A Missouri State student working with a group of young children.
Specialize in autism spectrum disorders

Make a Difference in the Life of a Child with Autism

Learn evidence-based practices to improve the lives of children and their families. Help children gain the skills to communicate and be successful in school and clinic-based settings.

Autism Spectrum Disorders Emphasis

Degree options

Choose a degree option that fits your goals and needs.

Traditional master's

Become a leader in evidence-based teaching strategies in your classroom or clinical setting. Review a sample schedule.

Accelerated master’s

Undergraduate students can earn credit toward their bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the same time.

Master's plus ABA certification

Earn your master’s degree and gain eligibility for the national Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam.

Graduate certificate

Learn to support individuals with autism through research-based strategies that focus on the development of communication, social, and leisure skills.

Program requirements

Core requirements - 9 hrs
Course Code Course Title Credit Hours

SFR 780*


SPE 794

Educational Research Methodology


Research Methodology in Educational Studies

3 hrs
SPE 780 Impact of Contemporary Issues & Diversity in Special Education 3 hrs
SPE 788
SPE 799
Research Seminar in Special Education
Thesis Option
3 hrs

* Offered via internet or alternative delivery system based on availability.

Comprehensive Examination. Degree candidates must pass a comprehensive exam. Students completing the thesis option will complete an oral defense of their thesis for their comprehensive exam. Other masters students will complete a written exam using a computer. Students who live in another state who need to take the written comprehensive exam may be allowed to take the exam at an approved proctored site. Confer with faculty advisor regarding this option.

Autism Spectrum Disorders Option

The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) option is designed for individuals who have teacher certification in an area of Mild/Moderate Disabilities who wish to enhance their skills through related and advanced course work in ASD. In-depth analysis of research-based practices specific to assessment, identification, and programming for students with ASD are stressed. Course work in addition to the core follows.

Course Code Course Title Credit Hours
SPE 783 Advanced Assessment to Support Individuals with Developmental & Sensory Disabilities 3 hrs
SPE 625 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders 3 hrs
SPE 791 Clinical Practicum for Individuals with Autism and Challenging Behavior 4 hrs
SPE 627 Research-Based Strategies for Individuals with ASD 3 hrs
SPE 618 Application of Applied Behavior Analysis & Interventions in Applied Settings 3 hrs
SPE 626 Applied Behavioral Analysis for Developmental Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders 3 hrs
SPE 740 Verbal Behavior 3 hrs
  Electives 6 hrs
  Total 37 hours

* Offered via internet or alternative delivery system based on availability.

Special education teacher and student in classroom.

Careers and outcomes

Guide a better future for students with disabilities.