A primary mission of the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education is to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. The Disability Rights and Services Certificate provides undergraduates across the broader campus with knowledge, skills, and dispositions to contribute to the department’s mission. Students completing the certificate will become advocates for equity and inclusion of individuals with disabilities within their own major programs of study and future careers.
Two required courses, RP & SE 100 Disability and Society and RP & SE 300 Individuals with Disabilities, address broad themes of disability, equity, and diversity that can be applied to a variety of other disciplines and majors. Additionally, students select a minimum of two elective courses from a growing list of courses in both special education and rehabilitation psychology. Popular topics include disability and the criminal justice system, early childhood special education, forensic rehabilitation, and disability and substance abuse. Students are encouraged to build a certificate that helps them explore their interests and aligns with their educational and career goals.
This certificate is a popular option for pre-health students excited to learn important knowledge and skills related to supporting individuals with disabilities. Additionally, students who are considering graduate work in education can use the certificate to explore coursework related to special education.

Study Abroad

The Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education is excited to host Disability Rights and Access in Australia, a faculty-led short-term study abroad summer course that serves as an elective in the certificate.

How to Get In

Students intending to complete the Disability Rights and Services Certificate will find the declaration form on the School of Education's Certificate Programs page. The declaration for this certificate program can be submitted at any time during the calendar year.

Please note, students completing a major in Rehabilitation Psychology, Special Education, or Elementary Education and Special Education are not eligible to complete this certificate.


Complete a minimum of 12 credits to include at least 6 credits in residence. Completion of the certificate requires a minimum GPA of 2.5 in certificate coursework.

Required courses
RP & SE 100 Disability and Society3
RP & SE 300 Individuals with Disabilities3
Specialization courses6
RP & SE 121
Disability and Substance Abuse
RP & SE 125
Health and Rehabilitation Professions
RP & SE/​LEGAL ST  135
Disability and the Criminal Justice System
RP & SE 200
Issues in Special Education (only offered as a FIG course)
RP & SE 210
The Disability Experience (only offered as a FIG course)
RP & SE 310
Positive Psychology and Well Being
RP & SE 311
International Perspectives on Disability in Australia
RP & SE 330
Behavior Analysis: Applications to Persons with Disabilities
RP & SE 435
Overview of Early Childhood Special Education
RP & SE 466
Diversity in Special Education
RP & SE 500
Rehabilitation-Counseling Psychology: Foundations
RP & SE 505
Biological, Psychosocial, and Vocational Aspects of Disabilities
RP & SE 510
Partnering with Families and Other Professionals in Early Childhood Special Education
Total Credits12

Certificate Completion Requirement

This undergraduate certificate must be completed concurrently with the student’s undergraduate degree. Students cannot delay degree completion to complete the certificate.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify and analyze societal barriers and supports that affect the lives of people with disabilities.
  2. Explore the societal aspects of disabilities, including the culture of disabilities, attitudes toward persons with disabilities, and quality of life issues.
  3. Evaluate current approaches, advocacy efforts, and proposed solutions for overcoming barriers experienced by people with disabilities.
  4. Use disability as a lens through which to examine broader aspects of history and culture, including power, discrimination, social stigma, social and political activism, media representations, re-appropriation, identity, intersectionality, education, work, and design.