Disability Studies

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The Disability Studies minor provides a space to explore questions such as these: How has disability been defined in various historical moments, in various cultures and eras? While impairment has unquestionably been a frequent experience throughout human history, has disability—the construction of impairment as a generic social category—been a historical constant, or is it a modern invention? What social ideologies, cultural systems, and societal arrangements have shaped the meaning and experience of disability? How has disability been defined or represented in cultural and artistic productions, public laws and policies, modern professional practices, and everyday life?

Declaring the Minor

Students may declare the minor no later than the term before their Expected Graduation Term (EGT) as posted in the "My Academics" tab in CalCentral, and after they have completed at least three approved disability studies courses including one core course. See the approved course list here: disability-studies.ugis.berkeley.edu/requirements.

List the three courses you have completed or are enrolled in on the Disability Studies Minor Declaration form below.

If your application to declare the minor is approved, you will need to submit a Completion of L&S Minor Form during the term in which you intend to graduate. The form is available below and on the L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising website.
You may declare the minor by submitting the following documents in person to the Disability Studies Minor Coordinator (Michelle Herrera, 263 Evans Hall) or via email to michellerh@berkeley.edu.

No later than the semester before your Expected Graduation Term (EGT) semester, please submit the following form:

Disability Studies Minor Declaration Form

In your final semester, please submit the following documents: 

Completion of L&S Minor Form - Please be sure to have your major advisor sign page 2 of the Completion of L&S Minor form acknowledging that you are sharing no more than one class between your major and the minor.

* Transcripts (Transcripts printed through the "Cal Central" system are acceptable. Please choose the printing option that includes your name). If you are taking courses for the minor in the semester you plan to graduate, print a copy of your current class schedule as well.

* A list of 5 courses (2 core and 3 electives) you wish to use to satisfy the Disability Studies Minor, as well as the semester and year the courses were taken. You must identify any course that overlaps with any of your majors or other minors. Only one course may overlap.

Please be sure that your name, local phone number, and e-mail address is up to date, as we may need to contact you if questions arise.

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Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements.

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared before the first day of classes in your Expected Graduation Term (EGT). For summer graduates, minors must be declared prior to the first day of Summer Session A. 

  2. All upper-division courses must be taken for a letter grade. 

  3. A minimum of three of the upper-division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.

  4. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required in the upper-division courses to fulfill the minor requirements.

  5. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement, for Letters & Science students.

  6. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.

  7. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. If students cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time, they should see a College of Letters & Science adviser.

  8. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)


Required Core Courses:
UGIS 110Introduction to Disability Studies3
Plus one of the following courses:
ANTHRO 189Special Topics in Social/Cultural Anthropology (Disability, Ethnography and Design )4
CY PLAN 120Community Planning and Public Policy for Disability3
ENGLISH 175Literature and Disability4
ENGLISH 180AAutobiography4
ESPM 149Bodies, Difference, and the Environment4
Select three of the following electives:
ANTHRO 115Introduction to Medical Anthropology4
ART 118Advanced Drawing: Remixing the Figure4
ANTHRO 119Special Topics in Medical Anthropology4
ARCH 169Special Topics in Construction Materials (when Introduction to ADA and Universal Design)1-4
ARCH 269Special Topics in Construction and Materials (when Introduction to ADA and Universal Design)1-4
ART 165Art, Medicine, and Disabilities4
CHICANO 176Chicanos and Health Care3
COMPSCI 160User Interface Design and Development4
CY PLAN 117ACUrban & Community Health3
EDUC 188FLanguage, Race, and Power in Education3
ECON 157Health Economics4
ENGLISH 31ACLiterature of American Cultures (when taught by Professor Susan Schweik)4
ENGLISH 180AAutobiography (when taught by Professor Georgina Kleege)4
ESPM 162Bioethics and Society4
ETH STD 103CProseminar: Issues in the Fields of Ethnic Studies: Racialization and Contemporary Communities4
GWS 111Special Topics (when topic is Disability Justice or Women with Disability in Film and Literature)1-4
GWS 129Bodies and Boundaries4
GWS 133ACWomen, Men, and Other Animals: Human Animality in American Cultures4
GWS C180YGender, Sex and Power4
HISTART 190DSpecial Topics in Fields of Art History: 15th-16th Century4
LEGALST 154Human Rights, Research & Practice4
ITALIAN 120Topics in Italian Studies (when the topic is Disability, Difference and Desire in Italian Fiction and Film)4
LD ARCH 140Social and Psychological Factors in Open Space Design3
LINGUIS 1AAmerican Sign Language I5
LINGUIS 1BAmerican Sign Language II5
LINGUIS 2AAmerican Sign Language 35
PACS 148ACSocial Movements, Urban Histories, and the Politics of Memory4
PB HLTH 116Seminar on Social, Political, and Ethical Issues in Health and Medicine3
PB HLTH 150DIntroduction to Health Policy and Management3
Introduction to Community Health and Human Development [3]
PB HLTH C160Environmental Health and Development4
PB HLTH 290Health Issues Seminars1-4
PSYCH 131Developmental Psychopathology3
SOC WEL 210CAging Processes2
SOC WEL 245Direct Practice in Health Settings across the Adult Life Span2
SOC WEL 246Direct Practice in Aging Settings2
SOC WEL 275Anti-Oppressive Social Work2
UGIS 112Women and Disability3
UGIS 113Disability Studies in Practice3
ART 160Special Topics in Visual Studies4
ESPM C282Health Implications of Climate Change3
ENGLISH 80KChildren's Literature4
ENGLISH 135ACLiterature of American Cultures4
ENGLISH 165Special Topics4
GWS 130ACGender, Race, Nation, and Health4
LEGALST 159Law & Sexuality4
PB HLTH 126Health Economics and Public Policy3
PB HLTH 130Advanced Health Policy3
PB HLTH 226DGlobal Health Economics3
PB HLTH 222ABiomedical Innovation Policy3
PUB POL 200Introduction to Policy Analysis4
SOCIOL C115Sociology of Health and Medicine4
SOC WEL 250LHuman Sexuality2

Please visit the minor website to review the master list of Disability Studies minor electives, updated each semester.

Contact Information

Disability Studies Group Minor

263 Evans Hall


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Program Director

Mel Chen

608 Social Sciences Building


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