Graduate Certificate Program in Disabilities

The Graduate Certificate in Disabilities at the Wayne State University School of Social Work is a program designed to prepare master's level students for a career in the disabilities field.

The certificate program can help students:

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

View and download Wayne State's gainful employment disclosure.

Student perspective

Perspectives of former graduate certificate program students.
A picture of a young woman smiling. She is wearing a white zip-up fleece and glasses. She has long curly brown hair.

"I found that the disabilities certificate program, along with the course SW 6700, was very beneficial in understanding different types of disabilities, the laws that help them, and the types of services that should be promoted to help these individuals. This program brings awareness to a large community of unique individuals."

                                                                                                                            - Amanda Akers



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. The electives must differ from the course requirements of the graduate degree being pursued concurrently.

Curriculum Content

The Graduate Certificate in Disabilities Program includes 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 a practicum, which are required of all students pursuing a certificate. The following three courses provide the foundation for the student's interdisciplinary education experience:

  • Disabilities in an Urban Society - SW 6700, Special Topics (3 Credits)
  • Practicum in Disabilities - SW 6750, Research Topics (4 Credits)
  • Seminar in Disability Studies - SW 6740, Directed Study (3 Credits)

Admission Process

Applications are accepted throughout the year and students may begin the program during any semester.  

If you are new to Wayne State University and have never applied for graduate admission: 

Complete the Graduate Admissions application.


If you are already a graduate student at Wayne State University: 

Complete the application for Disabilities program.


Elizabeth Janks
Associate Director of Training and Education
Phone: (313) 577-6368