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Graduate Certificate

The Disability Studies Certificate Program is located administratively in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Social Work, and is directed by the Center for Disability Studies and Universal Access. However, the certificate program is interdisciplinary, involving multiple academic departments throughout the university.

Disability Studies is a multidisciplinary field drawing from humanities, liberal arts and the sciences, and is taught by faculty from multiple fields and disciplines. The Disability Studies Certificate program, offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels, educates students to develop an understanding of disability, disability culture and people with disabilities as inclusive members of society. The program's emphasis on universal access complements the university's mission to prepare its graduates to live and work in a diverse society.

The Disability Studies certificate program will show you that disability is part of the tapestry of a diverse society. It emphasizes "universal access," the philosophy that society should be inclusive of people of all diverse backgrounds and traits, and that the responsibility for diversity transcends traditional identity-based characteristics. Universal access (UA) embraces an approach that responsible societies do not just accommodate minorities, but are constructed for people of all; both majority and minority, typical and atypical.

Additional graduate certificate options are available with more course work. 

What will I study?

The Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Program encourages people, with a minimum of a bachelor's degree preparation, and who are interested in disability, disability culture, and the lived experiences of persons with disabilities, to enroll in the graduate courses offered. Post-baccalaureate students and matriculated graduated students are invited to enroll in the program by contacting the Center for Disability Studies and Universal Access. Non-matriculated students will be required to follow university procedures to enroll in the certificate program.

The Graduate Disability Studies Certificate, a 15 credit credit program, consisting of three courses, including a community service-learning course.

Required Graduate Certificate Courses:

DSST 501 Disability, Culture and Access in Society (5)
DSST 510 Disability as Diversity (5)
DSST 590 Interdisciplinary Project (5)

Emphases / Concentrations:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the perceptions of disability throughout history and in contemporary society
  • Identify disability culture and recognize the contributions of disabled persons in society
  • Apply the principles of universal access to disability and to other diverse societal characteristics
  • Display knowledge of how laws and policies influence the lives of people with disabilities
  • Analyze societal representations of defining disability including the moral, medical and social models
  • Understand disability as a characteristic in the diverse tapestry of society
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