Human Sexuality

The clinical psychology–education in human sexuality program is a partnership between the Center for Education's human sexuality program and the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology within the School of Human Service Professions. The purpose of this program is to enhance the training in human sexuality for students in the PsyD program who might encounter client problems related to sexuality. The joint degree program prepares clinical psychology doctoral students to teach, consult, conduct research, and provide assessment and intervention services in a variety of settings in the area of human sexuality.


Students spend five years in full-time residence at the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology working toward the PsyD degree. Within the same time frame, through the addition of summer courses, field practice experience, and electives during the academic year, the Master of Education in Human Sexuality degree can also be completed. Students are expected to earn their Doctor of Psychology/Master of Education in Human Sexuality degrees within the five years; however, some students may be required to take courses beyond the five years, depending on other aspects of their psychology curriculum. In addition to fulfilling the essential requirements of the separate degrees, students are required to participate in a number of noncredit learning experiences that are specifically designed to help them integrate their training and develop unique skills. Examples of such experiences may be content-relevant workshops or mini courses.


The applicant must possess a BA or BS from an accredited institution. A major in psychology is desirable, but not essential. Evaluation of the student's ability to do graduate work will be based on past academic performance and scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).The Center for Education also requires a writing sample through the Center. Personal character and attributes of emotional maturity, stability, and capacity for relating to and working with other people are major factors evaluated in reviewing applicants. Evidence for these attributes is sought from records of past performance, letters of reference, work history, and a personal interview. Applicants to the joint degree program must submit separate applications to both the Clinical Psychology and Human Sexuality Education programs. Additionally, applicants should send all supplemental materials to the Clinical Psychology program only.


Students pay a total of five years of full-time tuition at the rate set in the Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. Joint degree candidates who complete the MEd in Human Sexuality courses within the 18 credits allowable per semester (except during the first two years, during which students are allowed to take only 15 credits per semester) will do so without added tuition. All human sexuality courses above the 18 credits, those taken during summer sessions, and those taken after five years in the PsyD program will be subject to additional tuition charges at the human sexuality program semester-hour rate. Tuition per semester is calculated on a per-credit-rate basis and therefore varies as a function of the total number of credits taken. A fee will be charged each semester (fall or spring) in which the student is enrolled in the joint degree program.


The PsyD program, including its exclusively affiliated internship, are accredited by the Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation of the American Psychological Association (750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242; phone: (202) 336-5979). The MEd in Human Sexuality program is accredited under the auspices of Widener University's accreditation by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

Certification Requirements

Students who have completed the joint degree program will have met the academic requirements for sex therapy certification through the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). The practicum HSED 602 (offered through Penn Council for Relationships) will meet the supervisory hours required for certification by AASECT.