Apply to the Minor

To enter the minor, students must:

  1. have an overall grade-point average of 2.7 or better
  2. complete the application to the minor
  3. complete an application essay supporting their interest in pursuing the minor; and
  4. include an unofficial UCLA transcript with the application.

Learn more about the Disability Studies Minor by watching this closed captioned video.

Before submitting an application, students must consult with Lonnell Edwards, Academic Counselor for Disability Studies.


The application for the Disability Studies Minor will become available at the start of each academic term (Week 0 or 1) and will remain open through Friday of Week 3.

Applications must be submitted by Friday of Week 3 (by 11:59PM PT) to be considered for admission to the minor during the term in which you apply. Any applications received after Friday of Week 3 will not be reviewed until the following academic term.

All applications will be reviewed during Weeks 4 and 5 of each academic term. Each applicant will be notified of their application results no later than Friday of Week 5.




The chart below summarizes the curricular requirements for satisfaction of the minor.

Course Title/Description Units
DS 101W* Core: Perspectives on Disability Studies
3 Upper Division electives** Select from our approved list of quarterly course offerings
DS 195CE or DS 196 2 quarters of internship or
2 quarters of research apprenticeship
DS 191 or
DS 199A/B or
DS 198A/B
Senior Capstone class or independent project or Honors thesis on DS topic
7-8 Courses 30-34 Units

Please check the 101W Enrollment Policy for specifics regarding enrollment.

** Only one course for the minor may overlap with the major or second minor.  Three Upper Division (UD) electives can be completed with two UD electives and a 3rd quarter of DS 195CE or DS 196 (except for students interning at ECPHP).

^ A minimum of 20 units applied toward the minor requirements must be in addition to units applied toward major requirements or another minor.  Each minor course must be taken for a letter grade, and students must have an overall grade-point average of 3.0 or better in the minor. Successful completion of the minor is indicated on the transcript and diploma.


2023-24 DS Electives

DS Capstone Expectations

DS 101W Enrollment Policy

UCLA Library Disability Studies Research Guide

Research Tips & Strategies

Update to the Disability Studies Minor Requirements for Spring 2020 to Summer 2022

Cornerstone Research Workshop Series

Internship Guidelines


All minors in Disability Studies must complete two consecutive quarters of an internship experience. Over a span of 20 weeks at one community-based agency, students obtain both breadth and depth in their understanding of the conceptual and practical implications of disability. Throughout the internship, students apply ideas learned in DS courses, in particular ableism/paternalism and the social model vs. medical models of disability, and directly witness how disability is constructed and framed by different agencies.

Internship Requirements

  • At one community-based agency that provides direct services for persons with disabilities or a government agency responsible for policies on disability issues
  • The Disability Studies 195CE internship course is 4 units/quarter and letter-grade only
  • The Internship must involve 160 hours spread throughout two consecutive quarters (8-10 hrs/wk; Fall/Winter or Winter/Spring quarters)
  • Professional work environment
  • Supervised off-campus location (UCLA-affiliated centers are RARELY approved, and internship work must involve interaction with community stakeholders, not peers)
  • Connection to the minor and your major/interests
  • Attend bi-weekly meetings with the internship coordinator at the Center for Community Learning. Writing assignments and a final research paper will be required

Information about 195CE Course Requirements: Visit the UCLA Center for Community Learning.

Types of internships

  1. Direct service internships offer a hands-on opportunity to work with disabled adults or children. Examples include a teaching assistant position in a special education classroom or work with adults at a local regional center.
  2. Policy internships are generally affiliated with government agencies. The Los Angeles Mayor’s office has responsibility for ADA compliance and places students in internships that support those efforts.
  3. UC Center Sacramento  or UCLA Quarter in Washington  are alternative options for completing the DS 195CE internship requirement. The affiliated internship must work directly with the disability community or be responsible for policies on disability issues. UC Center Sacramento is the only internship option available in the summer.

Internship Preparation and Planning

Given the two-quarter commitment for completion of Disability Studies 195CE, students are encouraged to reflect on the bullet points below to ensure an internship site will be a good fit and provide a positive learning experience.


  • Job Duties
  • Scope/Field of site (e.g., legal, physical therapy, education, etc.)
  • Alignment with personal goals
  • Opportunity to explore new/different areas

