• Course Delivery
    100% Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

The online master's degree in autism from MU helps you increase the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively with children and youth with autism and their families. If you want to advance your career helping students and families obtain the skills they need to better succeed in life, this may be the degree for you. 

This degree has potential benefits for:

  • Career or technical education teachers 
  • Instructional coordinators 
  • Occupational therapists 
  • Recreational therapists 
  • School counselors 
  • Special education teachers 

Program structure and topics

Delivery of this program is 100 percent online: no campus visits are required.

Courses are semester-based. Students typically take one or two classes each semester and finish in two years.

Course work covers:

  • Identifying early characteristics of infants, toddlers and preschoolers with autism
  • Identifying individuals with autism who are high-functioning and/or have a diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome 
  • Providing intervention and supports in home, community and classroom settings
  • Promoting and enhancing social competence 
  • Examining curriculum and approaches based on current research 
  • Addressing problems or challenging behavior using functional assessments and positive behavioral supports

Admissions & Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. Completed bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate education.
  3. If English is not your native language, please submit a TOEFL score of at least 100 (internet-based test), an IELTS score of at least 7, a Pearson Test of English (PTE) score of at least 66 or a Cambridge C1 Advanced score of at least 190.
  4. Application to this program does require you to submit GRE scores. If you have not taken the exam in the past five years, now is the time to do so.
  5. Transcripts of all previous college or university education. Upload unofficial transcripts in your online application. If you are accepted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
  6. Personal data sheet including important biographical information and professional experience.
  7. Statement of purpose (500 words) summarizing your professional goals, career objectives, research interests, your motivation for graduate work and anything else you feel is important.
  8. Two letters of recommendation. In the online application, you will need to supply names and contact details of two people who can attest to your professional competence, academic preparation and potential for graduate work. Ideally, one should be a college or university professor who can discuss your academic abilities, and one should be an administrator or colleague who can describe your professional experience and potential. The Graduate School will contact your references with instructions regarding the letters.
  9. Letter of intent briefly and clearly expressing any interest you have in grant funding.
  10. Please feel free to submit any other materials that you feel would give a clearer picture of your qualifications.
NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

Application Deadlines

May 1
October 1
March 1


  • * Degree prerequisite (does not count toward degree)
  • SPC_ED 7300Introduction to Special Education3 Credits

    Introductory overview of the field of special education; historical developments, characteristics of special populations, and compliance with state and federal regulations.

  • * Core requirements (9 credit hours)
  • IS_LT 9467Technology to Enhance Learning3 Credits

    Strategies for integrating technology into the teaching and learning process, with a focus on enhancing how students think rather than what they think. Special attention given to supporting higher order thinking and problem solving with technology.

  • SPC_ED 8350Research with Exceptional Children3 Credits

    Explores significant, historical, and current research in special education. Emphasizes the application of research, methodology, and findings relative to problems facing the practitioner. Prerequisites: instructor's consent.

  • ESC_PS 7160Developmental Aspects of Human Learning3 Credits

    Investigates aspects of human development that affect classroom learning. Topics include parenting style, divorce, friendship, mental health, attachment, play aggression, culture, and media. Graded on A-F basis only.

  • *Autism courses (21 credit hours)
  • SPC_ED 8440Advanced Behavior Management: Applied Behavior Analysis3 Credits

    This course will provide graduate students with advanced theory and knowledge in behavior management. Emphasis will be placed on understanding and using the principles of applied behavior analysis. Prerequisites: SPC_ED 4310 and instructor's consent.

  • SPC_ED 8601Introduction to Autism3 Credits

    This course provides an introduction of children youth with autism spectrum disorders. Topics include: historical and theoretical foundations, diagnostic and assessment approaches, and characteristics. Graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: Introduction to Special Education; instructor's consent.

  • SPC_ED 8602Methods of Instruction for Students with Autism3 Credits

    Overview of interventions for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and strategies needed for teaching. Best practices and promising practices will be presented. Course graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: SPC_ED 8601, instructor's consent required.

  • SPC_ED 8603Social Competency for Students with Autism3 Credits

    Course provides a framework for addressing social competence deficits experienced by students with autism. Course graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: SPC_ED 8601, instructor's consent required.

  • SPC_ED 8604High Functioning Students with Autism (4-week session)3 Credits

    The course is designed to increase understanding and ability to support individuals on the Autism Spectrum who have average to above average intelligence. Course graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: instructor's consent.

  • SPC_ED 8605Young Children with Autism (4-week session)3 Credits

    Current research on characteristics, diagnosis, and intervention for very young children with autism. Strategies for support children and their families. Graded on A-F basis only. Prerequisites: instructor's consent.

  • SPC_ED 8606Assessment in Autism, Special Education3 Credits

    This course covers procedures and instruments used in assessment of school-aged children with autism, including screening, diagnosis, interpretation of assessment findings, and application to instructional plans. Graded on A-F only. Prerequisites: SPC_ED 7300. Corequisites: SPC_ED 8601.

Tuition & Fees

Missouri Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $386.00
  • Fees: $67.03
  • Total: $453.03
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1158.00
  • Fees: $201.09
  • Total: $1359.09
Missouri Non-Resident Fee Rates
  • Per Credit Hour
  • Tuition: $386.00
  • Fees: $67.03
  • Total: $453.03
  • 3 Credit Hours
  • Tuition: $1158.00
  • Fees: $201.09
  • Total: $1359.09
Tuition rates are subject to change.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Earn a quality education online

    With more than 100 online programs to choose from across our four campuses, our online students have incredible access to career-advancing education. Our online courses are developed and taught by the same excellent faculty and instructors who teach the courses on campus. Whether you’re looking for an undergraduate education, graduate education, or a certificate program to further your career, one of our four campuses has an option to fit your needs.

  • Learning that fits your schedule

    Online learning provides students with the flexibility and freedom to attend classes whenever and wherever you are, in a way that is convenient for you. You can save time and money by being able to continue working and by avoiding relocation, travel and commuting costs. Courses must be completed in scheduled time frames, but in most cases, you can log in and complete course work whenever doing so best fits your schedule. Online education means learning on your terms – not the other way around.

  • Service you expect from a renowned University

    Our goal is to provide our online students with an excellent academic experience, without forcing you to make sacrifices in other areas of your life.

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