College of Letters & Sciences
Disabilities Studies Certificate

Disability Studies

Employers want to hire graduates who can work with diverse groups of people. Earning a Disability Studies Certificate will highlight a student’s knowledge and experience with people with disabilities.
The Disability Studies certificate is an interdisciplinary program open to UWW students of any major or minor. It requires classes in Sociology and Special Education and offers elective choices in a number of other disciplines, such as Communication Sciences and Disorders, English, and Political Science.
The certificate program may appeal to students who want to expand their studies in ethical and social justice issues; to friends, family members, and allies of people with disabilities; and to students with disabilities themselves. The program supports UW-Whitewater’s proud mission and excellent reputation for serving individuals with disabilities.


To complete the certificate, students must:

  • Take five disability-related courses
  • Complete an independent study, undergraduate research, or internship related to disability
  • Complete a Disability Studies Capstone Seminar
  • Complete at least 25 hours of experience (volunteer, work, etc.) an in approved disability-intensive setting

Classes a student is already taking for a major or minor may also count toward the certificate!
Students who successfully complete the Certificate will receive a transcript designation DISABILITY STUDIES CERTIFICATE and a mailed paper certificate.  

Required Courses (9 credits)

SPECED 201: Disability in Society
SOCIOLGY 315: Sociology of Disability
POLISCI 331: U.S. Disability Politics and Policy

Electives (6 credits)

COMDIS 270: Intro to Human Communication & Disorders
ENGLISH 305: Literature of Disabilities
SPECED 205: Intro to Special Education
SPECED 376: Medical Aspects of Disability
ITBE 315: Accessibility in High Tech Products & Systems

Individualized Study Experience (at least 1 credit)

All 493 (Internship), 498 (Independent Study), or 498R (Undergraduate Research)
Must be approved by the coordinator to count toward the certificate.

Capstone Seminar (1 credit) 

INTERDSPL 494: Disability Studies Seminar

Students must have completed or be currently enrolled in an Individualized Study Experience.

Non-course Requirement
At least 25 hours of experiential learning in an approved disability-intensive setting. An internship
taken in conjunction with a student’s major or minor may apply.

Contact Information

Coordinator,  Loren Wilbers
Department of Sociology, Criminology and Anthropology
Office: Laurentide 2124
Phone: (262) 472-1407