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Disability Studies (BA)

Program Overview


  • Part-Time: Degree Completion

Degree Earned: Bachelor of Arts

The Disability Studies program illuminates the ways in which the lives of people with disabilities are shaped by patterns of injustice, exclusion, discrimination and the rule of social, cultural and aesthetic ‘norms’. Building from real-world experience, students engage in transformative processes of reflection, debate and discovery. The integration of theory and practice creates professionally relevant education that draws on the work of scholars, activists and artists. Grounded in a social justice foundation, students and faculty pursue scholarship that serves, shapes and animates disability movements in Canada and globally.

This is a Grades-Plus program. In addition to the academic requirements listed below, this program selects students on the basis of grades PLUS non-academic requirements.

Thinking of applying? Make sure the program is still accepting applications.

*Actual minimum grade ranges required for Fall 2017 admission/wait list consideration will be determined based on grades and qualifications presented by the applicant pool as they become available. Required grade ranges may fluctuate from year to year (up or down) as a result of competition. Applicants not educated in Ontario may present the equivalent of the Ontario requirements. Ryerson reserves the right to determine equivalency at its sole discretion.

Tuition and Fees

Full-Time Format
Domestic Fees Range
: $7,248 - $7,826
International Fees Range: $23,604 - $23,634

Part-Time Format (One to Eight or More Courses)
Domestic Fees Range
: $668 - $5,457
International Fees Range: $2,234 - $17,987

For detailed fees information visit Fees by Program.

Admission Requirements

  • Diploma in Developmental Services Worker or other disability related program (e.g., Social Service Worker) from a public Ontario College with concentration in an area of disability and a cumulative grade point average of 70%/B/3.0. Diploma must include a one-year introductory university-level humanities or social science course or equivalent.
  • Two years (or equivalent) related work/advocacy experience. Applicants without this may be accepted, but must either complete DST 80A/B: Practicum in Disability Studies in the program or apply for an exemption if achieved while in the program.
  • Acceptable public Ontario College Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs include:
    • Child and Youth Worker/Child and Youth Care
    • Community and Justice Services
    • Community and Justice Services (Correctional Worker)
    • Aboriginal Community Advocacy
    • Native Child and Family Services
    • Aboriginal Education: Community and Social Development
    • Indigenous Wellness and Addictions Prevention
    • Social Service Worker - Native Specialization
    • Drug and Alcohol Counsellor
    • Peace and Conflict Studies
    • Assaulted Women's and Children's Counsellor/Advocate
    • Community Worker
    • Community Development Work
    • Community Worker - Outreach and Development
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Educational Support/ Educational Assistant - Special Needs Support
    • Intervenor for Deaf-Blind Persons
    • Mental Health and Addiction Worker
    • Social Service Worker
  • Applicants with less than a "B" average in an acceptable diploma program may be asked to complete up to two one-term university level liberal studies courses prior to admission. Applicants with other post-secondary academic backgrounds and extensive work experience in the field may be considered on an individual basis. Subject to competition, applicants may be required to present averages above the minimum.

Transfer Credit may be awarded for:

  • Courses taken at an accredited university that were completed prior to admittance to the program, provided that they were not used to meet entrance requirements
  • Courses taken at a public Ontario College, provided that they were not used to meet entrance requirements. These must be approved by the appropriate teaching department chair/director before credit can be assigned
  • Courses taken at other universities and/or public Ontario College, with prior permission, while enrolled in the program. These typically will be taken for professionally related and liberal studies electives

Students are required to complete at least half of the program's specified curriculum at Ryerson.

Reminder: The following must also be submitted to Undergraduate Admissions. Visit Submission of Documents for access to the Document Upload page and instructions:

  • Academic transcripts including promotion/graduation status of all post-secondary studies (excluding Ryerson). High school transcripts are not required for this program. Mature Student guidelines do not apply.
  • A completed Supplementary Form.

Exception: If you have already attended this program and are applying for readmission or reinstatement, a completed application, an updated resume and Supplementary Form are required.

Winter, Spring and Fall 2017 applicants, please note: You must submit the following non-academic material directly to Undergraduate Admissions and Recruitment at the time of application. Ensure that the name on your non-academic material is identical to the name used in your application for admission. If you have access to your Ryerson Number at the time of submission, please include it:

  • Resumé of work/advocacy experience;
  • Letters from employers to document work experience;
  • A letter explaining how attending this program will benefit the applicant

"There is a disconnect between the way people with disabilities see themselves and the way other people see them. You may see tragedy; I see opportunity. I see lots of room for great things to happen."

Former Student, Disability Studies