Best Online Schools for Masters in Autism Spectrum Disorders

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According to the Center for Disease Control, there has been a massive increase in the amount of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder over the last 10 years. That means that now more than ever it is crucial that more educated, compassionate professionals earn a graduate degree in ASD so that these individuals are provided with the proper counseling and education that they deserve. These students learn effective techniques and research-based solutions to working with individuals of all ages who are afflicted by mental, behavioral, emotional, and learning disorders. Coursework delves into numerous areas of the discipline, and graduates have a resourceful toolkit of skills upon which to rely as ASD specialists.

Methodology:

  • All information is cited from the unbiased, independent NCES.gov’s College Navigator
  • To ensure our rankings methodology cannot be duplicated without our knowledge, we have withheld some aspects of the calculations. Please contact us at the email address provided below for more in depth calculations and criteria
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ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Arizona State University is one of the most popular online schools in America, and receives unending recognition for their academic achievement. The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College offer a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Spectrum Disorders that trains students in effective, compassionate, and specialized techniques.

Campus Location: Tempe, AZ

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 86%

Acceptance Rate: 83%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, GRE and/or GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Family Centered Practices
  • Consultation Frameworks and Issues
  • Individuals with Intellectual Disability

Degree Outcomes:
Graduates from this impressive program have the skill and knowledge to work as educators, interventionists, psychologists, speech pathologists, and behavior analysts. A broad and exciting curriculum implements enhanced training with adults and children with autism, and prepares students for any and all certification examinations within the field. Alumni and students have unlimited access to great job training resources and counselors.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Ball State University is another of the country’s finest and most popular online schools, and offers a Master in Applied Behavior Analysis: Autism that holds numerous national rankings and recognitions. This unique coursework is highly accredited and gives students access into many different areas of the discipline. Classes include faculty members and peers from diverse backgrounds, which makes for a rich and inviting online academic environment.

Campus Location: Munice, IN

Accreditation: National Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; Indiana Teacher Training and Licensing Commission; Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.

Retention Rate: 81%

Acceptance Rate: 59.9%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application and official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Field-Based Experience in Autism
  • Professional Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Interventions and Treatments for Persons with Autism

Degree Outcomes:
This curriculum prepares students to work as teachers, psychologists, ABA therapists, and in other human services positions. Graduates are prepared for prominent doctoral programs as well as any and all certification examinations within the field. The BSU Career Center establishes strong networking connections with relevant and highly beneficial alumni, professionals, and employers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT BALL STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL

Program Standouts:
This prominent and well-recognized online school offers distance education students a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Studies, that is much more focused on the teaching aspect of the discipline than other degree programs. UM Lowell also offers an exciting online Graduate Certificate program in the field of autism. Recognized by esteemed journalistic resources and accrediting agency, this coursework offers interesting and unique options that give students a broad perspective.

Campus Location: Lowell, MA

Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges; National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Retention Rate: 86%

Acceptance Rate: 57%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, proof of valid teaching license or GRE or successful completion of the Behavioral Intervention in Autism Certificate Program, a current résumé or CV, and three letters of recommendation.

Program Options:

  • Master’s In Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Studies
  • Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Management in Autism

Degree Outcomes:
Students exiting this program have accrued and enhanced highly specialized knowledge concerning the education of people of all ages with developmental disabilities. Whether students choose to continue their education with a certificate or doctoral program, or enter into a position of employment, they are prepared for success through any pathway. The Career and Co-Op Center has a constant schedule of events, job fairs, and training opportunities for students and graduates.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

Program Standouts:
The University of Kansas has received recognition from such industries as U.S. News and World Report, and operates a massively successful online Master in Special Education: Autism Spectrum Disorder from the “No. 1 ranked Department of Special Education in the country.” Students in this program learn complex yet widely successful theories and practices in teaching children with autism. Through flexible coursework, students gain valuable real-world experience and knowledge.

Campus Location: Lawrence, KS

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 80%

Acceptance Rate: 92.9%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and proof of English language proficiency from international students.

