Master of Science in Disability Services in Higher Education

Format: Online
Application Deadlines
  • Fall 2024 Priority Deadline: April 4, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Regular Deadline: May 16, 2024

The MS in Disability Services in Higher Education online degree program, the first program of its kind in the country, equips graduates with the knowledge and skills they need to provide mandated accommodations to students with disabilities in higher education settings. The coursework includes theoretical, conceptual, and practical information that provides graduates with sound philosophical grounding in addition to building skills that they will apply in the field.

The curriculum for the degree was developed with the participation of disability service office directors, lawyers familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADA/AA) as it applies to colleges and universities, assistive technology specialists, and educators to ensure that graduates will be prepared to assume significant responsibility in providing accommodations to post-secondary students with disabilities.

Students in this program will enhance their knowledge and skills to successfully:

  • Advocate for equal access for students with disabilities in college settings
  • Develop policies and guidelines for provision of services to students with disabilities
  • Support students with learning, sensory, and psychiatric disabilities, and in the autism spectrum, as well as veterans with service-related disabilities
  • Arrange access in dormitories, libraries, computer labs, and public college events
  • Enter or advance in a career as a Disability Service specialist

Career Prospects

The MS in Disability Services in Higher Education is ideal for disability services office staff in colleges and universities, student services staff members, or higher education administrators. Accommodations specialists working in institutions that serve the public, such as sports arenas, libraries, parks, churches, or social service offices, will also find the coursework very valuable.

Scholarship Opportunities

Meet Our Faculty

Admissions Criteria

Applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Applicants are required to write a personal statement, upload a resume, and provide two letters of recommendation. Letters of recommendation may be submitted before or after submitting an application. Please note that an individual interview may be necessary.

Experience in providing disability services is valuable but not essential. 

Application Deadlines

  • Fall 2024 Priority Deadline: April 4, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Regular Deadline: May 16, 2024
Apply Now

Student/Alumni Profiles

Kate Shannon

MS in Disability Services in Higher Education 2022

"Within 2 months of obtaining my CUNY SPS degree, I was offered a position as assistant director for the Center of Student Disability Services at a private university in New York State."

Marilyn Harren

MS in Disability Services in Higher Education 2019

"Due to my degree, I was able to get a salary increase at my state college and then was offered a new job about nine months after graduation.”

Jade Powell

MS in Disability Services in Higher Education 2020

"My degree has really helped me pull together resources to share with my students, and has added to my experience working in higher education.”

Daniel Chan

Advanced Certificate in Disability Studies, MA in Disability Studies, and MS in Disability Services in Higher Education 2015, 2016, and 2017

"My CUNY SPS degrees have given me the confidence and credibility to do my job.”

Recent News About Master of Science in Disability Services in Higher Education

CUNY SPS' Disability Studies MS program is a first of its kind.

CUNY SPS Faculty Member Reflects Upon Two Decades of Serving Students with Disabilities

April 17, 2024

Dr. Raymond Perez, a professor in the Disability Services MS program, empowers students as CUNY’s Interim University Director of Disability Programs and Inclusion Initiatives.

Photo of CUNY LaGuardia Community College Professor Dr. Reem Jaafar

CUNY SPS Celebrates Disability Awareness Month—and the People that Make Higher Education Accessible to All

April 10, 2024

Dr. Reem Jaafar, a professor at LaGuardia Community College, is also earning an Advanced Certificate in Disability Services in Higher Education at CUNY SPS.

CUNY SPS Disability Studies Alum Danielle Lopez

Disability Studies Alum Named Director of Accessibility Services

January 18, 2024


Danielle Lopez, a CUNY SPS Disability Studies alum, will assume the role of director of diversity, equity, and inclusion for accessibility services at the Hudson County Community College.
NDEAM 2023 official poster featuring field of red, gray, teal, blue and yellow and words “Advancing Access & Equity,"

Honoring National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2023

October 16, 2023

This October, students and faculty from the CUNY SPS disability studies programs will host events exploring disability employment issues.