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Disability Studies (BA)

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Is It for You?

Disability Studies explores the ways in which the lives of people with disabilities are shaped by patterns of injustice, exclusion and discrimination and social, cultural and aesthetic “norms.” This part-time program allows you to utilize a previous college diploma in a disability-related field, or other relevant post-secondary credentials, to earn a bachelor’s degree through a combination of online, intensive and hybrid courses. An applied independent thesis project and practical experience in schools and community organizations will ensure you graduate understanding new theoretical and methodological approaches in this relatively new and expansive interdisciplinary field. You will be prepared to make a difference.

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What You Need to Know

This part-time program allows students to take courses at their own pace. You can complete as few as one to two courses per semester, or you can complete three courses or more per semester (making it full-time, OSAP eligible).

 Program Format(s)
Part Time: Degree Completion

 Degree Earned
Bachelor of Arts

 Non-Academic Requirements
Personal letter

 Experiential Learning
Thesis project

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

Tuition and Fees 2021/2022

Part-Time Format (One to Eight or More Courses)
Domestic Fees Range
: $891 - $5,391
International Fees Range: $3,135 - $23,345

For detailed fees information visit Tuition and Fees by Program.

Academic Requirements

  • Diploma or Advanced Diploma in a disability studies related field and/or discipline, from a public Ontario College (eg. Social Service Worker or Developmental Service Worker, please see below for a list of acceptable programs). The diploma must include a one-year (or equivalent) introductory university-level humanities or social science course or equivalent.
  • Acceptable public Ontario College Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs include:
    • Aboriginal Community Advocacy
    • Aboriginal Education: Community and Social Development
    • Assaulted Women's and Children's Counsellor / Advocate
    • Behavioural Science Technology / Behavioural Science / Behavioural Sciences
    • Child and Youth Worker / Child and Youth Care
    • Community and Justice Services
    • Community and Justice Services (Correctional Worker)
    • Community Development Work
    • Community Worker
    • Community Worker - Outreach and Development
    • Developmental Service Worker
    • Drug and Alcohol Counsellor
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Educational Support / Educational Assistant / Educational Assistant - Special Needs Support
    • Indigenous Wellness and Addictions Prevention
    • Intervenor for Deaf-Blind Persons
    • Mental Health and Addiction Worker
    • Native Child and Family Services
    • Peace and Conflict Studies
    • Social Service Worker
    • Social Service Worker - Native Specialization
  • 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.

Challenge Credit may be awarded:

After accepting an Offer of Admission, applicants with two years of full time (or equivalent) related work/advocacy experience may be credited with DST 80A/B Practicum in Disability Studies by applying for the credit directly through the School of Disability Studies.

Applicants who acquire this experience during their time in the program may apply for an exemption prior to graduation or must complete DST 80A/B: Practicum in Disability Studies.

Reminder: The following must also be submitted to Undergraduate Admissions. Visit Submission of Documents for document upload 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.

Non-Academic Requirements

In addition to meeting competitive academic requirements, you are required to submit the following non-academic requirements after you have submitted your application for admission.

A personal letter explaining how attending this program will benefit you​ and disability communities. This letter should not exceed two pages. It will be read for both admission eligibility as well as selection of potential recipients for the David and Sylvia Pollack Entrance Award in Disability Studies.

Applicants are required to submit their non-academic requirements via the Choose>Ryerson Applicant Portal. Applicants unable to use the Choose>Ryerson Applicant Portal can contact Undergraduate Admissions to discuss an alternate method of submission. 

Here’s how to access your Choose>Ryerson Applicant Portal account:

  1. Get your Ryerson Student Number in the email acknowledgement of your application
  2. Activate your Ryerson Online Identity. Fill in the Activation Form at When asked for your Student/Applicant ID, enter your nine-digit Ryerson Student Number. Keep a record of your user name and password
  3. 24 hours after activating your Ryerson Online Identity, visit the Choose>Ryerson Applicant Portal

Instructions on how to upload documents, as well as common questions and answers, can be found on our Ready to Submit Your Documents? web page.

After Graduation

You’ll be ready to assume leadership roles in management; community development and organizing; policy and planning; advocacy and public action in schools, rehabilitation centres and workplaces. You may work as an early childhood inclusion facilitator, policy advisor, research analyst, rehabilitation support worker or student success advisor. You may also choose to pursue advanced studies in a range of fields: education, critical disability studies, social work and cultural studies.

You may work as an early childhood inclusion facilitator, policy advisor, research analyst, rehabilitation support worker, student success advisor.

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