Master of Arts (M.A.)

Special Education Autism Spectrum Disorder Focus

Hybrid 30 major credits * 2 years

Reduced Tuition


*if using financial aid

How to Pay

Program Highlights & Benefits

Hybrid format combines personal experience with convenience of online learning

2 year completion time, including breaks

Cohort model helps facilitate supportive and collaborative learning

Workload designed for full time professional educators

Goals and Focus of the Program

The Master of Arts in Special Education with Autism Spectrum Disorder Focus program focuses on special education theory and evidence-based practices. Special emphasis is placed on the assessment and intervention of core and related deficits of students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Candidates will gain knowledge and skills related to the diagnosis, program planning, instruction and interventions for students with an ASD. Candidates will develop key assessments and develop clinical decision making skills appropriate for use in the education of students with an ASD. Candidates will develop skills in becoming effective communicators and collaborators with parents, families, community providers and support systems in addition to gaining in-depth knowledge in this area of study.

Program Design

The Master of Arts in Special Education with ASD Focus program follows a cohort instructional model with a hybrid delivery structure. Eight-week courses include a combination of face-to-face as well as online classes determined by course content. This program includes face-to-face sessions that take place from 4:45 PM – 8:45 PM on the same night of the week at a central location. Online sessions may require meeting virtually during this scheduled class time. The duration of the program is approximately two years.


Students in the Master of Arts in Special Education with Autism Spectrum Disorder Focus program must have a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.5; one year of full time, contracted teaching experience; and access to a classroom and students throughout the duration of the program to fulfill field study requirements.

Degree Requirements and Career Outcome

The degree requirements for this program are successful completion of the program’s respective courses (listed below) and completion of a capstone project as a university requirement, which is embedded within the coursework.  Upon completion of this program, students will have earned a Master of Arts degree in Special Education.  This is not a licensure or endorsement program, but students who complete the program will be eligible for a University of Saint Joseph Autism Spectrum Disorder Graduate Certificate.

Plan of Study

CourseTitle  Hours
SPEC 560
Autism: Nature and Characteristics
SPEC 562
ACC & AT: Facilitating a Least Restrictive Environment  
SPEC 561
Behavioral Interventions
Psychological Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders  
SPEC 564
Autism: Application of Instructional Strategies
SPEC 540
Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Interventions
SPEC 554
Research-Based Math Intervention
SPEC 505
Assistive Technology for Access to the Curriculum Special Education  
SPEC 539Universal Design for Learning: Proactive Inclusion for All Students  
SPEC 530 Research in Special Education*  
 Total Credit Hours:30
Please Note:

*Master’s Capstone Project Included

The courses for this program may be offered in a different order. This list should not be considered the finalized course sequence.