Doctor of Philosophy, Human Sexuality Studies

Degree Tracks

  • Sex Therapy

    The sex therapy track is for individuals who desire to help others through sex therapy or related work (e.g., clinical research, intervention development). International consensus is that sex therapy is considered a sub-discipline of other clinical disciplines (e.g., social work, clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy, professional counseling).

  • Sexuality Education

    The sexuality education track is for individuals who desire to educate others about human sexuality in communities, schools, or universities as community educators, teachers, educational consultants, curriculum developers, professional writers, or journalists. The sexuality education track emphasizes the developmentally and culturally appropriate design, delivery, and assessment of educational interventions across the broad spectrum of human sexuality.

Why Widener?

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Master's Plus

The PhD degree is a “master’s plus” style program. All of our doctoral students, no matter their previous academic or professional experience, will complete all of the requirements for the practice-oriented master of education (MEd) degree along the way to their PhD. Accordingly, each student will select either the sexuality education or sex therapy track in which to complete a set of methods courses and a practicum and field experience to hone their skills as a sexuality educator or sex therapist. 

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We offer a majority of our classes on weekends to cater to people who work during the week and/or commute from a distance. Many of our students drive from within the Philadelphia metropolitan region or fly into the nearby Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to take classes on Widener's Main Campus in Chester, Pennsylvania. Some courses are offered in an online format, allowing students to participate from their home or office.

aasect agreement

Certification through AASECT 

Our degree programs allow students to work toward becoming certified sexuality educators or sex therapists through a "Special Status Agreement" with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT).

  • Connie Bonillas '05
  • Latoya B. Brooks-Myers '10
  • George Turner '12
Connie Bonillas '05

Connie Bonillas


I cannot emphasize enough the doors that have been opened to me because of my PhD. My classes at Widener were unbelievably wonderful, and though my dissertation was more than a little stressful, it altogether was worth every penny and every minute! I can honestly say that I wouldn't be where I am today without my degree from Widener University!

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Latoya B. Brooks-Myers '10

Latoya B. Brooks-Myers


I have several favorite professors at Widener University: Dr. Richard Cooper, Dr. Don Dyson, Dr. Tom Young, and Dr. Betsy Crane. Each professor empowered me to be a leader. They encouraged me to explore the social environment to create change. They were supportive and challenged me to be a better clinician, advocate, scholar, role model, and human being.

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George Turner '12

George Turner


As a social worker, I understood the importance of my clients' sexuality. So many of them desired to talk about their sexual 'woundedness,' telling me other practitioners shied away from the topic. Sexual misuse, myths, misinformation, and shame often accompanied my patients into my office. I wanted to increase my proficiency beyond my certification as a sex therapist. Bringing my patients the best care in sexual health became a part of my business strategic plan, so earning a PhD from an accredited program became my goal.

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