Program Information

Disability Studies

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Contact: Steven J. Taylor, 805 S. Crouse Ave., 315-443-3851or  

The minor in Disability Studies focuses on disability as a social and cultural phenomenon, identity, social construct, and metaphor. Disability Studies applies social, cultural, historical, legal, philosophical, and humanities perspectives to understanding disability in society. Topics covered in Disability Studies include disability law and policy, the sociology, anthropology, geography, and history of disability, the intersection between disability and race, gender, sexuality, and class, the representation of disability in literature, the media, and popular culture, advocacy and self-advocacy, and assistive technology and accommodations for people with disabilities. The Disability Studies minor does not focus on instructional or clinical approaches to disability, but can complement the studies of students in these programs.

The minor requires18 credits, with12 credits in Disability Studies courses and 6 credits of electives. At least 12 credits must be taken in 300 level or above courses. Courses must be approved by the student’s advisor in Disability Studies. Courses in the minor may be able to be used to fulfill requirements in students’ home schools and colleges, at their discretion.

Requirements for Admission:

A minimum grade point average of 2.8 and a one-to-two page personal statement describing the student’s interest in the minor in Disability Studies.

Restrictions on Applications: None. Students from any Syracuse University undergraduate program can apply for the minor in Disability Studies.

Core Courses:

Students must take a minimum of 12 credits in Disability Studies courses.

  • DSP/SOC/WGS 432 Gender and Disability (3 credits)
  • DSP/SOC/WGS 438 Disability & Popular Culture (3 credits)
  • DSP/SOC 426 Representations of Ability & Disability (3 credits)
  • DSP/SOC 440 Sociology of Disability (submitted to SCC) (3 credits)
  • DSP/SPE 357 Deafness and Disability (submitted to SCC) (3 credits)
  • DSP 475 Internship in Disability Policy (submitted to SCC) (3 credits

With the approval of the minor advisor, students may use credits from other Syracuse University courses without a DSP prefix to fulfill the requirement for 12 credits in core courses.


Students may take up to 6 credits in electives, subject to the approval of an advisor. Possible courses include, among others:

  • CFE/DSP/WGS 362 Youth, Schooling and Popular Culture (3 credits)
  • CFE/WGS 444 Schooling and Diversity (3 credits)
  • WRT 428 Studies in Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy (3 credits)
  • WRT 440 Studies in the Politics of Language and Writing (3 credits)
  • SOC/WGS 355 Sociology of Health and Illness (3 credits)
  • SOC/WGS 364 Aging and Society (3 credits)
  • SOC/WGS 433 Race, Class, and Gender (3 credits)
  • SWK/WGS 326 Human Diversity in Social Contexts (3 credits)
  • ANT/WGS 455 Culture and AIDS (3 credits)
  • GEO 372 Political Geography (3 credits)
  • PSC 328/WGS 318 American Social Movements (3 credits)