M.Ed. in Special Education Autism Spectrum Disorders
The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) program prepares teachers, parents, and other professionals to meet the educational and psychosocial needs of children and youth with autism.
Why enroll in the ASD program?
- Be on the cutting edge of autism research and practice
- Earn your master’s degree in 2 years
- Complete all coursework online
- The Autism Spectrum Disorders program is designed for professionals who want to advance their knowledge and skills for understanding, identifying, and working with individuals on the autism spectrum as well as for those preparing for a career in autism. The ASD curriculum was developed in partnership with Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)—a leading source of autism training and resources for families and professionals. Courses cover characteristics; assessment; instructional methods and materials; social, sensory, and communication issues; and behavior support. In addition, students complete multiple field experiences with individuals with ASD across the lifespan. Program completers earn a M.Ed. in Special Education with a Specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders and are prepared to assume leadership roles in school and community settings.
- The ASD master’s program requires coursework in autism, special education, and research methods, including a master’s capstone experience. The program can be completed in a minimum of 34 credit hours. The five core autism courses are completed in sequential order, one course per semester, with the first course in the sequence beginning Fall Semester.
Download: Masters Degree Program Sheet (PDF).
CORE AUTISM COURSES (15 credit hours)
- EDIS 6440 Nature and Characteristics of Students with ASD
- EDIS 6480 Assessment, Methods, and Materials for Students with ASD
- EDIS 6460 Social, Sensory, and Communication Issues for Students with ASD
- EDIS 6540 Behavior Support and Intervention for Students with ASD
- EDIS 6690 ASD Practicum
*Individuals who wish to take the five core autism courses without completing the master’s degree program can enroll in the Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate program.View course descriptions
EDIS 6440 Nature and Characteristics of Students with ASD
Overview of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) including: definitions, history, etiology, prevalence, legal issues, characteristics and needs, interventions and programs, and issues and trends. This course will address lifespan issues for individuals with ASD as well as life span concerns for families and professionals dealing with ASD.
EDIS 6480 Assessment, Methods, and Materials for Students with ASD
This course is designed to develop competencies for assessing individuals with ASD, identifying educational needs, designing and implementing educational programs, and using effective methods and materials for instructing individuals with ASD.
EDIS 6460 Social, Sensory, and Communication Issues for Students with ASD
Social, sensory, and communication are deficit areas for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This course will compare and contrast neuro-typical social, sensory, and communication development with the delayed and disordered social, sensory, and communication development of individuals with ASD. This course will address lifespan issues for individuals with ASD.
EDIS 6540 Behavior Support and Intervention for Students with ASD
This course will assist students in understanding why behaviors occur in individuals on the autism spectrum and assist them with designing effective behavior interventions and supports, using an applied behavior analysis and positive behavior supports framework.
EDIS 6690 ASD Practicum
This course provides students with opportunities to practice skills and demonstrate knowledge acquired in content-based courses. The practicum provides experiences with individuals on the autism spectrum, with varying ages and ability levels and from diverse social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. The practicum will take place in field settings such as public schools, non-profit organizations, colleges or universities, and/or community-based programs.
Special Education Courses (9 credit hours)
- EDIS 6400 Introduction to Assistive Technology
- EDIS 6450 Transition from School to Adult Life
- EDIS 6710 Collaborative Consultation in the Schools
EDIS 6400 Introduction to Assistive Technology
Introduction to the diversity of assistive technology, low and high tech systems, with an emphasis on impact and relevancy for individuals with disabilities.
EDIS 6450 Transition from School to Adult Life
Provides an overview of the transition of students with disabilities from school to adult roles. Primary emphases on transition planning and services, strategies for effectively preparing students to achieve their postsecondary goals, and adult environments and service delivery systems.
EDIS 6710 Collaborative Consultation in the Schools
Theoretical bases and systematic strategies for working collaboratively with families of students with disabilities and for facilitating collaborative partnerships between parents and professionals. Methods for effecting change in education from a socio-psychological consultation viewpoint, the role and strategies of a change agent, and models and strategies of consultation.
