Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability, now affecting 1 in 54 American children, according to the Centers for Disease Control (2020).

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have become a focus of attention for the general public, families and schools. There is growing interest in understanding ASD; developing education programs and supports; and providing opportunities for
inclusion of individuals with ASD into their communities.

The Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate is a 15-18 credit multidisciplinary certificate program which draws on courses offered by several programs, including Exceptional Education; Psychology; Communication Sciences and Disorders; Social Work and Occupational Science and Technology.

Through courses, field experiences, and other planned learning experiences, you will:

  • Critically examine the characteristics, etiology and prevalence of ASD and related disorders
  • Learn how to work with family members of individuals with ASD
  • Understand challenges with assessment, diagnosis and intervention
  • Understand the language, communication, sensory, transition and social needs of individuals with ASD
  • Understand unique ethical issues faced by families and professionals

Why Choose Our Program?

This certificate delivers a strong foundation for students who wish to pursue careers in special education or therapeutic services in community-based agencies. Course work and field experiences benefit individuals who live and work with ASD in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Special and general education teachers
  • Related services providers
  • Childcare workers
  • Job coaches
  • Birth to Three staff
  • Family members caring for individuals with ASD
  • Therapists working with children in home, school and community settings
  • Individuals interested in learning more about ASD


If you are an undergraduate  student, reach out to the academic advisor assigned to the ASD certificate program to have the certificate added to your program plan in PAWS.

Tyree Bolden (SOE academic advisor for the undergraduate ASD certificate) 
Enderis 215
(414) 229-4721

If you are a graduate student interested in the graduate ASD certificate, contact Dr. Elizabeth Drame, Autism Spectrum Disorders Program Coordinator.


Eligibility & Certificate Requirements

The Autism Spectrum Disorders Certificate is open to undergraduate, graduate and members of the community. Current undergraduate students must have a 2.75 GPA to pursue this certificate, and current graduate students must have a 3.0 GPA. Community members can apply for the certificate as a UWM special student either at the graduate or undergraduate level.

If you’re NOT a current UWM student, you will need to apply to the university as a visiting student. Interested students will need a minimum GPA of 2.5 or higher.

To receive the ASD certificate, students must complete 15-18 credit hours. Students will take two required courses:

  • EXCEDUC 560 (undergraduate) or 760 (graduate) – Foundations of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • EXCEDUC 561 (undergraduate) and 761 (graduate) – Methods of Working with Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • EXCEDUC 575 Field work in Autism Spectrum Disorders (undergraduate only)

The remaining elective credits at the undergraduate level are determined in consultation with the SOE academic advisor. The remaining elective courses at the graduate level are determined in consultation with the ASD Certificate Program Coordinator (Dr. Elizabeth Drame).

Autism Spectrum Disorders Undergraduate Certificate Academic Catalog Requirements

Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate Academic Catalog Requirements

Academic Catalog Requirements Sheet

  • Visit the Academic Catalog webpage linked above, then click on the Print Options link in the lower right hand column
  • Click the Download Page (PDF) link
  • Print or save the condensed program requirements document


profile photoElizabeth DrameProfessorTeaching and Learningerdrame@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 397