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This degree program is designed for professional educators who already hold a teaching license in their state. This program allows educators the opportunity to combine UMass Lowell's graduate-level courses in Autism with graduate-level courses in Education.

The Online Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Studies Option is a 10 course (30 credit) master's degree program which can be completed entirely online.

Candidates seeking this option must first complete the Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Intervention in Autism at UMass Lowell. Upon completion of the certificate, candidates must apply and be admitted to the M.Ed. degree to have their certificate courses(15 credits maximum) included as part of the thirty required credits. The balance of the required courses focus on curriculum development and instructional practices in a K-12 school setting. The Education courses do not focus on Autism, but examine general issues in Curriculum and Instruction; as such, this master's degree is most appropriate for candidates who work in school settings and/or have relevant experience in Curriculum and Instruction. Several of the Education courses require assignments which assume that the candidate is in a classroom setting.

Note: Students interested in this Master's degree program must first complete the online Autism Certificate Program before applying into this program.

Note: This program does not lead to a teaching license, nor is it a direct route to BABC certification.

Master's Degree Program of Study

Includes courses taken as part of the Autism Certificate Program
10 courses total; 30 graduate credits

Core Courses (4 courses; 12 credits)
01.630 Educating Diverse Populations
04.635 Dynamics of Curricular Change - Available Fall 2013! 04.637 History & Theory of Curriculum
04.638 Curriculum Design K-12 - Available Fall 2013!

Specialization (5 courses; 15 credits)
47.561 Introduction to Behavioral Intervention in Autism - Available Fall 2013!47.562 Teaching and Positive Behavioral Support in Autism - Available Fall 2013!47.565 Measurement & Experimental Design in Behavioral Intervention - Available Fall 2013!47.566 Functional Analysis and Treatment of Challenging Behavior - Available Fall 2013!47.568 Behavioral Intervention Program Models in Autism - Available Fall 2013!

Capstone Project 3 credits (1 required course)
04.650 Action Research Capstone - Available Fall 2013! Must be taken as the last course or in conjunction with the one other course in the final semester.

Candidates who are enrolled in the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction general program of study may take some of the Autism Option courses as electives with prior permission of the program advisor, but unless they officially apply to and complete the BIA certificate program, the option will not be recorded on their transcript.

Course Descriptions

01.630 Educating Diverse Populations

Diversity Issues for School Leaders is designed to prepare experienced educators to provide effective leadership in a diverse community. Drawing from the Graduate School of Education's conceptual framework of Education for Transformation, students will be expected to: examine their own cultural heritage and experiences; gain increased understanding of equity issues concerning race, language, gender, sexual orientation, and special education needs; develop new insights for culturally responsive pedagogy; assess alternative strategies for facing illustrative conflicts in culturally diverse school settings; and consider how to ameliorate the pervasive impact of poverty on children in today's schools. 3 credits.

04.635 Dynamics of Curricular Change

This course considers alternative perspectives of curriculum and explores issues and strategies involved in the process of changing the curricular visions and practices of schools. 3 credits.

04.637 History & Theory of Curriculum

This course examines the historical development of American curriculum from the colonial period to the present, with a focus on theories that shaped what was taught in schools, and how those theories reflected social, cultural and political values and conflicts. Particular attention will be paid to curriculum theories that have shaped contemporary curriculum, and to examination of programs that reflect those theories. 3 credits.

04.638 Curriculum Design K-12

A review of state mandates which, by law, shape the curriculum of the school. Examination of new curricula and their sources, as well as the development of a rationale for curriculum design and an evaluation of the personnel and techniques by which these curricula can be developed. 3 credits.

04.650 Action Research Capstone

Students will have the opportunity to develop a teacher work sample consisting of work in six major areas: (1) contextual factors, (2) learning goals, (3) assessment plan, (4) design for instruction, (5) analysis of student learning, and (6) reflection. 3 credits.

