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Bachelor of Science in Professional and Liberal Studies: Concentration in Autism Studies

Concentrate in Applied Behavior Analysis
The latest data estimates that 1 in 88 American children have some form of autism spectrum disorder*. That’s a 78% increase compared to a decade ago. As the diagnosis continues to rise, so does the need to understand, support and advocate for this growing population. This field is in need of more skilled and certified professionals who can meet the needs of these exceptional students. Saint Joseph's University can help you join the ranks of autism specialists with our autism studies programs that are conveniently offered online.

Students may select from three different options within Online Undergraduate Autism Studies at Saint Joseph's University.

  1. BS in Professional and Liberal Studies - Autism Studies Concentration (bachelor completion program + BCaBA approved course sequence to prepare you to sit for the BCaBA examination)
  2. Post Bachelor's Certificate in Autism Studies (BCaBA approved coursework and fieldwork to prepare you to sit for the BCaBA examination. Must have bachelor's degree.)
  3. Certificate of Proficiency in Autism Studies (No degree requirement. Does not include fieldwork towards BCaBA certification).

Course Sequence BACB Approved

The Autism Studies concentration, within the online BS degree in Professional and Liberal Studies, is an eight (8) course program which includes an introduction to autism theories, techniques, treatment and therapies (learned within 5 theoretical courses) and 3 Practicum (which encompasses 510 total hours of field experience) courses offered online as part of the curriculum. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has approved this eight (8) course sequence as meeting the coursework and the field experience requirements for taking the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) Examination. Once the BS degree in Professional and Liberal Studies is earned, the graduate has fulfilled all of the BACB requirements and may sit for the certification exam. This option is well suited for students who wish to work with autistic individuals to improve their lives through behavioral health organizations.

Online Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Autism Studies
If you have already earned a bachelor’s degree, you can obtain an Online Post Bachelor’s Certificate in Autism Studies that is separate from the degree completion program. The 8-course post baccalaureate certificate is earned through the same 5 theoretical courses and 3 Practicum (field experience) courses that are offered online as part of the Autism Concentration. The Autism Studies certificate is ideal for counselors, educators, and interventionists looking for a way to gain specialized training in topics related to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatments for autistic individuals.

Online Certificate of Proficiency in Autism Studies
If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, and are not interested in the degree completion program, you may still earn an online Certificate of Proficiency in Autism Studies by taking the only the five (5) theoretical courses, without completing the Practicum courses. Should you wish to pursue your undergraduate degree in Autism Studies in the future, these credits may be applied toward your degree. Please note that financial aid is not available for this option.

Looking for a graduate level behavior analysis program? Learn more about becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

Check out our interview with Dr. Michelle Rowe for in-depth information about this concentration. Learn about the value it has on your career and the impact it makes on the lives of those who have autism spectrum disorder.

What Can I Do With a Degree or Certificate in Autism Studies?

Board Certified Behavior Analysts work with autistic individuals in a wide range of settings, from primary schools to mental health facilities. You could find yourself teaching autistic children in a special education classroom, or counseling autistic adults who are participating in a behavioral health program. Communicating with and supporting the families and caregivers of autistic individuals is also a common aspect of a career in autism studies.

With You at Every Step
Saint Joseph’s University has been educating adults for more than 30 years. To support you as you work toward this important goal, we offer:

  • A full team of counselors, advisors and professors who offer one-on-one support
  • Financial aid to those who qualify
  • 24/7 technical support
  • Assistance with the application process

How to Get Started with Your Autism Studies Program

Learn more about the online Autism Studies Concentration, the online Post Baccalaureate Certificate or Certificate of Proficiency: Call (866) 758-7670 to speak with an admissions representative or request more information.

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