Autism Spectrum Studies Department of Special Education & Communication Disorders

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Welcome to Autism Spectrum Studies

Our mission is to prepare candidates to demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and skill in providing competent, humanistic and meaningful support to learners on the autism spectrum, representing diverse ages, abilities, languages, cultures, economic backgrounds and sociocultural experiences.

What We Offer

Autism Spectrum Graduate Certificate

This University-wide program offers professional preparation to candidates from diverse disciplines seeking to gain expertise in the autism spectrum area. Candidates in the program currently possess or are working toward a master's degree in special education (with an emphasis in any program area - e.g., early childhood, milld-moderate, moderate-severe, orientation and mobility, physical health impairments, visual impairment) , communication disorders or a related field (e.g., child development, counseling, occupational therapy, psychology, social work). Candidates in special education may also apply the core autism courses to their respective teaching credential program while earning their master's degree and the Autism Spectrum Graduate Certificate.

To learn more, see Program Features, Program of Study and Applying to the Program

Related Studies

The Autism Spectrum Graduate Certificate may also be earned while pursuing related studies that include an autism spectrum focus.

Master of Arts in Special Education with an autism spectrum specialization
click here to learn more

see also course planning guide

Master of Arts in Communication Disorders with an autism spectrum specialization through partiicpation in Project Common Ground (PCG)
click here to learn more

Doctorate (PhD) in Special Education with an autism spectrum specialization through participation in the Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education, University of California, Berkelely with SFSU
click here to learn more


*Information on the Added Authorization in Special Education (AASE)- Autism Spectrum Disorders is available from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing


Who May Apply

We welcome qualified US and international candidates from a variety of fields and backgrounds, including educators, therapists, advocates, family members, adults who identify on the autism spectrum, and others.


Project Mosaic LogoAutism Spectrum Studies was initiated as Project Mosaic: Preparing Highly Qualified Educators to Meet the Unique Needs of Learners with Autism in Diverse Settings, supported, in part, by a personnel preparation grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (#H325K060211). The core professional competencies developed for this project were integral to the formation of professional standards for teaching students with ASD (beginning and advanced level) that were adopted in 2009 by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and approved by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) (formerly known as NCATE).


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