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Master of Professional Studies in Sexual Health

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Understanding the personal, sociocultural, and biological bases for sexual health is integral to success in the health care and education fields.

The Master of Professional Studies in Sexual Health is a fully online, 30-credit degree program developed in partnership with the Institute for Sexual and Gender Health in the University of Minnesota Medical School. It meets the unique needs of aspiring or current sex therapists, sex educators, and others working in related practices.

The MPS in Sexual Health is made up of two stackable credentials: the core Human Sexuality Certificate and one elective certificate (either the Sex Therapy Certificate or the Transgender Health Certificate).

The degree features:

  • faculty who are professional experts working at the cutting edge of sexual health disciplines.
  • applied final projects that let you take your learning into the real world.
  • a diverse and inclusive student environment.





Why Is the Study of Sexual Health So Important?

Read the video transcript.

Why Choose the MPS in Sexual Health?

  • It’s innovative. You can earn three career-advancing credentials: two stackable graduate certificates and one master's degree. (Watch our Stackable Credential video to learn more.)
  • It’s timely. Learn up-to-date, evidence-based practices in sexual health along with a broad overview of the human sexuality field.
  • It's accessible. Our fully online degree is open to qualified applicants from around the globe.
  • It’s relevant. The foundational coursework will count toward the Core Knowledge Area requirements of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) for the Sex Educator, Counselor, and Therapist certification 

What Is a Stackable Credential?

Six Elective Credits equals


Six Elective Credits

Graduation Cap and Scroll


Master of Professional Studies in Sexual Health


This degree consists of two graduate-level certificates and six credits of elective coursework that serve to support your professional interests. You can choose to earn the individual certificates and the master’s degree or just the master's degree. In order to earn all three credentials, you must apply to each program.

Curriculum (30 credits)

Core Certificate (Required)

Human Sexuality Certificate

12 cr

Certificate A

Sex Therapy Certificate

12 cr

Certificate B

Transgender and Gender Diverse Health Certificate

12 cr

Elective Courses
Students choose six credits of elective coursework in consultation with their advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies. Possible elective credits include the following:

Online options:

  • Any HSEX course not used to fulfill core certificate A or B requirements
  • IBH 6232 – Sexual Health and Gender (3 cr)

In-person course options:

  • PUBH 6081 – Sex, Sexuality, and Sexual Health (2 cr)
  • LAW 6036 – Reproductive Rights (3 cr)
  • PUBH 6011 – Public Health Approaches to HIV/AIDS (3 cr)
  • PUBH 6605 – Reproductive and Perinatal Health (2 cr)
  • PUBH 6627 – Sexuality Education Curricula and Controversy (1 cr)
  • PUBH 6675 – Women’s Health (2 cr)
  • FSOS 4101 – Sexuality and Gender in Families and Close Relationships (3 cr)

Other courses not listed, online and in person, can be taken with approval by the Director of Graduate Studies.

6 cr
Total 30 credits

AASECT Certification

Each HSex course is approved by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) 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.


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

Admission to the Sexual Health program is competitive and all applications are reviewed to ensure a good fit for academic success. Notification of admission decision 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 Margo Gray (graym@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 degree
  • 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 required. 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 Examinations) is not required.

Application Fee

A nonrefundable application fee is due on submission.

How to Register for Graduate-Level Courses BEFORE Being Admitted to a Master’s Degree Program

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.

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.

Note that because this program is delivered online, the University of Minnesota cannot grant Sexual Health students a student visa. International students should contact the International Student and Scholar Services for further information.

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.

If you would like to be considered for any available scholarship funding for newly admitted graduate students, you must complete the annual FAFSA for the upcoming academic year. Choose the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities as your school within FAFSA.

Let's Connect

You can learn more about the Sexual Health program in a way that works for you. Enrollment Advisor Steve Wicks is here to help.

Steve Wicks headshot

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.

Meet Steve

Steve works with prospective students who are interested in one of our graduate programs or certificates. He is happy to answer your questions about our degrees, admission requirements, and the application procedure. In his free time, he can usually be found in the woods or on the water, or cheering on all the Wisconsin sports teams.