Program Options:

  • The Leadership track
  • The Secondary/Transition track

Degree Outcomes:
Exiting this program, graduates are prepared to work closely with children with autism in schools and special education institutions. With a sophisticated skill-set and an impressive portfolio, and particularly under the guidance and tutelage of the University Career Center and its many facets and programs, alumni are well-prepared to enter the work force with poise and confidence.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS’ ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

Program Standouts:
While not a full graduate program, the University of Arkansas does offer an exciting Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Discords that gives current teachers strong skills in working with students afflicted with autism. Through concentrated yet flexible coursework, students work with fantastic faculty members and resources to gain an understanding of this disability, and work closely with personal advisors.

Campus Location: Fayetteville, AR

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 81%

Acceptance Rate: 62%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application and official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution. Some applicants may be required to additionally submit GRE scores

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Instructional Methods for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Assessment of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Degree Outcomes:
Students leaving this superb program will have highly specialized knowledge in approaching, teaching, and inspiring student with autism spectrum disorders. Through this coursework, they gain an in-depth understanding of the disease itself, as well as the effects it has on a learning mind, and will massively improve the success of their classrooms. If at all necessary or needed, the UA Career Development Center can connect students with networking connections and employment positions, as well as high-quality training programs.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS’ ONLINE GRADUATE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

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MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Michigan State University is one of the most successful online schools in America, which can be noted particularly through their impressive retention rate. The Master in Special Education with an ASD Endorsement is designed for K-12 teachers who are looking to advance their skills with children who have disabilities. Individuals in this program complete challenging, yet fulfilling, projects and coursework alongside expert practitioner faculty members.

Campus Location: East Lansing, MI

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 92%

Acceptance Rate: 65.7%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, and official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution. Some additional documentation may be required from certain applicants.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Collaboration and Consultation in Special Education
  • Content Area Instruction for Student with Mild Disabilities
  • Policies, Practices, and Perspectives in Special Education

Degree Outcomes:
Upon completion of this gradate degree coursework, students go on to become special education and autism spectrum disorder teaching professionals who have the skill and knowledge to make a world of difference with their students. Having completed such a strong array of experience-buidling activists within the curriculum, alumni have the knowledge and technique to achieve great success.

LEARN MORE ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE

Program Standouts:
In the University of Louisville’s online Master in Special Education with a Concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Applied Behavior Analysis students work closely with instructors, researchers, and practitioners who have a “wealth of experience.” The curriculum is rigorous and challenging, yet very rewarding, and focuses on the philosophical, experimental, and applied domains of the discipline.

Campus Location: Louisville, KY

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools; Behavior Analyst Certification Board

Retention Rate: 81%

Acceptance Rate: 72%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts representing a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher, GRE scores, a personal statement, two professional references, a signed Acceptable Use of Technology and Code of Ethics statement, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Autism Strategies and Techniques
  • Behavior Analytic Approach to Communication
  • Radical Behaviorism

Degree Outcomes:
Students gain an enormous amount of practical training and experience through this program in community based practicums and projects, and the university is partnered with numerous organizations. Graduates have the skill and experience to sit for any applicable certification examination within the field, and are fully assisted in their job search by the Career Development Center.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUSIVILLE’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
George Mason University students report overwhelmingly positive feedback from this online school, which is reflected in their strong retention rate. The GMU online school offers an impressive Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders that is perfectly suited for teachers to enhance their level of influence and support for students with autism. Coursework is highly flexible and allows students to complete their students at a relaxed rate.

