What to Expect

A detailed look at the program

The disability studies program is designed primarily as a full-time course of study. Students who are full time will be expected to maintain a course load of three or more classes per semester. Each student will have an advisor chosen from the faculty of the program. The advisor will monitor the student’s progress through the program and may serve as the chair for the dissertation committee.

The program must be completed within seven years.​

Minimum 96 semester hours required beyond the baccalaureate degree.

Course Work

Required Courses

DHD 501Disability Studies I4 hours
DHD 502Disability Studies II4 hours
DHD 510Concepts in Interdisciplinary Research on Disability3 hours
DHD 541Advanced Concepts in Disability Research3 hours
DHD 592Interdisciplinary Seminar in Disability Studies1 hour in fall; 1 hour in spring

At least two research methods courses appropriate to the student’s research interests are chosen with an advisor and must total a minimum of 9 additional credit hours.

Elective Courses

Twenty-four semester hours of study in a content area, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor. At least 12 hours must be from within the College of Applied Health Sciences.


Preliminary Examination: Required. This exam is generally taken during year 2, spring term.


Required. A minimum of 24 semester hours required. The dissertation must be defended at a public session before the dissertation committee and other members of the academic community.