Applying to the DDHS Program


Students are required to complete three courses from a pre-approved list. The courses can be taken in any order. Some students choose to complete all of the courses in the same semester, but it is recommended that you space out the courses. These are challenging seminar courses with a considerable reading and assignment work load. You cannot take any of these courses Pass/Fail. You must get a C or higher in each of the required courses to receive the letter of specialization.


In addition to taking these courses, students are required to complete 120 hours (3 credits) of experience working directly with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Students can choose to fulfill this requirement through internships with community partners and/or service learning courses. Students can fulfill the 120 hours requirement in one semester or spread it across multiple semesters (including winter and summer, though additional fees apply). 


How can I apply?

Applications should be submitted online.

When can I apply?

Applications are reviewed twice per year: November 1st (to start the following spring) and March 1st (to start the following summer/fall).

Who can apply?

The program is open to all majors. Students of all grade levels can apply. First semester Freshmen can apply, but will only be provisionally accepted until they have a GPA.

How many students are admitted to the program?

Approximately 40 students are admitted to the program each year. Admission is competitive. Students are selected based on the relevance of this program to their career goals and their ability to handle the challenging required courses.

Do I need to reapply each year?

No, once you are admitted to the program, you are in the program until you graduate. Students are required to attend a program meeting each semester, or provide a legitimate excuse for not doing do (e.g., class, work). Students who fail to attend the program meeting for two consecutive semester without communicating with the program director will lose their registration priority in the required courses.

Can I reapply if I don’t get in?

Yes, you are encouraged to do so if you still think this program will help prepare you for a career working with individuals with disabilities.

Is there a GPA requirement?

In order to complete an internship in the Psychology Department, you must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. It is recommended that students with GPAs below 3.0 come see the program director before submitting their application.

Where can I get more information?

Before you apply, be sure to read the information on this website about the program components (e.g., classes, internship). You can meet with the program director during office hours (information on office hours is found here).