Up-to-Date Sex Therapy Training

Do you already hold a counseling or allied health license and want to expand your skills? Or are you an aspiring sex therapist looking to launch a fulfilling career? Then the University of Minnesota’s sex therapy program could be your next professional step.

With the Sex Therapy Certificate, you’ll get the scientific knowledge and training needed to address the mental health issues that may be affecting your client’s sexual health. You’ll study sexual function, sexual identity, trauma-informed approaches to care, and the dynamics of romantic relationships.

The Sex Therapy Certificate is:

  • State-of-the-art. You’ll learn the latest theory and practices of sex therapy that are grounded in actual evidence.
  • Career-enhancing. Gain expertise that can complement your allied license.
  • Practical. You’ll work on projects that apply to the actual practice of sex therapy.
  • Accessible. The entire certificate can be completed online. Take courses that may not be offered at your home university or in your country.

What Is a Stackable Credential?

This certificate, stacked with the Human Sexuality Certificate, can be applied toward the Master of Professional Studies in Sexual Health degree. Watch the video to learn more.

AASECT Certification

The Sex Therapy certificate was developed in partnership with the Institute for Sexual and Gender Health in the University of Minnesota Medical School. Each HSEX course is approved by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) for up to 35 CE credits. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification. 

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. Completion of this program does not guarantee AASECT certification. For more information, contact info@aasect.org.

Sex Therapy Courses

The Sex Therapy certificate is made up of four online courses. Students who have already taken HSEX 6001 will instead take Health Care for Transgender and Gender-Diverse Adults (HSEX 6311) as their foundations course.

Required Courses (12 credits)


Sex Therapy faculty are experienced professionals working in the fields of sexuality and gender research, therapy, education, and policy.

Meet the Faculty


Fall Semester Application Deadline: March 15
Spring Semester Application Deadline: October 1

We strive to be fair in the admissions process. Our program thrives when we have students from different backgrounds and cultural experiences. The admissions committee completes a holistic review of all required application materials to ensure that you will be successful in the program. We do not require standardized test scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Contact enrollment advisor Steve Wicks if you’d like to apply and:

  • you have completed the U of M’s Human Sexuality Certificate,
  • you have been admitted to the U of M’s Human Sexuality Certificate, or if
  • you have questions about admission requirements or would like advice on how to gather your application materials.

You will receive an admission decision four to six weeks after the application deadline.

Read video transcript here.

Admission Requirements

We welcome applications from students who have

  • a bachelor's degree from an accredited post-secondary US institution or its international 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.

* If your GPA is lower than 3.00, please tell us about it in the extenuating circumstances part of your professional statement.

If you're ready to take the next step, visit the Sexual Health Programs Application Instructions page for details on how to submit each piece of your application.

Admissions Advising

Graduate enrollment advisor Steve Wicks is happy to answer your questions about the Sex Therapy program and the application procedure.

Or you can give Steve a call at 612-301-6127.

Do you have a more detailed question or want to tell us a little bit about yourself before the meeting? Fill out this brief questionnaire.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more in our sexual and gender health programs general FAQ.

To practice therapy, you will need to be licensed in your home state or country. Requirements for this vary based on jurisdiction. The Sex Therapy Certificate on its own does not qualify the holder to practice therapy. It is designed for professionals who a) are already licensed therapists or counselors or b) plan to become licensed practitioners. It provides a body of knowledge focused specifically on sex therapy that complements a professional’s existing training in therapy, psychology, social work, nursing, counseling, etc.

The Sex Therapy Certificate partially fulfills requirements for becoming an AASECT Certified Sexuality Therapist or Counselor. Up to 30 hours of the AASECT-required training can be fulfilled with online learning; these hours may be earned in HSEX 6212 Sex and Relationship Therapy. The courses in this certificate may also fulfill some Core Knowledge Area requirements. Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. Visit the AASECT website to learn more about specific requirements.

Certificate students are not eligible for federal financial aid but may have other options for funding. For example, SELF loans are low-interest, long-term student loans available exclusively to students taking courses online or in person at Minnesota institutions. In addition, the University recommends FASTChoice as a tool to explore private loan possibilities. You may also look into the University’s payment plan options to spread payments throughout the semester. Most domestic students are eligible to apply for need-based scholarships specific to the College. Also see the main financial aid page and select “Graduate Certificate Students” for more information.

Note: If you’re considering applying for the MPS in Sexual Health in addition to the certificate, keep in mind that only master’s degree students are eligible for federal financial aid.

Letters of recommendation are an additional way to share your story with the admission panel, but not submitting letters of recommendation will not decrease your chances of admission. If you’re concerned that some areas of your application are not particularly strong, you may want to include a letter of recommendation that supports that area of your application. For example, if you feel that your resume doesn’t show the extent of your professional experience, you might ask a supervisor of a recent volunteer position to write a letter of recommendation about the impact you’ve made in their organization.

If your grades are below the 3.0 requirement, you will need to submit an extenuating circumstances statement describing why you feel you can succeed in the program. In addition, you may want to include a letter of recommendation from someone, such as a former professor, who can speak to your writing and research abilities and potential for academic success. Read more about graduate admission to CCAPS.

Yes! We have had several students at the University of Minnesota and other institutions use the sexual and gender health certificates as a supplement to their other graduate work. For example, if your home university does not offer courses in human sexuality, the certificates may be a good solution for earning an additional credential remotely. University of Minnesota students in various programs have also taken the courses as electives or as an alternative to a graduate minor, or have earned the certificate alongside their graduate program.

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