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, depending on the number of applicants and spaces available. While the acceptance rate may differ for each applicant pool, the admissions process is nonetheless competitive, with recent years seeing admissions rates around 50%.
When are classes held?
Doctoral classes are offered on weekends (9 a.m.–7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.–6 p.m. on Sunday). Courses may have one or two weekends of on-campus time. Other courses are held online and students are expected to attend most online course sessions live. While we aim to accommodate distance learners and working professionals, many students adjust their schedules to attend classes.
What constitutes a full-time student?
Enrollment 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?
This decision depends on your career goals and professional experience and education thus far.
Students in both tracks take the same courses, with the exception of a series of practice-oriented courses geared towards sexuality education techniques or sex therapy techniques.
Students in the sexuality education track take educational methods courses, which focus on educational theories/philosophies, lesson planning, and curriculum design. Specifically, courses focus on learning and applying educational methods as well as developing skills and knowledge to adapt these practices sexuality education settings.
Students in the sex therapy track take sex therapy methods courses, which focus on therapeutic techniques to work with couples, sexual dysfunctions, and tailoring techniques to diverse populations. 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 you have questions about which track is right for you, contact the PhD program director.
How do I apply?
Once you have determined the degree program that is right for you, begin the application process by creating a Widener Graduate Application account. Additional information about the MEd and PhD programs, Financial Aid, Application Deadlines, and Application Requirements is available elsewhere on the website. Most information can be found on our Admissions page. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the CHSS office 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 examine applications holistically, considering several components—letters of recommendation, personal and professional goals statements, professional experience, etc.—to assess an applicant’s potential for success at CHSS. Because the PhD program is focused on sexuality research, applicants should discuss research goals and any relevant research experience, as well as demonstrating their potential to effectively communicate in both academic and applied settings.