M.A. with Autism Specialization
Learn about the M.A. with Autism Specialization program in the Department of Special Education.
GRE Requirement Suspended for Spring and Fall 2021
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, SDSU has suspended the requirement that applicants for graduate study submit GRE scores for the Spring and Fall 2021 admissions cycle. If you have any questions about this policy, please contact the program advisor.
The Department of Special Education at San Diego State University offers an M.A. degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism.
This masters degree embeds an approved course sequence for the BCBA (Board Certified
Behavior Analyst). The M.A. degree also embeds most of the Clear coursework for the
For more information on our BCBA program check out the BCBA brochure
- SPED 553: Behavioral Strategies & Supports (or equivalent) (3 units)
- SPED 527: Special Education in a Pluralistic Society (3 units)
The course sequence varies slightly based on the age focus (young children or secondary/
- Ed 690: Methods of Inquiry (3 units)
- CSP 0733: Ethnics & Law (3 units)
- SPED 530: Issues in Autism (3 units)
- SPED 676: Advanced ABA (3 units)
- SPED 681B: Advanced Studies in SPED/ Autism (3 units)
- SPED 771A: Advanced Intensive Practicum
- SPED 685: Single-Subject Research Design (3units)
- ED 795A: Research Project (3 units)
- SPED 605: Advanced Behavior & Health Supports (1 unit)
- ED 795B: Research Project (3 units)
The SDSU Department of Special Education has received grants from the U.S. Office of Personnel Preparation that is specifically designed to prepare candidates from diverse backgrounds to obtain the knowledge and skills to work effectively with youth with autism. The goals of these programs are to:
- Recruit and prepare M.A. Degree students who are fully credentialed
- Provide advanced knowledge & skills in autism using a research-to-practice model
- Prepare special education mentors with advanced knowledge in Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Implement a field-based, culturally relevant program
- Contribute to the field through candidates ’ research projects
Currently, grant support is available for M.A. candidates serving secondary aged students (14 to 22) with autism. To be eligible for grant support, students must enroll in the SDSU Dept. of Special Education M.A. program and remain in good standing with the Department. For more information regarding grant support, email Dr. Bonnie Kraemer and explore SPED Research and Projects.
Priorities for scholarship support for this degree include:
- Candidates with a preliminary Mild/
Moderate or Moderate/ Severe credential
- Candidates from traditionally under-represented backgrounds
Types and amounts of financial support
Financial support from the grant includes the following:
Academic Year (per semester)
- CA resident fee support: up to $3922*
- Living stipend: $500
- Book Allowance: $350
- Total amount/
semester: up to $4772
Professional development expenses (e.g. conferences, subscriptions): $1200 total
*Fee amounts are current as of February 2012 and are subject to change
Qualifying students who accept financial assistance are responsible for meeting all program coursework requirements; attending additional lectures, workshops and seminars; and meeting special grant related federal requirements, including a U.S. Dept. of Education requirement to teach children with, or “at risk” for, disabilities for 2 years for every year of assistance received.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question about the M.A. Degree Program/
Project MAINSAIL offers scholarships that pay for in state tution fees. Applicants must hold a California Preliminary Early Childhood Special Education Credential and apply to SDSU through CSU Cal State apply.
Project BEAMS: Scholarship
Behavioral, Emotional and Mental Health Supports in Schools: Collaborative Practices to Improve Special Educator & School Psychologist Training.
Project BEAMS involves School Psych (SP) candidates & Special Education (SE) MA candidates in interdisciplinary training and shared collaboration via:
1. Research-based courses in Autism, Ethics, & Applied Behavioral Analysis;
2. Seminars, where trainees discuss readings, give cross-disciplinary presentations, and practice collaboration;
3. Clinical practicum experience, with paired SPs & SEs working together in classrooms to provide intensive interventions;
4. Summer institutes, where SEs & SPs will learn about leading research (Day 1) and build capacity around mental health services (Day 2);
5. Co-attendance at professional conferences.