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Disability Studies Minor


A minor administered by the English Department’s Undergraduate Studies program. 

Disability Studies is an academic field that centers on the lived experiences of disabled persons in order to make a more accessible world. At times referred to as Critical Disability Studies, the field takes a pointedly critical perspective on medical and curative frameworks for understanding disability. A minor in Disability Studies supports you in learning basic questions and ideas of the field and explores a variety of approaches from the social sciences and humanities to creative arts and engineering. Disability Studies is expansive in its understanding of humanity as complexly emplaced, embodied, and enminded, as well as gendered, raced, and classed.

Program Structure:

  • There are no prerequisites to declaring a minor in Disability Studies. As an LSA minor, Disability Studies requires a minimum of 15 credit hours of coursework, including

  • 2 required 3-credit courses, “Introduction to Disability Studies” (English 216) and “Advanced Topics in Disability Studies” (English 480). 

  • 9 elective credit hours of 200-400 undergraduate or (with instructor consent) graduate-level courses from across the University. A list of specific courses for which elective credit in Disability Studies could be earned is posted in advance of each term at the bottom of this webpage.

Additional Notes:

  • A maximum of one course may be shared between the requirements of a minor and a major. For example, an English major who has completed both English 216 and an English course that meets Disability Studies elective credit (e.g., English 290 “Memoirs about Mental Illness”) could only use one of those courses for both their English major and the Disability Minor.

  • No courses may be shared between the requirements of more than one minor.

  • Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in the minor to earn the credential. 

  • There are disability studies 100-level courses on campus that offer a superb opportunity for entering discussions in the field (e.g. Linguistics 102 “Deafness and Disability” and certain sections of English 125). We encourage students to consider taking these courses, but be aware that only 200-level and above courses earn credit for the minor.  

  • Instructors at times welcome undergraduate Minors to join graduate-level Disability Studies courses. An undergraduate student will still need to email the instructor to discuss suitability for the course and receive consent to register. If a graduate seminar (500-level and above) is listed as a Minor elective, that means the instructor will have anticipated inquiries from undergraduates about their suitability for a course. 

  • There may be courses listed as electives that are extremely popular for students in other programs/schools or for which enrollment is managed through enforced prerequisites (for example, RCASL 201 “Intermediate American Sign Language” and WGS 331/NURS 220 “Feminist Theoretical Perspectives in Gender and Health.”) Please note Disability Minors do not have priority enrollment in any such cases. 

See the LSA Minors page for additional rules/policies.

Declaring the Minor

LSA students should schedule an appointment with an English Department advisor to declare and make a course plan.  

Non-LSA students should consult an academic advisor in their home unit before making an appointment to see an English department advisor.

Questions about program objectives, course content, and other matters can be directed to the Director of Disability Studies at