Autism Spectrum Disorders

Fall - May 16
Spring - November 25

The Advanced Certificate Program in Autism consists of 12 credits (four 3-credit courses). The coursework and fieldwork opportunities will reflect a range of educational approaches and services available for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The approach is eclectic and will include, but not be limited to, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), natural learning paradigms, relationship-based developmental models, and common practices of teaching in the field of ASD. Various philosophical, educational, psychological, and clinical paradigms will be incorporated. 

Throughout the curriculum, whenever appropriate, the counseling needs of families with individuals with ASD will also be addressed. We will also critically evaluate controversial popular but unproven alternative treatments. The curriculum will consist of lectures by faculty, readings of the professional literature, in-class discussions (with faculty and students), on-site observations and fieldwork under close supervision. The program was developed to provide additional education and training to post-baccalaureate students (with bachelor’s or master’s degree) in order to enable them to work with individuals with ASD and their families at a heightened level of expertise.

Contact Information

Dr. Kristen Gillespie-Lynch

Program Coordinator

Kristen Gillespie-Lynch Portrait
Building 4S, Room 103
Email Dr. Kristen Gillespie-Lynch

An applicant must have completed, as a minimum, an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Education, Speech-Language pathology, Science, Letters, & Society, or a related field, or be a current student in a Master degree program (e.g., Education, Mental Health Counseling, Neuroscience & Developmental Disabilities).

Additional coursework may be required to make up for any deficiencies in background, as will be determined by an admissions committee for the program. (The admissions committee comprises faculty members from the School of Education and the Psychology department.)

Graduate Application:

The application must be completed online at Graduate Application.


Request official transcripts from all US institutions attended to be sent to CAS. International Transcripts (For those who studied outside of the U.S.) will need to be evaluated by World Education Services (WES) or  Education Credential Evaluators (ECE).  The evaluation must be sent directly to CAS.  There's a link in the Academic History section of the application to order your official evaluation. 

Application Fee:

Submit a $75.00 non-refundable application fee.  The fee must be paid online via the CAS application system.  Applicants who are veterans of the United States Military Service, currently on Active Duty or members of the National Guard or Reserves, may obtain an application fee waiver.  Veteran applicants must submit proof of their Veteran/Military status (ie., DD-214, Current Military ID Card, or Deployment or Pre-separation orders).  Please send proof to  Once we receive your proof, we will issue a fee waiver.

Cover Letter:

A cover letter describing the applicant’s relevant experience as well as the reason and motivation for applying to the program.


Current résumé detailing all relevant past and present professional employment, experience, memberships, and related service.

Letters of Recommendation:

Two letters of recommendation from instructors or employers.

English Proficiency Examination:  The TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE exam is required of students for whom English is a second language.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): Minimum required score is 79 (Internet). For additional information or to register for the exam, please visit the TOEFL website at Our institutional code is 2778.
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): We will only accept the academic exam scores. The minimum required score is 6.5 (overall band).  For additional information or to register for the exam, please visit the IELTS website
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): Minimum required score is 53. For additional information or to register for the exam, please visit the PTE website
  • Duolingo English Test: Minimum required score is 100. For additional information or to register for the exam, please visit the Duolingo website.