- Graduate Coordinator
- Sexuality Studies Master of Arts Program
- Application Process
- Western Regional Graduate Program
- FAQ: Application Process
- Degree Requirements
- Career Outlook
Dr. Clare Sears
Phone: (415) 338-3508
Office: HSS 373
The Master of Arts program in Sexuality Studies provides an integrative and comprehensive graduate degree for students interested in studying and working with issues related to human sexuality, sexuality education, research and social policy. It offers an interdisciplinary curriculum in the study of sexuality, with particular emphasis on theory, research and application. Sexual and cultural diversity and their relevant historical, social, developmental and biological aspects are considered. It investigates the assumptions and applications surrounding current methodologies of the major disciplines that are presently concerned with human sexuality. It enables students to understand varied and often contradictory policies around which sexuality has been formulated, generating a perspective through which they will be able to formulate new and improved solutions to these issues.
Components of the Application Process
A Statement of Purpose
The statement of purpose is the first document that the admissions committee will read. It is critical that you write a strong and exciting statement, so you should prepare yourself to write many different drafts. It will be helpful if others can read your statement and be brutally honest in their comments. In the statement you must first of all let us know what you want to accomplish by studying human sexuality in our program. We are interested to read what life experience, including educational experience, compelled you to seek a graduate degree in the field. What do you expect to achieve during your graduate education, and what future goals do your education and degree support? Write a story that tells us how these two years you will spend in our program fit in your life. What history led you to the Department of Sexuality Studies, what will you do here, and where do you plan to go after completing the program? We want to make sure that your goals can be met by the strengths of our program. It will help you if your statement generates excitement about you among the members of the admissions committee. Please write no more than two pages single spaced, using standard margins and font sizes.
Two Letters of Recommendation
When you ask for letters of recommendation, it behooves you to send letters that will be highly favorable. You can ask your referees, politely, if they will write you a strong letter. A weak letter will hurt your chances like few other things. We will read the letters of recommendation after we have read your statement and will make sure that your referees support the impression you have given about yourself. Most importantly, we will try to ascertain that you have the academic potential to be successful in a demanding graduate program and that you will finish what you have started.
To help the admissions committee assess your readiness and suitability for our MA program, you should submit an academic writing sample that best showcases your analytic and writing skills. This could be a class assignment, a senior thesis, or a writing sample that you create specifically for your application. The writing sample should be a minimum of 1,500 words, excluding the works cited or reference page. There is no maximum word limit.
Indicating a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Please note for the admissions process you will need to submit two sets of transcripts for all your college course work.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE Requirement)
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Sexuality Studies MA Program does not require applicants to take the GRE exam.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
Applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose native language is not English and who preparatory education was principally in a language other than English are required to take TOEFL. The minimum score is 550 for the written test or 213 for the computer test.
San Francisco State University Application
All applications should be submitted through Cal State Apply. The department does not require a mailed-in hard copy application.
Cohorts will be accepted each year for the Fall semester only.
The application deadlines for Fall 2022 for Cal State Apply and submission of all completed application materials are:
- Early priority: March 1, 2022
- Second priority: April 15, 2022
- Final deadline: June 1, 2022
We are pleased to announce that the Sexuality Studies MA program is now part of the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) which enables students in 16 Western states and territories to enroll in participating public graduate programs as nonresidents, yet pay the lower resident tuition rate.
For current MA in SXS degree requirements, please see SF State Bulletin.
Our M.A. program offers graduate students a rigorous curriculum in the academic study of sexuality with a strong focus on interdisciplinary research and theory. Our faculty members conduct research and teach courses in a range of social science and humanities disciplines including sociology, public health, literature, history, criminal justice, gerontology, gender and women’s studies, queer studies, political science and psychology. Our program does not offer sex therapy, or clinical or counseling training, although students can pursue these interests by using their nine units of elective credit and taking courses in a range of departments across the University.
The career outlook for undergraduates and graduates with specialized knowledge of human sexuality has never been better in our society, due to the changing positive attitudes regarding the role of sexuality in the universities and colleges, high schools, local and state government, research and training, clinical and mental health training, and private sector positions that call for expertise of human reproduction, sexuality, sexual identity and diversity, sexual orientation, gender, and human resources.
The M.A. in Sexuality Studies prepares students for the following next career steps:
- Ph.D. programs and professional schools in, for example, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, women and gender studies, ethnic studies, cultural studies, social work, public health, medicine, and communication studies
- Public health workers in HIV/AIDS education, treatment, and care centers
- Reproductive health education, research, training and prevention
- Sexuality education at regional community colleges and in local school boards
- Work in policy or research public policy institutes
- Service provision in, for example, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and others
- Education and training for service providers and human resource providers
- Research, policy and education providers
Considering an MA Degree in Sexuality Studies?
Kendra, current Master of Arts in Sexuality Studies graduate student, discusses the program here.
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