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Disability Studies

  • Program Overview

    The certificate program in Disability Studies focuses on multiple social and environmental factors that influence the experience of chronic conditions and functional impairments.  These factors range from architectural barriers to social discrimination and have a profound influence on access to education, employment, recreation, and participation in other community activities across the life cycle.

    The Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Program in cooperation with the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program offers a course of study that leads to the Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies. The program has affiliated faculty members from more than a dozen different programs in the social and behavioral sciences, humanities, and health sciences. The program is designed to allow students working toward a degree in many departments such as Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, English, History, Philosophy, Linguistics, Theatre, Music, Dance, Cultural Analysis and Theory, Psychology, Public Health, Bioethics, Technology and Society, or Sociology to draw on faculty whose work engages with disability in a wide range of disciplines. Other programs and areas of scholarship include Bioethics, Sustainability Studies, Embodied Cognition, Neurodiversity, Queer Theory, Critical Race Studies, Postcolonial and Area studies within both Northern and Southern regional contexts.

  • Admissions

    Admission Requirements of Disability Studies

    Admission to The Graduate Certificate Program in Disability Studies is open to any full-time student enrolled in a Stony Brook graduate degree-granting program, and in certain cases independent scholars and writers, as well as clinicians and other professionals in the health fields. Admission involves filling out two forms:

    Permission to Enroll in a Secondary Certificate Program

    and a Disability Studies Certificate Program application form (link not yet live – see attached):

    Applicants must show writing and critical analytical abilities sufficient to pursue this course of study. The applications will be reviewed by the director of the concentration and a committee of disability studies program faculty.

  • Degree Requirements

    Requirements for the AGC in Disability Studies

    The certificate, which can be completed in two years consists of five courses. Students must take the following two courses (6 credits)

    HAX 664 Conceptual Foundations of Disability Studies 1890s to 1990s

    HAX 668 Emerging Topics in Disability Studies

    Plus one of the following three courses (3 Credits)

    HAX 665 Disability, Participation and Justice               

    HAX 667 Disability, Language, Rhetoric & Narrative

    HAX 669             Disability and Health in Local and Global Contexts

    Plus two elective courses (6 credits)

    Elective courses (6 credits) can be taken, as long as the content is appropriate for the DS Certificate, with affiliated faculty in the student’s home department, from a list of seminars offered by faculty affiliates in other departments, or as a readings course taken with an affiliated faculty member. Only one readings course is allowed, and must receive approval from the director of the disability studies certificate program.

  • Facilities
  • Faculty

    Faculty of Disability Studies

    Mark Aronoff, Linguistics

    Michele Ballan, Social Welfare

    Pamela Block, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies

    Lisa Diedrich, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies

    Patricia Dunn, English

    Christa Erikson, Art

    Michele Friedner, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Disability Studies Concentration

    Manuel London, College of Business

    John Lutterbie, Theater Arts, CAS

    Liz Montegary, Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies

    Stephen Post, Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics

    Lori Scarlatos, Technology and Society

    Carrie Shandra, Sociology

    Amy Sullivan, Dance

    Nancy Tomes, History

  • Contact

    Disability Studies

    Graduate Program Director
    Pamela Block, Stony Brook University Research & Development Park, Building 17, Suite 120 (631) 444-3197

    Advanced Graduate Certificate Awarded
    Advanced Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies


    Not currently accepting applications.