Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Disability Policy and Practice

The Certificate is currently under revision; stay tuned for updates.

This 12-hour program consists of courses and practicum, and is for students in many disciplines who want to work with people with disabilities and their families. Students will work in educational, residential, recreational, and day program settings.


  • you must have a 3.0 GPA and attend school full time
  • you must take a course, a minimum of one practicum and the graduate seminar. Completing an independent study or research is optional.
  • Applications for this certificate program are accepted once per year. The deadline for applications to be accepted into the fall cohort each year is March 1st.
  • Apply Now

To apply, you must work through a collaborating department faculty or faculty member of the Institute for Human Development, and fill out the Trainee Application in Word or PDF format. 

The application process is coordinated between a faculty member from your area of study and Dr. Karen Applequist from the Institute for Human Development. 

In addition, you need one letter of recommendation, submitted with the letter of recommendation form

We accept applications year-round, but we strongly encourage you to apply during spring semester so you can start the program in the fall.


The coursework and practicum for the program is from 12-15 hours in the areas of disabilities core, field work/practicum, and interdisciplinary seminar, and you have the option for independent study/research. The program should be completed in three semesters and, if you are accepted into the program, you have the option to apply to become an Interdisciplinary Trainee.

The breakdown of the program components are:

  • disabilities core (The Disability Core course is a 3 credit hour course that provides a basic understanding of etiology and developmental disabilities characteristics, assessment and intervention approaches, and the contexts for service delivery to those with developmental disabilities.) 
  • field work/practicum (3-6 credit hours), which gives you experience in service delivery settings. You can choose between 3-6 hours of credit and choose to participate in supervised training according to your interests and the availability of training sites
  • interdisciplinary seminar (3 credit hours), which exposes you to roles and functions associated with disciplines in the disabilities field and you get a first-hand look at the critical issues in service delivery. The seminar will cover topics such as: interdisciplinary teaming processes and procedures, provision of culturally competent services, person/family-centered services, positive behavioral support, assistive technology, consultation and supervision, and provision of individualized instruction 
  • optional interdisciplinary independent/research studies (1-3 credit hours),which gives you the knowledge and skills to provide the appropriate services to people with disabilities

You can find a more detailed list of the program’s components in this Word or PDF document.


For more information on the program contact:

Northern Arizona University
Institute for Human Development
P.O. Box 5630
Flagstaff, AZ  86011
Phone: 928-523-4791
Fax: 928-523-9127
TDD: 928-523-1695