Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies

Program Description

The field of Disability Studies fosters a new understanding of contemporary culture, not only for people with disabilities but for society as well.  The Advanced Certificate in Disability Studies provides an overview of this emerging discipline: its philosophy and key concepts; its impact on the service delivery, services and supports to people with disabilities; its importance in disability research, and its influence in the formation of public policies for people with and without disabilities.

Disability Studies offers a unique opportunity to examine disability from an interdisciplinary perspective, which includes the social sciences, humanities, science, social policy and the law.  A fundamental premise of the disability studies approach is that the direct experience of individuals with disabilities is primary.  Using the social model perspective of disability, the program incorporates overlapping lenses through which students discover a new understanding of disability and society. 

The Advanced Certificate in Disability Studies prepares a new generation of leaders in community-based or governmental agencies as they evolve in the 21st century. It prepares students to further or begin a career working with and for people with a wide range of disabilities and is ideal for administrators, social service professionals, educators, scholars who wish a specialization in Disability Studies, people with disabilities or family members, and advocates. Certificate credits may be applied towards the M.A. in Disability Studies and to other graduate programs at CUNY. 

Online Courses

Beginning in the fall 2013 semester, courses in this program will also be available in an in-person format and a fully online format. In online classes, classroom time is replaced by required activities and online discussions managed through Blackboard, a web-based classroom environment. The online courses are provided asynchronously, which allows students to read course materials, participate in class discussions and complete assignments on a more flexible schedule.

An online learning experience is as rich and as valuable as the classroom experience and leads to comprehension and mastery of new skills and knowledge, just like its traditional classroom counterpart. For more information about online learning at CUNY SPS, click here.

Admission Criteria

Candidates for admission to advanced certificate programs must possess a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA or higher from an accredited undergraduate institution. Applicants are also required to write a personal statement, upload a resume, and provide one letter of recommendation. Applicants who meet the basic eligibility criteria may be asked to take part in an individual interview before final acceptance is determined.

Application Deadlines


Mariette Bates