Getting to Know the Site

  • Clear understanding of expectations of interns
  • Clear timeline/deadline to complete work
  • Opportunities to receive feedback for growth
  • Work environment/culture
Additionally, as students reflect on the points above, they can follow the points below to find and secure an internship for enrollment in Disability Studies 195CE for an upcoming quarter.
  • Explore and seek potential internships at least one or two quarters before the term you intend to officially enroll in DS 195CE.
    • Use the DS 195CE Internship Information Guide as a reference.
    • Be prepared to share a resume with possible sites. (For help with resumes, cover letters, or interview preparation, please consult the UCLA Career Center.)
    • You can always consult with the DS academic counselor or CCL DS internship coordinator if you have questions or need help in your search for an internship.
  • Contact potential internship sites and apply, interview, etc.
    • Research internship site (Have an idea of the work that you may be doing)
    • Start with an email to the site recruiter/supervisor of the internship
    • In your introduction email be sure to address the following:
      • Introduction (brief and related to your current standing and goals).
      • Interest Message (tie it back to what you know of the organization or position).
      • Closing statement (a closing sentence or two to welcome further discussion or lead to your contact information).
      • You can find a sample email template here.
    • Wait a reasonable amount of time to send a follow-up. Be sure to not put all your eggs in one basket and apply to other internship opportunities that you see as being good fits.
    • Contact another internship site and repeat this process until you hear back from an internship site of your interest for an opportunity to interview.
  • Secure an internship by being offered a two-quarter position that will allow you to work 8-10 hours per week for a minimum total of 80 hours during an academic quarter (160 total hours over two quarters). Lastly, be sure that the internship site is a good fit for you before starting the Disability Studies 195CE enrollment process.


Enrollment Steps

  1. Create a 195CE Course Contract following steps listed on this website (step 4). Please follow the step-by-step guidelines.
    1. The contract must be signed by your internship supervisor.
    2. Petition your academic counseling unit to go over 19 units, if needed.
  2. Request your internship supervisor’s signature on the Letter of Agreement (available on step 6 of website to download.)
  3. Schedule an intake appointment with the DS Graduate Student Instructor during Weeks 8-10 of the quarter preceding your internship or Weeks 0-2 of the quarter when you want to enroll**
    1. Schedule an intake appointment via MyUCLA (Academics > Appointments)
    2. For your intake appointment, please have the required information:
      1. Name and location of your internship site
      2. Name and email address of your supervisor at the internship
      3. Description of internship duties from the organization (i.e. offer letter or position ad)
      4. Signed 195CE Contract AND Letter of Agreement by your Site Supervisor
  4. Submit the signed DS 195CE contract to the DS Graduate Student Instructor during your intake appointment.
    1. The DS Graduate Student Instructor will forward the signed DS 195CE contract to the DS academic counselor for enrollment. The deadline for enrollment is Friday, Week 2.
  5. Verify enrollment on yourMyUCLAstudy list and Degree Audit Report by the end of Week 2 (or Week 3 if you turn in paperwork late).

NOTE: For the second quarter of your internship, you will need to follow steps 4 – 7.

**International students are asked to schedule intake appointments for Week 8-10 of the quarter preceding their internship course. Domestic students are asked to schedule intake appointments for Week 0-2 of the quarter in which they will be enrolled. All intake appointments must be completed by Wednesday of Week 2.

Disability Studies 196: Research Apprenticeship

In lieu of DS 195CE, minors can complete two terms of Disability Studies 196. Research apprenticeships offer the opportunity to work under the guidance of faculty affiliated with the Disability Studies minor. Minors will collaborate with DS faculty on their research in an area related to disability studies. Individual contract required and Letter grading only. Examples include assisting a faculty member on researching and assessing a local non-profit. DS 196 research apprenticeship opportunities are rare. If available, they will be announced by the DS academic counselor.

Capstone Guidelines


The senior capstone is designed to integrate and synthesize learning from earlier coursework and previous research as well as the internship experience. See more information on Capstone Expectations . The requirement can be fulfilled with one of the following:

  1. Disability Studies 191 – Senior Research Seminar
    In-depth study of major themes in disability studies research. Themes vary by instructor and term. Students pursue independent research related to course theme, with guidance from instructor, then share and critique other student works in progress. This course is only offered in Spring quarters.

    Minors are manually enrolled into this course.

  2. Disability Studies 199A/B – Directed Research in Disability Studies
    Disability Studies 199A (2 units) and 199B (4 units) is two terms of supervised independent research or investigation designed by the student and under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The two-term course culminates in a paper or project.

    Individual contract required and created through MyUCLA.

  3. Disability Studies 198A/B – Honors Research in Disability Studies
    Disability Studies 198A (2 units) and 198B (4 units) is two terms of supervised individual research or investigation designed by the student and under the guidance of a faculty mentor. The two-term course culminates in an honors thesis or comprehensive research project.

    Individual contract required and created through MyUCLA.


Enrollment Steps

  1. Secure a faculty mentor before the quarter you want to start your independent research
  2. For the 1st quarter of your project, create a contract for DIS STD 199A or 198A on MyUCLA
    • Meet with your faculty mentor to review the contract and have them sign it
    • Submit the signed contract to Lonnell Edwards by Friday, Week 2
  3. For the 2nd quarter of your project, create a contract for DIS STD 199B or 198B on MyUCLA and repeat the process.


2023-24 DS Electives

DS Capstone Expectations

UCLA Library Disability Studies Research Guide

Research Tips & Strategies

Cornerstone Research Workshop Series