Autism Studies Graduate Certificate

The 100% online Autism Studies Graduate Certificate provides you with the knowledge and skills to support both children and adults on the autism spectrum. 

In this program you’ll learn about typical traits, gifts and challenges, co-occurring conditions, epidemiology, evidence-based interventions, classroom and workplace strategies, family impact, research and key policy issues related to people on the autism spectrum.

More than 2% of the U.S. population is on the autism spectrum. Over time, autism has gone by a variety of labels, from “childhood schizophrenia” to “Asperger’s syndrome.” It has also gone from being viewed largely as a disorder to be fixed to a different way of being to be celebrated. As debates about the nature of autism continue, we are all living, learning and working beside autistic people. Debates include those about language, with many institutions using “person-first” language (“person with autism”) while many adults on the spectrum prefer “identity-first" language (“autistic person”).

People who understand autism are needed in schools, clinics, hospitals, universities, workplaces, public agencies and beyond.

This certificate provides a stamp of autism expertise that validates your commitment to working in the field and prepares you to broaden your role as an educator, early childhood professional, mental health professional, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist, agency staff, disability specialist, researcher, advocate or policymaker.

Certificate Requirements 

The graduate certificate requires about half the coursework, time, and tuition as a master's degree. The 16-credit program — including five 3-credit courses and one 1-credit course — generally takes about two years to complete. Courses are offered online (“live” via webcam) and in the evening to accommodate working professionals.

Online Options

This program is offered 100% online.

Combine Your Certificate with a Master’s Degree

Graduate degree programs with up to 9 units of electives can integrate this graduate certificate program to enhance your professional credentials. This option may be of particular interest to students in advanced degree programs in:

  • occupational therapy
  • child life
  • education (including early education, elementary education, secondary education, and special education)
  • speech-language pathology
  • psychology

Bridgers-Moore Autism Studies Scholarship

Students may be eligible for this generous scholarship if they have been admitted to the Autism Studies Graduate Certificate program. The strongest candidates will be pursuing, or planning to pursue, a career dedicated to supporting autistic children, teens, or adults and their families in a significant way.

Why Towson University?

School District Access

This 100% online program is also offered through the Towson Learning Network (TLN) to employees of Maryland school systems.

In the News 

Adjunct faculty member Dena L. Gassner was recently featured in an L.A. Times article, “Voices from the spectrum: Autistic people deal with the coronavirus”.

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