Disability Studies

The disability studies minor at Pacific University is an interdisciplinary course of study that works to understand why physical and cognitive differences have been treated as they have, how they should be treated, and why.

Program Highlights

  • Draw insight from courses and faculty from a wide variety of departments, from English to physical therapy to philosophy to sociology and more
  • Work in a practicum as counselors in a two-week residential outdoor camp for those with significant disabilities


Students in the disability studies minor take overview courses, such as Introduction to Disability Studies and Ethics, Medicine and Healthcare. They also choose from a variety of courses in history, peace and social justice, political science, social work and special education.


For students interested in health care, a disability studies minor complements their science courses by focusing on the social, cultural and political issues in their future careers. It concentrates on the populations of people that many professions are established to serve. For those majoring in social sciences or humanities, disability studies provides an analysis of the most fundamental concepts of our culture: body and mind, normality and difference, freedom and rights, beauty and wholeness. How these ideas affect our perceptions and impact our laws, institutions and day-to-day lives is also a component of disability studies.