Graduate Students

As of May 2015, we are not currently enrolling any students in the disability studies graduate certificate. The program is going through a period of transition and until we know its fate, we’ve halted admissions. Sorry for the inconvenience.

If you would still like to learn more about disability, you are welcome to enroll in Disability Culture and Society (PADMN 6350-001, OCTH 6350-001 or POLS 5960) offered fall semester.


Apply for the Disability Studies Graduate Certificate

Certificate Overview

The program is designed for persons who want to work with individuals with disability, those already active and those who simply want to benefit personally from knowing more about disability and the implications for our society.

The interdisciplinary curriculum provides an overall view of the concept of disability, identity, culture, social issues and policy implications. Students interested in specific careers working with individuals with disability should consult with faculty to develop a program of study to meet their individual goals.

Length of Program

Fifteen (15) credit hours are required to complete the Disability Studies Graduate Certificate. Students seeking to earn a Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies must complete the following courses:

1. Interdisciplinary Course in Disability Studies (3 credits)

This course presents an overview of the meaning and significance of disability in society and culture by viewing it from various perspectives. Disability is increasingly present in the public consciousness and on the political agenda. The course will explore theories and models that examine health, educational, economic, social, political, economic and cultural factors that define disability and influence personal and collective responses to difference. The study includes perspectives of people with disabilities as they seek to participate collectively in broader decisions about policies that affect their lives. Students will participate in a service learning project that will help to integrate key concepts from the course and their own disciplines.

PADMN 6350-001, OCTH 6350-001 or POLS 5960.

2. Disability Studies Forum (1 credit hour)

A one-day forum will be held each year during whichDisability Studies studentsmay present their capstone experiences or other research. The Disability Studies Forum will be an opportunity for students and faculty on campus to get together for a day and present to each other their research and ongoing projects, and to learn about the completed capstone projects. Students may earn 1 credit hour for participation in the Forum.

OCTH 6860 or PADMN 6860.

3. Supplemental Coursework (5 - 9 credits)

Students must take graduate level (6000 or above) coursesfrom approved disability studies coursework. Matriculated students may count courses they are planning to take as part of their Master's or Doctoral program.Non-matriculated students with Bachelor's degrees mayselect coursesfrom various departmentsfrom the approved course list. Another option is for a student to propose a course not on the list to the Disability Studies Advisory Committee for approval.

Criteria for supplemental coursework is as follows:

Ed Roberts

  • The course is listed with a graduate level course number (6000 or above).
  • The disability-related topics or issues are a focus of the course.
  • The concept of disability is considered from two or more perspectives or disciplines.
  • The focus is on: Reducing social and environmental barriers to enhance participation in activities at home, community and the workplace, and/or Illuminating or analyzing social, environmental, institutional, political, medical, and/or cultural constructions of disability.

4. Capstone Experience (2 - 6 credits)

Students will complete a Capstone experience which may be either a research or a service project that is approved by the Disability Studies Advisory Committee. The capstone experience must fulfill 2-6 credit hours. Students will propose a research or service project to complete the capstone experience. A student’s home department advisor will assist the student in developing the capstone project. A project that the student is completing for his/her advanced degree program, such as a thesis or dissertation, may qualify as the capstone experience if it has relevance to disability.