I’m not sure if I should go into Disability Studies or some other disability-related field. What do you advise?

The answer to this question depends upon your future career goals. Disability Studies at Syracuse is designed to provide students with the skills, methods, and perspectives to play a variety of leadership roles in disability research, policy, and advocacy. Studies in this area are not designed to provide professional certification in direct services or clinical areas.

  • If you are a Master’s student and want to hold a non-clinical position in a disability-related field that does not require state certification (e.g., special education, rehabilitation counseling), then Disability Studies might be appropriate for you. Disability Studies can prepare you to perform roles in human services leadership, policy, and advocacy. However, if you want to perform a clinical or instructional role, you should pursue studies in other areas.
  • If you are a Ph.D. student, you should pursue Disability Studies provided that you are interested in social and cultural aspects of disability or disability policy. If you would like to teach or do research at a university, you should also have interests in areas related to the foundations of education (e.g., Sociology, History, and Philosophy). You should not count on being able to obtain a full-time academic position in Disability Studies. For the time being at least (although this might change in the future), there are few such positions available. You should pursue graduate studies that will enable you to teach not only in the area of Disability Studies, but courses in foundations of education, research methods, educational policy, social welfare, or other areas as well. If you have primary interests in special or inclusive education or rehabilitation counseling and want to hold a position in one of these areas, you should definitely pursue a degree there.