Wayne State University

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Graduate Certificate Program in Disabilities

The Graduate Certificate in Disabilities is a program designed to prepare master’s level students for a career in the disabilities field. DDI’s Graduate Certificate in Disabilities Program is the only one of its kind in the state.  Click here for the program brochure for more information.

The certificate program can help students:

  • Learn to be better advocates for people with disabilities.Graduate certificate in Disabilities Brochure cover photo
  • Expand their career options.
  • Prepare them for leadership positions in the field.
  • Receive assistance in finding a job in the disabilities field.
  • Get a certificate fast by taking 10 core credits (three courses) and five elective credits, which can be integrated into your degree program.

Read the university's gainful employment disclosure on this program.

Admission Requirements

Download the application for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Disabilities Program (PDF) or picked up an application at the Developmental Disabilities Institute. Admission prerequisites include admission to a program of graduate study at Wayne State University and a minimum GPA of 2.6.


Curriculum Content

The Graduate Certificate in Disabilities Program includes at least 15 credits taken while working on a master’s degree or after earning a master’s degree. A master’s degree within the student’s discipline must be completed before the certificate is awarded.


Core Courses

The program is built around a core of interdisciplinary courses and the practicum, which are required of all students pursuing the certificate. Courses meet weekly in the late afternoon or early evening. The following three courses provide the foundation for the students’ interdisciplinary education experience:

Disabilities in an Urban Society
SW 6700, Special Topics – This course introduces topics central to understanding living with disabilities across the life span in an urban society. Implications for people with disabilities, their families and advocates and their service providers are addressed.

Practicum in Disabilities
SW 6750, Research Topics – This course will provide students with supervision and direction as they begin to apply the knowledge and skills associated with their profession in an interdisciplinary, service-oriented environment. In working with professionals from other disciplines and with consumers of disability-related services, students will develop the leadership and teamwork skills necessary to succeed in their careers.

Seminar in Disability Studies
SW 6740, Directed Study – This seminar will allow students to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge acquired during the pursuit of the graduate certificate in disabilities within the context of their own disciplines and areas of interest.


Certificate Requirement

Courses include 10 credits of core courses and a minimum of five elective credits. The electives allow students to specialize in a particular area of practice or research, as well as in a particular age range of people with disabilities. At least six credits must differ from the course requirements of the graduate degree being pursued concurrently.

All course work must be completed within three years of admission to the program (including the practicum in a setting offering services to people with disabilities). Earning the certificate requires completion of the master’s degree in the student’s discipline.

Elizabeth Janks If you would like any further information regarding the Graduate Certificate in Disabilities Program, or any information about the Developmental Disabilities Institute at Wayne State University, please download the Graduate Certificate in Disabilities brochure.


If you wish to speak to someone regarding the Certificate Program, please contact Elizabeth Janks at (313) 577-6368 or e.janks@wayne.edu