Graduate Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate

The Graduate Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate program is an interdisciplinary certificate where the broad goal is to provide a foundation in the causes and characteristics of ASD, and interventions in various areas (e.g., communication, sensory needs, etc.). In addition, this certificate addresses challenges with assessment and early identification of children with ASD in diverse communities. The elective courses address areas related to addressing the unique needs of individuals on the spectrum, such as their language development needs and behavioral needs.

Eligibility and Admission

  • Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree prior to admission, with a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average.
  • Applicants with a graduate degree must have a minimum 3.0 graduate grade point average.


  • Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School via the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted in to a certificate program.

Certificate Requirements

Credits and Courses
This certificate program requires 15-18 credits. Students take two required courses and then, in consultation with the Program Coordinator, they choose to take their remaining 9 elective credits, either within the Communication, Psychology, or Exceptional Education strand. Students who do not choose to focus on a specific strand would take courses across strands equaling 9 elective credits total. Students may choose to add an additional 3 credit field/clinical course to their certificate program, bringing the total number of credits to 18.

Tentative List of Courses

Two Required Core Courses
ExcEduc 760 Foundations of Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 cr, G)
ExcEduc 761 Methods for Working with Individuals with Autism (3 cr, G)

Option 1
Select 3 elective courses within one strand below to complete the certificate

Option 2
Select 3 elective courses across strands below to gain a broader experience.

Option 3
Take elective courses either within one strand or across strands and add a field course from the list of optional field courses below.

Strand #1 – Communication (9 credits total)

ComSDis 706 Language assessment and intervention: birth to 5 years (2 units; G) – Spring
ComSDis 715 Assessment and intervention in augmentative and alternative communication (3 units; G) –Spring
ComSDis 717 Special populations in Communication Disorders (2 units; G) –Spring
ComSDis 720 (902) Advanced Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology (1-3 cr. G) – Offered all semesters.
ComSDis 799 Independent Studies (1-3 cr; G) Offered all semesters.

Strand #2 – Psychology (10 credits total)

PSYCH 502 Applied Behavioral Analysis (4 units; U/G) – Fall
PSYCH 714 Conditioning and Learning (3 units; G) –Fall
PSYCH 736 Functional Assessment and Interventions (3 units; G) –Every other Spring

Note: Students choosing the Psychology Strand will complete a total of 16 cr for the certificate.

Strand #3 – Exceptional Education (9 credits total)

ExcEduc 671 – Behavior Supports & Intervention for Middle/High Students with Disabilities (3cr; U/G) – Fall
ExcEduc 762 Academic and Social Challenges of Individuals with ASD: Advanced Interventions (course to be approved)
ExcEduc 775, Fieldwork with Individuals Having ASD (3cr; G; prerequisites ExcEduc 760 & ExcEduc 761; may be taken concurrently with ExcEduc 761) – All semesters

Optional 3 Credit Field Course

ExcEduc 775, Fieldwork with Individuals Having ASD (3cr; G; prerequisites ExcEduc 760 & ExcEduc 761; may be taken concurrently with ExcEduc 761) – All semesters OR
PSYCH 692, Field Placement in Psychology (3 cr; U/G) – Fall

Grade Point Average Requirement
A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.

Transfer Credit
No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. Courses will be considered for transfer into the certificate program only if the applicant can provide ample, acceptable evidence that the course taken is substantially the same as the course being substituted. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in Ph.D. programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.

Time Limit

Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:

18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.

For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.