UMass Boston

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Autism Endorsement Certificate

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Gain the skills to more effectively teach individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

UMass Boston’s Autism Endorsement Certificate focuses on the characteristics, assessments, and strategies for effective instruction and collaboration to support teachers working with students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) across a variety of settings. The program is designed for educators across Massachusetts who want to become certified to work with students with ASD. It is also appropriate as an add-on endorsement for individuals across a variety of license areas in special education. Explore evidence-based practices and strategies in an interactive online learning environment and apply what you're learning in class to your classroom or individual setting. This program fulfills the requirements to receive the credentials for the Autism Endorsement for Educator License from Massachusetts's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). This certificate is appropriate as an add-on endorsement for individuals across a variety of license areas in special education.

This endorsement is available to educators who hold a teacher license and at least three credits in special education OR a license in one of the following areas of special education:

  1. Moderate Disabilities
  2. Teacher of Students with Severe Disabilities
  3. Teacher of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
  4. Teacher of the Visually Impaired

or who are currently enrolled in an existing program.

Why Get an Autism Endorsement Certificate from UMass Boston?

The online program provides a flexible way to take additional courses to learn how to more effectively teach individuals with ASD. Courses are designed to be interactive and applied so they clearly link to your classroom or setting. The program will provide key instruction related to characteristics, assessment, evidence-based practices, and collaboration across personnel. It's appropriate for educators across Massachusetts.

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Plan Your Education

How to Apply

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • A statement of purpose explaining the applicant’s reasons for pursuing graduate study in autism endorsement.
  • A distinguished graduate transcript, with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  • Proof of enrollment in the Special Education (Certificate) - Initial Licensure in Moderate Disabilities PreK-8 or 5-12 program or hold a valid license in one of the following areas of special education:
    • Moderate disabilities
    • Teacher of students with severe disabilities
    • Teacher of the Deaf and hard-of-hearing
    • Teacher of the visually impaired
  • Three letters of recommendation submitted by individuals who are knowledgeable about teaching students with disabilities, who have worked closely with the applicant, and who have direct knowledge of the applicant’s teaching skills and academic performance.
  • A writing sample indicating the applicant’s ability to write in a clear, concise, and professional manner. This sample may be in the form of a recent term paper or research paper. The writing sample should not be an Individualized Educational Program (IEP), an evaluation report, or a lesson/unit plan.

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: July 1 for fall, November 1 for spring

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website


Required Courses (12 Credits)

  • SPE G 661 - Autism Spectrum Disorder: Foundations & Characteristics 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 662 - Autism Spectrum Disorder: Assessment and Collaboration 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 663 - Autism Spectrum Disorders: Programs, Services, and Supports 3 Credit(s)
  • SPE G 664 - Autism Spectrum Disorder: Field Experience 3 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Program Requirements

Complete twelve credits from four required courses.

Statute of limitations: Three years.


Associate Dean Christopher B. Denning
Christopher.Denning [@]
(617) 287-6539

Graduate Program Director Songtian (Tim) Zeng
Songtian.Zeng [@]
(617) 287-6409

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