Doctorate of Education | Minor in Autism FAQ

Yes, the first course in this program was offered in the fall semester, 2005. Students can get an Ed.D. through Fischler College of Education with a minor in autism through a program offered in collaboration with the Mailman Segal Center for Human Development.

Students must enroll and be accepted in the doctoral program at Fischler. In addition to the Ed.D. curriculum, students are expected to take 15 hours of autism coursework (5 courses). Students may complete their applied dissertation in autism as well. For more information about the admission and degree requirements for the E.d.D. program, please refer to

  • EDD 8801: Seminar in the Behavior Communication Connection for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • EDD 8802: Seminar in the Nature of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • EDD 8803: Advanced Topics in Assessment of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • EDD 8804: Advanced Topics in Interventions for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • EDD 8805: Seminar in Professional Issues in Leading Programs for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • EDD 8806: Special Topics Across the Lifespan for Individuals with Autism

Students enrolled in other doctoral program can take courses as electives for their educational doctoral program. Students wishing to pursue the autism courses alone can apply to the doctoral program for the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS). The application process and admissions requirements are the same for entry to the CAGS as for the Ed.D. program. Students may earn a CAGS at the Fischler College of Education by:

  • Option 1: Completing all required concentration courses (a minimum of 18 credit hours to a maximum of 24 credit hours depending on concentration area) in any approved FSE doctoral Concentration [See DoctoralConcentrations and Minors listing above]
  • Option 2: Completing all required minor courses (15 credit hours) in any approved FSE doctoral Minor [SeeDoctoral Concentrations and Minors listing above]

Students are encouraged to complete their applied dissertation in the field of autism and doctoral advisors are available through Fischler and through MSI to assist in this endeavor.

Students may take 1 or 2 courses as electives in other doctoral programs (e.g., Speech and Language). However, students wishing to receive a minor in autism will need to complete 5 doctoral autism courses. Students who are interested in taking 1 class in autism are encouraged to take the EDD 8802 Seminar in the Nature of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders course as an entry level course.

It is preferred that students take the courses in order beginning with EDD 8802 and circling back to EDD 8801. Students outside the field of autism as a minor are encouraged to take EDD 8802. We are considering making EDD 8802 a prerequisite for all the other courses.

It is perferable that the courses be taken in the order listed above starting with EDD 8802 and circling back to EDD 8801, because they each build upon the information covered in the preceding courses. Depending upon the knowledge and background of the student, a different sequence may be taken. It is recommended that EDD 8802 should be taken first.

The courses are offered in an online format. Classes run on a typical semester time-frame and have assignments due at a specific due dates throughout the semester. This arrangement helps to keep the students on-track with the curriculum. Classes typically meet weekly or bi-weekly online through Elive. These live classroom technologies allow the particpants and the instructors to converse via chat, microphone, share PowerPoint presentations and whiteboards. These classes are typically 1 hour to 90 minutes and supplement required material that can be completed independently by the student online. If a need exists and there are enough students to form a cluster, then there is the potential to offer the course through distance learning or in person at one of NSU's sites.

The state of Florida has passed an endorsement in autism, which can be added to an ESE teacher certificate. These courses have individually been approved to meet the requirements of the autism endorsement. Students should check with their professor about additional forms to document the field experience within the courses.

Beginning in Summer, 2010, MSC and FSE began to offer a minor in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This series consists of the 5 courses required to meet the academic requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) for the BCBA® certification and has been approved by the BACB. Students can combine the minor in autism with the minor in ABA as a part of the special education concentration, or can take either or both in a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS).

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