47.561 Introduction to Behavioral Intervention in Autism

This course provides an introduction to the causes and diagnosis of autism, scientific validation, applied behavior analysis, and ethical treatment. Students also learn to write functional objectives, plan positive reinforcement, and design an applied measurement system in the context of developing Individualized Family Service Plans and Individualized Education plans. The issue of culturally appropriate interventions is addressed. Prerequisite: coursework in the psychology of child development, or permission. 3 credits. Prerequisite: Coursework in the psychology of child development, or related experience.

47.562 Teaching and Positive Behavioral Support in Autism

This course covers the application of specific behavioral teaching procedures, including prompting, reinforcement, shaping, chaining, error correction and generalization methods, and the development of instructional plans. Emphasis is placed on procedures and plans to teach communication, social, self-help and pre-academic skills. Application of such methods in inclusive classroom settings is also considered. 3 credits. Prerequisite: 47.561 is a prerequisite or co-requisite.

47.565 Measurement & Experimental Design in Behavioral Intervention

This course provides advanced coverage of measurement methods used in behavioral intervention. It also offers in-depth coverage of the within-subject experimental designs commonly used in behavioral research and practice. Component analysis and parametric analysis methods, and ethical considerations in research, are also covered. 3 credits. Prerequisite: 47.561 is a prerequisite or co-requisite.

47.566 Functional Analysis and Treatment of Challenging Behavior

This course covers the purpose, rationale and methods used in conducting and interpreting functional analyses of challenging, or maladaptive, behaviors (self-injury, stereotypy, aggression). It also describes the full range of behavioral procedures used to decrease or eliminate these behaviors, with emphasis placed on ethical interventions and the desirability of least restrictive and non-aversive strategies. 3 credits. Prerequisite: 47.562

47.568 Behavioral Intervention Program Models in Autism

This course explores how educational environments can be designed to maximize learning. Different models of effective, evidence-based behavioral interventions are analyzed. The use of teaching activity schedules and staff training to build supportive educational settings is also covered. 3 credits. Prerequisite: 47.562

USA requirements for international students

Each university in the Unites States of America sets its own admission standards so there isn't the same criteria for all the students and the university can decide which applicants meet those standards. The fee for each application is between $35 to $100. 

After the selections of the universities you want to attend, the best of all would be to contact each university for an application form and more admission information for the international students. Moreover, for a graduate or postgraduate program it's necessary to verify the admission requirements. Some programs require that you send your application directly to their department. 

Admissions decisions are based on students's academic record and different test scores, such as TOEFL, the SAT or ACT (for undergraduate programs) and GRE or GMAT (for graduate programs). Admission decision is based on your academic results and motivation.

University requirements

Program requirements

Candidates interested in pursuing this Master's Degree Option must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be in their final semester of the Online Graduate Certificate Program in Behavioral Intervention in Autism before applying into the MEd. program.To apply, complete the online application for the Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Studies Option available on the Graduate Admissions website.All applicants must submit:Statement of Purpose (1-2 pages in length)All official transcriptsThree letters of recommendationApplication feeProof of valid teaching license or if in a private setting where licensure is not required, individuals with a minimum of three years teaching experience, should submit a letter from their school's chief academic administrator providing proof of teaching in the school.Technical RequirementsStudents must provide the following:PC Users: Windows XP or higher, Internet access, email address, Internet Explorer 8 or most recent version of Firefox.Macintosh Users: OS 10.6 or higher, Internet access, email address, most recent version of Safari or FireFox.Internet Connection: DSL or CableMost recent version of Java must be enabled and installed. It can be downloaded from Blockers: Pop-ups must be allowed in order to use certain features of the course, such as chat, announcements and attaching files.Some courses have additional software requirements and may require CD and/or DVD computer drives to run software. Please check our current course listing page to find out the software needed for specific course(s). Also check the tutorials and software pages for the software tutorials, updates and download locations.Prior to attending an online course, students should learn how to log onto their Internet Service, use their web browser, send and receive email, and send and receive file attachments.

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for students who qualify. Financial aid consists of grants, scholarships, loans, student employment, waivers, reimbursement programs, and other financial arrangements. Students must be matriculated in an eligible degree or certificate program and be enrolled in courses required for that program.


UMass Lowell's Graduate School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), a national accrediting body for schools, colleges, and departments of education authorized by the U.S. Department of Education.

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