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Master of Science in Autism Studies

UMass Lowell’s Master of Science in Autism Studies provides students with the knowledge and skills to enhance the development of individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and support their families.

We offer two degree pathways: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Research Intensive (RI). The ABA option is designed for students interested in behavioral interventions, sitting for the national BCBA certification and obtaining licensure as an Applied Behavior Analyst (LABA) in the Commonwealth. The Research Intensive option is designed for students interested in research careers in autism and related fields or preparing for doctoral-level study.

While most students in our program attend UMass Lowell for full-time study, part-time students are encouraged to apply. The program is a blend of online and campus courses, as well as concentrated supervised fieldwork. On-campus courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening hours to accommodate students who are employed. This is not a fully online program. 

Gain Mastery of Skills In:

  • Definitions and characteristics of autism and other developmental psychopathologies
  • Principles, processes, and concepts of applied behavior analysis
  • Methods of behavioral assessment and selection of intervention strategies
  • Measurement of behavior and techniques for displaying and interpreting data
  • Experimental evaluation of interventions
  • Legal and ethical aspects of intervention
  • Coordination of programs and services with families, schools, and the community
  • Training and supervision of direct service providers
  • A Bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, from an accredited college or university, with a GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Minimum of four courses in psychology and one course in statistics in your undergraduate coursework.
  • Some background in the psychology of child development. We are especially interested in coursework in some of the foundational areas of psychology (e.g., developmental, learning, behavior analysis, biological bases of behavior, research methods, cognitive psychology, etc.).
  • At least three letters of recommendation. At least one from recent or current instructors.
  • A personal statement that describes your background, your interests in our program, and how our program will help you meet your career goals.

Applications for matriculation are accepted annually. Our priority deadline is March 1. Applicants should ensure that their applications, including external materials (e.g., letters of recommendation, etc.), are complete and ready for review by the priority deadline if they wish to apply for available funding. We will continue to review applications for matriculation until August 1 each year.

Visit Graduate Admissions for more information or apply to the Master of Science in Autism Studies.

A total of 42 academic credits is required for the completion of the degree. At least 30 of these credits must be taken at UMass Lowell. No more than two courses (6 credits) may have an earned grade of less than B (3.0).

For the most up to date information please visit the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.

UMass Lowell undergraduate students with a 3.0 GPA or better have the opportunity to save time and money by earning a bachelor's and a master's degree in a little as five years. Students can continue from bachelor’s to master’s level studies within their own department. Or students can apply to a program in a different department to create a set of skills to meet emerging needs in the workplace and their own academic interests.
Learn More

Please refer to the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog for the latest information about admission, courses, retention, degree and thesis requirements.

Why UMass Lowell for Autism Studies?


Gain Hands-On Experience

UMass Lowell’s program in autism studies prepares students to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts® through board-approved coursework and field experience, as well as provides students with a full appreciation of ASD from behavior analytic, developmental and community perspectives.

Make a Difference

The program addresses autism spectrum disorders within the context of developmental disabilities and psychopathology and provides an in-depth understanding of the major challenges facing families and communities, as well as what is required to practice as an ethical professional.

Expand Your Career Options

As a board certified behavior analyst, you can work with schools and other agencies to design and implement effective interventions for children on the ASD spectrum and supervise other direct service providers. You can conduct research that could lead to new and effective interventions.
UML alumna Devon White profile photo

What Our Students Are Saying...

“The Autism Studies program has really allowed me to grow as a student, a clinician and a researcher. Even during my first year, I was conducting research in the department’s laboratory facilities on campus, as well as in local preschools. These experiences are really helping me prepare for a research career in the study of autism.”  -Devon White
Please consult any applicable licensure requirements for this program.