Hi there! I'm Steve Wicks, enrollment advisor for graduate programs here at the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. I'm really excited that you're thinking about applying to one of our stackable Sexual Health Certificates. In this video, I'll break down the application process and give you a rough estimate of how long each step might take. So let's get started.

All of the pieces of your application will be submitted electronically, so the first step is to start an online application. If you haven't applied to the University of Minnesota before, you'll need to create an account, which only takes a few minutes. Once you've created an account, start compiling your application materials. This should happen about 2 to 3 months before the deadline. Remember, the certificates in the Sexual Health program are stackable. That means you can apply to one certificate, two certificates, or the Master's degree. But you'll need to submit a separate application for each credential you want to earn.

Now, let's go over the different pieces of the application. First, you'll want to request unofficial transcripts at least two months before the application deadline. You should request them from all of the institutions you attended, even if you didn't earn a degree. Then upload your transcripts directly through the online application.

The next piece is the professional statement. The professional statement should really tell us details about your work and life that we can't get from your resume. Talk about your experience as it relates to your study of sexuality and sexual health. Outline your educational and professional goals and how our program will help you achieve those goals. Be specific and concise, but not too personal. It's not uncommon to write multiple drafts, so we encourage you to have someone review your statement and provide feedback.

Next, take a minute to update your resume or curriculum vitae, or CV, before you upload it. If you've presented at a conference, won a professional award, been published, or have similar accomplishments you may want to submit a CV. Otherwise, a resume is fine. Letters of recommendation are optional for certificate applications. If you do submit them, they should come from people who can provide details about your ability to succeed in graduate school, like a past instructor, supervisor, or colleague.

Finally, you'll be asked to pay the application fee. That's it! You should review your application in its entirety before you turn it in.

So to recap, a complete certificate application includes:

  • unofficial transcripts,
  • a professional statement,
  • a resume or CV,
  • optional letters of recommendation,
  • and an application fee.

You should receive a decision in about 4 to 6 weeks, depending on the number of applications we receive. We'll look at your application from several different angles because we know our programs thrive  when we have students from diverse backgrounds and experiences. And remember to reach out to me if you have any questions along the way. I'm here to help you submit an application that truly reflects your potential for success in graduate school.

So good luck, and I hope to see you soon online or in person!