To be certified by The American Board of Sexology, Candidates must meet the following requirements:

What does it mean to be certified? Those certified by The American Board of Sexology are known as Diplomates. ABS is dedicated to taking certification out of the area of subjectivity to a process based on academic achievement, dedication to the discipline as evidenced by scholarship, evidence of competence under supervision and the empirical results of examination. Most Diplomates are clinicians—those practicing in therapy and counseling.

Those currently practicing clinical sexology who are not already certified by The American Board of Sexology may apply for certification, or Diplomate status. To do so, contact the Executive Director and ask for an application form. The requirements for certification are:

1. All candidates:

Must hold a doctoral level or terminal degree in their chosen field from an accredited or approved institution of higher learning. Those practicing in states requiring licenses to practice sex therapy, sex counseling, (often an extension of Mental Health Counseling or Marriage and Family Counseling or Psychology/Psychiatry licensing) may use their license in lieu of a doctorate.

2. Must have completed 120 hours of clinical core courses covering

a. sexual and reproductive anatomy and physiology
b. gender identity issues—relationships.
c. medical aspects of sexuality and sexual functions
d. diagnosis of sexual disorders/dysfunctions
e. treatment of sexual disorders/dysfunctions
f. sex offenders, sexual abuse—diagnosis and treatment
g. issues of aging in sexual relationships
h. paraphilias
i. sexually transmitted diseases and prevention techniques
j. ethical and legal aspects and issues in clinical sexology.

Or, have completed an approved clinical training program, conducted by recognized sexological educators, leading to certification as a clinical sexologist.

3. Must have completed at least one year of professional work in the field of sexology, with 50 hours of supervision under an ABS approved supervisor.

4. Secure two endorsements by current Diplomates of the Board. The Examiner may count as one endorsement.

5. Before becoming certified, all applicants must successfully complete examinations administered by an ABS examiner. Testing is based on the text and references of the book An Outline of Sexology: a core curriculum, published by The American Board of Sexology. Those meeting the above requirements will be eligible for certification as clinical sexologists. Examination requirements may be waived for those who meet all other requirements and who have been previously certified by this or other sexological organizations.


1. To be certified as a sex therapist, sexological educator or sexological researcher, candidates must additionally have three years of professional experience in practice of the specialty.

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The American Board of Sexology holds in great esteem those who have gained the highest degrees in subjects dealing with sexology, and experience gained in clinical, head to head interactions with clientele in real life situations. M.D.’s, Ph.D.’s, D.S.W.’s, Psy.D.’s and others currently working in clinical setting dealing with human sexuality are invited to apply for certification by The American Board of Sexology.