Human Sexuality Studies

Graduate Certificate

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Campus: 
Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Instructions:
Residential/On Campus

Certificate Overview

The Graduate Certificate draws on diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives to produce unique insights into how sexual expression, behavior, and representation are shaped by multiple intersecting individual and cultural contexts, and how they, in turn, shape the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and populations. 

student

Domestic (Blacksburg Campus Only) Application Deadlines:

  • Fall: Aug 01
  • Spring: Jan 01

International (Blacksburg Campus) Application Deadlines:

  • Fall: April 01
  • Spring: Sep 01

Dr. Kaestle, Director Human Sexuality Studies Program 
315 Wallace Hall
295 West Campus Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-3194
kaestle@vt.edu

Anna Nicole Weaver, Graduate Program Coordinator
366 Wallace Hall
295 West Campus Dr
Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-4794
aweav32@vt.edu

Our Graduate Students

Why choose this program?

  • Articulate sexuality issues affecting different populations and stages in the life course considering diversity and the intersections of age, gender, identity, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, race, dis/ability, and religion.
  • The department provides students with a plethora of research opportunities, including experimental and observational research in laboratory settings, field research in the surrounding communities, and secondary data analysis.
  • Our small program enables students to get individualized attention with award-winning and research active faculty. 
  • Our certificate broadens student knowledge about the health, psychological, familial, social, cultural, and political aspects of human sexual behavior from a global perspective, this program will encourage intercultural understanding, problem-solving, and social responsibility.

What You'll Study

The VT Graduate Certificate in Human Sexuality Studies program draws on diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives to produce insights into how sexual expression, behavior, and representation are shaped by multiple intersecting individual and cultural contexts, and how they, in turn, shape the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and populations. 

Graduate students engage in research and take three core courses (9 credits) covering sexuality from life-course/development perspectives, feminist/queer theory perspectives, and public health/human rights perspectives.  While both broadening and deepening student knowledge about the psychological, familial, social, cultural, and political aspects of human sexual behavior and health from a global perspective, this program encourages intercultural understanding, problem-solving, and social responsibility. 

Core Courses:

  • HD 5344 Perspectives on Human Sexuality  
  • PHS/HD/WGS 5244 Sexual Health and Human Rights  
  • WGS 5934 Sexualities and Queer Theory

The graduate student’s research agenda must relate to human sexuality, as approved by the program director.  Students will be required to take three core courses:

  • PHS/HD/WGS 5244 Sexual Health and Human Rights (3 cr): Sexual and reproductive health from human development, public health, and critical feminist perspectives, with special attention to human rights issues. Sexually transmitted infections; HIV/AIDS; unintended pregnancy; population policies; eugenics; sexual and reproductive rights; positive sexuality, sex education; and health promotion.
  • HD 5344 Perspectives on Human Sexuality (3 cr): Interdisciplinary historical consideration of writings, research, theory, and application of knowledge related to human sexuality.
  • WGS 5934 Sexualities and Queer Theory (3 cr): Theoretical perspectives of queer studies and its influence on sexuality studies. Historical and cultural constructs of sexuality and gender. Queer epistemologies that implicate traditional notions of technology, identity, desire, normativity, and social control. Intersections of gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, class, age, transnational borders, and (dis) ability.

Through completion of these requirements, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate sexuality issues affecting different populations and stages in the life course considering diversity and the intersections of age, gender, identity, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, race, dis/ability, and religion.
  2. Apply fundamental bio-psycho-social theories to model specific social, cultural, and political influences on sexual development and behavior through the life course across diverse global contexts, fostering cross-cultural understandings of human sexuality and development.
  3. Identify their own set of values and preconceptions on sexuality issues and reflectively assess the effects on their research and practice.
  4. Analyze and critique primary literature and empirical evidence published in multiple fields that study human sexuality.
  5. Evaluate the strengths and limitations of multiple research methods used in sexuality research.
  6. Inform evidence-based programs and policies to promote sexual health and well-being in a range of settings.

Faculty Experts In Human Sexuality Studies

  • Raji Singh Soni 
  • Laura Boyd Farmer

Faculty Bookshelf