and diverse human sexuality thought leaders. Some students may work in public policy, research, clinical settings, the arts, education, or at for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, and start-up independent consulting practices. Students may enhance their current practice (therapy, coaching, family medicine, etc.), develop best practices for the field, improve their academic and professional writing and research, increase their sexual literacy, develop policy briefs, and create change.

Is the program on Facebook?

You bet! Like us on Facebook, or read more about our Advisory Committee.

Questions about Admissions or the Human Sexuality program?

Admissions Counselor: Skylar Hall
(415) 575-6155 |

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