Master’s Courses (10-15 credit hours)
- EDIS 6490 Seminar: Issues and Practices in Special Education
- EDFI 6410 Statistics in Education or EDTL 6530 Qualitative Approaches to Classroom Inquiry
- EDFI 6420 Research in Education
- Capstone: Thesis, Master’s Project, or Comprehensive Examination
EDIS 6490 Seminar: Issues and Practices in Special Education
For leaders and resource personnel in special education services. Consideration of critical issues and policies in special education and disability services.
EDIS 6410 Statistics in Education
Statistics as a tool in education and research, descriptive statistics, transformation of scores, sampling and probability, linear correlation and regression, introduction to statistical inference, basic tests of significance, and effect size.
EDTL 6530 Qualitative Approaches to Classroom Inquiry
Introduction to qualitative methods focusing on naturalistic inquiry, ethnographic methodologies, and interpretive research to be used in classroom research.
EDFI 6420 Research in Education
Identification and evaluation of research problems, research designs, use of library resources, data gathering, and writing research reports.
As the final phase of the program, students will select and complete a thesis, master’s project, or comprehensive examination. Selection of the capstone experience is guided by the student’s interests and career plans and should be decided in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator or Major Advisor. Typically, students interested in pursuing graduate study at the doctoral level select the thesis option (EDIS 6990, 3-6 credit hours), while other students choose to design their own master’s project (6910, 3 credit hours) or take the comprehensive examination (6980, 1 credit hour).
Sample Course Sequence
The program is designed with the working professional in mind. Students can choose to take one or more courses each semester. Below is a sample of a course sequence for a cohort beginning Fall Semester.
*An introductory course in special education (EDIS 5310 or its equivalent) is required prior to enrollment in program coursework.
- Step 1: Complete the Online Application for Graduate Admission Step 2: Request Transcripts and Test Scores
Start the Application: http://choose.bgsu.edu/apply/online/?graduate
*On the application, select Area of Study: Special Education: Autism (MEd)(Online Program). A $45 nonrefundable application fee is assessed for domestic applications. The international application fee is $75.Step 3: Submit a Letter of Intent and Program Information Sheet
Request two (2) official copies of transcripts from every college or university you have attended and have transcripts sent directly to BGSU Graduate Admissions. (Official transcripts from BGSU do not need to be requested.)
Submit scores from the one of the following standardized tests: GRE General Test, Praxis II Principles of Teaching and Learning, or Ohio Assessments for Educators (OAE) Assessment of Professional (Pedagogical) Knowledge. TOEFL scores are also required from applicants whose native language is not English. Transcripts and test score reports are to be sent to:
Office of Admissions
ATTN: Graduate Admissions
110 McFall Center
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403-0083Step 4: Forward Three (3) Reference Forms/Letters
Prepare a 2-3 page, double-spaced letter that addresses the following points: (a) your motivation for pursuing graduate study in your chosen field, (b) what you hope to gain through graduate study, (c) your career aspirations following completion of the program, and (d) your personal qualities that relate to success as a graduate student. Also download and complete the Program Information Sheet (PDF).
Send the letter and Program Information Sheet to the School of Intervention Services (SIS) Cohort Coordinator via email at email@example.com.
The SIS Reference Form (PDF) assesses an applicant’s potential for success as both a graduate student and an autism professional. At least one reference form must be from a faculty member and at least one reference form must be from an administrator or supervisor who is familiar with your professional performance. Letters of recommendation may be sent in place of, or in addition to, the SIS Reference Form. Your application is not complete without 3 references so follow up with your references to be certain these are submitted in a timely manner.
Reference forms/letters should be emailed, faxed, or mailed to SIS Cohort Admissions:
Fax: (419) 372-8265 [ATTN: SIS Cohort Admissions]
School of Intervention Services
ATTN: Cohort Admissions
451 Education Building
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green, OH 43403
For information about the cost of the program, refer to the BGSU Bursar website. View the tuition and fees brochure. Students in the Autism Master’s Program are charged tuition and fees listed in the “Distance Learning—Graduate” category. Financial aid information is available on the BGSU Student Financial Aid website.