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Program Overview

Children with autism are included among all who learn in the regular classroom – do you, as an educator, have the knowledge to adequately assist their development and help them with skills that best prepare them for an inclusive world? UMSL graduate students who earn the Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies can celebrate their passion for learners on the Autism Spectrum, while partnering with their families, and utilize in schools, summer camps, and respite opportunities a comprehensive understanding of behavior strategies and related, best practice interventions when enjoying experiences with this special population of youngsters.

Specially-designed coursework and focused, experienced instruction is the hallmark of UMSL’s Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies. Program content and experiences increase understanding and skills necessary to provide comprehensive and holistic programming that addresses the unique characteristics of individuals with autistic disorder. Selected faculty provide contemporary, best practice-based preparation of professionals who will specialize in the treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and/or who will work collaboratively with school personnel to recognize and follow the ASD profile that best educates the students.

The Autism Certificate program of study can effectively prepare personnel to educate and support individuals with ASD, which includes autism, Asperger Syndrome, and other pervasive developmental disorders; gain greater understanding of challenges faced by families of individuals with ASD; address the complex needs of students with ASD -- including those who require intensive and highly individualized programs, to those who require less intensive modifications to succeed in their educational, functional, and life goals; and engage in scholarship and applied knowledge pertaining to the science and practice in areas of cognitive and behavior disability studies.

Learn more about the program curriculum.

What UMSL Education has to offer

UMSL’s College of Education is a hub of innovation, where diverse scholars, practitioners and education-focused entrepreneurs converge to problem solve, incubate and develop ideas and modes of practice that propel the entire field of education forward. The college provides a plethora of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs that prepare and sustain culturally competent, dedicated and highly trained teachers for a variety of traditional and non-traditional educational settings. The college also prepares administrators, counselors, school psychologists, behavior analysts, educational scholars and entrepreneurs. One of the state of Missouri’s largest prepares of educators, the college is consistently recognized for its excellence in teacher preparation. Its innovative Studio School model – which has the college partnering with more than 30 local schools – allows for collaborative practicum experiences that enrich future teacher’s learning while also strengthening the St. Louis region as a whole. 

Regularly available for student guidance and support, the College of Education's Office of Advising and Student Services (OASIS) offers students an unmatched resource for the planning, development and execution of their degree or degrees in education.

By partnering with a vast array of educational, business and community resources, the College of Education provides opportunities for students to develop professional connections for improving their careers as well as their communities. Graduates find jobs not only in schools, but in museums, zoos, nonprofit youth serving organizations, businesses, government agencies, national education organizations and art foundations.

For more on UMSL Education, visit