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Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities

The UW Certificate in Developmental Disabilities prepares graduate students and community professionals in health, education, behavioral and other related fields to develop greater knowledge and skill recognizing and meeting the unique needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.


Graduates of the certificate program will gain competency:

  • Recognizing clinical presentations of developmental disabilities
  • Integrating a collaborative interdisciplinary approach to assessment, diagnosis, and care management of individuals with developmental disabilities
  • Utilizing family-centered care practices
  • Understanding and advancing policy, advocacy, and service systems to meet the unique needs of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families

Housed at the Center on Human Development and Disability, the dynamic intersection of dozens of UW graduate departments involved in developmental disability issues, the certificate allows students to enhance and strengthen their interprofessional learning from a multitude of resources. Upon completion of the certificate program, students’ transcripts will include documentation as “Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities.”


The Certificate in Developmental Disabilities is a 15-credit-hour interdisciplinary program. Students must successfully complete and pass 9 student credit hours of CHDD coursework and pass 6 student credit hours in pre-approved elective courses within the student’s own or another academic department. Included in this work is a final capstone project. The part-time graduate certificate program employs flexible online distance education along with some interactive classroom sessions designed to accommodate the schedule of graduate students enrolled in degree programs and the work schedules of community professionals. At this time, CHDD courses are open only to students enrolled in this certificate program.

Scholarships may be available for qualified candidates.

Program Benefits

Increase your depth of knowledge of developmental disabilities, become familiar with regional and national policy, advocacy and systems of care for individuals with developmental disabilities, and practice interdisciplinary collaboration within a unique learning platform. Earn transcripted graduate credits upon completing the certificate. Apply knowledge to enhance your future career path and clinical practice.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify a topic with a focus on children or adolescents relevant to developmental disabilities, special health care needs, family-centered care, and/or health disparities
  • Identify a CHDD faculty mentor
  • Prepare a professional/scientific poster for peer reviewed presentation at the Annual UW LEND Day in June

Who Should Apply

Students currently enrolled in a graduate degree program at the University of Washington. Community professionals from a variety of health, education, or other related backgrounds, with at least a baccalaureate degree.
To apply submit:

  1. Application Form
  2. Personal Goal statement (1 page maximum)
  3. Current resume (5 pages maximum)
  4. University/College transcript

For further information contact:

Susan Wendel, MS, OTR (

Beth Ogata, MS, RD (

Graduate Certificate in Developmental Disabilities flyer

UW Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (UW LEND)
Center on Human Development and Disability

University of Washington • Center on Human Development and Disability Box 357920 • Seattle WA 98195-7920 USA • 206-543-7701 •