Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Disability Policy and Practice

This graduate certificate program prepares you to be an effective member of an interdisciplinary team working with people with disabilities and their families. Through a combination of learning activities in four courses you will build your understanding of current disability issues viewed from a disability studies perspective including policy, evidenced-based practices, person-centered planning, ethics, advocacy, and self-determination.

Students and professionals from many disciplines will learn how to apply a disability studies perspective to the work they do in services for persons with disabilities in educational, clinical, and community programs. The knowledge and skills acquired from this certificate program will prepare graduates to promote increased access, attitude and inclusion for persons with disabilities.


This online, graduate certificate program requires admission to the NAU graduate college. There are no admission requirements over and above the NAU graduate admission requirements.

The certificate requirements are the following 12 units:

  • DIS 503: Foundations of Disability Studies
  • DIS 504: Applications of a Disability Studies Framework
  • DIS 507: Advanced Principles of Family Support, Self-Determination and Disability
  • DIS 689: Capstone Course*

* If this certificate is completed in conjunction with a Master’s Degree, DIS 689 may be replaced with thesis (699), research (685) or capstone credits (689) in another discipline. Approval from the thesis/research/capstone chair and the IHD program is required for this substitution. Please see the IHD Graduate Certificate handbook for policies and procedures.

This certificate may be pursued and completed concurrently with a degree program or as a stand-alone certificate.  Under both circumstances, federal financial aid can be used for this certificate.  We accept applications year-round.

Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.


The 12-unit sequence can be done within a 2-semester (fall and spring) academic year with students taking 2 courses each semester; DIS 503 and DIS 507 in the fall semester then DIS 504 and DIS 689 in the spring semester.

For those needing to take only one course per semester the sequence would be:  Fall I- DIS 503, Spring I-DIS 504 with Fall II-DIS 507 and Spring II-DIS 689.


For more information on the graduate certificate program please contact:

Karen Applequist   (928)523-9276


Katherine Mahosky  (928)523-3614

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