This page was updated: 05-03-10RL


FAQS About
The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality

The Institute receives hundreds of inquiries each year concerning its programs, resources, admission procedures, the discipline of Sexology, and a variety of other related questions. We have here distilled some of the key questions which are asked by candidates for admission, and we have provided brief answers to these Frequently Asked Questions. Please feel free to contact the Institute if you require additional information, or have additional questions.


What is Sexology?
Sexology is the field of study devoted to the acquisition of knowledge concerning sexual behavior in all of its aspects. This undertaking is made more unique and interesting because of the multi disciplinary nature of this inquiry. While a unique discipline itself, Sexology touches on a wide range of other areas including anthropology, biology, economics, fine arts, gender studies, medicine, music, nursing, psychology, sociology, social work, theology, and a variety of other issues.


What is a Sexologist?
A Sexologist is a person trained in the scholarly study of human sexuality.


What is the Mission of the Institute?
The mission of the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality is to provide a graduate course of study for those persons considering and preparing for careers in human sexuality or already working in the field. The mission requires the maintenance of archives, resource centers, and research facilities dealing with primary sexological and erotological material not available elsewhere and a commitment to scholarly, scientific and ethical standards by administrators, faculty and students.


What Programs are offered by the Institute?
The Institute offers five graduate degree programs organized along a dual track system: Professional Education (Master of Human Sexuality, Master of Public Health in Human Sexuality and Doctor of Human Sexuality) and Academic Education (Doctor of Education and Doctor of Philosophy). A variety of Certificate Programs are also offered. These include: Associate in Sex Education, Clinical Sexology, Sexological Bodywork, Sexological Instructor/Advisor of AIDS/STI Prevention and Erotology Certificates.


If I take a Certificate Program now, can I be given credit when I enter a degree program at some later time?
The Certificate Programs offer an effective starting point for many people to begin their study at the Institute. These programs can be applied for credit to one’s degree program. In fact, the combined Associate in Sex Education and the Clinical Sexology Certificate Programs provide the content for the first trimester of study for all the degree programs.


How long are the programs of study?
The Institute offers a variety of academic and professional studies which vary in the length of time required to complete each of them. Most of the certificate programs can be completed in a matter of months as home study programs. The academic and professional degrees can be completed in a matter of three to five trimesters. Our experience suggests that the completion of all the programs in a timely fashion is a function of the students’ motivation, organization and outside distractions ... which may include a job, family responsibilities and other issues.


What are the requirements for the programs?
The program requirements vary by one’s program goal -- the certificate programs, or the various professional and academic degrees which are offered by the Institute. These requirements are described in the Catalogue under the headings Degrees and Certificates.


How much time do I need to spend in San Francisco? What are the residency requirements?
Under the Institute’s programs it is possible for students to continue their professional education without leaving their present employment. A minimum of two to three weeks per trimester is required to be spent at the Institute. Experience indicates that, for the majority of students, the more time spent in residence the better they progress through the program. Reading, watching video courses, writing papers, and similar work required during the trimester may be done in private study at home.


Can I receive credit for prior work which I may have done in the area of human sexuality?
The Institute takes into consideration the fact that students bring with them backgrounds widely different in experience and training. It is not the wish of the Institute for persons to duplicate work already completed. Therefore, the Institute will give a limited amount of credit for previous academic work and professional experience in the field of human sexuality. If the individual can demonstrate and document three full years of work in the field of sexuality, they may be appropriate candidates for the Honors Program.


Do I have to be a college or university graduate in order to apply for admission to the Institute?
Basic requirements for admission to any of the Institute’s programs include a baccalaureate degree or equivalent, and good skills in speaking, writing, and understanding the English language. Those individuals seeking admission based on equivalency (baccalaureate degree) must detail such experience in their application, and they will be considered for admission to the Master’s Degree or certificate programs only.


When do I need to submit my application?
The Institute operates under a rolling enrollment system. Applications are welcomed at any time during the year. Students may begin their studies with the Associate in Sex Education and the Clinical Sexology Certificate Programs at any time.


What are the costs of the Programs?
The Financial Costs and Policies of the Institute are throughly outlined in the Catalogue and on the Finanical & Application Procedure page of this web site. You are encouraged to consult that material for a complete answer to this question. In summary, the present costs of the various Certificate Programs vary. Tuition for all degree students is $7,150.00 per trimester, or $21,450.00 for the three trimesters in any 12-month period. Tuition for the first four trimesters following the passing of the Comprehensive Examinations is $3,750.00 per trimester. If additional time is required to complete a final project or dissertation, the tuition is $1,787.50.


Does the Institute welcome International students?
The Institute’s students come from all over the world, creating a multilingual, multi cultural mix which in itself is a learning experience. The Institute aggressively recruits International students who possess good skills in speaking, writing, and understanding the English language.


What is the nature of the Institute’s student body?
Most Institute students have graduate training when they enter the Institute, and many are involved professionally in the field of human sexuality or related helping professions. Current students include teachers, ministers, writers, physicians, social workers, marriage and family therapists, nurses, psychologists, business people, and others. They range in age from the early twenties to the mid-sixties. As in many other emerging fields of study, a majority of the students are women.


What employment opportunities are available to graduates of the Institute?
Graduates of the Institute are located throughout the world. They are teachers in high schools, colleges, and medical schools. Many are in private practice as therapists and counselors, while others combine therapy with teaching and workshops. Some graduates have continued in their previous professions, as clergy, social workers, researchers, psychiatrists and physicians, but now does specialized work in Sexology. Some have found a place in the commercial world as writers, filmmakers, and in the media.


Can a graduate of the Institute become licensed as a mental health expert?
Because the licensing requirements for the various professional areas in mental health vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, we cannot comment on this issue. The applicant is responsible for determining the licensing requirements for the jurisdiction in which she or he wishes to work.


Is the Institute an accredited academic institution?
The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality is fully approved for graduate education in Sexology by the Bureau of Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education of the State of California.