Coursework includes a set of core courses that establish foundation and framework for a rigorous and scholarly understanding of issues related to disability disciplines. In addition, each specialization provides unique coursework focused on critical issues of that discipline. Learn more about coursework.

Preliminary Exams

Preliminary exams are conducted after approximately one year of full time study (or the equivalent) and provide a focus for students to attain foundational skills in research design and critique, and disciplinary knowledge. This three part exam is completed across a three day period. Components of the exam are:
  • Disciplinary Foundations: Integrative questions on the research base and theoretical perspectives in the specialization
  • Design of Research: The student outlines the design of a research project on a given topic relevant to their specialization.
  • Critique of Research: The student critiques a manuscript reporting research relevant to their specialization.

Professional Products and Internships

A set of professional products and internships provide opportunities for mentored experience in critical professional skills. The seven professional areas of competence constitute the comprehensive examination are: Research Internship, Conference Presentation, Review of Literature, Publication, College Teaching Internship, Supervision Internship, and Grant Writing.

Learn more about the products and internships


The dissertation is the capstone experience of the doctoral program. The student plans, carries out, analyzes, and interprets substantial original research that contributes to the advancement of their field of study.