Our program contributes to emerging research examining the systemic barriers to the full societal inclusion of persons with disabilities.

The Graduate Program in Critical Disability Studies offers courses, research and professional training leading to an MA and PhD.

The MA program takes an interdisciplinary approach informed by various academic fields including law, anthropology, health studies, history, geography, economics, education, labour studies, political science, social work, sociology, identity politics, gender studies, and refugee and immigration studies. Theories of human rights form the basis for understanding how existing legal, economic and social rationales for inclusion relate to systemic barriers and oppression.

The program is offered full or part-time to students from a variety of backgrounds, including persons with disabilities engaged in the disability rights movement, government bureaucrats, professionals in the field of disability and people working in non-governmental organizations such as community organizations and advocacy groups.

You’ll have the opportunity to attend refereed conferences, publish in refereed journals and produce op-ed pieces right from your first year.

The PhD, a pioneering program in Canada, offers a comprehensive curriculum covering major scholarly perspectives. It is offered on a full-time basis only.

The program structure and environment encourages advanced research, new scholarship and other opportunities to contribute to the field, enabling a multi-disciplinary group of students to explore disability from a critical perspective in relation to social policy, social justice, human rights issues, and social movements in Canada and internationally.


Important Dates and Deadlines

Financial Bursary for Students with Disability

Awards for students with disabilities are administered by Student Financial Services. The SFP must be submitted by January 19, 2018. A hardcopy of the Awards for Students with Disabilities 2017-2018 form (.pdf) along with the required supporting documentation, including a print out of the SFP, must be submitted to the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies by January 19, 2018. The Faculty of Graduate Studies will then provide the information to Student Financial Services.


Current News & Announcements

Visiting Professor Payman Salamati

Visiting Professor Payman Salamanti from the Social Medicine Department at Tehran University of Medical Sciences will be presenting a Seminar on Global, Regional, and National under-5 mortality, adult mortality, age-specific mortality, and life expectancy, 1970-2016: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 onTuesday, October 17th, 2017 in HNES 402 from 10am to 11:30am.

All interested are invited to attend.


Book launch: Professor Marina Morrow co-edits new book on social justice in mental health.

York University Professor & SHPM Chair Marina Morrow

A new book co-edited by Marina Morrow, York University professor and Chair, School of Health Policy & Management, explores critical research approaches for social justice in the practice of mental health.


Recent Publications & Awards

OCGS Review Results

We are pleased to announce that the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS) has approved the recommendation of the Appraisal Committee that our MA/PhD program be classified as Good Quality - the best possible rating bestowed by OCGS!


Congratulations to PhD student in Critical Disability Studies,  Estée Klar-Wolfond for winning a SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) award for her doctoral research titled Enacting intra-ethnography for inclusive autism pedagogy.

Estée Klar-Wolfond, PhD Candidate

Congratulations to PhD student in Critical Disability Studies, Tracy Mack for winning a SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) award for her doctoral research entitled Reforming Policies? Coroner's Inquests and Psychiatrized Individuals.

Tracy Mack, PhD Candidate


Tammy Bernasky and JoAnn Purcell, PhD students in Critical Disability Studies have been awarded an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). The OGS is awarded to eligible students who pursue graduate studies in order to complete a Master's degree, PhD or Doctorate at a university in Ontario who maintains a minimum academic standard of an "A-" or 80% average over two years of study.

Tammy Bernasky, PhD Candidate

JoAnn Purcell, PhD Candidate

Congratulations Tammy and JoAnn on your identified skills and academic ability!


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