MA in Education, Autism

This Master of Arts in Education gives teachers the tools to engage, teach, and empower students with autism spectrum disorders. As awareness of autism has grown, so has its prevalence, increasing the need for capable, enthusiastic educators.

Reach Your Students on the Autistic Spectrum

Gain a deep understanding of autism and the varying needs of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Learn how to assess and understand the unique needs of each student on the autism spectrum, developing a curriculum that reaches them. Become an advocate for students on the autism spectrum and the resources needed for their education. The Master of Arts in Education, Autism positions educators in special education roles throughout their careers.

  • Improving your Assessment
    Our faculty are experienced special education instructors who connect individually with students, providing concepts immediately applicable to the student’s teaching and understanding of ASD.
  • Individual Engagement
    Coursework uses evidence-based practices for ASD to develop strategies to engage these students, who often struggle with social interaction, sensory, and behavioral challenges.
  • 100% Online
    Our online coursework is designed for adult learners, allowing the flexibility you need.

Next Session

Summer II (Jun 24, 2024)

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University of Massachusetts Global is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

California Commission on Teaching Credentialing

University of Massachusetts Global's School of Education is accredited by the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing.

Imagine Your Future In Education Autism

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    Amy J.
    I took the Autism classes [through Extended Education] and found the passion of special education, which I really never thought of as an option. I finished the Autism program and enrolled in the Master of Special Education.  I have learned to reflect on my teaching and determine if I am reaching all students and on how to better reach any struggling students.
    Amy J.
    MA, Special Education

    Admission Requirements

    Applicants for this program must complete the formal application process with all required documents, which include:

    • Completed application
    • 2.75 grade point average (GPA)
    • Official transcripts from all regionally accredited institutions where baccalaureate and/or post-baccalaureate coursework was completed or attempted
    Graduate Level Exams

    For information about exam/test score requirements, please reference the University of Massachusetts Global Catalog


    Master of Arts in Education Program Curriculum

    • EDUU 600 Research and Evaluation Methods 3
      EDUU 605 Democracy, Education and Social Change 3
      EDUU 606 Seminar in Learning Theory 3
      EDUU 607 Seminar in Comparative Education 3
      EDUU 608 Seminar in the Social Foundations of Education 3
      EDUU 609 Seminar in Curriculum Studies 3
      Core Courses Subtotal 18

    • Candidates who complete this emphasis area and have an appropriate credential may be eligible to be recommended for the authorization prior to the completion of their degree. See an advisor for more information.

      EDUU 575 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders: Etiologies and Characteristics 3
      EDUU 675 Assessing Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders 3
      EDUU 676 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Programming and Strategies, I 3
      EDUU 677 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Programming and Strategies, II 3
      Total Credits Autism Emphasis 12

      Demonstration of Mastery

      Candidates for the Master of Arts in Education degree with an emphasis in Autism must submit via LiveText a Portfolio of Evidence demonstrating abilities or competence in the courses which includes a reflective essay that applies course content to Autism. This portfolio is completed as part of EDUU 677. A standardized assessment rubric will be used to determine that the candidate has demonstrated competency.

    Become the Teacher Who Inspired You

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    Meet Our Faculty

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Learn more about how a Master's in Education with an emphasis in Autism can help you move forward in your career.

    MAE Autism

    What can you do with a Master of Arts in Education, Autism degree?

    A Master of Arts in Education, Autism can open a variety of career opportunities in the field of autism spectrum disorders. Some of the potential job roles include:

    • Autism Specialist: An individual with a master’s degree in autism studies can work as an autism specialist in schools, clinics, or non-profit organizations. They can provide support and guidance to families, educators, and other professionals working with individuals on the autism spectrum.
    • Researcher: A master’s degree in autism studies can be a stepping stone for those who wish to pursue a Ph.D. and become a researcher in autism.
    • Educator: A master’s degree in autism studies can be helpful for educators who want to specialize in teaching students with autism in special education programs or inclusive classrooms if they have the appropriate teaching credential.
    • Community Services Coordinator: A master’s degree in autism studies can be helpful for those who want to work in community-based organizations that provide support services to individuals with autism and their families.

    Overall, a master’s degree in autism studies can be a good foundation for a career in various roles that involve working with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

    What is a Master of Arts in Education, Autism?

    A Master of Arts in Education, Autism, also known as autism spectrum disorders or ASD, is a graduate-level degree focused on studying autism and related disorders. The program typically covers a range of topics, including the causes and characteristics of autism, assessment and diagnosis, intervention and treatment strategies, and the social and educational implications of autism.

    The curriculum of a master’s degree in autism typically includes courses such as "Introduction to Autism and Related Disorders," "Assessment and Diagnosis of Autism", "Behavioral Interventions for Individuals with Autism," "Social and Communication Development with Autism," "Educational and Community-Based Interventions for Individuals with Autism," "Creating Positive Learning Environments for Individuals with ASD," and "Ethics in Autism Studies."

    Additionally, a master’s degree program in autism usually includes a clinical or fieldwork component, where students gain hands-on experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum and their families.

    A master’s degree in autism can be helpful for those who currently work or wish to work in fields such as special education, applied behavior analysis, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, or psychology, as well as for those who want to pursue research or administrative roles in the field of autism.

    What degree do you need to teach autistic students?

    To teach students with autism, the minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in education and a teaching certification in the state where you plan to work. However, many states and school districts require or prefer teachers who have specialized training in working with students with autism or special needs.

    A master’s degree focusing on autism spectrum disorders (ASD) can be beneficial for teaching students with autism. This degree program provides advanced training in understanding the unique needs of students with autism, assessment diagnosis, evidence-based interventions, and strategies for creating inclusive learning environments.

    Some school districts may also require or prefer that teachers have a certification in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a behavioral approach to working with individuals with autism. Board Certification for ABA requires specific coursework, supervised field experience, and passing a national certification exam. Please see the information on UMass Global's ABA program.

    Additionally, states may have specific requirements for special education teachers and for Applied Behavior Analysts, such as passing a specialized certification exam or completing additional coursework.

    It’s important to note that requirements may vary by state, so it’s essential to check the specific requirements in the state where you plan to teach.

    Ready to pursue your Master of Arts in Education degree?

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