Why Earn a Degree in Sexual Health?

Good sexual health is a necessary part of our overall health. And everyone deserves to have access to clinicians, counselors, therapists, and educators who have expertise in human sexuality.

You can become one of those experts with a master’s degree in sexual health. The more health care providers and professionals like you who have up-to-date knowledge, the healthier–and happier–your clients can become.

The University of Minnesota’s sexual health master’s program is:

  • Authoritative. It was developed in partnership with the Institute for Sexual and Gender Health in the University of Minnesota Medical School. 
  • Stackable. You can earn three career-advancing credentials: two stackable graduate certificates and one master's degree.
  • Comprehensive. We look at sexual health from every angle–personal, sociocultural, and biological.
  • Relevant. Coursework counts toward American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) certification.
  • Welcoming. CCAPS is one of the most diverse and inclusive colleges on campus.

Why the Study of Sexual Health Is So Important

Read the video transcript.

Which Program Is Right for Me?

Are you wondering if you should apply for the Sexual Health degree, the Human Sexuality Certificate, the Sex Therapy Certificate, or the Transgender and Gender Diverse Health Certificate? Here is a convenient table to help you.

  MPS in Sexual Health Human Sexuality Certificate Sex Therapy Certificate Transgender Health Certificate
Licensure requirement No additional licensure needed No additional licensure needed Meant to be paired with licensure (LADC, LPCC, LP, LICSW, etc.) No additional licensure needed

Aspiring and current sex educators, advocates, practitioners, allied health professionals

Aspiring and current sex educators, advocates, practitioners, allied health professionals

Health practitioners, especially therapists, counselors, and social workers

Aspiring and current sex educators, advocates, practitioners, allied health professionals

AASECT certification

Fulfills up to 75 hours of Core Knowledge Areas, may fulfill some training requirements for Sex Educator or Sex Therapy certification based on track

Fulfills up to 75 hours of Core Knowledge Areas, may fulfill some training requirements for Sex Educator certification

Fulfills up to 30 hours of sex therapy certification training requirement, as well as some Core Knowledge Area hours

May fulfill some Core Knowledge Area requirements

Federal financial aid eligibility Yes No No No
Credits 30 12 12 12
Average time to complete (full time/part time) 2 years/4 years 1 year/2 years 1 year/2 years 1 year/2 years


Stack Your Credentials

Our master’s degree in sexuality is unique in that it is actually made up of three credentials in one: two certificates and one master’s degree. You can watch the video to learn more.

Six Elective Credits equals


Six Elective Credits

Graduation Cap and Scroll


Master of Professional Studies in Sexual Health

Career Outlook

  • 146%
    Predicted job growth over the next two years*

* Lightcast™, accessed 08/23/22


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.


This degree consists of two stackable 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.

Core Certificate (12 credits)

Human Sexuality Certificate (Required)

Certificate A (12 credits)

Sex Therapy Certificate


Certificate B (12 credits)

Transgender and Gender Diverse Health Certificate

Elective Courses (6 credits)

Students choose six credits of elective coursework in consultation with their advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.


MPS in Sexual Health faculty are experienced professionals working in the fields of sexuality and gender research, therapy, education, and policy.

Meet the Faculty


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

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 looks at all the pieces of your application equally to ensure that you will be successful in the program. We do not require standardized test scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).

Learn more about the application process in the video below. If you have questions about the admission requirements or would like advice on how to put together application materials, please contact Steve Wicks.

Read the transcript here.

Admission Requirements

We welcome applications from students who have:

  • a 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 education and experience

* If you have a GPA lower than 3.00, please provide an explanation in the extenuating circumstances part of your professional statement.

Application Checklist

Your complete application will include:

  • An online application
  • A professional statement
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • College transcripts
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • English proficiency test scores (if applicable)
  • An application fee

Important Note
If you have finished or are currently admitted to the Human Sexuality (HSEX) Certificate, please contact academic advisor Margo Gray (graym@umn.edu). It may be possible to reuse some of your application materials.

Ready to take the next step?

Admissions Advising

Graduate enrollment advisor Steve Wicks is happy to answer your questions about the Sexual Health 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 FAQs.

Yes, Sexual Health is a master’s degree program, and therefore admitted students may be eligible for federal financial aid.

No. This degree is designed to be useful for professionals and aspiring professionals in many different roles and fields. If you do not plan to pursue therapy as a career, we recommend choosing a track other than the Sex Therapy track for your required courses. The Sex Therapy certificate is geared toward licensed practitioners (or those currently pursuing licensure); the certificate or MPSSH on their own do not confer licensure.

You can take any HSEX course that isn’t required for your degree track. With prior approval from the Director of Graduate Studies, you may also be able to take online courses in other programs at the University.

Students in the MPS in Sexual Health must take all the courses in the Human Sexuality Certificate. You will also choose a track in sex therapy or transgender health, or a self-designed track. Earning the actual certificate that corresponds to these courses is optional and requires a separate application. You may want to apply for a certificate in addition to the MPS for some of the following reasons:

  • A professional credential will be useful to you currently in your career.
  • You want a certificate on your resume before you finish the MPS.
  • A certificate may be required in your field.

A certificate cannot be conferred retroactively, after you’ve finished the courses that belong to the certificate. If you think you will want a certificate, you should apply before you begin taking courses for that certificate.

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