FAQs, Doctor of Philosophy, Human Sexuality Studies
Find answers to frequently asked questions about the doctor of philosophy in human sexuality studies at Widener.
If you have additional questions, please contact us by phone or e-mail (see contact information on left) or schedule a visit.
What is your acceptance rate into the doctor of philosophy program in human sexuality studies?
The percentage of students accepted into the program varies each year. Our program continues to grow, so the exact number of students that we are able to admit is subject to change. While the acceptance rate may differ for each applicant pool, the admissions process is nonetheless competitive.
When are classes held?
Classes are offered primarily on weekends. The majority of courses are taken on weekends from 9 a.m.–7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on Sunday. Each course is divided into two weekends of on-campus time. For example, if you are enrolled in 1 course (3 credits) you will be on campus for 2 weekends out of the 15-week term for that course. If you are enrolled in 2 courses (6 credits), you will be on campus 4 weekends; for 3 classes (9 credits), you will be here 6 weekends of the 15-week term.
If you live nearby, we do offer select weeknight courses about once per semester as an option. We accommodate distance learners by keeping on-campus time to a minimum and by providing a discounted rate on rooms at the Best Western, which is located across the street from campus.
What constitutes a full-time student?
Essentially, being enrolled in three graduate courses per semester (at 3 credit hours per course) makes you a full-time student. This means a total of at least 9 credit hours per semester and 18 credit hours total per academic year.
Do you offer a paid fellowship or assistantship?
The Center for Human Sexuality Studies (CHSS) has one graduate assistantship available. The position is filled when a vacancy becomes available. All students are sent an e-mail when that assistantship is available. At times, CHSS has research assistantships available that are project or grant funded. Interested students should inquire about availability of research assistantships with the CHSS office. Once admitted as a student, graduate assistantships are often available in other departments for partial tuition remission. Many students fund their degree(s) through federal student loans. We also recommend finding external grants to pay for tuition, as well. For more information on federal financial aid, please see the Financial Aid webpage.
How do I decide whether the sexuality education or sex therapy track is best for me?
The sexuality education and sex therapy tracks usually have the same first few courses. Our intro courses are basic affective courses for introduction to our field and program. The tracks begin to get into their own disciplines after these intro courses.
Students in the sexuality education track will then take what we call educational methods courses, which includes educational theories/philosophies, lesson planning, and curriculum design. These courses prepare our students to understand what is entailed in becoming an educator. Specifically, we focus on how to adapt these practices to the topic of human sexuality.
Students in the sex therapy track take the sex therapy methods courses, including sex therapy I (couples), II (sexual dysfunctions), and III (specific populations). It is in these courses that our sex therapy students get to learn how to perform sex therapy. This track requires that you have or are in the process of obtaining a licensable mental health degree (e.g., MSW, PsyD, or MA in counseling psychology). If practicing therapy is a goal of yours, this will be the track you should pursue.
How do I apply?
After you have taken a look at our Programs page to determine which degree program you would like to apply to, we recommend you begin the process by creating a Widener Graduate Application account. If you want to look back over things, most information can be found on the sidebar of our homepage, which contains links to everything you might need, including details about the MEd and PhD, Financial Aid, Application Deadlines, and Application Requirements. Our center has switched over to an entirely paperless admissions information, so most of our information can be found on our Admissions page. Take some time to look this information over, and if anything is unclear, please let us know! You can send send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the CHSS at (610) 499-1378. We would be more than happy to address any questions or concerns you might have.
How can I make myself a stronger applicant?
We look at applications holistically so that we may get the best picture of an applicant possible. In this process we consider all of the components—test scores, letters of recommendation, personal and professional experience, and so on—to assess how you may perform in the program. One of the things you can do to strengthen your application would be to gain experience in the world of sexuality. That is, volunteer at an organization like Planned Parenthood, a peer education group, or HIV/AIDS organization to gain experience working in the field.