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Undergraduate Certificate in Universal Design

What can a student expect to learn?

Students can expect to learn the foundations in the principles of universal design and its application across disciplines. Universal design utilized a broad set of strategies that promote inclusion and participation of all, particularly people with disabilities, within a diverse world. By completing the certificate in universal design students will:

  • Demonstrate mastery of basic principles of universal design an accessibility (including knowledge of accessibility mapping, methods of implementing universal design in the environments, and ways of relating various designs as universal design).
  • Employ the basic principles of universal design and accessibility techniques (including identification barriers to accessibility, possible solutions, and the long-term benefit of solutions. Students will be able to analyze the use of universal design in eliminating barriers to environments.

Who should participate in this certificate?

Students currently enrolled as undergraduates or post-baccalaureates may apply to participate in the Certificate. Students must currently be enrolled or previously completed HDI 350 to apply.

Who are the interdisciplinary faculty affiliated with the certificate?

Faculty for this certificate are affiliated with the following colleges and departments:

  • Human Development Institute
  • Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, & Rehabilitation Counseling
  • College of Design, Department of Historic Preservation
  • College of Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture
  • College of Arts and Sciences, History Department
  • College of Engineering, Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
  • College of Public Health
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Social Work


What are the admission requirements?

Students will need to be currently enrolled in or previously completed HDI 350 when applying to the Certificate program. Students will complete the application for admission and return it to Dr. Kathy Sheppard-Jones ( As part of the application students will complete a 500 word personal statement indicating why they would like to attain a Certificate in Universal Design. If the student is not currently attending UK, 2 letters of recommendations must be attached to the application. Applications will be reviewed by the Faculty of Record.

What are the course requirements?

Students will complete a total of 12 course hours to earn to their Certificate in Universal Design. Students are required to complete HDI 350: Universal Design: Application in the Built and Learning Environments. As well as, 2 practicum courses HDI 400: Universal Design Practicum and HDI 500: Universal Design Practicum II: Advanced Techniques. In addition, students will need to complete one elective course approved by the program advisor.

Are any courses offered via Distance Learning?

HDI 350 Universal Design: Application in the Built and Learning Environment will be offered with a Distance Learning option. Students are advised they may only complete one class via distance learning method.