Intellectual, Sensory and Developmental Disabilities

Graduate Certificate Program Summary


Nationally, there is an under-addressed need for skilled practitioners with an understanding of the complex educational needs of children and youth with concomitant and challenging intellectual, sensory and developmental disabilities. Practitioners in special education, early childhood education, speech-language pathology, and educational psychology, school administration, or other related majors may apply for this non-degree, graduate certificate in intellectual, sensory, and developmental disabilities (ISSD). This 15-credit graduate certificate program is offered via distance education and is designed to offer an efficient program of study which could be completed in 12-24 months. This is NOT a teaching endorsement or teaching certificate. Through focused coursework focused on visual impairments and blindness, deafness and hearing loss, autism, severe disabilities, and families of students with disabilities, participants will gain a deeper understanding of how to effectively work with these students who have a variety of unique needs.

Distance education opportunities

This certificate is offered online.
Promotional image for Intellectual, Sensory, and Developmental Disabilities


This graduate certificate is offered by the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders.

Graduate Chair

Professor Karen Hux

Certificate Advisors

Dr. Malinda Eccarius

Dr. Chris Marvin

Dr. Ellin Siegel

Dr. Tessa Wright

Graduate Secretary

Ms. Jill England


Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by the department for this certificate

Application deadline
All: January 15


The Intellectual and Sensory Developmental Disabilities graduate certificate is a 15-credit hour program. To earn the Certificate, participants must complete the requisite coursework with grades of B- or higher in all classes.


  • SPED 880: Intellectual Disabilities; Fall (on campus only) or Spring (online) Term
  • SPED 846: Foundations of Visual Impairment; Spring Term
  • SPED 872: Psych and Soc of Deafness; Fall Term
  • SPED 960: Family-School Collaboration; Spring or Fall Term

One elective from the following

  • SPED 863: Medically Fragile Infants; Summer Term
  • SPED 882: Specialized Instruction for Students with Severe & Multiple Disabilities; Fall Term
  • SPED 809: Autistic Spectrum Disorders; Fall Term
  • SPED 836J: Career Education for Special Vocational Needs; Fall Term

More course information

The Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin provides course descriptions and prerequisites, grouped by subject area.

The Schedule of Classes specifies dates, times, locations, and instructors for courses being offered in current and near-future terms.

Departments: Have an update for this page? Contact Stacy Dam.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.