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Sex Therapy Certificate

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Sex Therapy is a sub-specialization within therapy focused on understanding sexuality and sexual health to address mental health concerns as related to sexual function, sexual identity, pleasure and intimacy, and the sexual dynamics of romantic relationships. Sex therapy may be individual or take place within the context of couples or family therapy.

The Sex Therapy certificate is a fully online, 12-credit graduate credential developed in partnership with the Institute for Sexual and Gender Health in the University of Minnesota Medical School. You will need to be a licensed or certified practitioner in the mental health field in order to obtain Sex Therapy certification. If you wish to continue your studies beyond the certificate, you may apply it as a stackable credential toward the Master of Professional Studies in Sexual Health degree.

Why Choose the Sex Therapy Certificate?

The Sex Therapy certificate meets the unique needs of aspiring or current sex therapists, and others working in related practices who need a strong foundation in the knowledge areas required for future certification with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).

  • It’s a career booster. Learn up-to-date, evidence-based practices in sex therapy to enhance the marketability of your allied license
  • It's flexible. Our fully online certificate features classes that are 7 or 14 weeks long to meet your needs as a working professional
  • It’s relevant. The foundational coursework of this certificate will count toward AASECT Core Knowledge Areas

The certificate features:

  • specialized expertise to complement allied licenses
  • faculty who are practicing sex therapists working at the cutting edge of the field
  • projects that apply to the actual practice of sex therapy
  • theory and practices of sex therapy grounded in empirical evidence
  • a diverse and inclusive student environment

In order to earn AASECT certification as a Sex Therapist you must hold a valid state regulatory license or certificate for the state in which you practice.


The Sex Therapy certificate consists of 12 credits of online coursework. Each HSEX course meets the requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 35 CE credits. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification. Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. For further information on AASECT certification, please contact info@aasect.org.


Required Courses 12 Credits
HSEX 6001 Foundations of Human Sexuality

Students who have already taken HSEX 6001 as part of the Human Sexuality Certificate will instead take HSEX 6311 Health Care for Trans and Gender Diverse Adults as the foundations course for the Sex Therapy Certificate
3 crs
HSEX 6211 Dimensions of Sexual Functioning 3 crs
HSEX 6212 Sex & Relationship Therapy 3 crs
HSEX 6213 Sexual Trauma & Trauma-Informed Care 3 crs
Total 12 credits


Fall Application Deadline: March 15

Spring Application Deadline: October 15

Admission to the Sex Therapy program is competitive and all applications are reviewed to ensure a good fit for academic success. Notification of admission decisions is made four to six weeks after the application deadline.

We strive to be equitable in the admissions process. Our program thrives with the inclusion of students from different backgrounds and cultural experiences. Our admissions committee reviews applications holistically including all components of the application, and does not require standardized test scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). If you have questions about the admission requirements or would like advice on how to put together application materials, please contact us.

Minimum requirements:

  • bachelor's degree from an accredited post-secondary US institution or its foreign equivalent
  • an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00*
  • a commitment to the field of human sexuality through previous study, work, volunteer service, professional organizational involvement, etc.

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required.

* In exceptional circumstances, promising applicants with lower GPA may be considered for the program. Explanation for GPA, and evidence that academic success at the graduate level is achievable, must be addressed in the application (extenuating circumstances).

If you have completed or are currently admitted to the Human Sexuality (HSEX) Certificate, please contact enrollment advisor Steve Wicks (wicks191@umn.edu) for application instructions. It may be possible to reuse some previous application materials.

  1. First, access the online application.
  2. All required application materials must be attached electronically to your application.

Applicant Statements

  • Professional statement: 1−2 pages articulating your career goals as related to the certificate
  • Diversity statement: Optional
  • Extenuating Circumstances statement: If your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0, please provide an explanation

Letters of Recommendation

Two letters of recommendation are optional. If you choose to submit them, letters should be solicited from professional contacts who can provide a candid assessment of your abilities (including strengths and weaknesses), personality, character, and potential for graduate-level academic success and professional achievement.


Unofficial transcripts or academic records for each institution (even if you didn’t receive a degree) should be uploaded directly to the online application. International students should also upload an English translation if the transcript is not in English. If possible, make sure the institution has put your name on the transcript/record.

Resume or CV

Submit a current resume or Curriculum Vitae.

GRE Scores

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required.

Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee is due on submission.

International Students

If your native language is not English, please submit scores from the TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS English proficiency examination. Read more about required scores.

  • Required TOEFL scores are 84 or above, with section scores of at least 21 on writing and at least 19 on reading.
  • Required IELTS score is 6.5 overall with 6.5 section scores for both writing and reading.
  • Required MELAB score is 84.

How to Register for Graduate-Level Courses BEFORE Being Admitted to a Master’s degree
Follow these steps to register:

  1. Download and submit a Registration Request for Graduate Credit for Nondegree Students Form. Registration for nonadmitted students is not available online.
  2. Send the form to the department offering the courses for authorization. This form must be used each term until you are admitted to a program.
  3. Upon authorization, the department offering the graduate course will forward the form to the registrar or provide you with further instructions.
  4. You will receive confirmation and payment instructions by email.

More information can be found on the One Stop page for nonadmitted students.

Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

We want to ensure you have access to the education you want. Find out more about financial aid or talk to our scholarship advisor.

Let's Connect

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