Format Credit Hours Tuition Application Deadline Test Requirements
100% Online 12 credits $450/cr. in-state and $563/cr. out-of-state* May 1
(Summer Start Only)

*This special e-tuition rate applies to out-of-state students enrolled in a UMaineOnline degree or certificate program.

Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 68 children has been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is reported in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. The primary purpose of this 4-course certificate sequence is to prepare experienced educators, administrators and related service providers to assume a leadership role in the development and implementation of educational programs for students with autism in school settings. This certificate program gives you the critical knowledge and practical skills necessary to address the needs of children and students across the autism spectrum.  

*Participants must have experience with supporting students with ASD, and also be currently working with students with ASD to be considered for this program.

Certificate Program Objectives

  • Candidates will develop theoretical knowledge and applied skills for understanding the needs of students with ASD and providing evidence-based practices according to individual needs.
  • Candidates will have the necessary theoretical and applied background to provide leadership to their schools and districts in developing a sound model of educational and social/behavioral support and intervention.
  • Candidates will be familiar with and able to access available resources to support their districts’ efforts in providing services for their students with ASD.
  • Candidates will have the knowledge and skills to serve as team leaders and coaches in supporting ASD program implementation in their schools and districts.

Visit the Maine Autism Institute for Education and Research website for additional information.


The certificate program includes four courses (a total of 12 credits). Students will complete this Graduate Certificate in one fiscal year by enrolling in one course per semester. Courses are taken in sequence to build knowledge and understanding.

SED 528: Educational Methods for Students with Autism  (3 credits) (1st course, summer course offering).  This course is designed to assist educators in developing strategies and techniques to support students with Autism Spectrum Disorders in accessing the general education environment to the fullest extent possible. This introductory class is designed to familiarize participants with the complexity of the autism spectrum.

SED 585: Communication for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 credits) (2nd course, fall course offering).  This course examines communication, including an overview of typical communication and language development, the difference in autism speech and language development, assessments of communication, augmentative communication supports, visual supports, and the interrelationships between communication and socialization.

SED 556: Assessment in Special Education II: Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Severe Disabilities (3rd course, spring course offering).  This course provides advanced training in assessing individual learning needs of students with autism spectrum disorders and students with severe disabilities, emphasizing ecological inventories, person-centered planning, and quality of life indicators. A value-based system of respecting the individual and individual capabilities within a fully inclusive society is presented as the underlying philosophy. Applied assignments will allow students to demonstrate specific skills that reflect this philosophy.  Course content will be presented in a series of modules that contain information on specific topics related to the assessment and intervention of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and students with severe disabilities.

SED 563: Positive Behavior Support for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 credits) (4th course, summer course offering). This course provides training in behavioral assessment, support, and intervention for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Emphasizes evidence-based practices including functional behavioral assessment and communication training, social skills instruction, self-management, and antecedent and broader environmental interventions.

Course Descriptions

Printable Program of Study


Students' Experience Earning Their Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate Online


The Institute serves as the primary source of education and training concerning evidence-based practices for professionals working with children and families with autism spectrum disorders, and for undergraduate and graduate students aspiring to serve children, families, schools and community service providers. For families seeking assistance, the Institute offers services, resources and information; support and guidance; and tools to contribute to awareness regarding their children with ASD.

For a listing of faculty and staff visit the MAIER website.


Application Materials

When you are ready to apply, please first review these application instructions. Then submit the following:

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Graduates are prepared to assume leadership roles in the development and implementation of educational programs for students with ASD. Graduates work with parents, teachers, direct care staff and others who provide support for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Graduates may also find careers in:

  • Health and Human Service Agencies
  • Educational Settings
  • Assessment and Intervention Programs

Contact Us

Have questions about earning your Graduate Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders online with UMaine? Contact Amanda Cupps, UMaineOnline Advisor, at 207.581.5858 or at

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