Autism and Developmental Disabilities Master’s Degree Programs

The concentration in Autism and Developmental Disabilities (A&DD) provides advanced training in the design, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based practices to individuals with autism and related developmental and physical disabilities, and their families. This program can be completed by one of two options (M.Ed. or M.A.), involving flexible combinations of coursework, practicum, and applied intervention research. With both options, the program of study uniquely integrates theory, research, and practice. This program also meets all the coursework requirements for the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) under the 5th Task List, thus, students who complete the program of study will be eligible to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA). Graduates are prepared to assume educational and related professional positions as teachers, behavior analysts, and clinicians, serving all ages, culturally and linguistically diverse populations, and incorporating assistive technology.

The Master’s concentration in A&DD can be pursued through one of three options, each involving a minimum of 36 semester hours:

  • Option 1. This option involves completion of 9 courses plus 3 practical experiences leading to the M.Ed. degree and can be completed in 12 months of full-time study.  
  • Option 2. This option (M.Ed. with Report option) is identical to Option 1 but the student may complete a research report that will consist of a systematic review of the literature pertaining to a topic of interest. Option 2 will be available contingent on the availability of a supervising faculty member. 
  • Option 3. Students who select Option 3 will pursue a research-based Master of Arts (M.A.) degree including courses, practical experiences, and a research thesis. In most cases, the thesis research will involve an applied intervention study. The M.A. option is intended to provide advanced training in applied intervention research. Option 3 will be available contingent on the availability of a supervising faculty member. 


Components of the two respective degree plans are as follows:

Coursework

A minimum of 36 hours of course work is required for the M.Ed. in A&DD. Required coursework for each program track is as follows: 

Semester AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENT DISABILITIES Option 1 M.Ed. Option 2 M.Ed. with Report Option 3 M.A.
Fall SED 380: Cultural & Linguistic Diversity 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
SED 388: Teaching Individuals with Autism & Development Disabilities 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
SED 394: Practicum in SED - Professional & Ethical Practice 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
SED 388: Challenging Behavior & Developmental Disabilities 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
Spring  SED 388: Advances in Understanding/Treatment of Autism 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
SED 396: Single Subject Design 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
SED 384: Communication Intervention 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
SED 388: Practicum in SED - Severe & Multiple Disabilities 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
Summer SED f388: Practicum in SED - Professional Development in ABA (Online) 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
SED f388: Theoretical Framework in ABA (Online) 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
SED s386: Positive Behavior Supports and Classroom Management (Online) 3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
SED s388: Advanced Concepts in ABA (Online)  3 hours 3 hours 3 hours
Fall M.Ed. Report Option: SED 398R: Report writing
Research-based course (chosen in consultation with adviser
M.A. with Thesis Option
SED 698 A: Research-based course (chosen in consultation with adviser)
NA 9 hours 9 hours
Spring M.A. with Thesis Option SED 698 A: Thesis Research-based course (chosen in consultation with adviser) NA NA 9 hours
Total Required Hours   36 hours 45 Hours 54 Hours

Course descriptions are available in our wiki.