Master of Arts (M.A.)

Special Education Autism Spectrum Disorder Focus

In-Person 30 major credits * 2 years

Affordable Tuition


*if using financial aid

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Program Highlights & Benefits

Meet one night per week from 4:45 - 8:45p

2 year completion time, including holiday breaks

No GRE or admission tests

No weekend classes

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 Autism Spectrum Disorder Focus program follows a cohort model where students meet one night per week from 4:45 – 8:45pm. The duration of the program is approximately two years, including almost 18 months of coursework followed by the comprehensive examination. 


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; a valid Connecticut Teaching License; 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 a passing score on the comprehensive examination taken after all coursework is complete. 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

CourseTitleStart WeekEnd WeekHours
SPEC 560
Autism: Nature and Characteristics
Aug. 26, 2019
Oct. 14, 2019
SPEC 561
Autism: Behavioral Interventions
Oct. 21, 2019
Dec. 9, 2019
SPEC 562
Autism: Communication and Technology
Jan. 6, 2020
Feb. 24, 2020
Autism: Psychosocial Interventions
Mar. 2, 2020
Apr. 27, 2020
SPEC 530
Research in Special Education
May 4, 2020
Jun. 22, 2020
SPEC 505
Assistive Technology
Aug. 31, 2020
Oct. 19, 2020
SPEC 564
Autism: Application of Instructional Strategies
Oct. 26, 2020
Dec. 14, 2020
SPEC 539
Curriculum and Instruction: Adaptive Strategies
Jan. 4, 2021
Feb. 22, 2021
SPEC 540
Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary Intervention
Mar. 1, 2021
Apr. 26, 2021
SPEC 554
Research-Based Math Intervention
May 3, 2021
Jun. 21, 2021
 Total Credit Hours:30
Please Note:

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

Anticipated Comprehensive Exam Date: July 2021