The joint degree program in Law and Cultural Foundations of Education, with a concentration in Disability Studies was approved in January 2003 and offers students the opportunity to earn a J.D. and M.S.in Education. Eligible joint degree students may also earn a Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Disability Studies, which is a New York State-approved concentration.Disability Studies applies legal, social, cultural, historical, and philosophical perspectives to the study of disability in society. This joint degree, with a concentration in Disability Studies, was the first such degree in the nation. In 1996, SU also became the first American university to offer a graduate program in Disability Studies, and the only one with a law school component.
Joint degree students enroll in selected courses with the School of Education, which is ranked among the best education graduate schools in the country; its Special Education and Cultural Foundations in Education Programs are consistently ranked within the top ten nationwide. Law students who graduate with the J.D./M.S. in Law and Cultural Foundations are prepared to play leadership roles in the field of disability law and policy in such settings as federal and state government agencies, community service agencies, advocacy organizations, school districts, and law firms specializing in disability and/or education law.
Students may obtain the J.D. and M.S. in three years instead of the four necessary to earn both degrees independently.