These are some of the most frequently asked questions about the graduate certificate program in disability studies. Have a question not shown here? Contact the CDCI Academic Coordinator.

1. What courses am I required to take?

EDSP/CSD 274: Culture of Disability, is offered as a hybrid course in the fall and spring semesters. Typically, this means that we will meet as a class every other week. The other course content will be online, to be completed on your own.

In addition to coursework, students are also required to complete a Capstone Project. This project is an opportunity to create a substantive product that showcases your learning and experiences while in the certificate program. This can be fulfilled through a 3-credit independent study or completed as an assignment within another course. Possible capstone project formats could be:

  • Resource Guide/ Handbook
  • Academic Conference Poster
  • Workshop Series Curricula
  • Series of Lesson Plans
  • Civic Learning Opportunity
  • Action Research Project in the Community
  • Research Paper


2. Is there a list of suggested other courses that I can take?

Yes! Depending on your interests and background, the list of suggested courses could be divided into three topic areas: Education, Healthcare, and Quality of Life. 



Quality of Life:

3. Are there internships and/or independent study courses that I can take?

Yes! CDCI has many contacts with our local community, and we can help to create an internship experience that will serve your needs. 

And independent Study courses can be developed with your certificate advisor, at least one semester in advance.

4. What happens once I'm accepted into the certificate program?

Upon acceptance into the program, students will meet with the program advisor, Dr. Winnie Looby, to talk about your interests, and educational/professional goals for the future. We will outline which courses you will take, and in which semesters. This will serve as your Program Plan.

If you are a UVM student enrolling in the certificate program, you must file your completed Program Plan with your main advisor (if applicable) and the Graduate College. If you are not a UVM student, you will file your Program Plan with UVM Continuing Education.

Students are asked to check in with the program advisor, Dr. Looby, at least once per semester. 

5. How long does it take to complete the certificate?

Students have up to five years to complete the certificate. Keep In mind that your Program Plan is not set in stone but is meant to serve as a guide to keep you on track to graduate in five years or less. It is likely that your interests will develop and change over time, and the certificate program is designed to provide you with flexibility and support through that growth.

6. What can I do with this certificate after I graduate?

  • The certificate can be used for professional development to advance in your current field. 
  • Current UVM students add the certificate to their current program of study, to enhance their understanding of disability as it relates to their major. 
  • Many other students pursue the certificate as a pathway to earning a master’s degree program at UVM.

The certificate program is highly individualized. We want to find a way for you to use this experience to boost your experience in your chosen field. Whether you choose to continue on in disability studies or simply apply what you learn in working more effectively with people with disabilities, in the field of your choosing.

7. Are there scholarships or other funding that I can apply for?

Currently, CESS has a small scholarship that is awarded on a case-by-case basis. Contact Dr. Looby for additional details.

8. How fast can I finish this certificate if I'm enrolled full-time?

Generally, full-time graduate students enroll for 9 to 12 credit hours per semester. Depending on the courses that they want to take and when they are available, full-time certificate students could expect to complete their requirements in less than two years.

9. Can I design my own certificate related to disability studies?

For the most part, yes! When we create your Program Plan, we are creating a highly individualized certificate that is intended to guide you as you work towards your goals for the future.

10. If I'm enrolled in a graduate program at another university, can I still do this certificate?

Students must complete a minimum of 9 graded credits in the certificate after admission into the Graduate College. Graduate credits taken at other institutions will not transfer into a UVM certificate, but graduate credits taken as a non-degree student at UVM will be considered for transfer.

Icon of a mortarboard. Text: CDCI Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies

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