Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Human Sexuality Studies
315 Wallace Hall, 295 West Campus Dr.
Blacksburg, VA 24061
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Certificate Overview

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

How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admissions Requirements

Graduate students who have already been accepted into any graduate program or graduate studies at Virginia Tech can apply to the certificate program.  To apply, please complete the following materials and contact the program Director:

1.     Letter of Interest (250–500 words: include your past work experience, your long-range education and career objectives, and your reasons for applying to the Certificate)

2.    A copy of your most recent Curriculum Vitae (CV/resume)

3.    A VT Graduate Certificate Application form (available at: )

For more information, please contact Dr. Christine Kaestle, the Human Sexuality Studies Program Director, at

Curriculum Requirements

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

HD 5344 Perspectives on Human Sexuality (3 cr).  Interdisciplinary historical consideration of writings, research, theory, and application of knowledge related to human sexuality from developmental and family studies perspectives.

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.

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.