Frequently Asked Questions



What are the prerequisites for the MA?

There are no prerequisites to the MA degree.

If I had low grades during the first two years of college, should I not apply?

The program requires that you have a 3.0 GPA or higher for the last two years of your college education. There are several things we take into consideration when we look at your record. If your grades show a clear progression, we are interested to learn from you how you improved your grades. Sometimes grades suffer because of unanticipated circumstances, including illness, accident, or care for a loved one. You can address this issue in your statement of purpose. Those who write letters for you should comment specifically on your academic potential if they feel that your grades are not a clear indication of your ability

Can I send more than two letters of recommendation?

Yes. However, we strongly urge you to consider quality over quantity. Two strong letters will hold much more weight than three less enthusiastic ones. A third letter that is not too favorable can do more harm than good.One of the two letters should be from a professor if possible. We will want to assess your academic potential, and it is likely that professors who have worked with you closely can best indicate how likely you are to succeed in a demanding graduate program.

Can I send class papers and research reports?

We prefer to evaluate your candidacy from the materials we have requested. If you feel for some reason that such a paper provides significant information that we would not have otherwise, you may include it in your application file. However, we cannot guarantee we will give it significant weight in our deliberations.

Who reads my application?

Only the members of the graduate studies committee will read your application. This committee is comprised of Sociology and Sexuality Studies faculty. We will hold your information in the strictest confidence.

I had a bad day when I took my GRE. Should I give up on my application?

No. First of all, you can take the GRE again and, if time and resources allow, we suggest that you do so. In general, the GRE score is only one factor that we consider. If you feel that the GRE score does not represent your potential, you can address this briefly in the statement of purpose. However, if your GRE score does not meet the minimum requirement for the University, we suggest that you retake it and apply at a later time.

Can I send my application early?

Yes. Please keep in mind that we do not have rolling admissions, so your application will not be reviewed early. Submitting early does assure that you will have time to complete all parts of the application.

Where can I find more information about the GRE and TOEFL?

You can find more information at San Francisco State University's testing center at (415) 338-2271 or online at Testing Center Website:

I would like to speak with someone to review my application or ask specific questions. Can I contact someone?

Please contact Alexis Martinez, PhD, Graduate Coordinator, Sexuality Studies, HSS 370, 

I have taken graduate level classes in sexuality studies before. Can I get credit for these classes?

Credit for previously taken classes is not automatic and will never exceed 6 units of course work. You can petition the graduate studies committee with a request for substitution of a previously-taken class for a required class in the program. The graduate studies committee will decide whether you will be awarded credit. Please note that if you applied credit earned for this coursework toward your undergraduate degree, you cannot receive credit again in the Sexuality Studies MA graduate program.

Do you admit students for the Spring semester?

No. We only admit students for the Fall semester.

I have applied to the program before and was not admitted. Does it hurt my chances if I apply again?

No. Your previous application is not considered as part of a new application, except in providing us with evidence of your interest in the program. Several students who are currently in the program were admitted when they applied a second time. It is very much worth your effort if you want to pursue this degree. Each application has its own merit and one does not influence another. Of course, you can speak with the graduate coordinator or other faculty members to inquire how you can improve your application.


Are your graduate courses available online or do you have long distance learning programs?

We have neither at this time.

Should I include a copy of my university application with my statement of purpose?

Yes, please photocopy your application, send a complete copy of everything to us, and keep a copy for yourself. Graduate Admissions forwards  "Part B" of your application to Sexuality Studies but it can take a long time. 

What kind of scholarships are available for students who are admitted to your program?

Please go to our scholarship page. You can also view numerous scholarships offered through the university via our Financial Aid Office.

Does your program offer any research assistantships?

Research assistantships are offered but not guaranteed. The availability of research assistantships depends on faculty research projects, their need for assistance and your own sexuality research interests. In the past, there have been both paid RAships and RAships for which you can get course credit (though not both). We suggest further discuss this upon admissions to the MA program with our graduate coordinator Jessica Fields.

Will your program qualify me to become a sex therapist?

No, our program will not qualify you to become a sex therapist. An MA in Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University will provide you with broad interdisciplinary training in sexuality with an emphasis on research training. Additionally, the SXS Program is committed to addressing social justice issues in the area of human sexuality. We encourage you to go elsewhere if your primary interest is to become a sex therapist.

Can I be trained to be a sex educator at SFSU?

Our program offers a comprehensive research and training program that will enable you to become a sex educator. However, we do not offer a certificate in sexuality education.

Can I go on to a Ph.D. Program?

Our program is ideally suited to equip graduates with the theory and methodology necessary to qualify for a Ph.D. program in a relevant field. 

Shall I conduct original research for my Master's Thesis?

You are permitted to do either a library or empirical research project for your MA thesis. You are encouraged to discuss this decision with your advisor and other faculty.

Who will be my faculty advisor?

Our graduate coordinator, Professor Alexis Martinez will assign you an initial advisor, until you select a faculty member with whom to work. While most students are able to work with the faculty member whose work or expertise best matches students’ thesis topics, faculty take on the number of students they can support successfully in any given year.