Feb 25, 2024  
2020-2021 Catalog and Handbook 
2020-2021 Catalog and Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Advanced Certificate in Disability Studies

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Academic Director: Mariette Bates, PhD
CUNY School of Professional Studies
119 West 31st Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10001
Email Contact: disabilitystudies@sps.cuny.edu ​


The mission of the Disability Studies Program is to develop leaders who will improve the lives of people with disabilities. In a welcoming and hospitable environment, students are taught to think about disability in a social, cultural and political context, and to conduct research, apply theory, and advocate for inclusion, access and opportunities for disabled people.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Disability Studies Advanced Certificate will be able to:

  1. Analyze disability experience, both individual and societal, using a multidisciplinary approach.
  2. Critique representations and expression of disability in the media, creative arts and culture.
  3. Critique representations and expression of disability in the media, creative arts and culture.
  4. Advocate for improved quality of life and social justice for people with disabilities

The Program

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.

Admissions 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.

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