Disability Studies

MLS with Concentration in Disability Studies

MLS Thesis (1 semester) 

MLS Thesis (2 semesters) 

MLS Project (1 semester) 


MLS Thesis: One Semester 

MLS students who have a Concentration in Disability Studies and plan a one semester thesis must meet the following: 

-        The thesis effort begins with a research question grounded in interdisciplinary Disability Studies scholarship and theory. The thesis must include a rigorous analysis of research findings that results in a clear and original argument. 

-        The thesis must be directed by one of the Disability Studies faculty. This faculty member must be contacted before the end of the semester prior to the thesis semester, and must agree to direct the thesis. Students are strongly encouraged to contact potential chairs long before this time.

-        A proposal must be submitted by Week Two of the thesis semester. The 5 page proposal must include and identify the research question, methodology, and intended bibliography. The Proposal must be approved and signed by each member of the thesis committee (email is fine). Proposals can be returned to the student for additional work before approval.

-        Typically, a thesis has the following parts: an abstract, table of contents, introduction, bibliography and appendices; and the following as appropriate: review of literature, theory discussion, research methodologies discussion, appendices.

-        The resulting thesis should be between 50: to 100: pages. 

-        The thesis must be defended according to graduate school timelines at meeting of the thesis committee.  At the defense the thesis can be a) approved with no revisions, b) approved with minor revisions, c) approval conditional upon major revisions and acceptance by the thesis committee, d) failed. Graduation may be deferred depending upon committee recommendations. 


MLS Thesis: Two Semesters

MLS students who have a Concentration in Disability Studies and plan a two semester thesis must meet the following:

-        The thesis effort begins with a research question grounded in interdisciplinary Disability Studies scholarship and theory. The thesis must include a rigorous analysis of research findings that results in a clear and original argument. 

-        The thesis must be directed by one of the Disability Studies faculty. This faculty member must be contacted before the end of the semester prior to the thesis semester, and must agree to direct the thesis. Students are strongly encouraged to contact potential chairs long before this time.

-        A Proposal must be submitted by Week Four of the thesis year. The 10: page Proposal must include and identify the research question, methodology, and intended bibliography. The Proposal must be approved and signed by each member of the thesis committee (email is fine). Proposals can be returned to the student for additional work before approval.

-        Typically, a thesis has the following parts: an abstract, table of contents, introduction, bibliography and appendices; and the following as appropriate: review of literature, theory discussion, research methodologies discussion, appendices.

-        The resulting thesis should be at least 75 pages.  

-        The thesis must be defended according to graduate school timelines at meeting of the thesis committee.  At the defense the thesis can be a) approved with no revisions, b) approved with minor revisions, c) approval conditional upon major revisions and acceptance by the thesis committee, d) failed. Graduation may be deferred depending upon committee recommendations.


MLS Project: One Semester

The Project is a supervised independent endeavor grounded in interdisciplinary Disability Studies scholarship and theory. Generally a project will include a product that contributes knowledge via applied research or creative accomplishment. Types of projects include creative, curriculum and applied. 

Students considering and developing a project should consider prior to the proposal stage: 

-        What AM I bringing to this topic that others can't or haven't? What is my unique angle here?

-        What specific skills do I have to do this project? (design background, working in sales, photography, social media, making training materials, designing curriculum, teaching etc.). How can I use my skills for this project?

-        What is the intended end result/final product?  What would be the end result of this project? Options to consider are a video/film, a website, an awareness campaign, curriculum, a podcast, a survey instrument, creative writing, a policy proposal, performance, art installation, an app, or other ideas as appropriate and approved. The format of the final product must be approved by the project director.

-        How can I achieve this end result? What would I need to accomplish this final product? (do research, design something, consult with someone, interview someone, access to specific software, access to drawing materials or video equipment etc., whatever it is you would need to make this project into a reality)

-        what would it be used for? What is the purpose of this project?

-        Who might use this product/project? Who is the audience? Who is it for? (Make sure it is designed with the target audience in mind) 

MLS students who have a Concentration in Disability Studies and plan a one semester project must meet the following: 

-        The project must be directed by one of the Disability Studies faculty. This faculty member must be contacted before the end of the semester prior to the project semester, and must agree to direct the project. Students are strongly encouraged to contact potential chairs long before this time.

-        A proposal must be submitted by Week Two of the project semester. The 5 page proposal must include and identify the research question, methodology, and intended bibliography. The Proposal must be approved and signed by each member of the project committee (email is fine). The Proposal should also include a plan for final dissemination and presentation. Proposals can be returned to the student for additional work before approval.

-        This product will be accompanied by a document describing the theoretical and methodological basis upon which the product is built. In addition, the document will describe how the project relates to scholarship within Liberal Studies broadly and Disability Studies specifically. Length and format is decided by the project director. 

-        The project’s final product must be approved by all committee members and completed according to graduate school timelines. Upon committee review of the final product the project can be a) approved with no revisions, b) approved with minor revisions, c) approval conditional upon major revisions and acceptance by the committee, d) failed. Graduation may be deferred depending upon committee recommendations. 

Last Updated: 8/8/17