College of Law

Joint Program in Law + Disability Studies

Earn your law degree and disability studies graduate certificate in an accelerated period of study. Students can transfer up to six credits from the certificate to be used toward their J.D. This joint degree program is designed to prepare law students to work in a wide range of careers including employment law, education law, medical law, advocacy, compliance, disability law, social services, civil rights, housing, or government law.


The program is jointly administered by the College of Law and College of Arts and Letters. You must be enrolled as a J.D. student first, and then submit a request to add the Graduate Certificate. Academic advising is provided by each college in collaboration with the College of Graduate Studies. The decision to admit or not to admit is based solely on each college’s selection criteria.

Request to Add a Graduate Certificate

Tuition & Scholarships

If you enroll in both colleges in any semester, the highest tuition rate will apply to all credit hours taken. We encourage you to explore how a joint program may impact your financial aid or scholarships. College of Law scholarship funds cannot be used to cover coursework outside of the law school.

Integrated Curriculum

Juris Doctor

The College of Law requires the successful completion of 89 credit hours to earn your J.D. degree. You may apply up to 6 credit hours completed in the College of Arts and Letters toward this requirement. For a graduate-level disability studies course to qualify for credit toward your J.D. degree, you must earn a grade of B (3.0) or better. Under American Bar Association guidelines, College of Arts and Letters courses must be taken after enrollment in the College of Law to be eligible for credit toward your J.D. degree.

100% Online Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies

Knowledge about disability issues is beneficial for all professions, especially in the legal field. The Graduate Certificate in Disability Studies enhances understanding of disability as a unique identity, history, and culture. All four required courses in the 12-credit program are offered exclusively online. 

Awarding of Degrees

You will not receive a J.D. or your Graduate Certificate until you complete all the work required for both degrees. If you withdraw from the joint degree program and remain in either the College of Law or the College of Arts and Letters, you shall only receive credit for work in the other college as the Dean authorizes under the rules of that college. Degrees must be awarded within time limits established by the participating colleges.


Kim Nielsen
College of Arts and Letters
Professor and Chair of Disability Studies

Geoffrey Rapp
College of Law
Sr. Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Advising and Student Services
College of Arts and Letters

NOTE: The College of Law recommends that you remain apprised of academic requirements for each degree you pursue. While we make every effort to maintain timely information relating to joint degree programs, because other colleges manage their curricula and requirements, it is possible that information on this site could be out of date. For additional information, please review the other college's website.

Last Updated: 7/7/23