Master of Science in Disability Services in Higher Education

Format: Online
Application Deadlines
  • Spring 2021 Priority Deadline: November 5, 2020
  • Spring 2021 Regular Deadline: December 3, 2020

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.

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. An individual interview may be necessary.

Experience in providing disability services is valuable but not essential. 

Application Deadlines

  • Spring 2021 Priority Deadline: November 5, 2020
  • Spring 2021 Regular Deadline: December 3, 2020
Apply Now

Student/Alumni Profiles

Leonard Blades

MS in Disability Services in HIgher Education

"I saw the degree as an opportunity to give back and help other students with disabilities, the same way I was once assisted, so that they can obtain their desired degree. "

Lisa Young

MS in Disability Services in HIgher Education

"So far, my studies have really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I am usually very shy, but I have already had the chance to connect with people and attend conferences."

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."

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

Phil, NYU

CUNY SPS Graduate Leaves Banking Career to Serve College Students with Disabilities

October 28, 2019

Phillip Ferrigon, a graduate of the MS in Disability Services in Higher Education online degree program, was hired as a Disability Specialist on hand for the Moses Center for Students...

Woman writing in a notebook outside

Journal of Teaching Disability Studies to Launch in Fall 2019

March 11, 2019

In an effort to encourage community and advance instruction in the field of disability studies, Dr. Mariette Bates, Academic Director of Disability Studies at the...

Photo of Leonard Blades sitting in wheelchair at CUNY SPS

CUNY SPS Student Leonard Blades Appointed to University Student Senate Steering Committee

October 29, 2018

CUNY SPS student Leonard Blades has been appointed to serve as Vice Chair of Disabled Student Affairs on the University Student Senate (USS) Steering Committee for the 2018-2019...

Mariette Bates Receiving Award

Dr. Mariette Bates Receives Distinguished Honor from Friends of Asha Niketan, Inc.

September 19, 2016

On Thursday, September 16, 2016, Friends of Asha Niketan held their annual luncheon during which time they honored Dr. Mariette...