Master of Science in Disability Services in Higher Education

Format: Online
Application Deadlines
  • Fall 2023 Priority Deadline: April 6, 2023
  • Fall 2023 Regular Deadline: May 18, 2023

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 an 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 2023 Priority Deadline: April 6, 2023
  • Fall 2023 Regular Deadline: May 18, 2023
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Student/Alumni Profiles

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.”

Linda Yau

MS in Disability Services in Higher Education

" At this point, I can say that online degree programs appear to be the new frontier of exploring and experiencing academic achievement for people who are working professionals."

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

Disability Studies Alum Publishes Chapter in Textbook

December 02, 2022

In this Q&A, a MS in Disability Services in Higher Education alum discusses the chapter she wrote for a new textbook in the field.

Accessibility at Sarah Lawrence

November 09, 2022

Sarah Lawrence Phoenix

Daniel Chan, an alum of the MS in Disability Services in Higher Education and MA in Disability Studies programs at CUNY SPS, is profiled in the article Accessibility at Sarah Lawrence. Chan is the new Dean of Disability and Access at Sarah Lawrence College.

Journal of Teaching Disability Studies Publishes Third Issue

October 20, 2022

The new issue explores several pedagogical experiments made by disability studies practitioners at their schools.

Spring Lecture Series Honors Those Fighting for Disability Reform

April 27, 2022

Organized by the disability studies programs, the two-part series commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1972 exposé of Willowbrook State School.