Disability & Psychoeducational Studies

Department Head: Linda Shaw

The Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies is committed to research about and teaching of students with disabilities and special abilities. The department’s research, teaching, and service address current issues in special education, rehabilitation, school psychology, and deaf studies.

The Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies (DPS) is dedicated to advancing human and economic development through the empowerment and effective inclusion of culturally diverse individuals with disabilities and special abilities of all ages. This is accomplished by conducting research to further knowledge and understanding of abilities, disabilities, adaptations, interventions, and support systems; preparing professionals to educate and facilitate the development of individuals with disabilities and special abilities; and providing leadership at the local, state, national, and international levels. To accomplish our mission, the department offers nationally recognized undergraduate, master's, educational specialist, and doctoral-level degrees to prepare teachers, counselors, specialists, administrators, school psychologists, school counselors, and researchers and educators in special education, rehabilitation, school psychology, gifted education, sign language and deaf studies, and educational interpreting.


The University of Arizona ASL Interpreting Program is proud to announce its partnership with the VRS Interpreting Institute (VRSII). VRSII is a world-class training facility dedicated to lifelong interpreter training and mentoring of all entry-level, qualified, and professional interpreters. As the leader in VRS interpreting education, the Institute offers curriculum designed especially for VRS interpreters utilizing the latest, highest-quality video relay and educational technologies. VRS offers various types of training that meet the continuing-education needs of recent interpreting graduates, seasoned interpreters and interpreter educators. College credit is now available through the University of Arizona. This is a great professional development opportunity for educators, recent graduates, and anyone who is interested in advancing their interpreting skills.  For more information: http://outreachcollege.arizona.edu/program/vrs-interpreting-institute

Majors in the Department

DPS is comprised of four major areas, each focusing on undergraduate or graduate degree programs and course work. Many of the programs in DPS are unique to the University of Arizona, and, in some cases, the only programs of their kind in the Southwestern United States. The four major areas are:

Online Resources for DPS Graduate Students

The DPS Graduate Student Resources web site provides information, announcements, and forms to current graduate and doctorate students in the Department.


The Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies was previously "Special Education, Rehabilitation, and School Psychology (SERSP)" before July 1, 2009. However, it has since been renamed and now has a fourth major, School Counseling.

Please note that when SERSP is found in older documentation or forms, for any follow-up, refer to DPS, as the associated faculty and staff can be tracked only in the Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies.

Some courses in Programs of Study may have SERP courses listed. Although Special Education, Rehabilitation, and School Psychology is abbreviated as SERSP, department courses were given the prefix SERP in the University of Arizona catalog. If Programs of Study appear to be outdated, please contact the corresponding faculty for changes.

About Our Faculty

DPS faculty and staff members are actively engaged in teaching, research, and service designed to make a difference in the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities, special abilities, and special needs. Individual biographies of DPS faculty and staff provide additional information about teaching, research, service, and personal interests.

Apply to Programs in DPS