Campus Location: Fairfax, VA

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 87%

Acceptance Rate: 80%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, a statement of goals, letters of recommendation, and GRE or GMAT scores.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Supporting the Behavior and Sensory Needs of Individuals with Autism
  • Characteristics of Individuals with Autism
  • Supporting Communication and Literacy for Individuals with Autism

Degree Outcomes:
Graduates from this fine Certificate Program will have the knowledge and understanding to provide compassionate education for students on the autism spectrum. The coursework is designed to be beneficial in a variety of educational, community, and vocational settings. The University Career Services Department employment highly professional counselors and advisors who can readily assist graduates and students in the application for and receiving of employment in this field.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE GRADUATE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI

Program Standouts:
Mizzou Online has been repeatedly recognized for their outstanding achievements in distance education, and offer students a Masters in Special Education: Autism. Coursework broadly approaches this field and gives students a strong perspective with which to approach working with children and adults with autism. Students are equipped with the most modern research and teaching techniques.

Campus Location: Columbia, MO

Accreditation: Teacher Education Accreditation Council

Retention Rate: 86%

Acceptance Rate: 77.7%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, official transcripts fro an accredited undergraduate institution representing a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, a personal data sheet, a statement of purpose, a letter of intent, and TOEFL or IELTS scores from students who use English as a second language.

Program Options:

  • Social Competency for Students with Autism
  • High Functioning Students with Autism
  • Young Children with Autism

Degree Outcomes:
The coursework in this degree program gives graduate the skill and understanding to work in positions such as career or technical education teachers, instructional coordinators, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, school counselors, and special education teachers. Students receive dedicated assistance in the pursuit of any one of these careers from the Career Center, wherein they will find counselors, advisors, training programs, and a lively network of peers and professionals.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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THE SAGE COLLEGES

Program Standouts:
The Master in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism at The Sage Colleges is an expert program that includes coursework that engages students with professionals from around the world. Individuals can count on personalized interaction with faculty members and advisors throughout their coursework. Classes are flexible, challenging, and rewarding, and offer online students a powerful lens through which to engage with the field.

Campus Location: Albany, NY

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Retention Rate: 78%

Acceptance Rate: 54%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution, two letters of recommendation, a statement of career goals, a current résumé, and TOEFL scores from student who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Clinical Practicum in ABA I, II, III, IV
  • Core Skills in Autism I and II
  • Behavioral Assessment

Degree Outcomes:
Upon exiting this exciting program, students have established networking connections with individuals across the country, and have an excellent platform upon which to start a new profession or enhance a current one. The curriculum includes courses that prepare all students for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SAGE COLLEGES’ ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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SAINT JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Saint Joseph’s University’s online school offers this distinctive Master in Education – Special Education with an Autism Spectrum Disorders Endorsement that largely focuses on appropriate assessment, research-based strategies, and behavioral modification for students of all ages who are on the autism spectrum. This highly specialized curriculum “strongly aligns with the needs of today’s education market across all geographic regions.” Students learn from faculty members who bring a rich diversity of experience and knowledge to the online classroom.

Campus Location: Philadelphia, PA

Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 90%

Acceptance Rate: 82%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from any accredited undergraduate institutions attended, a current résumé, two professional letters of recommendation, a completed application intent form, a background check, a personal statement, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Socializations Strategies
  • Evidenced-Based Practices: Assessment, Intentions, and Instructional Methodologies
  • Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis: Behavior Management Approaches

Degree Outcomes:
Graduates from this fine program will have the knowledge and skill to work one-on-one with students with autism, or as educational diagnosticians, rehabilitation counselors, and classroom teachers. Students are well-prepared to pass any and all certification examinations within this field, and are connected to a strong network of person, professionals, and faculty members. Saint Joseph’s University is quite dedicated in the assistance of finding fulfilling positions of employment.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SAINT JOSEPH’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA

Program Standouts:
The University of North Dakota offers two exciting opportunities to advance one’s skill and knowledge in autism spectrum disorders: a masters and a certificate program. In either one of these remarkable online programs, students deeply delve into the complex nature of the disorder and learn specialized techniques in providing a nurturing educational environment for people of all ages. Classes stem from a multitude of fascinating departments, all of which are led by top professionals in the field.

Campus Location: Grand Forks, ND

Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools; Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation

Retention Rate: 80%

Acceptance Rate: 86%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a GPA of 2.75 or higher, successful completion of the graduate admissions test, a statement of goals, letters of recommendation, and proof of language proficiency from international students.

