May 19, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Leadership in Disability Services (MA)

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must submit all materials directly to the University Office of Graduate and Professional Education using the online admission process before admission can be considered. Admission applications are available at:

The program admission process is completed as follows: Completed applications consisting of the online application, undergraduate/graduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and the written statement of goals and values, are reviewed by the Program Committee. A GPA of at least 2.75 is preferred. Applications are evaluated based on a combination of record of academic achievement, recommendations, and the applicant’s statement of professional goals and values. The Program Committee will make admission decisions and assign accepted students to faculty advisors.

  • International applicants must submit official proof of English proficiency such as TOEFL or IELTS scores. The recommended minimum TOEFL score is 100 and/or IELTS of 6.5.
  • Prior Degree Requirements: A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university is required.
  • Application Deadlines: For priority consideration, students should apply for admission to the program for fall enrollment no later than April 1st. All students begin the program in the fall semester.
  • Special Competencies Needed: This is an introductory master’s degree and no special competencies are required.
  • Admission Categories: Students admitted into the Program may be admitted into one of three categories.
    • Regular: Regular status is offered to students who meet all of the established entrance requirements.
    • Conditional Admission: Successful applicants are typically admitted conditionally because stated information is self-reported and uploaded documents are unofficial. Fulfilling the conditions stated on an offer of conditional admission by the first date of graduate coursework is critical, so the instructions stated on the letter must be followed carefully. Failure to clear all stated 4 conditions by the start of graduate coursework may result in revocation of admission to the graduate program.
  • Other Documents Required: Three letters of recommendation from individuals who have direct knowledge of the candidate’s academic and/or professional capabilities are required. Candidates must also submit a personal statement describing how their academic, professional, and personal background has prepared them to be successful in the degree program and explaining how completion of the program will contribute to their professional goals.

University Statement: Admission to the graduate program is competitive. Those who meet stated requirements are not guaranteed admission, nor are those who fail to meet all of those requirements necessarily precluded from admission if they offer other appropriate strengths.

Self-Directed Supports for People with Disabilities

Public policy recognizes that services and supports for people with disabilities should be individualized and person-directed. This course provides the knowledge and skills needed for students to work in agencies that assure that the people receiving these services are involved in the design and implementation of those services.


Under the supervision of a faculty sponsor, each student will plan and implement a project related to leadership in an organization that provides services to individuals with disabilites. The project culminates in a descriptive written paper and oral presentation. One of the following:

Internship and Specializations:

In addition to the three-credit internship, HDFS 669, students are required to select 12 credits from one or more of the following suggested specialization areas:

Values-Based Management of Disability Service Agencies

Human service agencies face significant challenges in both meeting the needs of the populations they are serving and developing sustainable business models. This course will offer students an understanding of the roles of service agencies and prepare students with the knowledge and skills required to assume management roles within values-focused service organizations.