The M.Ed. in Advanced Studies, Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intervention, provides teachers and other educational professionals with an in-depth understanding of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and ways to address the educational needs of children with this diagnosis.

Participants will have experiences working with children at various ages and with teams of professionals during a summer training program followed by a school-based internship at existing worksites or field placements. Graduates may seek positions in school districts and educational agencies serving children with ASD and their families. The master’s degree program requires 30 credit hours.

Program Goals

The program seeks to provide educators and others with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to effectively educate persons with ASD. Students will:

  • increase knowledge of ASD and evidenced-based interventions
  • develop skills to effectively educate students with ASD
  • design, implement, and evaluate academic and behavioral interventions
  • collaborate with school professionals to develop a plan for sustaining high quality educational services for children with ASD and supportive communication with their families
  • advocate for just and appropriate education for students with ASD


The program consists of graduate coursework in master’s core, required specialization, and electives for a total of 30 credits. The specialization sequence will be offered in face-to-face sessions, week-long training, school-based internship, and hybrid formats.

Required Master’s Core (9 hours)

  • Foundations of Education
  • Learning Teaching
  • Research Methods

Required Specialization (12 hours)

  • Autism and Children’s Learning
  • Intervention through Capacity Building
  • Evaluating the Effectiveness of ASD Interventions
  • Evidenced-based Approaches to ASD Instruction

Elective Courses (9 hours)
Courses in graduate education or related field with approval of advisor

Course Descriptions

Autism and Children’s Learning

Understanding the characteristics and incidence of autism alongside the implications for children’s learning, behavior and ability to process information. Participants will explore the latest research on potential causes, best practices for assessment and intervention, areas of impairment, as well as current issues related to autism services. This course is the designed for participants in the Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intervention program and may be taken by other graduate students interested in learning about ASD.

Intervention Through Capacity Building

Week-long, hands-on training focused on preparation of learning environment, evidence-based classroom techniques to teach students with autism in preschool through high school, and formative assessment of interventions. Lecture and practicum using techniques of Applied Behavioral Analysis to teach students with ASD and typical peers.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of ASD Interventions

Design and development of an intervention plan to address academic and behavioral needs of children with ASD in collaboration with school professionals. Includes supervised internship within existing worksites or field placements wherein participants implement the plan, evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, and report results to multiple audiences.

Evidenced-based Approaches to ASD Instruction

Designed to provide classroom teachers and other school personnel with an understanding of evidence-based instructional models and strategies that can promote the academic achievement of students with ASD. Highlights Social Stories, Picture Exchange Communications (PECS), TEACCH, Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCAs), Technology Applications, and Situation, Options, Consequences, Choices, Strategies, Simulation (SOCCSS). Includes clinical experiences.