Program Options:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate
  • Masters in Special Education – ASD Specialization

Degree Outcomes:
These programs are designed for educators and counselors within the field who are seeking to drastically enhance their knowledge and approach. Graduates have a powerful understanding of special education, speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and counseling for individuals on the spectrum. Students gain real-life experience through curriculum developed by UND faculty for the Global Rural Autism Asperger Information Network.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAMS

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SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

Program Standouts:
This well-celebrated online school has received positively glowing reviews from past and current distance education students, and offers a a Master in Special Education: Autism that is designed for individuals with an undergraduate background in the field. This highly specialized curriculum are instructed by professors with a dense background in Applied Behavioral Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Online coursework is challenging yet flexible and easy to use, and is aligned with Council of Exceptional Children standards.

Campus Location: Slippery Rock, PA

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education; National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; Pennsylvania Department of Education

Retention Rate: 82%

Acceptance Rate: 66%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing an exemplary GPA, a copy of a teaching certificate (recommended), a current résumé representing relevant work experience, and two letters of recommendation.

Program Options:

  • Developing Integrated Language and Literacy Programs for Students with Disabilities
  • Communication and Social Competency for Students with ASD
  • Instructional Strategies for Learning and Behavioral Problems

Degree Outcomes:
Graduates from this program will have massively enhanced their ability to diagnose, educate, and communicate with students with autism. The Office of Career Education and Development offers numerous events and networking venues that connect students with other professionals and potential employers within the field. Students receive an impressive diploma that is endorsed by strong state and accrediting bodies.

LEARN MORE ABOUT SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSIty’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA

Program Standouts:
The University of South Florida is a popular school in which online students feel challenged, yet fulfilled by both the content of the coursework and the nature of the faculty and administration. The Master in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe Intellectual Disabilities is a fascinating program that trains students in their own teaching abilities, as well as working collaboratively with colleagues.

Campus Location: Tampa, FL

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 89%

Acceptance Rate: 47.5%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a GPA of 3.0 or higher, GRE scores (only required if transcripts reflect a GPA under 3.0), at least two letters of recommendation, and a personal goals statement.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Working with Families: A Pluralistic Perspective
  • Consultation and Collaboration in Special Education
  • Collaborative Transitions

Degree Outcomes:
South Florida alumni exhibit strong and diverse skills as reflective practitioners and ethical, collaborative professionals who are capable of providing caring support, communication, and education to students with even the most sever forms of autism. All students and graduates from this program are a part of a strongly supportive network through numerous different outlets.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY

Program Standouts:
Florida International University has been repeatedly recognized for their achievements as an online school. Distance education students major in an Master in Special Education: Autism Endorsement that is instructed by leaders within the discipline who have decades of classroom experience teaching children on the autism spectrum and other emotion, intellectual, learning and behavioral disorders. Through this level of instruction, students gain a diverse perspective into the field.

Campus Location: Miami, FL

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Retention Rate: 84%

Acceptance Rate: 52.8%

Admission Requirements:
Applicants must submit a completed online application, the nonrefundable application fee, official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution representing a GPA of 3.0 or higher, proof of a valid Teacher Certification in Exceptional Student Education or a passing score on the Teacher Certification Examination, a current and detailed résumé, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and TOEFL scores from students who use English as a second language.

Sampling of Coursework:

  • Integration of assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction
  • Working with Families of Students with Disabilities through Collaborative Approaches
  • Nature and Needs of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Degree Outcomes:
This endorsement gives graduates a highly sharpened edge upon entering into the job market, and communicate to employers their level of dedication to the field. Alumni have an understanding of the unique and multicultural needs of their students, and have a pristine knowledge and understanding of innovative technologies, research methods, and leadership skills.

LEARN MORE ABOUT FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY’S ONLINE GRADUATE DEGREE PROGRAM

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