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Disability Studies Minor

The Disability Studies minor includes a multi-disciplinary curriculum with courses in human development; apparel, housing and resource management; psychology; education; and science, technology, and society. The program will provide students with a multi-disciplinary view of how disability is defined and what barriers to full inclusion are faced by individuals with disabilities.

Why do it?

Ability and disability are an important component of diversity and inclusion. This minor will benefit students preparing for careers where they will be working with people or for people, either directly or through the products and systems they design.


The 21-credit minor in Disability Studies requires 5 courses from different departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and 2 elective courses (3 credits each). 

Pathways diagram of minor

HD 1134: Introduction to Disabilities Studies
HD 1004: Human Development I – Childhood and Adolescence
STS 3284: Technology & Disability
RED 4664: Universal Design --OR-- MUS 2134: Disability Culture & the Arts
HD 4714: Senior Capstone Seminar

Students select the remaining six credit hours from a list of four options, including HD 3114: Issues in Aging; HD/EDCI 3144: Education of Exceptional Learners; PSYC 3034: Psychological Disorders of Children; and STS 3314: Medical Dilemmas & Human Experience. .

For more information, consult the Registrar checksheet (follow this link, click on 'checksheets', scroll down to Minors, and find the minor checksheet you're interested in).

Who is it for?

This interdisciplinary minor is available to any student who seeks to broaden their understanding of disability, including how disability and people with disabilities are treated in society and in different academic disciplines. This ranges from students who will become engineers designing equipment to be used by people with disabilities, to teachers who will have students with disabilities in their classrooms, to policymakers considering the best laws and statutes to promote inclusion.

See what our students are saying

“I'm going to have a lens [from the Disability Studies minor] that not many other biomedical engineers have, where I can understand the perspective of the end user who's going to be using a [prosthetics] device.”
-Ryan McNeill '22

This minor is hosted by the Academy of Transdisciplinary Studies in collaboration with other departments across Virginia Tech.

Pathways Concepts

Core Concepts*
2 - Critical Thinking in the Humanities
3 - Reasoning in the Social Sciences
6d - Critique and Practice in Design 
6a - Critique and Practice in the Arts
7 - Critical Analysis of Identity and Equity in the United States

*Students are guaranteed to meet at least three of the core concepts listed

Integrative Concepts
Ethical Reasoning
Intercultural and Global Awareness